Monday, July 23, 2012

Mitt Romney, Insulting Entrepreneurs Since 2002

Why has Mitt Romney insulted every entrepreneur and innovator in the United States?

The President of the United States, expressing the outrageous idea that the U.S. is not just a bunch of self-interested individuals but a community of people of shared values, on Friday the 13th stated

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 because I was just 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 hardworking people out there.  (Applause.)

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. 

(Sarcasm Alert) It's appalling that a President would contend we are a "hardworking people" who succeed from both individual initiative and "because we do things together."      The next day, Mitt Romney pounced on these outrageous sentiments, declaring at a campaign rally outside of Pittsburgh "To say that Steve Jobs didn't build Apple, that Henry Ford didn't build Ford Motors, that Papa John didn't build Papa John Pizza ... To say something like that, it's not just foolishness.    It's insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America." 

Flip-flop Mitt really outdid himself on this one.   In 2002, in a speech at the opening ceremony at the Olympic Games Romney successfully managed, America's most famous executive of Bain & Company remarked

You Olympians, however, know you didn’t get here solely on your own power. For most of you, loving parents, sisters or brothers, encouraged your hopes, coaches guided, communities built venues in order to organize competitions. All Olympians stand on the shoulders of those who lifted them. We’ve already cheered the Olympians, let’s also cheer the parents, coaches, and communities.

DNA tests have been completed and in a startling development, it has been confirmed that the Olympic/private equity executive who told Olympic athletes "you didn't get here solely on your own power" but instead "stand on the shoulders of those who lifted them" is the same guy who last Thursday commented

Now I know there are some people who think what the president said was just a gaffe. It wasn't a gaffe. It was instead his ideology. The president does in fact believe that people who build enterprises like this really aren't responsible for it, but in fact a collective success of the whole society that somehow builds enterprises like this.

Oh, O.K.- you conservatives are saying Obama referred to government getting it done, in contrast to Romney crediting "the parents, coaches, and communities."   But the President was referring to two forces:  actions of a democratic republic operating in a free society, deriving its authority from the consent of the governed; and to the American people as a community.     "We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people," Obama 44 continued, "and that’s the reason I’m running for President -- because I still believe in that idea.  You’re not on your own, we’re in this together."

Stirring Mittrhetoric aside, the "shoulders of those who lifted them," in many cases, belonged to taxpayers.   In comments entered into the Congressional Record in September, 2000, Senator John McCain noted

The GAO now determines that $1.3 billion--and some of those I will read: $974,000 for the Utah State Olympic Public Safety Command; $5 million for the Utah Communications Agency Network; $3 million to Olympic Regional Development Authority, upgrades at Mt. Van Hoevenberg Sports Complex; $2.5 million, Salt Lake City Olympics bus facilities; $2.5 million, Salt Lake City Olympics regional park-and-ride lots; $500,000, Salt Lake City Olympics transit bus loan, and on and on; $925,000 to allow the Utah State Olympic Public Safety Command to continue to develop and support a public safety program for the 2002 Winter Olympics; $1 million for the 2002 Winter Olympics security training; $2.2 million for the Charleston Water Conservancy District, UT, to meet sewer infrastructure needs associated with the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. What the Olympic games supposedly hosted and funded by Salt Lake City, which began in corruption and bribery, has now turned into is an incredible pork-barrel project for Salt Lake City and its environs.

The 2002 Olympic games could not have survived without a government infusion of over one billion dollars which, even to Mitt Romney, is not chump change.     Yet, President Obama was the one who was "insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America" when he ascribed a critical role to government in the success of the nation.   When will Mitt Romney, who "saved" the Olympics with government help, stop "insulting" American entrepreneurs and innovators?

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