Opinion

Mr. President, give me some credit for my success

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Jim Pontillo
Owner, FMK Firearms
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      Jim Pontillo

      Jim Pontillo is a California native. He owns and manages a manufacturing plant in Southern California. He also produces the FMK Handgun, which is engraved with America's Bill of Rights. FMK Firearms can be viewed at www.fmkfirearms.com.

Dear Mr. President,

I recently turned 50 years old, only 10 months after you. Since we’re so close in age and were both raised here in America, you’d think we’d share similar views. Some of your recent speeches have made me realize that we don’t.

It has always been my impression that regardless of where we start, all Americans have a chance to reach the stars. We have millionaires and billionaires in this country who started with nothing and became successful without even going to college. Many of our self-starting entrepreneurs built businesses that were so successful that they were able to hire thousands of people. In turn, they became millionaires, and many of these millionaires spun off and started successful businesses where they created even more millionaires. All of these millionaires employed hundreds of other people.

I thought it was their diligence, tenacity, imagination and willingness to take risks that made them successful. I now know they succeeded because the government built them a road.

Of course, without Thomas Edison, that road would have no light. Without Andrew Carnegie, that road would not be reinforced with steel. And without Cornelius Vanderbilt, there would be no railroad to get that steel to the road. I suppose Edison, Carnegie and Vanderbilt would not have been successful, however, without the intrepid Founding Fathers, who fought for their right to be free to work 100 hours a week. So it’s true that “nobody does it alone.”

How much of my success can I attribute to my hard work? Do I owe thanks to the welfare recipients you enrich at my expense? While they sit in government-subsidized housing, talking on their iPhones, viewing Netflix movies on their plasma TVs and eating dinners purchased with government food stamps, I sweat 80 to 100 hours a week trying to make my small business succeed.

Are these the people to whom you refer when you say that “nobody does it alone”? Or perhaps the retired unionized government workers, who collect more from their pensions than I receive in salary, are responsible for my modest success?

While you subsidize college education by increasing taxes on small businessmen like me, I struggle to build a business in America — and I don’t even have a college degree. I might add that while these brilliant young graduates you support often know a whole lot about “fairness” and “rights” and America’s “racist” past, many are so inept they can’t even competently run a mop; and you worry they’ll have to pay an extra grand on their tuition loans?

While my tax dollars enable you to play golf once a week and spend millions on fuel to fly around in Air Force One, I can brag of only one round of golf in the last 20 years and I pay for my own fuel. Here in the Golden State, gas costs $4.00 a gallon.

I’d like to share with you how I started my business so we can contact and praise all those road and bridge builders you mention.