Obama: Government Made You Successful

July/17/2012 16:51PM
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I was given a revelation by my president this past week.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: And, you know, 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 just because I was 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 hard working people out there.

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. 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.

Since you said that, I’ve given a lot of thought to your comments. I admit, I’m one of those people who meet your definition of rich. Here’s how I became one of those hated rich people who need to give back to Obama.

My parents were depression era parents. They migrated from farms in Missouri to Michigan looking for work. My uncle supposedly had a job and a place to stay. When they got there they found neither. He and my aunt turned them out. My Dad found a factory job and my Mom also. They spent five years getting enough saved for a small house. I was born less than a month after Pearl Harbor. My Dad was drafted into the Navy and served in the Pacific. After returning from the war my Dad went back to the factory. He and another war veteran started a small construction business.

When I was 14 I got a job busing tables at a Greyhound bus station in the summer. I worked there two summers. Bussed tables and cleaned crappers. In between, I baled hay. When I was 16, I started working construction in the summers. I did that through my junior year in college. I worked at college. I had a wrestling scholarship that gave me a field house job, I washed dishes at a sorority house, and worked party service as a waiter. With that, and the little help my folks could give me, I made it through college. No student loans. Only the vets were getting help from the government. I did my mandatory two years in ROTC.

Upon graduation I went off to sunny California to find a job. I got a job as a management trainee at Bank of America. Then I got my draft notice. I came back to Michigan to take my physical for the Army. I met with a Navy recruiter to see what I needed to do to get into OCS and flight school. Because of a knee I tore up wrestling, the army flunked me and declared me unfit for military service.

I got a job with what was then Standard Oil of Indiana, later to become Amoco, and now BP. I started in the training station. Pumping gas and selling tires and changing oil. I became the manager of the training station then got a retail territory. At age 22 I was responsible for 30 dealer operated service stations in rural Indiana. I got married to my college sweetheart and moved her to Indiana. In the next 14 years we moved 10 times as I kept getting promoted and relocated.

I spent the next 34 years with Amoco. I continued to move through a series of positions, moving up to the position of VP of Brand Marketing. I always maxed out my contributions to the 401K. After the plane crash I walked away from in 1989, work took on a different role. Family replaced it and at age 56 I packed it in. I had more than enough to enjoy the rest of my life and give generously to family and charity. I made good investment decisions and lived below my means.

Throughout my career with Amoco the government’s policy on energy was always a negative, not a positive. Amoco was always consolidating because energy was the number one enemy of government and media. We were closing retail outlets and refineries. Not once in any job from age 14 did I receive any help from my government. They took part of my pay even when I had none to give.

Because I saved, made good investment decisions, and lived a frugal life I have money. When my wife and I die the government, if Obama has his way, will take 50% of what is left.

I believe I was successful despite government, not because of government.

I am also not very sympathetic to those Obama wants to help. If a person would rather occupy Wall Street than bus tables at a Greyhound Bus Station, that’s their choice. If a person turns down a promotion or quits rather than move a family 10 times in 14 years, that’s their choice. If a person chooses to play tennis in the summer rather than work construction and wash dishes in a sorority house and has a $50,000 student loan, that’s their choice.

I won my success and my money and don’t feel my government should have any call on either.

If you want to kill the ambition it took for my parents and me to succeed in this country, just buy into the Obama plan. We will become a country of Occupy Wall Streeters. Further, I don’ t begrudge Romney’s success. He put it on the line. Invested his own money in Bain Capital and made a lot of money by running the business well. I could care less if a few jobs were outsourced. He, like me, believes anyone can make it in this country. And, do better with less help from the government.

I’m waiting, Barack. You tell me what role government had in my success.

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