Opinion

Opinion

Lost context undermines Obama’s message

August 4, 2012

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By Michael Smerconish

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Elizabeth Warren said it better than Barack Obama. And the president’s presentation wasn’t helped when supporters of Mitt Romney edited his words. Sadly, lost in a squabble over “you didn’t build that” was the opportunity for a more serious conversation about social contracts.

Last August, while contemplating a run for the U.S. Senate against Scott Brown, Warren offered a fiery defense of liberal economic theory at an event in Andover, Mass. Two minutes worth of what she said became a YouTube sensation that has now been viewed nearly a million times. That her remarks appeared extemporaneous and from the heart made the clip all the more watchable.

Warren was rebutting GOP charges of class warfare based on her argument that one’s ability to become financially successful in America is contingent in part on an environment that has been created and supported by all. She said: “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.” And then she hit her stride:

“You built a factory out there? Good for you,” she says. “But I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.”

As for the tax implications, Warren said: “Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.” The crowd enthusiastically applauded.

Ten months ago, upon watching the clip, I said on the radio that, unlike President Obama, Warren had found her voice with a finely honed message for the middle class. While the size of the “hunk” that should be paid “forward for the next kid” is debatable, her underlying premise was solid.

Finally, two weeks ago, Obama attempted to take a page out of her campaign manual while speaking at a fire station in Roanoke, Va. But the president’s presentation lacked Warren’s clarity, and it was then taken out of context by Romney supporters. Unfortunately, both sides have been quick to cut and paste, as evidenced by the unfair attention paid to Romney’s “I like to fire people” remark, which was actually a statement about bad service.

In this case, from a discussion that spanned several paragraphs, Obama’s remarks were reduced to this: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

But the context of Obama’s two sentences was a far cry from an assault on American entrepreneurship. He was arguing that, while he was willing to cut government waste, he would not gut investments that grow the economy or give tax breaks to the likes of himself or Romney. And then came this:

“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. 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. 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.

“The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.”

The trouble with the president’s remarks? They extended beyond the 20-second attention span of this campaign. And when the edited version made the rounds, a legitimate, substantive conversation about social contracts was instead reduced to silly charges of socialism.

— Michael Smerconish writes for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Readers may reach him through www.smerconish.com.

Comments

BornAgainAmerican 2 years, 8 months ago

Both Warren and Obama failed to recognize that the the top 5% of income earners pay 60% of the federal income taxes while the bottom 49% pays nothing. So their charges that someone else created their wealth for them amounts to nothing more than political spin. The wealth creators not only created their own wealth through hard work and creative entrepreneurship, but paid far more toward this "unbelievable American system" that has allowed us ALL to thrive. Indeed, "somebody invested in roads and bridges" and that somebody included the wealthy who contributed far more toward building those roads and bridges than anyone else. And certainly far more than the bottom 49%

chootspa 2 years, 8 months ago

They also failed to recognize the existence of Narnia.

chootspa 2 years, 8 months ago

Yes, I failed to recognize your point. Mostly because you don't have one.

chootspa 2 years, 8 months ago

Oh, silly rabbit. I'm an independent. I'm judging you, BAA, and your lack of point on an individual basis. Strawman fail.

voevoda 2 years, 8 months ago

So, BornAgainAmerican, will you grant that it's the middle 46% who are footing the bill for everybody else--the subsidies for those who are unable to support themselves, and the tax breaks for the ultra-rich? That 46% work very hard, pay a lot of taxes, and find that their wealth is decreasing, their standard of living is going down, and their tax bills are going up. Tax relief for them can't come from the "bottom 49%" (your figure, but a wrong one, because all but a handful are already paying a large percentage of their tiny income in taxes at the local, state, and federal levels); those people don't have more money to pay. So where is tax relief for the 46% going to come from, if not the 5%? Who needs and deserves tax relief more--the 46% or the 5%?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 8 months ago

Since you don't give specific numbers, I'll go with BAA's. The top 5% pays 60% of the Federal Income tax. The middle 46% pays 40% while the bottom 49% pays 0%.

BAA says that the top 5% deserve relief from their inordinate burden, or at least recognition that they are paying an inordinate amount. You, Voe, are saying that it's the middle 46% who need relief and recognition.

I would say that we should leave the concept of "fair" off to the side because there will never be agreement as to what that is. I would propose a flat tax where everyone pays the exact same percentage. And that percentage should equal whatever it takes to run the government without deficits. You will quickly find that those at the bottom will demand less spending for things they don't see as being in their best interest. The middle and top will do likewise. In the end, you will have far lower taxes for those currently paying taxes. You will have increased taxes on the bottom, but a government that is more responsive to their concerns. Win/win.

voevoda 2 years, 8 months ago

Federal income taxes are only a small part of the picture, jhawkins and BornAgainAmerican, as you well know. And how you can find it in your hearts to despise people who are too poor to qualify to pay Federal income tax, I will never know.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 8 months ago

I don't hate them. In fact, I think if they voted in the same proportions as everyone else, and assuming they vote in their own best interests, they would overwhelmingly vote down the defense budget, something I would very much like to see. I think they would vote to increase spending for schools, something else I would like to see. But if you think needing an ID will keep the poor and minorities away from the polls, see what having them pay zero Federal income taxes has done. For decades.

I might ask you, why don't you want the poor to vote? Give them an incentive. Give them a reason. Or are you afraid of what they might say? I'm not.

jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

I think that's not correct, although it's appealing to think so.

The vast majority of those who don't pay federal income taxes are actually seniors living on meager SS benefits.

Seniors vote in large numbers.

Also, the idea that everybody voting in their own self-interests will work out best for the whole is questionable, at best. In fact, most folks vote that way now, based on what they want from the government.

I think that the best outcome would occur if people had an eye on their own interests, but also one on the country as a whole.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 8 months ago

The fact is that the poor and minorities vote in smaller percentages than other groups. And they pay Federal income taxes in lesser amounts than other groups. The question I raise is that if they paid more in taxes, if they were forced to pay more in taxes, would they then vote in greater numbers. I think the answer to that is yes.

We've done a great deal of speculating about the effects of the voter ID requirement. Many have said that it will disproportionately hurt the poor and minorities. I'm just saying that the tax codes already encourage that in terms of voting.

And about everyone behaving in their own best interest vs. looking out for the greater good. Yes, wouldn't that be nice. Then we would all be driving American cars, My KU T-shirt would have been made here rather than in Bangladesh and Wal-Mart would be empty because no products from China would be in their stores. McDonald's wouldn't exist as we'd all be fit and trim eating locally grown organic food. And the environment would be pristine as we would all be looking out for the best interests of generations to come. Yes, let's make that so for the 300+ millions of Americans. We can just put aside human nature. You start.

jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

But, as I said, a large percentage of those "poor" that don't pay federal income taxes are seniors on meager SS benefits.

I think it's somewhat ridiculous to tax those benefits, since they're already tax revenue.

And, I find it inhumane to tax poor people who are barely making it more, in the hopes that they'll vote in the way you want them to vote.

I didn't say self-interest vs. the greater good - I said one eye on each.

I don't vote because of what politicians say they'll do for me, I vote for the ones I think will be best for the country as a whole, of which I'm a part. That I think have a real chance of being elected.

Whether my taxes go up a little or down a little isn't the most important thing for me.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 8 months ago

"Whether my taxes go up a little or down a little isn't the most important thing for me" - My point is, Jafs, what if they went up a lot? Would that be important to you. If someone is now paying 0% federal income taxes and it was raised to .000001%, you're correct, they wouldn't care. They don't care now and they wouldn't care if it were raised. And with that apathy there is a price. That price is low voter turnout. I don't want to raise taxes some insignificant amount. I want to raise it a lot. I want people to be forced to make tough choices, lifestyle choices. But along with that they will be forced to make other choices that I think would be good. Like voting. I want them to be so mad that they'll be saying "Damn, yes, I'm voting".

I've given the example of the draft. If you want to end foreign adventurism, impose a universal draft. When our sons and daughters start coming home in body bags, all of our sons and daughters, not just the few, the proud, the volunteers, but everyone, then foreign wars of choice will become a part of our history. But with little skin in the game, we say isn't it sad about Afghanistan and Iraq and then we go see a movie. You want the poor and minorities to vote? You want more than 16% to vote in local elections? You want voting to be in the 90% range? Put a significant amount of skin in the game and they will vote.

jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

Again, and for the last time, a majority of those who don't pay federal income taxes are elderly poor folks, living on SS, and they vote in large numbers.

My point about how I vote was that I don't vote based on narrow self interest - I vote based on a larger view of what would be better, in my estimation, for the whole country.

The idea of raising taxes "a lot" on poor people who are already struggling to keep their heads above water is just cruel.

I oppose the draft - in my view, if we need to force people to go to war, that's not a war we should be fighting. But I get your point there.

And, if that's why they're voting, they'll probably just vote to lower their own taxes.

I want more people to vote, but I also want them to be intelligent and well educated on the issues, and voting with a wider view than simple self-interest.

camper 2 years, 8 months ago

What about Paryoll and excise taxes? The poor and middle class pay dispraportionaly more of these taxes because of the ceiling. In addition, employer share of payroll taxes is essentuially passed on to the employee via lower wages. Payroll taxes are approximately 33% of federal tax revenues. Why does the GOP often leave this out? It is false and unfair to say that the poor and middle class are not paying their fair share or pulling their weight.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 8 months ago

Got the .gov sources to back those numbers up? Yeah, I thought not.
Move along, nothing to see here.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 8 months ago

Your child -$1,000 tax deduction
Mitt Romney's horse - $77,000 tax deduction
Any questions?

juma 2 years, 8 months ago

+1000 I divide the world in two parts: those that sign the 'Front of a paycheck' and those that sign the Back!

voevoda 2 years, 8 months ago

FalseHopeNoChange, If Obama's supporters were all just poor people who receive tiny government checks to pay rent and buy food, how would he be able to raise so much in the way of campaign funds? Clearly, Obama has a lot of supporters who earn sufficient (even substantial) incomes and donate to his campaign.
If Romney's supporters were all just well-to-do people who don't need or want government support, why would they be lobbying so heavily to keep subsidies and tax breaks (which come in the form of tax refund checks, which they sign on the back). If you think about your little quip for more than 2 seconds, it becomes clear that it is nonsense.

verity 2 years, 8 months ago

That joke just gets funnier every time I see it.

Mike Ford 2 years, 8 months ago

hey shewmaniac, I'm an Obama supporter and I've paid taxes since 1990.... stop the nonsense......corporate handouts and tax abatements add to more than any of the monies of the people you weakly stereotype......stop the lie reagan policies didn't work, david stockman, a reagan policy maker said they didn't work......ahhhh the denial of linwood.....I wonder what Linwood would be like if the Delaware Indians still owned it... remember journeycake........

Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

"Both Warren and Obama failed to recognize that the the top 5% of income earners pay 60% of the federal income taxes while the bottom 49% pays nothing."

Says who?

What about this?

Whether your family makes $30,000 of $300,000, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter reveals why you are being robbed to subsidize people who make millions

Since the mid-1970s, there has been a dramatic shift in America's socioeconomic system, one that has gone virtually unnoticed by the general public. Tax policies and their enforcement have become a disaster, and thanks to discreet lobbying by a segment of the top 1 percent, Washington is reluctant or unable to fix them.

The corporate income tax, the estate tax, and the gift tax have been largely ignored by the media. But the cumulative results are remarkable: today someone who earns a yearly salary of $60,000 pays a larger percentage of his income in taxes than the four hundred richest Americans.

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston exposes exactly how the middle class is being squeezed to create a widening wealth gap that threatens the stability of the country. By relating the compelling tales of real people across all areas of society, he reveals the truth behind:

"middle class" tax cuts and exactly whom they benefit / how workers are being cheated out of their retirement plans while disgraced CEOs walk away with millions / how some corporations avoid paying any federal income tax / how a law meant to prevent cheating by the top 2 percent of Americans no longer affects most of them, but has morphed into a stealth tax on single mothers making just $28,000 / why the working poor are seven times more likely to be audited by the IRS than everyone else / how the IRS became so weak that even when it was handed complete banking records detailing massive cheating by 1,600 people, it prosecuted only 4 percent of them /

David Cay Johnston has been breaking pieces of this story on the front page of The New York Times for seven years. With Perfectly Legal, he puts the whole shocking narrative together in a way that will stir up media attention and make readers angry about the state of our country.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

A new report reveals how wealthy individuals and their families have between $21 and $32 trillion of hidden financial assets around the world in what are known as offshore accounts or tax havens.

The actual sums could be higher because the study only deals with financial wealth deposited in bank and investment accounts, and not other assets such as property and yachts.

The inquiry was commissioned by the Tax Justice Network and is being touted as the most comprehensive report ever on the "offshore economy."

It also finds that private banks are deeply involved in running offshore havens, with UBS, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs handling the most assets.

We’re joined by the report’s author, James Henry, a lawyer and former chief economist at McKinsey & Company.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/7/31/exhaustive_study_finds_global_elite_hiding

Brian Conrad 2 years, 8 months ago

if is printed it has to be true..... your skills with the copy and paste are great... now come up with some of your own thoughts....

Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

David Stockman says, George W. Bush and his crew repeated "in much greater magnitude the errors we made in the early '80s. A massive increase in defense spending, a massive reduction in the revenue base [via long-term tax cuts], and not even an effort at spending cuts. Then the economy finally collapsed as a result of the credit crisis."

Stockman opposed extending the Bush tax cuts for middle- and high-income Americans, and now he has a simple three-part prescription: First, cut military spending by $100 to $150 billion a year. (Defense Secretary Robert Gates has called for just $78 billion in cuts over the next five years.) "Are the Chinese going to come and bomb 33,000 Wal-Marts in the United States and destroy their export economy?" asks Stockman, who considers both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars foolish.

His second point is classic deficit-hawkery: Apply a means test to Medicare and Social Security. His third: "Massively raise taxes." His favorite device: a Tobin tax, named after Nobel Prize-winning economist James Tobin, which would be levied on financial transactions.

"We have a massive casino that is doing nothing but churning transactions by the millisecond, robots trading with each other, as a result of the Fed juicing the system continuously with overnight money that's free," Stockman says. "There's no productive value for Main Street or the real US economy." Such a tax could generate $100 billion annually (PDF). Stockman also fancies a version of Europe's value-added tax on consumption. "High taxes aren't good," he says. "But at the end of the day, you have to pay your bills as a government."

On MSNBC's Countdown, he called the GOP "the free-lunch party of tax cuts."

Stockman counters that Republicans' taxes bad/tax cuts good mantra is disingenuous. "I don't think those kinds of propositions are appropriate, and you could call them a lie if you really wanted to use rhetoric," he says. "They can't say government is too big if they're saying hands off defense. It's not responsible to say government is the problem when you've embraced 95 percent of the dollars.

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/reagan-anniversary-david-stockman

werekoala 2 years, 8 months ago

Merrill,

God bless you for the attempt, but the belief that you can defeat bumper-sticker political slogans with reasoned discourse is exactly why the Dems lose millions to the GOP against their own self-interests.

They're like anti-zombies: head shots do nothing; you gotta hit 'em in the gut.

Cheers,

WK

Brian Conrad 2 years, 8 months ago

built a business from zero to 100 employees and Obama and Warren did not shovel one shovel of dirt. small business owners did not make it because of roads ! If anyone out there on the left has ever started a business , well it only works when you are willing to do what others will not. want to have your head down ready to bolt for the door half hour before 5. do not start a business. you will get a call at 3 am and have to get up because an alarm went off. when everyone else says oh that will not work, you do not have the word in you.. you forge ahead and Make it work. amazes me politicians that have fed at the trough their whole life even think they have an idea what it is like . College students spout of , but have never done anything. yet. mom and dad worked fingers to the bone so you have the right to spout off. look FACT is pay the match on 100 employees unemployement / social security. plus all the taxes .. sales fed, state, gas, phone, heck everything is taxed. small business paid for waaaaaay more the part for roads , etc. now the politician that has his limo driver run him to the airport.. well HE or SHE did not!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

"small business owners did not make it because of roads ! "

So, does that mean when you want to go somewhere, you just pull out your communicator and say "Beam me up Scotty?"

Editorial note-- your post just goes to show that you can be utterly clueless as to how the world works and still build a successful business-- ain't America great!!!

Brian Conrad 2 years, 8 months ago

hey Bozo how much did you pay into roads? I am saying small business pays waaay more to use the roads.. if it was not for business paying thousand times more than you Bozo.. you would be on a dirt road

Brian Conrad 2 years, 8 months ago

it also is so great you can ecsssplne it 2 me Bozo.. we jus dum . think you are utterly clueless. go on to your star treeeke meeting , eat some cheatooos while the hard working business owners pay for everything you use.

uncleandyt 2 years, 8 months ago

Please work harder. I'm on a dirt road.

voevoda 2 years, 8 months ago

Plenty of Democrats started their own businesses, cooonrod. And plenty of college students who are "spouting off" are Republicans who are living off their parents.

Brian Conrad 2 years, 8 months ago

high precentage of students Dems, the great thing as they graduate and actually start paying taxes they become Republicans... teens and 20s Dem. 30s and 40s Repub.

and look fact is Obama will win so do not get your panties in a waad.. but politicians just do not patronize hard working business owners unless they have been there . Warren and Obama have not. someone paid for everything they have done all their lives

Katara 2 years, 8 months ago

How do you think your 100 employees get to work? How do you get to work? How did the materials for the building you and your employees work in get there? How do your products go to your customers? How do you think the utilities that provide your electric, water, sewer & phone got hooked up to your building?

It was because of roads.

Brian Conrad 2 years, 8 months ago

as you post please provide the amount YOU personally paid for all the roads... my point is small and large business pays the lion share for these roads.

Katara 2 years, 8 months ago

You really should get your points straight. If large businesses paid for the lion share's of the road that means that small businesses paid very little. And it still means that you (as a self-proclaimed small business owner) did not bootstrap your way into having something on which your business relies on to transport your goods and your employees.

Brian Conrad 2 years, 8 months ago

hmmmm many of the things you list above are provided by the Private large companies making huge profits... Weststar, At&t and by the way did Obama sweat it out in the heat to repave 6th street..... just say thanks to all the business owners for paying most of the property tax , sales tax , again most tax to pave the streets you drive on . do you think the government has any money.. oh yeah they do just print it up when needed....

Katara 2 years, 8 months ago

I'm pretty sure that the CEOs of Westar & AT&T did not sweat it out in the heat to repave or build the roads either. I seriously doubt that you did either.

All the business owners paying most of the property tax? Someone must not have heard of tax abatements. Nor of TIF districts either.

Brian Conrad 2 years, 8 months ago

Elizabeth Warren pay the matching 100,000 + a year and then you can get fired up about your roll in why small business needs YOU.

Brian Conrad 2 years, 8 months ago

as a small business owner headed off to work on a Sat evening to make sure and get the extra money needed for the trillions Obama gave to AIG ,Goldman Sachs and Citibank . night all.

beatrice 2 years, 8 months ago

Actually, it was the Bush administration that gave the money to AIG, Goldman Sachs and Citibank. It was also Republicans who supported the use of some of those funds to pay millions in bonuses to the very people who made the bad trades in derivitive mortgages.

You really should learn your recent history if you are going to criticize people's actions. However, you can take some comfort in knowing you are not alone in your ignorance: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20013452-503544.html

Brian Conrad 2 years, 8 months ago

better recheck your dates . the trillion dollar bailout was after Obama was elected. you are alone in your ignorance.

jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

Actually, you're wrong.

Bush passed TARP 1, which gave some 700 billion to banks, etc. without any strings attached.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

If business people believe WE do not help in some fashion then business should deny tax incentives commonly known as pork barrel.

Give up tax deductions across the board

Do not file for Bankruptcy Protection if the business fails

What business can do without customers?

What about all of those slaves who work for wages that will not support a person or a family? Anything less than $17.50 per hour in Lawrence,Kansas is tough. Where in the world did any business owner get the idea that $33,000 a year is a lot of money.

Snow removal is done. No more taxpayer assistance on snow removal.

When the water main breaks go to the hardware store and get some friends to fix it.

Brian Conrad 2 years, 8 months ago

also merrill make sure and thank your employer . for every dollar you pay to Social security your employer matches it.. if you can not live on $33 k.. guess you should start your own business. you would make millions the first year with all the help from government. 99% of businesses have never received any pork money . If you understood "pork " this is when Politicians do something stuppid like bridge to nowhere or build stuff no one needs. they are not tax incentives , they are projects to their buddies, or money that benifits only their small part of the pie.. goes against everything Obama says about government built my business , not me. bet you would be all for tax incentives if they brought in a company to Lawrence that would double your salary. hmmmm company comes in employees thousands in Lawrence and pays 60K a year. be a buch better than getting an unemployement check. Guess what I firmly believe they should have let AIG and Sachs fail. yep businesses need customers NOT government. politicians would know that if they ever had a real job... real job - politician oxymoron. and if I fixed the water main break it would be done right and for half of what it costs the government. have em give me a call. ps. you do not understand banktruptcy law. 90% of bankruptcies filed are individuals... like someone that can not make it on 33K. I am strongly FOR workers , middle class ( most small business owners ) I am completely against politicians taking credit for government being the ones that make businesses. government has zero again zero dollars.. taxpayers money , business paid money.. that is what the politicians throw around like druken sailers... oh sorry my bad did not want to say anything bad about a sailor, they are much more honerable than a politician. by the way wtf is the snow removal rant ? would that be government spending your money bad?

Brian Conrad 2 years, 8 months ago

merrill pay me the 17.50 an hour and make sure and add in the overtime and double time on Sunday to make the average 70 hour work week of small business owner.. add benifits health and dental.. 2 weeks paid vacation... paid holidays.. I will come to work for you tomorrow!!!

Brian Conrad 2 years, 8 months ago

one last thing .. this really cracks me up. take a lefetime politician like Obama. he has lived his entire life on our tax dollars. so release your tax return woop woop , and pay the tax..... hmmmmm the tax money he pays came from us the taxpayer... so like as tree in the forrest ... was it ever real?

chootspa 2 years, 8 months ago

Let's take a look at all of Romney's and compare, shall we? Oh right.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

"one last thing .. "

Promise? Your unreadable idiotic screeds are taking up a lot of bandwidth (on the internet that was created by the government.)

beatrice 2 years, 8 months ago

Obama ran against a Republican who never held a job in the private sector, so what is your point?

chootspa 2 years, 8 months ago

So book royalties are now paid for by tax dollars? Huh. I guess our taxes fund a lot more than I thought they did.

booyalab 2 years, 8 months ago

Everyone criticizing the "you didn't build that" message is well aware of the context. It's apparent in everything else that Obama says and does. He's an unabashed collectivist.

chootspa 2 years, 8 months ago

Nice internet you didn't build to upload that.

chootspa 2 years, 8 months ago

Can you provide a specific example of that actually happening in this country?

Flap Doodle 2 years, 8 months ago

What message is the Mope sending by clutching a baseball bat while talking on the phone with the prime minister of Turkey?

uncleandyt 2 years, 8 months ago

Oh My Glenn ! Beck foretold of this happening.

uncleandyt 2 years, 8 months ago

When confronted with the truth, or at least something that disproves a firmly hammered-home belief (conventional wisdom) ((propaganda)) (((corporate Bovine Scat))), our falsehood gobblers will dig in and double down on their misinformation. If that don't work, arguments can be twisted so that everyone must admit that Obama and Warren were not seen paving 6th Street. We're #1 ! ,at missing the points and changing the subject.

tbaker 2 years, 8 months ago

Lost context? Hardly. The only way this article’s premise holds-up is if you watch the whole un-edited video of the President’s remarks and come away believing he really didn’t mean what he said. Had this been a one-time gaff on the topic, perhaps such a conclusion would be plausible. Trouble is it wasn’t. This was yet another expression of how Barrack Obama really thinks and what he sincerely believes.

The “context” one has to pay attention to is in the man’s books, it is comes from an understanding of who his mentors were and how his world view was shaped, it comes from the study of his record and the many other similar comments he has made over the years. Michael Smerconish knows that the true, unvarnished version of Obama is something that has to be concealed from the public and when a little of it leaks out, like it did with the “you didn’t build that” remark; guys like him have to rush to the President’s aid with convoluted damage-control stories like this that essentially tell us we are just too unsophisticated and ignorant to really understand the man.

Your assistance isn’t required Mr. Smerconish. The great un-washed can watch and listen and reach their own judgments about what the man meant just fine all by themselves. If such a prospect concerns you, then maybe you’re backing the wrong guy.

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