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The Boston Globe

Opinion

The Podium

Obama is conducting a war on success

“If you’ve got a business ... you didn’t build that. Someone else made that happen.”

When the president told a crowd in Roanoke, Va. last week that business owners are not responsible for their success, he kicked a beehive. And while he may struggle to create new jobs, he is having no trouble creating new Tea Party activists.

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The president’s recent off-teleprompter rant has provided a portal into his progressive soul, and proves what the Tea Party has been saying all along – that this administration views private wealth, private property and private assets as something government is entitled to take at will. These policies show utter contempt for the hard working men and women who make this country great.

His comments imply that business owners, who sacrifice their time and their capital, risking financial ruin, do so on the backs of others; that they are not entitled to the fruits of their labor. What’s more, should they have the audacity to become wealthy, they should feel ashamed and cheerfully give away their profits.

This progressive ideology flies in the face of our country’s entrepreneurial spirit. It is also antithetical to the ideals that birthed the Tea Party, which rewards hard work, individual freedom and reliance on self rather than government. The Tea Party believes that you create prosperity, not by demonizing those at the top, but by empowering people at all economic levels.

At the other end of the spectrum is Collectivism, a far left philosophy that calls for equal distribution of wealth. This system of governance has been a colossal failure in such countries as the Soviet Union, North Korea, Cambodia, China and Cuba - just to name a few – and has led to starvation and myriad human rights violations, including genocide.

America tried something different, and the result of that experiment has made us the most prosperous, peaceful nation in the world. What progressives fail to understand is that this prosperity is not a zero-sum game. American exceptionalism has benefited the entire world. Our advances in technology, medicine and sanitation have made life easier for billions of people around the globe. America’s entrepreneurs have cured diseases, fed the hungry and extended and improved the quality of countless lives.

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I was raised by hard working parents, far from wealthy, who taught me that if I put forth the effort, there was nothing I could not achieve. My sisters and I were scolded for being envious of those who had more than we did. That example has served me well and I remain forever grateful. To this day, I live by the Chinese proverb, “Blame yourself if you have no branches or leaves; don’t accuse the sun of partiality.”

We are, of course a compassionate nation and need to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves. We always have and we always will.

However, it is heartbreaking to witness generation after generation mired in poverty and entitlement. I am incensed by a self-serving government that keeps people dependent, not unlike controlling parents who intentionally keep a child dependent so it will never dare to leave them.

We have come to a crossroads where we are in desperate need of entrepreneurial role models. What message are young people receiving when our own president claims that people who provide jobs, instead of being celebrated, should be demonized? How do we explain to our children that the fruits of their labor are somehow ill-gotten and those who do nothing to help themselves are entitled to it?

Is it any wonder that the Occupy movement, with their bizarre mantra “eat the rich” has been embraced by so many? Why have these people been given the right time of day? They have been emboldened by a radical administration that has its boot on the necks of the successful. And what about the emergence of those vile flash mobs, which use class envy as their excuse to ravage, plunder and vandalize, leaving mayhem and fear in their wake.

The current administration is conducting a war on success. Three plus years of Obama’s anti-business policies, record breaking unemployment and catastrophic debt have wounded our great country. Yet with every new speech he picks at the scab. Every time Obama attacks hardworking Americans, a Tea Partier is born.

Christine Morabito is president of the Greater Boston Tea Party.

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