Most people with the most basic grasp of language and logic understand how absurd is the Romney campaign's attempt to turn President Obama's "you didn't build that" comment into an attack on small business. And Romney's own statements, not to mention political ads featuring businessmen who have received government largesse, only affirm what the President was actually saying.
I have several friends who are very successful small business owners. It's instructive to talk to them. Each simply scoffs at the idea that a moderate increase in taxes on incomes in excess of $250,000 a year would have any effect on their hiring or on their business more generally (and some would be subject to the tax increase). Except for the sole proprietors among them, they provide health insurance to their employees and will benefit from the subsidies in Obamacare for small businesses providing such coverage. More broadly, none has experienced any tyrannical new impediments to their operations since Obama took office in 2009.
One of those friends who has, in spite of the alleged death of capitalism under Obama, seen his business boom in the past two years, emailed the following to me yesterday:
"As you've probably heard, President Obama doesn't think I built my business. I'm sorry, but I just can't support him anymore. I'd say more, but I need to go. I need to get in my car and drive on the publicly funded roads that will take me to the government-subsidized post office, where I will drop off packages that will ship to my customers on planes that take off from airports whose security the government ensures and on trucks that also drive on roads maintained by public funds. My customers will quickly receive shiny new bike parts, which were imported from Asia on ships that sailed through oceans protected by the US Navy and then entered the US through ports maintained and protected by US Customs and Homeland Security. They will then use these parts on bikes ridden on more public roads. But really, it's time we get this socialist-commie-African who doesn't understand how market economies and business work out of office. Enough already."
Yes, there's more to say about all this, but it's useful to be reminded that not every small business owner takes seriously the preposterous caricature of this President as the enemy of private enterprise in America. And I know it's asking too much, but wouldn't it be nice if we could have a conversation about the relationship between business, government, taxes and regulation in the United States that was remotely connected to reality?
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