Although several small business owners have already taken the time to correct President Obama for his infamous “You Didn’t Build That” speech, none of them have done it with the bluntness of this this one lumberyard owner.
“I built this business without gov’t help. Obama can Kiss my ass [emphasis added],” reads a sign outside Gaster Lumber & Hardware in Savannah, Ga.
Owner Ray Gaster decided to put signs with similar messages at all three of his company’s locations after he heard President Obama’s Roanoke, Va., speech. A former Vietnam veteran, Gaster told FoxNews.com he built his now 28-year-old business from the ground up — without ever relying on the generosity of government.
“I started on my own,” Gaster said. “The government wasn’t there. We work long, hard hours and what he said is an insult to any businessman.”
Of course, critics have attacked the “harsh rhetoric” of Gaster’s signs. He argues “rough words were necessary.”
“When I heard what he said, I said ‘I’m going to give him an answer in Chicago language–something he’s used to,'” he told FoxNews.com. “If I would have said ‘Dear Mr. President…’ there wouldn’t have been as strong of a response.”
Gaster sent a photo of his sign to 45 of his personal friends and business acquaintances, Fox reports. His hope is that other businesses will follow his lead and send a strong message to the president.
“We need to stand up to the criticism coming from our own government. If this economy is to get better, it will be driven by small and independent businesses. We are part of the solution, not the problem,” Gaster said.
“I want to use this sign to urge other businesspeople to stand up and say ‘Mr. President, you’re wrong. I built my business,'” he said. “I represent the majority of business owners in my belief.”
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.
Team Obama claims the president was just trying to explain how government-funded infrastructure helps businesses grow. And while this is technically true, someone should ask the president this: Where does government get that money?
Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter