I'm blessed to have Facebook friends that aren't too political. Sure, some of my friends post love letters to Obama and others make fun of liberals, but overall we stick to updates on our families.
So I was surprised to see so many of my Facebook friends outraged over President Obama's remarks on small businesses ("If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."). It really hit a nerve. Friend after friend has been posting stories about the businesses they started and how they put up all the capital and hard work and how the government, if they did anything, stood in the way of success.
Even Ayn Rand would have thought the statement too over-the-top for one of her villains to make. The Washington Examiner editorializes: "Only someone who has never signed the front of a paycheck could make such an ignorant comment."
Jim Pethokoukis spoke with Paul Ryan about the statement. We learn that when Ryan first heard the comment, he didn't believe it had actually come from the President. Pethoukis excerpted some of his favorite lines from his chat with Ryan:
– “The idea that these entrepreneurs owe all their success to some government bureaucrat or some centralized planner just defies reality.”
– “Every now and then, President Obama pierces the veil. He’s usually pretty coy about his ideology, but he lets the veil slip from time to time.”
– “We believe in free communities and this is a statist attack on free communities.”
– “He’s deluded himself into thinking that his so-called enemies are these crazy individualists who believe in some dog-eat-dog society when what he’s really doing is basically attacking people like entrepreneurs and stacking up a list of scapegoats to blame for his failures.”
– “As all of his big government spending programs fail to restore jobs and growth, he seems to be retreating into a statist vision of government direction and control of a free society that looks backward to the failed ideologies of the 20th century.”
– “Those of use who are conservative believe in government, we just believe government has limits. We want government to do what it does well and respect its limits so civil society and families can flourish on their own and do well and achieve their potential.”
But my favorite line from Ryan is here:
I think he believes America was on the right path until Reagan came along, and Reagan got us going in the wrong direction. And and he wants to be as transformational as Reagan by undoing the entire Reagan revolution. … I think he sees himself as bringing about the this wave of progressivism, and the only thing stopping him are these meddling conservatives who believe in these founding principles so he has to caricature them in the ugliest light possible to win the argument.