Donald Lambro

The Washington Post, always ready and willing to help Obama talk his way out of a jam, wrote this: "Though potentially damaging in isolation, the president's words taken in context refer to the idea that the groundwork for success is laid by others."

"Somebody along the line gave you some help," Obama said. "There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges."

You get just one guess who that someone is. He hinted at it in his self-serving remarks above. That's right, Obama himself.

His so-called "jobs stimulus" spending plan in 2009 poured billions of federal tax dollars into debt-ridden state and local governments to save the jobs of teachers and other public employees who were threatened with layoffs.

And who's been investing in those roads and bridges that he says is really responsible for America's successful businesses? Why, Obama, of course.

It was his big spending stimulus for public infrastructure projects and thousands of similar expenditures buried in a massive money bill that he signed into law and then spent.

In other words, it's the government that is responsible for building businesses in America, he says, not millions of business people who began those enterprises large and small who now provide most of the jobs in the country.

How arrogant and conceited can one get? Yet Obama's remarks fully reveal what he has always seen as the only pathway out of our spiraling economic and jobless decline: bigger and more costly government.

Government has been the preeminent focus of all his economic policies, from a public works bonanza that did not create permanent jobs to green technology handouts to companies that went bankrupt. It has been the largest recipient of his largesse.

He admitted as much several weeks ago when he was talking about the need for jobs in the various employment sectors of the U.S. economy, saying "The private sector is doing fine." It's the public sector that needs shoring up, he argued.

This is patently false, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private sector employment is nearly 4 percent lower than it was when the recession began, the Heritage Foundation said.

Between December 2007 and May 2012, state worker levels were down a mere 1.3 percent; local government employees were down 2.8 percent; and federal employee levels were up by 11.6 percent.

But private sector employment was down by a huge 3.9 percent, and it is definitely not doing fine.

There are two major candidates in this presidential race. One's peddling more government as the answer to all our economic ills. The other wants to vastly expand the private sector though investment incentives to fuel business start-ups (now the lowest in decades), economic growth (now barely breathing) and robust job creation to put 23 million unemployed and underemployed Americans back to work.

Go to Obama's campaign Web site and you will see "The Life of Julia," a cartoon everywoman who is cared for from cradle to grave by government.

Go to Romney's web site and you can read his plan to expand the free private sector by accelerating economic growth, opportunities and jobs for all Americans to live productive, independent and successful lives.

Those are the choices voters have this November.

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.