Legislative Lowdown: President Obama to American entrepreneurs: You didn’t build that, I did

Brian Darling Liberty Government Affairs
Font Size:

It’s not unusual to hear conservative talking heads accuse President Obama of being a socialist. So why is he making it easier for them? Last week, in Roanoke, Va., he said the following:

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. … 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 hard-working people out there.

I wonder if the president was going to say “they [the wealthy] know they didn’t earn it.” It seems like he stopped himself from saying that wealthy successful Americans didn’t earn their own “success.”

But he wasn’t finished touting the benefits of class warfare and the inherent good of the federal government.

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.

Conservatives believe that people can be successful even though big government sucks up resources that would be better used in the private sector. Conservatives believe that the government is an impediment to a free market. Conservatives believe that we have God-given rights that the government does not grant us, we have them no matter what the government says.

President Obama apparently has a fundamental problem with the American capitalist system. It seems he would prefer a European-style socialist system where the government is the engine of economic growth — not We the People.

No lame duck

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) are leading the charge to avoid a lame-duck session of Congress. They fear that when the elections are over, and Congress is populated with members who have either lost elections or are scheduled to retire, they are unlikely to act in the best interest of the voters.

DeMint and Jordan have sent a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that a lame duck can be avoided by passing a continuing resolution to fund the government into next year to avoid a situation where the presidential victor and a new Congress can deal with tax issues. The letter states in part the following:

We fear that without immediate, decisive action in the House of Representatives, the American people could soon find themselves in a perfect fiscal storm: a lame-duck session of Congress with the looming threat of a government shutdown creating an unnecessary crisis for the purpose of forcing through tax and spending increases.

Joining this effort to avert a lame duck: Sens. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.),Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), David Vitter (R-La.), Reps. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), Tom Graves (R-Ga.), Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), Steve Southerland (R-Fla.), Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).

Filibuster reform

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised to push filibuster reform if Obama wins and the Democrats hold control of the Senate. This coming from a Senate majority leader who has tyrannically abused the Senate’s rules to advance a liberal agenda.

Reid has shut off the amendment process for Republicans. In fact, he has blocked the traditional free amendment process in the Senate more than all of his majority leader predecessors combined. He also does not allow extended debate. If, in the name of “filibuster reform,” Reid is allowed to further restrict the rights of the minority, the Senate will cease to be a place where all members can participate in free discussion. This will strip the Senate of its role as the protector of states’ rights and will ultimately harm the American people.

Brian Darling is Senior Fellow for Government Studies at The Heritage Foundation (heritage.org).