A New Look at “You Didn’t Build That” — 43 Comments

  1. A rather staggeringly stupid statement.. which means keeping with ‘business as usual’ at the clown house.

    If anything is ‘good’ or theirs some positive news (growth, jobs, recovery..) out come the children to claim ‘I did that, I’m responsible for it’.

    Anything bad/negative? ‘I’m not responsible it was them/the weather/forces beyond my control/enemies/fate..’

    the average ’emotional age’ in Washington is somewhere around 4. Full blown ego, completely self-centered and poor impulse control.

  2. “Remember friends no one is going to fix this for us, the revolution is YOU not the DNC, GOP or even the Libertarian Party. Start in your own back yard and whatever success you obtain, remember you most certainly did build that.”

    That’s a great quote Jack!

  3. I still stand by the statement I made quite a while ago:
    “No one can take better care of me than me” The government may try to block my efforts, but I will continue to strive for myself and my family. Unless they kill me (totally remove me from the equasion) they can’t stop me.

    • @LonnaB, the revolution is you! And I thank God for people who still stand and speak as you do.

    • As I said the mentality of “I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it”.

  4. You cannot force a social contract and Robbin Hood is a thief. For roads. A lot of roads were the result of our defense strategy so I could probably agree with strategic roads. Of course the gov power was abused. The only difference between private road building and public road building is overhead. Private road money pays for roads, public road money pays for roads, bribes, and lobbying so the beneficiaries can pass laws forcing us to pay them. We got some expensive ass roads too.

    • Okay, I have to disagree with the Robin Hood statement, and, it is one part where I really got annoyed with Ayn Rand. The problem is with the way that many people choose to portray him, as the one who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor. In the Robin Hood book that I read, not from movies, Robin Hood didn’t merely take from the rich indiscriminately (in fact there was someone that he helped become rich once again) but he took from the rich that had taken unjustly from the poor and made their poverty worse. From what I understood from the book, if Robin Hood were around then the people he would be taking from would be the government entities that have glutted themselves injustly on the labors o the people. Robin Hood didn’t have an issue with rich people, he didn’t like the government types that glutted themselves injustly on the labors of the lower classes.

      • Good point Carson and I was waiting for someone to make it. If Robin was around today to be most accurate he would be robbing money that had been taken in by the IRS, accounted for a taxes so the citizen got credit and be intercepting those funds at the point that the IRS was transferring them to the treasury.

        Robin never “robbed from the rich” in reality that is the co opted version of the story. Robin took the taxes from a government and returned them to the people who paid them. Robin didn’t rob from the rich to give to the poor, he took taxes that had been robbed from the people and restored them to the people.

        • The point I failed to make is that Robin Hood like the government used force to take things they themselves did not produce and because some “good” came out of it does not justify it, technically. Eventually we’ll grow up and won’t need Robin Hoods or have to discuss nonsense articles like this. Have a good day.

    • To be a thief you have to take from the rightful owner. Taking what was stolen from a thief and returning it to its rightful owner is not theft.

  5. The whole article attempts to justify Obama’s statements by somehow arguing that what he was trying to speak about the “social contract” that exists in America but that somehow it was taken out of context and edited as a shout out to socialism. What exactly is this “social contract” that is somehow less evil than socialism? It means that the success of the achievers is due to the greater collective (read government) and as such a large (and ever increasing) share of said “success” belongs to the government. Its an argument that more should be taken from the producers and redistributed by the collective to those that don’t produce? That’s socialism guys.

  6. I think the problem lies within the vein of truth that the government CAN indeed CREATE an ENVIRONMENT that allows individuals to succeed and create something of value for everyone else, and thereby increase their own value and wealth. This causes the government to say that THEY created jobs or whatever, and, get away with it. All the while, on the flip side of the paradigm, they stifle creativity and individuals and freedom with obscene amounts of laws, rules and regulations. Then, when you call them on it, they regard your remarks as having no merit OR say that these things are just so absolutely necessary “for the good of everyone” that there’s no way we can go forward without them. Masters of the Hegelian dialectic.

  7. @ toasterface: I agree that Robin Hood was a thief – and that two wrongs don’t make a right, but on the other hand, he was stealing from the thieves. Still wrong, but deprived the “boss” thief (government) of that which his “hoods” took on his behalf. Still a great fairytale.

    • Robin Hood is a good story and my post wasn’t great, but he is a thief regardless of his intention and so are they. That bill guy’s comments are good. Have a good day.

  8. We could turn this around, as well. BO and government didn’t build the programs and systems they fight so hard to protect and expand. No, they were created through funds extracted from you and I by means of extortion, if not fraud. Welfare complex and war machine alike, gov. loves ripping off your arm only to beat you with it.

  9. Statists, whether politically left, right or center, always conflate “We the People” with government. The two are NOT synonymous. That confusion is what lead Obama to say, “You didn’t build that.” That same confusion causes Republican politicians to grow the size and scope of government.

    We the People created government, and we can alter and abolish it at any time if it does not meet the ends for which it was created. I think we are there now, but so many Americans are now dependent on government that they dare not reduce its size or scope.

    When We the Preppers model self-sufficiency, we also are beginning to model self-government. As we organize ourselves at the local level, we threaten the monopoly of Big Daddy Government by doing for ourselves.

    As Jack says, indeed, we are the revolution.

  10. Odd that a government that created the middle class cannot seem to get it back on it’s feet and growing.

  11. Why anyone would think that government at any level (all of which are necessary to a point) are a solution rather than the cause of the problem is beyond belief.

  12. While in and a few years after getting out of the service I lived in poverty. My only transportation was a bicycle. I never received any kind of government. Public schools did not prepare me to enter the workforce. I could not afford higher education. With several borrowed books and a friend allowing me to use his computer a few hours a day, I taught myself to create computer applications. With a lack of a degree working against me, I was able to overcome all obstacles and made myself very successful in the IT field. The government neither created nor enabled my success. Government takes almost half of the fruits of my hard work, not just to perform the vital functions of government, but to redistribute the rewards of what I have accomplished with people, many of which, never did an honest days work in their lives. Plus governments policies have enabled crooked bankers to gut the value of my hard earned retirement nest egg. The government didn’t place me among the middle class, but if they don’t slow down the Feds printing presses that are causing a rapid drop in the value of the dollar, they will drop the middle class into poverty, and make life unbearable for those already impoverished.

  13. Now that I think about it. They just hijacked the “invisible hand” theory by including the government in it. Good play guvna and thank you for the internet and moon men. Jack should do a mockery show.

  14. There is no coincidence that as the American middle class has shrunk, the middle class in China, Mexico and other countries has exploded. The US government may not have directly caused this shift but they facilitated and enabled the business environment that allowed the transfer of wealth to occur.

    A great example could be seen with the “Stimulus Program” from 2009. When Congress inserted language in the Stimulus Bill that would force that taxpayer money to remain within the US, special interest groups blasted it and eventually got the language removed which allowed most of the Stimulus money to leave the US. As the same time, China created a parallel Stimulus Program but strict restrictions were enacted that placed massive penalties on companies that moved Stimulus money out of China. As a result Chinese taxpayers got a lot more bang for their buck while Americans received very little. In fact Americans received nothing while assuming all of the debt burden of the Stimulus Program.

    This is not a left or right issue, it’s a Progressive agenda issue. That’s why the left and right seem to be in lock step on so many issues.

    Great job Jack.

  15. The fact is – we need to “clean house”. We need to start replacing “our” representatives and keep it up until they get the message that we don’t want “lifers” and progressives in “our” government. We want people who will serve WE THE PEOPLE and these United States of America FIRST before themselves and foriegn interests and/or corporations/banks, etc. We also need to get the U.N. out of our lives and country.

    • @LonnaB, I agree with the premise but your fellow citizens haven’t grown up enough yet to do so.

  16. In reply to the Robin Hood discussion above, force is justifiably used when defending the lives and property of yourself and those who cannot do so for themselves, as well as RECLAIMING said property (i.e. its value plus the cost of lost time, effort to reclaim, expenses, etc.) in the hands of the thief. Robin Hood was not a thief; he was an Entrepreneurial asset recovery agent.

    • Good observation. Like Jack says, give him 5 minutes and he will think of a business model for it.

  17. The full context quote is: “Somebody invested in roads & bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t built THAT. Somebody else made THAT happen.” “THAT” refers to the “ROADS AND BRIDGES.” Fox News conveniently left off the first sentence & instead broadcasted, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t built that. Sombody else made that happen,” & it went viral. That’s completely disingenuous propaganda & you all fell for it. The very next line in the full context speech is for you, Jack: “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.” You would be talking to a handful of ham radio enthusiasts if it wasn’t for the government infrastructure investment. Keep an open mind, folks. The government can do a lot of GOOD, too.

    • @Mike if you can pull your nose out of the president’s butt long enough to read what I wrote you would see I ACKNOWLEDGED that the quote was spun out of context, futher that in context it is equally insulting to anyone who built a business. The government didn’t build the roads, TAXES did and everyone has equal access to the road. The government didn’t make the internet useful to the average Joe, entrepreneurs did and the government simply used the PEOPLE’S taxes to help establish the base.

      See Mike those of us who have signed the front sides of pay checks have created a huge abundance of the tax revenue that has been used to do these things, further without us roads transport no goods, the internet is nothing but propeller heads engaged in intellectual masturbation, etc.

      The entire point of the post though, which you clearly didn’t read (as if you had there would be no need to go on about the “out of context” component AS I ACKNOWLEDGED IT) is that Obama claimed later in the speech that the government “created the middle class”. I guess you think that is okay too?

    • Uh, even the clarification that the comment referred to “roads and bridges” doesn’t invalidate Jack’s points. The entrepreneur also payed taxes that went into building those roads and bridges, and many many others who also had access to those same roads and bridges DID NOT build businesses. So, the implication that the government is responsible for his success is incorrect.

      And government most definitely did NOT create the internet “so that all the companies could make money off the internet”. The protocols that made the internet possible were created by ARPA and DARPA to link Department of Defense computers. (See The World Wide Web, on which today’s internet commerce flows, debuted in 1991, so physicists could talk to each other (from

      “The WorldWideWeb (WWW) project aims to allow all links to be made to any information anywhere. […] The WWW project was started to allow high energy physicists to share data, news, and documentation.”

  18. Jack, you acknowledged it was taken out of context then proceeded to respond to the out of context fantasy version of his statement. Only hard right-wingers would not acknowledged that the “in context” message isn’t true – that without the initial government investment in roads, bridges, an educated work force, the internet, business would have to infrastructure platform to work on. & “yes” government DID provide the groundwork for the birth of the middle class. Before the progressive income tax was put in place, unbridled capitalism build a veritable feudal society of rich owners & poor laborers. There was no “middle class”. Laborers worked 14 hour days 6 days a week with no regard to health & safety. If they didn’t like it there were hundreds of starving people at the gates waiting to take their place. YES, it was the implementation of the progressive income tax system along with social security & the protection of unions, in conjuction with NOW REGULATED businesses in this country that built the middle class. When you get your information from history instead of right-wing soundbites, you might recognize that government intervention has had a crucial role in taming the runaway capitalism that crashed this economy in the 20’s & turned it into the economic power it is today. If you need more evidence that government is good for an economy, apply your anti0-government theories to modern-day China & watch them evaporate.

    • @Mike you are an uninformed idiot to call me either left or right wing extreme anything. I am a libertarian, small L by the way. Have been for many years, certainly the entire time I have been on the air with TSP.

      I have no love for the GOP, no love for Romney, etc. I don’t get jack shit from “right wing sound bites”, if I did I would never have acknowledged the spin.

      Frankly only a progressive socialist/fascist could take your stance that the government “created the middle class”.

      As for China there could not be a better example to prove my point. As China drifts further and further from socialism they are growing and becoming a world leader, they have a long way to go but they were not SHIT until they began casting off the chains of socialism. Conversely the US and Western Europe have been on a march toward socialism for decades, we are seeing the results of such idiocy now.

  19. I noticed you didn’t refute any of my points regarding government’s role in creating the middle class, other than name calling. I guess you’d be ok with going back to those unregulated economic times that produced a society of mega-rich vs. poor?
    Without years of communist rule laying the groundwork for capitalism to thrive, China would be another poor eastern Asian country. Coming to the center will work for us too. However, I disagree that we are too far left. When you have a company the size of GE paying no income tax, we are TOO FAR RIGHT. I am neither for communism or for unbridled capitalism. But libertarians would have to bury their heads in the sand not to acknowledge that there are many aspects of a successful economy that aren’t economically feasible for ANY private industry to attempt on there own. Only government can collectively organize funds from across the board & TAKE THE ECONOMIC HIT to gain the LONG TERM BENEFIT FOR ALL when creating certain infrastructure, like roads, schools, fire protection, rural electrification, THE BEST EFFING MILITARY IN THE WORLD. See, you anti-goverment folks forget about things like the Mafia & Mob rule that goes unchecked & starts bull-dozing legitimate business when there isn’t an FBI or well-funded police force. How soon after the end of the cold-war do we forget that our childred were competing in mathematics & science with the Russians? Now they say, “we don’t need schools”. You people will be living in an alternate reality until you recognize that government is neither inherently bad nor good. But it is NECESSARY, & when used properly, can provide a means to exponentially escalate the power of business in a way that is healthy & sustainable for all human beings – & business alone has PROVEN it does not have the capacity to self-police & will ultimately self destruct if not kept in check.

    • @Mike there is nothing to refute your claims are baseless. The monopolies you speak of were empowered by government. You claim communism is why China isn’t poor when most poor Asian nations today are communist. You think government is the answer, I don’t it is that simple. I didn’t call you a name either, I said only a “progressive socialist/fascist” would take your stance, can you tell me how this differs from you saying,

      “Only hard right-wingers would not acknowledged that the “in context” message isn’t true ”

      What is it okay for you to call me a “hard right-winger” but I can’t say your stance is one of a “progressive socialist/fascist”. Sorry bud buy everything you say here fits the text book definition of such.

      You also seem to contend that I believe things I don’t, such as there should be no laws or regulations, I just happen to believe we crossed the threshold long ago. You will point out how the housing crash came from a lack of regulation and ignore the countless regulations that made it possible and you will want me to refute it, etc. Sorry but I have better uses of my time then to try to teach a progressive why government is not the answer.

      Mike just let me ask you one question, have you ever signed the front side of a pay check? If you answer yes, please prove it. Tell me the name of the company you created, the one you “didn’t build by yourself” that you own a debt to the government for.

    • @damon, I did? Well I am sick today and a bit cranky and I guess I did. Mike, I should not have called you an idiot, I do apologize for that, you do still come off like a progressive socialist though.

  20. @ Mike: Yes, government IS necessary to a point. SMALL and LIMITED government! And those in government need to REMEMBER THIER PLACE! Each branch has its job to do and cannot cross over to the other as Obama has done (illegally). Going around Congress just because they won’t cave in to his illegal “laws” is their true job. (But they aren’t doing the job they were hired to do either or most of the (illegal) “Executive Orders” wouldn’t stand.) Communism/Fascism/Socialism/statism IS NOT the way to go! The Constitution of these United States of America RULES! (And needs to be OBEYED by ALL of OUR representatives – including Obama! (They need to be reminded that THEY work for US, not the other way around!)

  21. I enjoy most aspects of your show, so I’ll get out of your hair after this: I, too, could certainly go on about a number of integral infrastructure & services government has provided & lay out how private business NEEDS those provided for them in order to succeed, but I won’t. There are other aspect of government’s role I haven’t touched as well – for instance, I’ve said nothing about the intrinsic disregard that unbridled capitalism has for the condition of the environment – you remove government & the Ohio Valley removes their catalytic converters & dumps mercury & other toxins throughout all rivers in the Northeast. Who’s going to regulate that if not government? What private entity is going to find that work profitable? Who is the voice for the average citizen if not a government “for the people, by the people?” That’s what you libertarians forget. This is our government, our “voice”, but it has been taken over by big money. “Corporations are people” now, & will drown out the voice of the average citizen on election day with enormous financial influence. They have the power to sway elections & with the current Republican party in power, that power will only increase. We aren’t attacking them because of their “success” – it’s the way they wield that success as a political weapon. The republican party will allow them to continue to dominate the government, keep regulations at bay & continue to make obscene profits while shipping jobs to China as the average American, your average listener I’m sure, continues to hurt. I’ve always believed that more could be accomplished by cooperation. Reducing government reduces our ability to cooperate with each other, & allows corporations to pollute while profiting & if the place goes to the can, they can just pick up & leave like Eduardo Saverin.

    • See Mike I just can’t discuss this with you because you are at a place I have no interest in going into. You still cling to the left right paradigm. You want to point to where democrats are right and republicans are wrong. Seriously? You believe this bullshit don’t you?

      This is why you got your panties in a wad about my post isn’t it, if something is anti Obama it must be right wing GOP garbage in that mind of yours right? Doesn’t matter that I slam the republicans right along with it does it?

      I wish you would do me the service after all the work I have done to insure people know that I hate BOTH parties equally to consider that in your responses. Washington himself warned us that the parties were dangerous for the republic.

      “It serves to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration….agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one….against another….it opens the door to foreign influence and corruption…thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.” ~George Washington

      So do you find it “right wing” that I quote one of the founders warning us about the left right paradigm?

      I also notice you ignored my question as to ever signing the front side of a paycheck, so I will take your answer to be a no. Mike let me be blunt you cannot know what goes into building a business if you have never done so. So you simply cannot understand how insulting Obama’s comments are to anyone who has done it. Yes Fox did creative editing with the tape, just like NBC did with the Trayvon Martin tape, right? Both sides are master of spin and bullshit, do you really fail to understand this?

      Your addiction to the conventional dichotomy won’t allow you to see the hypocrisy of your own side. It won’t allow you to see that they ARE NOT your side. It won’t allow you to see that much of the “fighting in congress” is about the same as the “fighting” in WWE wrestling. It makes me think of Hulk Hogan and “The Iron Sheik” in the 80s getting busted together in Hogans vet smoking dope a day after they “fought” for the title.

      Little children take wrestling seriously, then they grow up, learn the truth but still fall for the same choreography in congress. Due to this you can’t even argue you point with me because you are not even arguing my points.

      When have you heard me once stick up for the GOP? When have you once heard me back a SINGLE main stream GOP candidate? Have you not heard me praise Berny Sanders for his work on Federal Reserve disclosure?

      How can you ask, “who is the voice of the people if not the government”? Can you really be so blind as to believe that the current government, left or right speaks for us in any meaningful way? How can you support a president who has broken dozens of pre elections promises? How can you say he is better then someone who will likely do the same shit with different marketing spin?

      Let me put it this way, can you give me a single problem government has fixed that it itself didn’t cause first? Can you do that and leave out the basic functions of government that we both agree with? I am fine with roads and schools, basic infrastructure, basic research. These are government’s very few legitimate roles.

      When I look at the great claims of what government “fixed” I always have to ask, how did the problem come into being in the first place. When I close the watered down progressive crap they call history books in schools today and research the truth, I always find a law or group of laws that empowered the abuse government later claimed to correct.

      Mike you are not dealing with an uneducated pawn from the right who sent his son off to “Jesus Camp” to pray over a cardboard cut out of George Bush Jr, so stop acting like it is the case. (yes this really happened! and I find it every bit as creepy as this pile of crap from the Obamaites, How can anyone look at both of these examples and not think that our nation of people have been brain washed.

      I differ with the GOP on as many or more issues then the DNC, if you have listened at all, you know that to be the case.

  22. As much as I disagree with both Obama’s policies and fitness for the Presidency, I understand the point he made, albeit rather obliquely. Yes, government organized and enabled the infrastructure which supported the “elevation” of our society to its current level of development. What Obama did not say, nor does he demonstrate that he in anyway believes is that WE the People are the government in this Republic. In contrast to the existence of some separate empowered oligarchy, “Government” whose first job is to assure its own expansion and secondarily, to judge our needs and wishes and grant them or not.

    To the Presidents point, the current level of “Government” is like a wet blanket over both individual initiative and the expansion of business. It matters not what the party label happens to be; Bush Jr spent money at a rate that would make Roosevelt blush. If anyone thinks Romney will be any different, better re-examine that. Government spending is a bit like musical chairs, to stop the spending is like stopping the music…… the amount the spending is reduced determines the number of “chairs” that are removed.

    How all this ends, and end it surely will, will be both determined on an individual basis and mitigated on an individual basis. Or not…….


  23. Just another perspective on ‘ you did not build that’.
    Last year I ‘built’ an E-bike. I found a cool web sitethat advertised kits to retrofit my standard bike.
    Now I might say I built my bike but the manufacturer of the parts might say otherwise.
    All in all it may just be samantics.