Two weeks ago, as he argued yet again for raising taxes, including on nearly a million small businesses, President Obama said something that jarred many Ohioans. “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that,” he declared. “Somebody else made that happen.”
And based on the speech, that “somebody else,” in the president’s view, is apparently government.
He seemed to be saying that private sector businesses and the Americans they employ — people working in the real economy — have the government to thank for their success.
The president’s policy goal is clear. Just as he imposed over a dozen new taxes totaling over $500 billion over 10 years to pay for his budget-busting health-care spending bill, President Obama wants higher taxes to pay for more government initiatives.
By claiming that small business owners are not responsible for their own success, the president validates Washington’s taxing them at the higher levels he is proposing to pay for an unprecedented level of federal spending.
In fact, when he recently announced that the “the private sector is doing fine,” he went on to say that the real problem with the economy is that state and local government payrolls aren’t big enough.
In other words, the president’s tax plan would shrink the private sector payroll in order to expand government even more. No matter the cost to the private sector.
And that cost is steep.
The nearly 1 million small businesses that would get hit by the president’s proposed tax increases employ about one out of every six private sector workers. A new nonpartisan study shows that this tax hike would deal a blow to the economy, costing over 700,000 jobs and reducing wages for workers.
Where I see small business owners who have risked it all, invested their sweat and skill and savings to build a business from the ground up, President Obama apparently sees just another government beneficiary who should pay more taxes.
We all know that no one makes it in this world alone. There are a lot of people who help us along the way, including our parents, friends, and teachers. And yes, some help may come from the government.
But the worldview of President Obama seems to be one where we owe it all to government.
To tell small business owners, including the many Ohioans who worked seven days a week, took out the second mortgage and risked it all to start a business, that they “didn’t build that,” shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what has built America.
All this leaves the American people with a choice.
President Obama offers yet more government.
Yet the American people know that successful businesses that create jobs will be built by hard work, dreams, and risk-taking, not by the government.
Gov. Mitt Romney knows that, too. He doesn’t look at a hard-working business owner and see someone who owes the state for his or her success.
Gov. Romney knows from his private sector experience what President Obama has failed to learn in the almost four years he’s had to turn around the economy.
He knows that to return to prosperity, we must create a better climate for job growth by embracing the policies of free enterprise that got us there in the first place.
He knows we need to practice fiscal responsibility, stop the over-regulation, replace the health-care law with reforms that actually lower costs and put consumers in charge, overhaul our complicated tax code by lowering rates in exchange for narrowing loopholes, and pursue an aggressive new domestic energy plan that gives consumers and manufacturers secure, reliable and affordable energy. And he’ll start on day one.
Portman, a Republican, represents Ohio in the U.S. Senate.