It was taken out of context, and they (the pundits) know it.

The "right" have been going wild over a cherry-picked line from a speech Obama gave in Roanoke recently. You've probably heard part of it: the part where he is supposedly saying that business owners didn't create their own businesses, that the government did it for them.

If you listen to the whole speech you will easily see that the main point Obama makes is: "When we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together." You never hear that part of the speech because it doesn't fit the right wing narrative. Obama is not saying that the government needs to be in every aspect of your life and business for you to succeed.

How many out there have actually listened to the whole speech and still think it was about business people not really starting their own businesses?

No votes yet

...and I understand what he said. The point I think he was trying to make is that none of us gets to where we are all by ourselves. Certainly we can thank our parents and our teachers and mentors, etc...

But the President doesn't stop there...he takes it to the next level and concludes that because of the help, we must embrace a collectivist mentality (that all the fruits of our labor must therefore be shared) that I, personally, reject. Others may embrace it and that is fine.

While I do not agree with everything in this article (http://www.redstate.com/erick/2012/07/19/was-barack-obama-lying-then-or-...), I believe this specific portion reflects what many 'understand' the President to mean:

We supposedly took it out of context because the preceding sentence in the speech was, “Somebody invested in roads and bridges.” The morons at Media Matters and elsewhere would have us believe that Mr. Obama’s comments about building business had to do with government building infrastructure. Not only is that a nonsensical lie, to believe that one actually would have to take Barack Obama out of context.

In context, Mr. Obama started off saying, “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,” among other things. He was preaching grade school Marxism that those who have become the most successful got there because of the hard work of others, not their own hard work, and therefore they must have their private property confiscated by the government through taxes to be redistributed to others in the name of fairness. Go all the way to December 6, 2011, in Osawatomie, Kansas and the President has been sounding a consistent tone.

It's not the objection to 'somebody helped you' ... it's the conclusion that he reaches in terms of redistribution of wealth that so many find objectionable.

So while some may think the comment is being taken out of context in terms of the 'you didn't build it' line, those same people are ignoring the fact that the actual objection is to the conclusion Obama draws as a result of what he said - which is the redistribution of the 'wealth' that those business owners worked so hard to achieve.

At least, that's my take...others may disagree and that's okay too.

"...he takes it to the next level and concludes that because of the help, we must embrace a collectivist mentality (that all the fruits of our labor must therefore be shared)..."

A classic case of Modus Ponen (Wkipedia) whereas if one statement or proposition implies a second one, and the first statement or proposition is true, then the second one is also true. If P implies Q and P is true, then Q is true.

In this example:
P=The government builds infrastructure---->, Q=You didn't build it by yourself, P=The government is building infrastructure l--- Q = Therefore, the Government helped you build it.

This argument is valid, but this has no bearing on whether any of the statements in the argument are true; for modus ponens to be a sound argument, the premises must be true for any true instances of the conclusion. While the argument is valid it is nonetheless unsound because one or more premises are false. A propositional argument using modus ponens is said to be deductive.

For example, An Entrepreneur may be building a successful business despite Government interference. In this case, the reasoning for the Entrepreneurs success is because he built a business (without Government interference) is unsound. To be sound the argument must not only be sound on success (building a business), but also valid despite variables like Government interference.

“He did not arrive at this conclusion by the decent process of quiet, logical deduction, nor yet by the blinding flash of glorious intuition, but by the shoddy, untidy process halfway between the two by which one usually gets to know things.” - Margery Allingham

Apparently Calculus wasn't taught at Harvard

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth. ~Japanese Proverb

Over and over the conclusion is that Obama is trying to "redistribute the wealth", to
"punish the achievers". Words like "Marxist" and "Collectivist" get thrown around. The article you linked said:

He was preaching grade school Marxism that those who have become the most successful got there because of the hard work of others, not their own hard work, and therefore they must have their private property confiscated by the government through taxes to be redistributed to others in the name of fairness.

That's quite a stretch. Did we say those things about other presidents in our past? Other presidents have used taxes to solve problems, in fact there have been times in our history where we have had much higher tax rates than we do now. Some may even consider those times to be rather prosperous compared to our current economy. Was our country under Marxist rule at those times? Was there suddenly no more private property? Were we living in a Collectivist society? Are the Bush tax cuts really keeping us out of some Communist nightmare?

Sometimes in this country we need to have a discussion, and that discussion can't be had if we are constantly coming to the conclusions the pundits want us to have. Keeping a sound bite in context is not too much to ask for.

I'm sure there was criticism towards Republicans for example, what about the outcry over the broken promise of George H.W. Bush' now infamous statement "Read my lips: no new taxes"

Your post reminds me of this quote by P.J. O'Rourke

"The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it."

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth. ~Japanese Proverb

Payingmyway - I welcome a respectful discussion on this, so thank you for your question.

you wrote: Did we say those things about other presidents in our past? Other presidents have used taxes to solve problems, in fact there have been times in our history where we have had much higher tax rates than we do now. Some may even consider those times to be rather prosperous compared to our current economy. Was our country under Marxist rule at those times?

Well, yes - some did say this about other presidents and their spending priorities and concepts.

There are legitimate reasons for government to tax us and our founders laid out those reasons for the FEDERAL government to do so in the Constitution. The rate of taxation is not the issue - well, it is but that's not the point of this conversation. It's the concept that the President is pushing: that the rich must pay more so he can give that money to other people who 'deserve it'. It is this concept that the author of the linked article refers to as "grade school Marxism."

Taxation - in and of itself - doesn't constitute the comparison to Marxism, but the idea that because others helped you, your 'wealth' must be taken by the government and distributed to those other people does.

The rich (which according to IRS and Census data are the top 10% who make more than around $110,000) already pay more than their proportional share of taxes (in that they pay considerably more than 10% of the total income taxes collected). The President and many on the left are telling people the rich need to pay more so government can spend it making things 'fair.'

Like he does in this particular instance, Obama makes the case that because others helped the business owner, they are somehow entitled to the profits - not directly from the business owner (via employment and wages, though the value of product produced, or philanthropy of the owner) but through the confiscation of that 'wealth' by government (via taxation) so government can spend it 'better'.

He promotes the idea of collectivism - that since 'we're all in this together' everyone should share equally in the profits of the individual business owner. At least, that's my understand of what he's saying.

If you do not agree, then please share your take on the concept he is promoting. I welcome your perspective.

Lastly, I have not come to this conclusion because of anything any pundit has said. And I agree that it is important to keep sound bites in context. But it is also important to apply this premise to everything and not just to one candidate, otherwise we are being hypocrites.

Thomas Sowell, an economist, is one of my favorite writers because he can take complex concepts and put them into clear, concise language. He presents a good explanation of the idea I was trying to explain - that a person's wealth needs to be shared with everyone - that so many of us reject.

http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2012/07/20/trashing_achievem...

You were too nice to him. What Obama said was not taken out of context or misinterpreted. He said those words.

toledojim

Watched the speech live. It was not out of context.

MikeyA

We all heard what we did and comprehension is in the ear of the listener....

Trying to change what someone heard is an impossibility.

Especially, when it comes on top of "we will punish our enemies and reward our friends","pull off the band aid ,& eat your peas", "take off your bedroom slippers and put your marching shoes on ", and the absolute best ( worst statement ever ) that Obammy, has spewed by a " Commander In Chief ",....... IS

" look, its an all volunteer force. Nobody made these guys go to war.Now, they whine about bearing the costs of their choice ?! It doesn't compute. I thought these were people who were Proud to sacrifice for their country ...".

This, is the "Commander In Chief", telling an audience that American Freedom Fighters, in every branch of the Military, have to PAY MORE OUT OF POCKET, for their immediate medical needs , all due to ObaMaocare Nightmare Healthcare !!?

One cold-blooded reptile this weenie, is...

I disagree with your point, but you make it in a thoughtful way. Too many here get emotional, personal, disrespectful, and even profane.

Marxism should not even be in this discussion. Anyone who thinks that Obama's statements are Marxist, has zero understanding of Marxism. Marx believed that a violent revolution against the rich was both inevitable and necessary. Marx did NOT believe in higher taxes on the rich; Marx believed there should be a totally egalitarian society in which there would be NO RICH AT ALL! Marx believed that EVERY MATERIAL THING the rich had accumulated should be confiscated for the public good. Now THAT'S real redistribution of wealth!!

The way you write about the Democrats' tax proposal, one would think that the proposal was to raise taxes on the rich to their highest levels ever. This is most misleading! You also use the example of an income level of $110,000 per year. This is misleading in itself, since the President's proposal, as I understand it, is to raise rates on those making more than $250,000. There is a world of difference between an annual income of $110,000 and one of $250,000. Even those who have a taxable income of $250,000 would see NO INCREASE IN THEIR INCOME TAX BILL!! Only the income ABOVE $250,000 would be subject to additional taxes. That's the way a progressive tax system works. The first $50,000 of taxable income would still be taxed at the same rate for someone netting $50,000, $110,000, 250,000, or $100,000,000.

When JFK convinced Congress to pass his income tax reductions in 1961, the top rate was 90%. 90%! 90%!! 90%!!! His proposal LOWERED the top rate to 70%. Now, the top rate is HALF of what it was AFTER the Kennedy tax cuts! All the Democrats want is to do, is to return the top rate to the same rate it was during the prosperous 1990s! This is so far from Marxist theory, using Marx in this argument must have him turning over in his grave!

The right-wing use of the term "income redistribution" is so ludicrous, it would be laughable, if so many didn't accept it as the truth. Even in the 1950s, when the top income tax rate was 90%, few people paid anything close to the top rate. Yes, tax loopholes go back that far! The rich lobbied Congress to place these legal forms of tax avoidance into the tax code, of course. As Warren Buffet, and a few other extremely wealthy people admit, the actual percentage of their income that billionaires pay in taxes is often LOWER than that paid by those who have the lowest incomes among their employees.

ENOUGH ALREADY!! No pity parties for the unfortunate mulit-millionaires! We just want them to pay a little more! As I recall, the last time we had the top rate which the Democrats have proposed, the stock market rose to record high levels, making the billionaires more money than any tax cut could net them!

...and completely overlooked a key point:

The rate of taxation is not the issue...

You just want to tax the rich - more than what they're already taxed - and how 'rich' is defined is subject to revision, as it has been throughout time. You say Marx wanted to take everything, but then argue that you only want some - or more - of it. When does it stop?

And why just the rich? The President says we're all in this together. If that is true, then why don't you support a tax system where ALL people pay something in income tax? If we're all in this together, why do nearly half the people pay NO income tax at all? Why don't the non-rich have some skin in the game? That's not 'together.'

But again - it's not the rate of taxation that is the issue.

It is the CONCEPT promoted by the president that what you earn - through your hard work or creativity or even luck - should not be yours, but should belong to everyone. The author I linked called it "grade school Marxism" but it really doesn't matter what you want to call it. The CONCEPT is that your individual wealth and accomplishments do not belong to you - they belong to the collective - and, in this case, the government is the best arbiter of how best to use that wealth for the good of the collective.

No matter what name you give to the CONCEPT or how much of the wealth you are targeting with the concept, it's not consistent with the freedom and liberties our founders fought for and established for our country. And because it is so contrary to the core of beliefs in our nation, it is met with objection by many - and not just those on the right.

So - to the original post - the President's words were not taken out of context, as they reflect his promotion of the CONCEPT I describe and, because the CONCEPT is so objectionable to many, he is being criticized for it - and rightly so.

Mark Steyn says it very well:

The obvious interpretation sticks because it fits with the reality of the last three and a half years — that America’s chief executive is a man entirely ignorant of business who presides over an administration profoundly hostile to it.

But, just for the record, I did “invest in roads and bridges,” and so did you. In fact, every dime in those roads and bridges comes from taxpayers, because government doesn’t have any money except for what it takes from the citizenry. And the more successful you are, the more you pay for those roads and bridges.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/310166/golden-gateway-dependency-...

People know this, as you do,

Nothing you wrote negates the fact that Marx's theories have no place in this discussion, except to inflame passions fallaciously. It is not "grade school Marxism", it is an argument designed to take advantage of the fact that most Americans have no idea what Marxism is or isn't, they just know it is very, very, bad. BTW -- while I have studied Marxism, I, too, think Marxism is very, very, bad!

We have a fundamental disagreement. We need government. Government needs revenue. Most government revenue comes from taxes. The argument is, what types of taxes should be collected, and how much is needed.

You ignore the fact that our top rate is at the lowest rate in the past 70 years! You ignore the fact that few, if any, pay even close to that historically low top rate because of tax loopholes which they promote to be written into the tax laws. You strongly suggest -- without any evidence -- that the current proposal from the Democrats is only the beginning of a bigger bite to be taken from the rich later.

On the top rate, it is historically low. You tie in the issue of many not paying income taxes. Our system is predicated upon one's ability to pay. If one earns very little, even a small tax may mean family members going hungry or lacking proper shoes, clothing and medical care. Certainly you're not equating this to the situation for the Warren Buffets of this world, if the top tax rate is increased slightly.

Tax loopholes are a real issue, however. I was just reading an article about one of the Republican "tax hawks" in the Senate. He is part of what is called the "Gang of Six", three Democrats and three Republicans, who are looking at ways to close unnecessary tax loopholes. Guess what? He has timber interests within his state. They convinced him to fight to keep a tax loophole which takes $3 billion out of the revenue stream for a questionable benefit to that industry! I'm sure at least one of the Democrats in the "Gang of Six" has at least one similar scenario. One person's loophole, is another person's necessary incentive to save or add jobs!

As far as President Obama understanding business is concerned, he has no practical experience of which I am aware. However, our last President, George W. Bush, had an MBA from Harvard! Both of them, as do all Presidents of the United States, have had many experts in business and economics around them. With all of his business credentials, Bush's policies plunged this nation into the Great Recession from which the current president is trying to extricate us! Clinton had no business experience, yet the economy did extremely well under his guidance. George H. W. Bush did have a business background, but people limited him to one term as President, mainly because of a slower than expected economy in his one term. Ronald Reagan never ran a business I know of, except when he was President of the Screen Actors Guild, but I assume the Treasurer had a lot to do with the business end of that union. Reagan tripled the national debt in his 8 years, but the economy improved a lot.

The most ludicrous charge in the article you cite is that the current administration is "hostile" to business. What President wants businesses to fail?

BTW -- I do have first-hand knowledge of how a business runs. Before my teaching career of 35 years, I worked with my father in a very small business for 15 years. From 2006-2012, I was Treasurer of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, while still teaching full-time until June of 2011. My degree is in Political Science, and my minor was in Economics. I went back to school to get teaching credentials, after I earned my degree.

...again.

I can only say it so many times and I don't know how much more plainly to say it:

it's not the level of taxation that is the issue.

No conservative has ever claimed that government does not need revenue, nor have they claimed that no government is needed - only that a limited federal government, as our founders designed, is best and that a limited government doesn't require as much income as an unlimited one.

Now, can we please move past the level of taxation and get to the concept?

As I stated above, it doesn't matter what you call it, so let's forget the term 'marxism' as it clearly means something different to individual people.

Obama's history, in his speeches and his actions, shows that he supports the CONCEPT that individual accomplishment is not individual, but due to the collective efforts of everyone. He promotes the idea that since 'everyone' helped, everyone is entitled to the profits/wealth/benefits (again, call it whatever term you like) that the success has produced. His 'solution' to ensuring that everyone shares in the success is to suggest (and work for) higher taxation (it doesn't matter what rate, just that it is more than what is currently being collected) of the successful so that the government can share that wealth (his term - not mine) with the collective.

Now, if you'd like to show me where Obama does not promote, advocate, encourage, support, this CONCEPT, I'd welcome the information. But to repeat comments about the level of taxation or to bring in other Presidents (as they have nothing to do with what Obama has said unless they've said the same thing and I don't think that's accurate) isn't addressing the issue.

As an aside regarding your understanding of 'hostile': The CONCEPT the President is promoting is hostile to business in that it implies (and many take it as such) that businesses (owners and shareholders) are not entitled to the fruits of their labor or the benefits of their investment. Whenever you tell people that what they've worked for isn't really theirs, that is a hostile attitude.

If you don't believe that is hostile, then we can agree to disagree on what constitutes 'hostile' and that's okay.

I went camping for 3 days and was away from any computers. It was very refreshing.

Here's how I read it and hear it:
Obama said in his Roanoke speech "When we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together." Obama is not putting down individual accomplishment in this statement.

Let's say my uncle starts a barber shop. I consider that the "individual initiative" part of Obama's comment. Obama isn't saying that everyone else working as a "collective" started the barber shop for him. What the "collective" did do, through government, was help provide an environment for his barber shop to thrive-namely a free country where property rights are protected and there are roads and bridges to bring in customers. That's the "because we do things together" part of what Obama is talking about. Obama does not put the collective above the individual. He does point out a connection between the two, but isn't this connection merely a reality we live live with everyday in this country? With his comments he is far from supporting as you say "the concept that individual accomplishment is not individual, but due to the collective efforts of everyone".

"What the "collective" did do, through government, was help provide an environment for his barber shop to thrive-namely a free country where property rights are protected and there are roads and bridges to bring in customers"

So if I'm to get this right..... the government caused people's hair to grow. Because that is the only environment that needs to be provided for a barber to be necessary. AND there are plenty of countries where property rights are not protected and I'm willing to bet there are still people cutting hair.

"He does point out a connection between the two, but isn't this connection merely a reality we live live with everyday in this country?"

Using the President's logic then.... a homeless person who makes money turning in cans they collect owes the "collective" because they have provided the trash in which he makes his money SO I can then argue that I deserve a portion of what he makes on those cans because as a member of the collective I have fostered the environment in which he can survive by littering. Technically we can call that a small business because that individual is self employed and makes money from his own productivity. I can do this all day payingmyway because the principle on which the President has built it is flawed.

MikeyA

So if I'm to get this right..... the government caused people's hair to grow. Because that is the only environment that needs to be provided for a barber to be necessary.

Oh touche', Mikeya! You know... your right! We don't need to have a free country where property rights are protected and there are roads and bridges to have barber shops exist. I guess I was just getting all twenty-first century about the issue. My bad.

No No you're right. We should confiscate the earnings of people because the government GAVE them roads and bridges.

Maybe you should read Common Sense and learn about where the government get's it's power. Or maybe that's over your head. Here's a clip from Monty Python's The Holy Grail.

Then again maybe that too is over your head.

MikeyA

Here all along I thought I believed We The People paid taxes and the government used them to provide the services we expect from it-- things like defense, roads, bridges etc. But you're telling me I really believe that "We should confiscate the earnings of people because the government GAVE them roads and bridges". Thank you so much for setting me straight on what I was really thinking. Man, you are good! I'm getting killed here.

I'm going to take your advice and read a little Thomas Paine, again.

I know that many people took the comments the same way that you did. I took the comments from that speech - along with other things he's said - and came to a different conclusion, as did others.

Let's take your understanding and then continue ... The President uses this basis (concept, idea, connection) to then go to the next step and say that those successful people 'owe' and/or that you - who did nothing other than contribute to the society - should share in the proceeds of your uncle's hard work.

In the paragraphs just before the 'controversial' comment, he's talking about taxing the rich more than what they're already taxed - and that many rich people agree with him. This introduction to the comment cannot be ignored, otherwise we are taking the statement out of context. :)

He says that because you aren't 'alone' in what you've accomplished, you need to pay more than what you're paying now. These people who 'helped' you succeed should share in your success. He then mentions bridges and the GI Bill. I conclude by his examples that he means government. Government should get more taxes from these people so government can provided 'benefits' to all those who helped your uncle in his success.

He uses this concept to justify higher taxation on those 'successful' people, saying that they should 'share' with those who made his success possible.

What the President didn't seem to mention is that, in your example, your uncle has already 'paid' for those shared things that helped him with his business. He's already paid taxes (probably more in terms of actual dollars and probably as a percentage as well) for the roads. He's paid taxes for the infrastructure and the schools and all the examples the President uses. Your uncle has already contributed - but the President never mentions that aspect in any of his speeches.

The concept of 'giving back,' which he uses in his speech, implies that what you have is not yours and needs to be returned.

Many also object to the idea that government must be the recipient of any 'giving back' a business owner wants to do. Perhaps your uncle received a scholarship to a barber school and he would prefer to 'give back' by donating or funding a scholarship. Perhaps his church pastor gave him good advice and helped him take a good path, rather than a bad one, so he wants to 'give back' through his church. Perhaps he believes that the best way he can 'give back' is to provide a college fund for his kids so they can be successful contributing members of society. Maybe he wants to expand his business so he can hire more people and contribute even more to ancillary purchases and the economy of his town.

The idea that the 'best' way to give back is to give to government appears to be the dominant message - and I disagree with that.

Every time the government tells you it needs *more* (regardless of your income level) it's saying that the priorities of the government are more important that your own priorities for you and your family. That's putting the 'collective' ahead of the individual and is not respecting the rights of the individual to do with his property as he sees fit.

This is an overall theme that you find in many of the President's speeches and it explains why the sentence isn't being taken out of context.

Check out the link to Mark Steyn in my other comment - he expounds on the idea that business owners have already 'paid' for the things the President details....

text of speech: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/07/13/remarks-president-...

For those who don't feel up to reading the entire argument and nine examples, here's the key phrase:
The idea that the 'best' way to give back is to give to government appears to be the dominant message - and I disagree with that.

Needless to say, I'm with Maggie on this one. If I want to give the fruits of my labor away, I'll pick the charity. Here's the other key phrase:
Every time the government tells you it needs *more* (regardless of your income level) it's saying that the priorities of the government are more important that your own priorities for you and your family. That's putting the 'collective' ahead of the individual and is not respecting the rights of the individual to do with his property as he sees fit.

Exactly. Worse, mismanagement doesn't begin to describe what happens to our tax dollars in DC.

You've made a valiant attempt to communicate reality to a Moonbat, but I don't think you'll succeed here. Pertcheck is one of the worst Moonbats you'll ever find, and the real tragedy is that he's allowed to vote and has the freedom of speech, as bought and paid for by men and women that he's not even fit to look at.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Unlike what Maggie writes, your post loses all credibility because you can't refrain from personal attacks and inflammatory statements which shed lots of heat, but no light!
Your true intentions are exposed when you state, "...The real tragedy is that [Pertcheck's] allowed to vote and has freedom of speech, as bought and paid for by men and women that he's not even fit to look at." Anyone who disagrees with Madjack is unworthy of citizenship rights!

Fuck you.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

"Profanity is the attempt of a lazy and feeble mind to express itself forcefully."
You were VERY forceful, MJ!!

He just did it to enjoy hearing you squawk. I must say I'm enjoying it myself. LOL!

Dale, one of these days, you're going to have to learn that the rest of us are adults and seized of certain rights, such as freedom of expression, and we're not little impressionable minds sitting in your repressive classroom. You don't like other adults. Hey Dale, we get that. But you're going to have to tolerate us, since you have no choice in the matter.

When I first heard Obama's now famous Roanoke remark it was from a well known right- wing radio pundit trying to portray the statement as being anti- individual. The clip was cut down to where it only had Obama saying 'If you have a business, you didn't build that'. The pundit then expounded on how Obama thinks government gives us everything including our success, totally leaving out the fact that Obama was actually talking about how our society in general, and our infrastructure in particular has helped, not given, an individual their success. This type of presentation, where a small cut- down portion of a speech is played in order to intentionally create a false impression is what I call "out of context". This is what prompted me to make the original post of this thread.

But, you think the presentation was not out of context, and I respect that. I'm not going to try to change your view, but I would like to say I find it quite interesting. To me ( and it's just my opinion) your view implies a lot more "motive" on Obama's part than I am seeing.

I hope you will reply to the next post I'm thinking of making. This same Obama speech has given me a few questions and ideas I'd like to put out there.

The context is not just limited to the speech. You have to remember his gaffe with Joe the Plumber was him saying essentially the same thing and again there he wasn't taken out of context. People believe he has "motives" because he's made these statements which indicates to them that is how he really feels, and it is backed up by several of his actions.

MikeyA

I respect your view, but I guess I must be a total lib because I see that whole Joe The Plumber thing as an overreaction. The words "spread the wealth around" were jumped on as if he meant confiscate the wealth of the Bourgeoisie and spread it to the Proletariat.

Here's a link to it: http://youtu.be/BRPbCSSXyp0
It's interesting to see the whole thing if you haven't seen it lately. I had forgotten how long they talked before the famous line occurred.

IMHO...The political right purposely makes the tax proposal, which is merely a return to the still low rates of the 1990s, seem as though the intent is to place an onerous burden upon poor, struggling multi-millionaires. We will have to agree to disagree on this issue.

PMW articulated it well. Obama is NOT claiming that individual initiative is unimportant or unnecessary. I worked in my father's very small business for 15 years. We could not have functioned without a lot of hard work and some entrepreneurial skill. However, we also could not have operated without government services and shoppers who chose to shop in our store. All Obama is saying is that we should see ourselves as one community.

The historical record matters. Are you uncomfortable with it? Recent history matters a lot! I'm so glad that you mentioned shareholders! Stock shareholders should be thrilled with a Democrat in the White House!
Statistically, during the 8 years of the Clinton Administration, WITH THE SAME TOP TAX RATE OBAMA PROPOSES, the Dow Jones went UP 226.30%, the Standard and Poors 500 was UP 207.87% , and the NASDAQ was UP 295.43%. During the 8 years of George W. Bush, with the lower tax rate, the DJIA was DOWN 24.9%, the S&P DOWN 40.0%, and the NASDAQ was DOWN 47.8%. BTW -- Since January 20, 2009, when Obama was sworn in, the DJIA is UP 61.31%, the S&P is UP 69.23%, and the NASDAQ is UP 103.02%! I know that these data defy conservative logic, but wealthy investors, most of whom consider themselves to be political conservatives, have made a TON of money with Clinton and Obama in office. Thay have to ask themselves, can I afford to elect Mitt and return to the policies under which my investments (unless they were VERY lucky) suffered big hits?

We will have to agree to disagree on what constitutes "hostile". I know that there is no major political leader in America today who is "hostile" to business. That's totally nonsensical. Unless businesses thrive, we have no pie to divide!

...the rate of taxation doesn't matter is because it is not pertinent to the question of the post.

The topic was a statement being taken out of context and the presentation that the President thought the 'collective' was responsible for the success of any business.

The other reason the rate doesn't matter is because no matter what the rate is, it is never enough. Please show me where the federal government (since that's what we're talking about) has ever said 'we have enough money and don't need any more.'

The federal government spends more than it takes in and borrows to cover the yearly deficit. This gives us the national debt - the total amount borrowed to cover the yearly difference between spending and income.

In this speech, the President says the government needs more money so it can spend more. So the rate, to me, is irrelevant because it will never, ever, be 'enough.'

As for hostile, this is a President who pledged to put the coal industry out of business. He demonizes 'big oil.' Democrats have demonized 'big pharmacy' and they've demonized Wall Street and the people who make the money that funds everyone's retirement pensions (whether individual, company or union). A Bloomberg survey found that nearly 75% of American investors believe he's against business. Even Democrat business owners say he hasn't got a clue and doesn't listen to him.

We can debate the meaning of hostile and you can deny it, but his actions show that he doesn't like the business sector - because he believes government is better. That's hostile.

The other comments you make about other presidents and the stock market are not relative to the discussion of the comment being taken out of context, so as I said previously - if you want to show me where the CONCEPT that I believe the President has promoted is incorrect, I welcome that.

What elected government official really wants to run for office having raised taxes unnecessarily?
To answer your direct question, with all of the tax cuts since 1961, the Federal Government (and Ohio's state government, for that matter) -- at many times -- has stated, "we have enough money [actually, too much] and don't need any more [actually, less]". In addition, under Bill Clinton, the Federal Government BALANCED the national budget AND HAD A SURPLUS!! And that was with the top income tax rate you find so onerous!

As for being "hostile to business", the same thing was said about Bill Clinton, and the economy did extremely well while he brought the Federal budget into balance, and even into surplus. Investors, both Republicans and Democrats alike, should look much more closely at the value of their stock portfolios over the past 20 years before they call any Democratic President "hostile to business".

In addition, the level of income matters, too. I can't speak for barbers, but, I can tell you that my father never even came close to earning a profit which would put him anywhere near the top bracket. What most Republicans call "small business owners" would come as a shock to most truly small business owners. IMHO, "small businesses" do not have dozens of employees and net millions of dollars to their owners!

I do want to thank you once more for the serious discourse, sans name-calling and personal attacks. We may not agree on many issues, but it is a pleasure to discuss them in this way with you. It is so refreshing here in the swamp!

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