On June 22, 1983, President Reagan addressed the National Conference of the National Federation of Independent Business(NFIB) on their 40th anniversary. The president praised America and then he praised small business owners.
“America is getting well. She’s growing strong. And, together we’ll keep her free. Looking at you I get a lump in my throat… Small business is the gateway to opportunity for those who want a piece to the American Dream... The character and conscience of small business built this nation. You know, in his book Wealth and Poverty George Gilder wrote something about entrepreneurs that I’ve long believed. He said that most contribute far more to society than they ever recover. And most of them win no riches at all. They are the heroes of economic life…”
It was an amazing speech.
Now compare that to Barack Obama’s approach. Here is what Barack Obama had to say to business owners last weekend.
“You didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
But to be fair. He did push food stamps on Spanish TV.
Lawrence Kudlow had this to say about Reagan’s style of praise versus Obama’s trashing of business owners.
IBD editorials reported:
Does anybody remember, back in the depths of the recession of 1981-82, how President Ronald Reagan kept his chin up and exhorted American businesses to work hard and produce an economic recovery?
Reagan had a program of tax cuts, limited domestic spending, deregulation and a strong defense aimed at overturning Soviet communism. He argued in speech after speech that his domestic plan would produce higher economic growth and lower unemployment, and that prosperity would generate the resources to fund a strong national security.
Cynics proliferated. But Reagan stayed with it, praising free enterprise and entrepreneurs. And eventually, sunny skies replaced gloomy clouds. “Morning in America” appeared in 1983-84.
But here’s the key point: When Reagan praised our capitalist system and the businesses inside it, he provided a psychological lift to accompany his fiscal program. That was leadership.
Now contrast President Reagan’s performance with President Obama’s recent attack on business. Instead of exhorting entrepreneurship, Obama demonized it. Here’s the money quote: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
And, you wonder why the country is in the shape its in since Obama became president?