It’s not unusual in political campaigns that candidates fall victim to foot in mouth disease. In fact, the bigger the campaign, the greater the pressure and the more likely a candidate will say something that he or she will later regret or should regret. Barack Obama has made just such a gaffe. The problem is that I don’t believe he regrets it. This quote is Obama's real view of America, her people, and American business. He believes that government is the success story not the hard working men and women who make their businesses run every day. If there is a failure in our system, as Mr. Obama’s philosophy goes, it is a failure of the private sector, not the government. If anyone had any doubt that Mr. Obama is out of touch with American values, his statement should easily convince you otherwise.
Yes, successful business people have had good teachers. The infrastructure that we all take for granted, roads, fresh water, schools, police and fire, and libraries, has made it possible for businesses to thrive because these things are needed for the community to grow and prosper. But even with all of that, success still requires an entrepreneur to take risk. It still requires an individual with vision to work long hours sometimes seven days a week to make his business a success. No one else did that. The risk taker did that. He paid the taxes to build those roads and that infrastructure. He borrowed money from a lender and put his own capital at risk to provide a service to the community through his business and a life for his or her family.
Mr. President, you got it all wrong. What you should have said is this,
“If you’ve got a business, you did build that. That business succeeded because you made it happen. Not government. Not someone else. You made it happen. And this nation is great today because of what you did.”
Following the criticism he received for his statement, Mr. Obama tried to deflect it by saying he was taken out of context. The reality is he was not. He said what he said, and he meant every word of it. Barack Obama believes in big government. He believes that government is the heart and soul of the country. He believes that the federal government should be involved in the daily lives of its citizens through federal programs like the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) and extensive government regulation of business, the economy, and the environment. His view of America is very different from the view that most Americans have of this country.
You have heard it said many times over the years that this is the most important election of our time. It may be an overused phrase but when you consider where President Obama has taken our nation in his first term it seems certain that the phrase is appropriate for this election. Americans must decide if they want their nation controlled by a government that makes the big decisions for its people and involves itself in their daily lives or do they want a nation that depends on the individual talents of her people.
President Obama is leading us away from individual achievement and into the land of dependence on government and the “blame someone else for what ails us” attitude. Such a path is bankrupting Europe.
The greatness of America was not achieved through government intervention or overreach. Are we so cynical and desperate today that we are willing to abandon all of those things that made us the greatest nation in the history of the world? Americans will answer that question on November 6.
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For thirty-four years Lawrence Chehardy served as Assessor of Jefferson Parish. He has been the leading authority on Louisiana’s property tax laws. In addition to his political commentary and public speaking engagements, Lawrence Chehardy is a founding member of the Chehardy, Sherman, Ellis, Murray, Recile, Griffith, Stakelum & Hayes Law Firm and serves as its managing partner.
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