Pres. Obama Swinging The Government Hammer
A must read (I’m not kidding, go read the whole thing, even if you have to register for free to read it. You’ll thank me) from John Kass, Chicago Tribune columnist and the son of an immigrant, who describes how his father worked his fingers to the bone every day of his life to run his small business. And how the government, not only didn’t help, it was like a hammer over his head. Today the government is like a sledge hammer, and this man resents our President’s belief that his father “didn’t get there” on his own.
Just two immigrant brothers and their families risking everything, balancing on the economic high wire, building a business in America. They sacrificed, paid their bills, counted pennies to pay rent and purchase health care and food and not much else. And for their troubles they were muscled by the politicos, by the city inspectors and the chiselers and the weasels, all those smiling extortionists who held the government hammer over all of our heads.
I thought about this after I heard what Obama told a campaign crowd the other day, speaking about business owners and why they were successful.
“You didn’t get there on your own,” Obama said. “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. 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.”
If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that? Somebody else made that happen?
Somebody else, Mr. President? Who, exactly? Government?
One of my earliest memories as a boy at the store was that of the government men coming from City Hall. One was tall and beefy. The other was wiry. They wanted steaks.
We didn’t eat red steaks at home or yellow bananas. We took home the brown bananas and the brown steaks because we couldn’t sell them. But the government men liked the big, red steaks, the fat rib-eyes two to a shrink-wrapped package. You could put 20 or so in a shopping bag.
“Thanks, Greek,” they’d say.
Like so many of our grandparents and parents, no one gave them subsidies, they didn’t take food stamps, they didn’t take welfare. They didn’t spend their money on frivolous things. They just worked and worked and worked. Every day of the summers I was a child my Mom would drop me and my brothers off at my Grandma’s so she could work for no pay at my Dad’s start up law firm. This was after he worked days at a railroad so he could go to law school at night. And that was after he went into the army, so he could go to college, where he took any job he could get. Both of them worked so hard, and never complained. This is the legacy of the entrepreneurial spirit.
Government is not the benevolent grandfather people like Obama would like to believe. If you are beholden to it, if you live off of it, you pay a heavy price. People like Obama hold the hammer and say, “Thanks Greek,” because they have never known what it’s like to get up every day, work hard to make a business successful, never take time off, never golf, never go on vacation, much less the Hamptons. Obama doesn’t know. Most people in the government don’t know.
They just hold that hammer high.
Mr. Kass ends with this:
Obama’s changed. Gone is that young knight drawing the sword from the stone, selling Hopium to the adoring media, preaching an end to the broken politics of the past. These days, he wears a new presidential persona: the multimillionaire with the Chicago clout, playing the class warrior, fighting for that second term.
And he offers an American dream much different from my father’s. Open your eyes and you can see it too. He stands there at the front of the mob, in his shirt sleeves, swinging that government hammer, exhorting the crowd to use its votes and take what it wants.
Be sure and check out the video at the link of Mr. Kass speaking about this. It is excellent.