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Dreams, initiative, risks built America

August 13, 2012
Daily Press


President Barack Obama either doesn't understand economics or he doesn't respect the aspirations of family business owners. He disparaged the financial risks and roles American citizens assume daily with the ignorant rant, "Look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own." Really?

In the late 1960s when I was a youth in northern Michigan, my father had been mildly successful - meaning his family of six had a roof and three squares. In addition to his full-time job, he invested his life savings into a welding shop business to try to earn some extra education savings for his four sons.

The shop made parts for the local International Harnischfeger factory. I worked part-time at the welding shop, grinding and cleaning slag off welds and cutting parts for a dollar an hour during summer in high school. Within a few short years Harnischfeger moved its factory to a lower cost, non-union alternate location. Consequently my dad's business failed.

Nobody shared his loss. Nobody failed with him. No one handed him the means to help his sons through college. He was alone, accountable and he did in fact "get there on his own."

In the real world, successful or unsuccessful, the small business owner holds the bag; but in President Obama's world if someone like my dad had made a go of it, he would have been in for the president's finger in his face and a lecture. "If you've got a business - you didn't build it. Somebody else made that happen." That doesn't make sense.

We need a president who speaks plainly and does not denigrate the efforts of those who dream and take risks to build a better future for their families and America.

Robert L. Rusch

Jacksonville, N.C.



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