There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. 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. If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.
We have so many people who can't see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion that the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one. So they are going to solve all the problems of human misery through government and government planning.
Brit Hume's analysis:
BRIT HUME: It is fair to say that we know more tonight than we ever have about the president's view of business and the economy. His assertion over the weekend that, 'If you got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen' explains nearly everything. He wasn't talking about God, he was talking about government.
Here is a man that believes not just that the government provided framework of roads, bridges, defense and law enforcement helps the private sector. He believes these things are are the nerve center, the driving force. More important than any individual, talent, enterprise or initiative. As he put it: 'There are a lot of smart people out.' As for diligence: 'There are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.' Success? 'You didn't get there on your own.'
This is a view that successful businessmen, women are merely the ones who did better at taking advantage of the benefits that government has bestowed. Therefore, he thinks they should be glad to pay an even greater share of federal taxes than they do. He calls that, 'giving back,' as if the government conferred all that they have and they shouldn't mind returning a bit more of it where it came from.
This explains why so much stimulus money was spent to protect government and why his legislation on healthcare
Congressman Paul Ryan:
The President recently suggested that a central government — not individuals — deserves the credit for building successful businesses. This sentiment makes for terrible economics, but also reveals a confused morality. In a free community, everyone co-operates by voluntarily offering unique gifts: some invent, some invest, others labor, or sell while customers reward the best producers and providers by buying their products and services. . . . A free economy and strong communities are the best means to reward effort with justice, to promote upward mobility, and to build solidarity among citizens. The President’s vision of a government-centered society — reflected in both his troubling rhetoric and his failed policies — belittles fair rewards for labor and enterprise