Words of discouragement | AspenTimes.com

Words of discouragement

Dear Editor:

In response to John Bender’s recent letter regarding Melanie Sturm’s column about Obama’s off-TelePrompTer “you didn’t build that” claim (“Fear tactics only serve to divide,” Aug. 6, The Aspen Times):

Although Bender echoes the president’s insistence that he was unfairly taken out of context and really meant roads and bridges when he uttered his fateful business-bashing words, actually the context itself provides overwhelming evidence that he meant small-business owners didn’t build their businesses.

Here’s what the man said in context:

“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. 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.”

You can find the text of his speech all over the Internet. Even someone who is a product of the deplorable public school system can perceive the obvious – that the president is here mocking the concept that intelligence and hard work lead to success – which happens to be the foundational idea of the American Dream. He did indeed say what he said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

I shudder to think what would become of our kids if we taught them this spirit-killing Obama ideology. Why even try when no matter how hard you work, or how smart you are, success only comes from “somebody else,” i.e., government benevolence? Don’t we all strive to teach our kids the exact opposite of the government dependency Obama is pushing? Obama’s world view will just put more adult kids living in more parental basements – forever.

Of course, his purpose is also obvious: He was setting up his argument for new punitive taxes on the “rich” job creators and businesspeople making more than $250,000 – after all, if they owe the government their success, they owe the government their earnings, don’t they? Never mind that the top 10 percent of wage earners pay more than 70 percent of federal income taxes and the bottom 50 percent pay – 2 percent! (Source: IRS for 2009)

The “despicable coordinated deception” to which Bender refers is the current, frantic backpedaling of the president, who, since the outrage over his “you didn’t build that” speech, now claims to revere Americans’ free-enterprise system and entrepreneurial spirit when actually he has been methodically disemboweling the system that has given Americans more liberty, prosperity and personal success than any other citizens of any other nation on earth ever.

Bender accuses Sturm of “instilling fear” with her calm and well-reasoned argument against the morbidly obese welfare state, which now gobbles 65 to 70 percent of our nation’s budget. And then he says if we don’t spend that money, we may have to “hire private armies to protect us from the backlash of the disenfranchised, less fortunate and less able.” Sounds like a threat to unleash the slacker Occupy crowd on the rest of us if we don’t continue to support them with our taxes.

Clearly Sturm is not the fearmonger here.

Joy Overbeck


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