American history is full of memorable campaign lines, from President Ronald Reagan’s speech on “A time for choosing,” to Senator John Kerry’s convoluted: “I voted for it before I voted against it.” Unfortunately, President Obama just unleashed a whopper that will stand the test of time, mostly because it accurately summarizes his entire first term.
Speaking before an audience in Roanoke, Virginia, Obama said that, “Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."
What a head fake: Just when you think Obama’s going to genuflect to the Founding Fathers for creating a system of government that allows free markets to thrive, he insists that your small business was made possible by government spending.
This quote perfectly bookends Obama’s entire first term. Think about it: Anything good that happens is thanks to the government’s “bold actions.” The stimulus, the auto bailouts, and most importantly, the Affordable Care Act, are examples of Obama’s one and only solution to a broken economy: expanding government without limit.
In an ad that American Future Fund (a group I founded) released last week, we asked whether Obama’s policies have made America’s economy better or worse. By his own metric, his presidency has so far been a failure. Not a single one of his big government policies has lowered unemployment.
What do you expect from a politician who viewed his brief stint in the private sector as being like a “spy behind enemy lines.” According to Obama’s worldview, value cannot be created without the help of government involvement, while jobs can’t be destroyed without the menacing hands of private sector CEOs.
The trouble with Obama’s philsophy is how it perverts the American idea. The success of business does in fact rely on others -- but those “others” are customers, the free market, and the fortitude of individual investors willing to assume great risk to create the goods and services people want to buy.
Instead, in Obama's mind, business works more like the failed solar company Solyndra – the risky enterprise that got half a billion in loan guarantees from the federal government – or like a federal contractor winning a no–bid contract. On this foundation of sand, the Obama economy is built.