Obama’s ‘chicken and egg’ argument bad for business, the country

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By Caroline Curran, Reporter

With $1 billion and counting in his war chest and everything else available in his political arsenal, our campaigner-in-chief has once again sets his sights on the free market.

I’m not sure why President Barack Obama continues to attack the tenants of capitalism, other than to distinguish himself from his opponent, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, who is the poster child for free market success.

First, Obama attacked big, bad private equity as a jab at Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital.

Now, he’s going after the little guy.

Wait, what about wanting to help the middle class?

Over the weekend Obama took his campaign to a new low by saying no business owner—no matter how big or small, five employees or 500,000 employees—would have gotten to where they are without the help of the government.

Your success is not your own, it’s the government’s, Obama said.

Had the government not built roads, bridges and infrastructure your business wouldn’t be in business, he argued.

I guess a Harvard Law degree isn’t what it used to be, but that sounds a little too much like the “chicken and the egg” argument to me, only with your money.

No mention was made, of course, that business people’s hard earned, hard fought tax dollars are what’s used to fund those roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure Obama holds so dear.

So, what came first—the road on which you drive, or your money that was spent to build it?

The chicken and the egg.

Only the joke’s on all of us.

I had a really lovely farewell interview with outgoing state Rep. Dewey Hill, a Whiteville Democrat and business owner, on Monday.

When I asked him about his legacy, it wasn’t what he did in Raleigh that he wanted to be remembered for; it was creating jobs at home.

I asked him if he were endorsing Obama in this election, he said no. He also said no when I asked if he was endorsing Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton’s bid for governor, though he had very nice things to say about Dalton and his work in the General Assembly.

As for Obama, Hill—who also joked about being thrown out of the Democrat Party once my story was published—said Obama simply doesn’t get it. Obama thinks government creates jobs, not businesspeople.

Hill, who estimates having employed more than 1,200 people at one time, said it’s the hard work and the risk of the business owner that should be heralded, not the government.

Take grocers, Hill’s area of expertise, for example. A small grocery store owner who earns $250,000 (Obama’s definition of “rich”) is going to subtract living expenses and spend the remainder of that money to open another store, and, if he’s lucky, another store, Hill explained.

That grocer’s not rich, but he’s trying to put people to work.

“I’m a business person. The government does not create jobs—businesses create jobs. And as a business person, I probably created more jobs here in Columbus County than I ever did in Raleigh,” Hill told me.

He’s right.

Obama should let folks like Hill and other grocers and farmers worry about the chickens and eggs.

Caroline Curran is a staff writer and columnist at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at (910) 754-6890 or ccurran@brunswickbeacon.com