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'In the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.'
- Abraham Lincoln -

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dan Casey Gets It Wrong Too

Advice for Roanoke Times columnist Dan Casey: Know when to hold 'em.  Know when to fold 'em.

If it weren't bad enough that the President of the United States told every successful American in history that "you didn't do that," in a moronic attempt to rewrite history, along comes Mr. Casey to ... explain ... Obama's comment.

(Special note:  Don't you love liberals who will tell the world what conservatives are thinking - really thinking - without those conservatives ever uttering a word - see bigot Louise Lucas as the latest example - and, at the same time, take words spoken by their liberal cohorts - clearly, definitively spoken - and try to explain that, well, that's not what they really meant to say at all.  You explain it; I can't.)

Obama?  The greatest orator in American history made this declarative statement in Roanoke several days ago:

"If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

The greatest communication virtuoso of our time - the most gifted wordsmith to walk this land of ours - didn't say, "You had some help with that, dude."  He said, "You didn't build that."

You didn't do it.

The government did.

So along comes Dan Casey to explain what Obama really, really meant.  In "Obama’s right — in Roanoke, businesses got lots of help."

Unfortunately for Dan, and for Obama, he used the city of Roanoke as an example of what Obama meant but didn't say:
Some cynical Obama haters have plucked a few bits from that middle paragraph and are now using them to weave lies about what the president meant.

But anyone who bothers to peer past the critics' sleazy spin would quickly realize that our historic, charming and thriving city is a perfect metaphor for Obama's message. So was the place where he uttered them.

The city market area "looked like Beirut," said Richard Wells. He owns Leisure Publishing, which puts out Roanoker and Blue Ridge Country magazines and a slew of travel and living guides. He's also a downtown landlord.

What turned it around? Government help. The city renovated its dilapidated City Market Building. The state kicked in millions to develop the cultural landmark Center in the Square.

Then entrepreneurs like Wells moved in. They bought blocks of shabby downtown real estate. They used historic tax credits to finance renovations, and property tax abatements to launch their fledging commercial real estate businesses. Without that government support they couldn't have done it, Wells said. 
I have no quarrel with developers who sidle up to the government trough and finagle a wad of cash out of some bureaucrat's mountainous stash in order to enrich himself. More power to him if he can get away with it.  My quarrel is with the government bureaucrat who has the power to pick winners and losers.

But to Casey's point: Yes, the government gave out loans and grants to help businessmen revitalize downtown Roanoke. A costly endeavor that involved money taken from other Americans who could have used it to better purpose.

The American landscape, Dan, is littered with government-funded enterprises that went belly-up.  An ever-growing pile of litter.  Can you say Solyndra?  Can you say Detroit?  Government bureaucrats, by their nature, don't care if a business is successful; they only care that money be expended and anyone standing in the way be crushed.  Ask Susette Kelo.

But here's the point that must be made, and that Dan conveniently avoided: Obama didn't tell America's successful entrepreneurs that they got help from his government, he told them they did not do what they did.  That government did it for them.

Which brings up the name Frederick J. Kimball.

A name with which Dan Casey might want to familiarize himself.  Kimball, so that Casey and everyone else knows, created and built, on his own, without Obama's help, without the federal government's assistance, without the aid of bureaucrats ...

... the city of Roanoke.

Yes, Barack, he did it.

Wonderfully.  Brilliantly.  Thankfully.

And hundreds of thousands of area citizens prospered because of his effort.

Now, all these years later, with government assistance intrusions to be found everywhere,  with millions of Americans unemployed, the poverty rate worse than its been in decades, with cities across this land declaring bankruptcy, the federal government spending money it doesn't have, and with our infrastructure decaying, along comes Barack Obama to tell us how great things are now that government has gotten involved in every aspect of our lives.

While Dan Casey brags about the City Market (that had to be shut down not long ago because of a rat problem, a metaphor if there ever was one).

Does government help people in need of help?  Yes.  Do entrepreneurs need help?  No.   Does there seem to be an ever-increasing number of people in this country who find themselves needing help?  Unfortunately.

Most importantly, did Frederick J. Kimball build that?

You bet your ass.

And no squirrely liberal columnist for the Roanoke Times is going to change that.

* (I might also make the argument that it was government that drove business out of downtown Roanoke in the first place with burdensome regulations and excessive taxation.  Another day.)