|Barack Obama's infamous Roanoke speech.|
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.
— Campaign speech in Roanoke, VA, July 13, 2012
1. What comes to mind when you hear the phrase "give something back"... taxes? Or charitable giving?
2. Where do we stop with the tautology "you didn't get there on your own"? Our parents? Grandparents? Roman road-builders? Hebrew teachers of the law? The God of heaven and earth?
3. Given how obvious the President's statements are, what argument is he trying to make? Have Republicans proposed banning schools and fire departments? Aren't those functions the responsibility of State and local governments?
4. Is the President aware that 71% of U.S. firefighters are volunteers?
5. The President's speech was aimed at raising tax rates on people earning over $250k. So how long would those extra revenues fund the U.S. government: A) 9 months? B) 9 weeks? C) 9 days?
6. How does it help the country when the President disparages individual achievement?
7. The President complained his speech was taken out of context. If so, what was his context—that America would be better off if the government took more money out of the economy and redistributed it to favored groups (ie: unionized gov't workers)? Something else?
8. Given that 40¢ of every dollar the U.S. government spends is borrowed, what of the argument that the government is spending 40% too much?