President Obama's speech alleging that business owners didn't build their own businesses and aren't responsible for their own success has become a lightning rod among his opponents, and an awkward subject among his supporters. So polarizing is the speech that it has attracted enough refutations to fill a full-length book, just on the subject of that one speech.
However, most of those refutations have focused on the idea that businesspeople aren't responsible for their own success. This isn't surprising, as that premise is the most blatantly ridiculous part of the argument. However, practically no one has asked whether the President's argument adds up, even if you accept the idea that businesses aren't responsible for their own success, which has given the Left cover as long as they can cower behind that self-evidently absurd premise.
Until now. One writer at Pajamas Media, calling himself "zombie" (in spite of evidently having a fully functional brain), has written an epic takedown of the President's speech, dissecting every single piece of the argument with a scalpel and showing that it simply does not add up, no matter how much you torture the logic. Highlights of Zombie's takedown follow:
When Obama implied at the Roanoke, Virginia rally that some businessmen refuse to pay for public works from which they benefit, he presented a thesis which, like a three-legged stool, relies on three assumptions that must allbe true for the argument to remain standing:
1. That the public programs he mentioned in his speech constitute a significant portion of the federal budget;
2. That business owners don’t already pay far more than their fair share of these expenses; and
3. That these specific public benefits are a federal issue, rather than a local issue.
If any of these legs fails, then the whole argument collapses.
For good measure, we won’t just kick out one, we’ll kick out all three.[...]
OK. Fine. Let’s absolutely concede this point to Obama and Warren: There are some government activities that benefit us all, including business owners.
And for the sake of argument let’s just allow for a moment that the federal government is the best, most efficient and only supplier of these benefits. You win, Elizabeth and Barack.
But having conceded this central point, let us now ask the key follow-up question, which is the first leg of their three-point hypothesis: What percentage of the federal budget is devoted to these universally beneficial public works?[...]
What Obama and Warren are really stating is this:
Only one-fourth of your federal tax dollars go to projects and programs that benefit the general public and entrepreneurs; the other three-fourths are essentially a complete waste, or are at best optional.[...]
So yeah, I agree with Obama: Let’s slash the federal budget by 75%, and only fund services and programs that directly serve the public good.[...]
Obama and Warren have intentionally conflated local taxes withfederal taxes. In most localities across the country, public education, police and firefighters, and street repair are primarily paid for by property taxes, local sales taxes, and state taxes. Federal grants can supplement local funds, but rarely is a school district or a police department propped up entirely with federal money.
So if we revisit Obama’s and Warren’s speeches, they’re actually making an argument for increased local taxes. And yet they and their audiences somehow imagine that the arguments given are a legitimate rationale for increased federal taxes.[...]
We should thank President Obama for finally revealing the central justification for his economic policy. Now that we see what’s at the heart of his fiscal philosophy, we can demonstrate that he has only ended up proving the opposite of what he intended.