An Open Letter to our President

Dear Sir:
I have a question: which came first – the goose or the egg? Don’t wrinkle your brow and glance at your teleprompter -- this is not a difficult question – eggs don’t hatch without a goose to sit on them.

Let’s try another one. -- which came first – the taxers or the taxees? That’s evidently a more difficult question because you, the most powerful man in the world, recently got it wrong. Very wrong.

Recently you made quite a speech in Roanoke, Virginia, in which you figuratively addressed small businessmen saying, “You didn’t build that.” You went on to explain that without public works, “roads and bridges,” a business couldn’t exist. Your implication was that government agencies and activities are the foundation on which industry rests, that without public policy there would be no private enterprise.

Ruins in Detroit --
P-a-l-e-e-z-e, Mr. Obama, that statement is almost as offensive as your ignorant proclamation that this country is not a Christian nation, and don’t give me that “out of context” palaver. It is the context of your entire presidency that makes this so objectionable.

Obviously, Sir, you haven’t thought very hard or very long about this country and what it’s all about, or you would know better. The truth is that without private, moneymaking endeavors, the government would have nothing, would be nothing. I realized that yesterday when I ran across a news tidbit about California’ sales tax revenues dropping by 33.5%. No. Really?!

Duh. People aren’t working; they aren’t producing, so they aren’t earning money. Therefore they aren’t spending money, so less money is clinking into the state’s coffers.

I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but government is dependent on the private sector, not the other way around. Government leans on private enterprise in two ways:
o   First, according to our constitution (Have you heard of it?), the government derives its power from the consent of the people, who not only vote to elect individuals to make decisions on their behalf, but who also work at producing – food, clothing, shelter, energy, anything other people will pay for – therefore creating incomes which the government then taxes, and, as a result, providing revenue for the government.

Detroit neighborhood --
Government derives not only its political power from the people; it also gains its functional power from the productivity of its citizens. A society that produces very little in real goods will eventually collapse under its own weight; it won’t be able to defend itself from aggressors, nor will it be able to maintain its infrastructure (see Detroit). Government is the result of a productive citizenry; it is not the cause.

o   Secondly, the public sector can’t accomplish anything without the private sector’s manufacturing abilities. Let’s take your example of roads and bridges. Roads and bridges are not made out of government bureaucrats (Though I rather like that idea – I even have some individuals I could recommend.). 

Newsflash: our transportation infrastructure is made of concrete and steel and asphalt. The government doesn’t produce those items – private businesses mine the minerals, mix the ingredients, and transport those materials. Private businesses design and manufacture the giant earth-moving equipment, the paving machines. Private businesses supply the energy required. And, especially where bridges are concerned, private businesses often do the designing. Even the governmental paperwork couldn’t be done without private businesses cutting down trees and making the paper you feds waste so well.

OK, OK -- government does affect private enterprise. Of course. If we were under constant attack by enemy armies, it would be hard to run a business. If there were no anti-theft laws, no copyright laws, no anti-trust laws, it would be difficult to succeed. But then, it’s difficult to succeed anyway. I once had some copyrighted educational materials ripped off by a California school district, but because of the way the laws were written I had to have $60,000 up front to hire a California lawyer to prosecute the case; needless to say, a couple of threatening lawyer-letters was all I could do about it. But that’s not your fault – I’m just saying that even the laws don’t help all that much.

And often, Sir, more and more often, government’s effect on business is more in the way of walls than it is of roads. I find government getting in the way of how I handle my two small rental properties – I can’t even imagine what fortresses of paperwork and regulations a real business must have to lay siege to in order the make a profit.

Of course I realize that you don’t much like profit – why, I don’t know. You seem to be making a profit out of being president. But that aside, I have another huge newsflash for you:

There’s really no limit to wealth. That’s a biggy. Say it with me, slowly. There. Is. No. Limit. To. Wealth.   Fairness is not about sharing what already exists.  Fairness is about letting everyone have an equal shot at creating wealth. I know this is a tricky idea for all you lefties, but let me try to explain:

Let’s say you figured out a way to use eggshells to make tires. Up until this invention, eggshells were not recycled, they were just thrown away; every morning McDonald’s, alone, chucked over 20 million eggshells. So, raw materials were easy to come by. You patented your formula, borrowed the money to build your factory, and set up a distribution system.

Eventually, you were turning out 2 million tires per month. Your company, which I’m sure you ran expertly since you are so brilliant, not only made a profit, but the economy now has 24 million new, serviceable tires each year – basically made out of nothing. It also now has 3,000 new jobs and the money those people are paid circulates back through the system which stimulates (I’m trying to use words you’re familiar with.) other businesses. See how that works? Something out of nothing.

You see, when this nation first started no one knew what to do with that black goo that oozed out of the ground in Pennsylvania. Now we call it “black gold.” It has created unimaginable wealth. When this nation first started, Ben Franklin was inciting lightning strikes with a key on a kite string because he suspected that electrical power could be harnessed. Then along came Edison and Jobs and Gates and look at the wealth that’s been produced almost ex nihilo.

My dear president, you need to open up your supposedly intelligent brain (I do have some doubts about that.) and understand that this country figured out how to coax the goose to lay the golden egg (Note the goose was there first.) Our forefathers realized that if people have their own personal integrity (which was assumed since our nation was peopled mostly by fervent, Bible-reading Christians), and enough elbow room to be inventive, that wealth would accumulate quickly.

It did, and it did so, back when private people built the roads and bridges, back when government was seen more as evil than good, when taxes were never beneficial to anyone on this side of “the pond.”

Sir, you are the president of a country of which you have no knowledge, for which you have no affinity. You are either driving without a license or you are going somewhere none of us riding on this bus want to go. Please pull over. I want to get off.