The Journal Sentinel gave space to Gary Kraeger, appraiser from Wind Lake, to defend put-upon business owners from that big meanie, Barack Obama.
I guess Gary didn't want to actually put the President's comments into context. Nope. Instead, he just decided to pile on and continue misrepresenting the actual point the President was trying to make. Pretty much par for the course, as far as Republicans are concerned.
The President's point wasn't that no one starts his/her own business. He was simply reminding everyone, in this time of government bashing, that government does a lot of good for everyone - business owners included - such as: building roads, bridges, schools, etc.
The idea that Obama was criticizing business owners is a figment of the Republicans' imagination. The whole concept is merely another nefarious political ploy of the Republican party. Obama hates job creators, he's a socialist, and on and on.
Gary starts off assuming, "Of course no one claims he or she built all the roads or that roads aren't important. Everyone recognizes necessary symbioses. Everyone knows that lots of people are smart and work hard."
When is the last time you actually heard a Republican admit the importance of anything the government does? Do they really recognize the symbioses? Do they really think lots of people are smart and work hard?
I only hear stuff about government being the problem, how the private sector can do everything more efficiently, and how so many of our fellow citizens are moochers, free-loaders, and pay nothing in taxes.
Next, Gary then, playing into this false idea that Obama was knocking business owners, tries to create the idea that Obama was picking on business owners because that will "play well" with his voting bloc. "If he can establish that private-sector success is wholly dependent on government, he can make the case that no amount of taxation can ever be too much, and that really plays to those blocs." Yes, because President Obama has been increasing taxes across the board. Oh wait, he actually hasn't.
Gary then makes the false equivalence between firefighters, teachers, minorities, welfare recipients, versus business owners. See, Obama was picking on the latter and letting his voting bloc off the hook. The Republicans and Gary have taken Obama out of context, now they are inventing all the motivations and true meanings behind such a fantasy scenario. The only problem with this whole comparison Gary is imagining is that the firefighters and teachers actually do understand society's interconnectedness. They aren't the ones demonizing government and continually asking for lower taxes.
Then, things start coming off the rails (even more so) when Gary opines, "He didn't say that business people paid their share for the roads and teachers. He didn't point out how those same roads, police and teachers are there for Bill Gates as they are for the guy playing video games and drinking, the guy in prison or the people who fail in business." Yes, because the guy in prison, the guy playing video games, et al have benefited from society's institutions at the same level as Bill Gates.
When you ignore the reality that Warren Buffet's secretary has to pay more taxes (as a percentage of her total earnings) than Mr. Buffet has to, you can continue with the fantasy scenario that businesses and the rich are paying their fair share. And, one can spin on and on with endless falsehoods based on these faulty foundations.
President Obama's grand theme of his speech was that - the Walmarts and Exxons of the world have made more and more, while paying less and less in taxes, and continually attempting to pay even less, all while demonizing the government and all the good things it does, even though they have benefited enormously from those efforts and continue to benefit greatly. Is it really that hard for Republicans to grasp the simple concept - based on fairness - that those whom are doing extremely well have benefited from schools, roads, courts, police protection, and clean water, and should, therefore, give a more little back?
You've been gaining more and more income year after year based on the contractual obligations our courts uphold, based on the resources and routes our military protects, based on the roads our police patrol and the buildings our fire fighters protect, based on the knowledge and labor the workers - trained in the public schools - provide. You've been gaining more and more and paying less and less...we think you should give back a little more. Socialism!!!
In the Republican fantasy world, one can simply make up stuff, imagine what bad things their opponents are doing, misrepresent positions, and slander and lie about anything and everything taking place on the planet. The Truth has now become a Republican construct.
What a lovely day it will be when we can actually start having honest policy discussions based on reality again. Sadly, the Republicans are doing everything in their power to prevent such from happening.