Did Wilbur and Orville Wright learn how to build bicycles in a CETA program? Were the feds responsible for the flight at Kitty Hawk?
Seeing government as antecedent to enterprise, Obama has it backward. In America, individuals, families, communities came first. Hardworking men and women built the society. Only after that did they send their best and brightest off to the House of Burgesses to discuss colonial issues.
The Founding Fathers who created the U.S. government were deeply distrustful of the centralized power Obama seems to worship. They had had enough of the beneficent big government of George III. Obama notwithstanding, government does not create wealth. Government collects wealth, redistributes wealth, consumes wealth.
Even when government "builds" something like a Golden Gate Bridge, it does not really build it. It commissions it. Architects, engineers and construction companies build the bridge, not bureaucrats from HUD.
As Arthur Herman writes in "Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War Two," FDR immediately turned to GM's Big Bill Knudsen to corral the leaders of American industry to stop making Fords, Packards, Lincolns and Chryslers, and start making jeeps, tanks, guns and aircraft engines.
"Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon," said Winston Churchill.
Obama belongs to category two.
But perhaps he cannot be blamed for not understanding the real America. His mother and father, his role models like Frank Marshall Davis and Saul Alinsky, his neighbors like Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, all came out of the anti-capitalist left.
From academia to community organizing to an Illinois legislature that milked so much money from the people the state may beat Jerry Brown's California into bankruptcy -- Obama's life has been spent in tax-exempt, tax-subsidized and tax-supported institutions.
Yet this Obama-Romney collision frames the great issue of 2012.
Which is the true creator of wealth and engine of prosperity?
Is it, as Obama believes, government?
Or is it, as Romney believes, people and their institutions and businesses that, though carrying the immense burden of government that consumes 37 percent of the economy, still employs six of seven Americans still working? That's the choice.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?" To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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