Ω Congratulations on Your Olympic Win! (or "Passive Participation is not Participation at All")

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There are numerous “discussions” on Facebook about the Romney ads which show people who say “I built this business.” Detractors say that they really should have said, “I built this business, but I had a lot of help from the U.S. Government and the American taxpayer and couldn’t have done it without them.” Detractors also say that these people are “liars.”

What absolutely galls me about this stance—that these people are liars, a very strong choice of word—is the insistence that passive participation is somehow meritorious of credit and therefore diminishes the role of the business owners in their own successes.

I believe that this insistence is an underlying difference between conservatives and liberals and is indicative of a pattern of thinking which defies logic and the natural order of the universe. It is the same reasoning which blames the maker of the gun for a massacre. It is the same reasoning which blames the alcohol, not the alcoholic. It is the same reasoning which goes further than merely awarding trophies to the losing team “just for playing.”

This reasoning takes the trophies from the winning team and gives them to the moms who drove the kids to the games, to the road builders who made those roads, to the Chrysler employees who made the minivans, and to the taxpayers who subsidized those minivans during this administration.

Congratulations, American people! President Obama thinks you won a soccer game! Thanks for not playing!

Speaking of sports, tonight I watched three men run 10,000m in less than 28 minutes thereby placing them on the podium to receive gold, silver and bronze medals. There isn’t a person in the world who would deny that they achieved that victory, that the race was theirs to win or lose, and that they won…

…except, apparently, President Obama. By his own reasoning, he would stand at that podium and denounce their victories.

“You didn’t win that race on your own, somebody else won that race for you!”

“I’m always struck by people who think ‘well, it must be because I was just so fast.’ There are a lot of fast people out there! ‘It must be because I ran faster than everybody else.’ Let me tell you something—there are a whole bunch of fast people out there!”

President Obama would remove the medals from the necks of these athletes and place them around his own neck, all in the name of a shared victory. You know, because we earned it.

I’m sure there aren’t many business owners who wouldn’t give credit where credit is due, just like I’m sure that there isn’t an athlete who wouldn’t credit coaches and training partners with helping. But coaches coach. Training partners train. Business partners partner. Investors invest. Spouses spice or whatever it is that we do as we support our business builders in their quests.

What President Obama is missing is that all of these activities are active in their support of those who build businesses, of those who run the races, of those who clear the bar, of those who play the game. For one to claim any sort of credit for the success of another requires active participation—doing something.

Yes, the government can do something. For example, if a Small Business Administration adviser helped that business succeed, she can claim some credit because she actively participated. But just because we paid taxes to pay her salary does not mean that we built that business, not one bit. That’s called a “passive activity,” by the government’s very own definition. (See “IRS.”)

It means that I, Bill Eccles, taxpayer, had nothing to do with the success of your business. I don’t deserve the credit, nor do I want it.

The good news is that most Americans don’t want the credit which President Obama is offering them. [source] So, wise Americans: are you going to re-elect a president who is willing to blame others for his own failures, while stealing success from others, distributing it to anybody willing to accept the handout?

I didn’t think so, because you’re one of those “smart people out there.”

Vote wisely in November.

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