Obama: 'You CAN'T Build' That, 'You Didn't Build That,' 'You Were Lucky'

Craig Bannister | May 9, 2016
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Pres. Obama doubled down on his infamous “You didn’t build that” claim when he declared “You can’t build” that and then told college graduates they gained their degrees by being “lucky.”

In remarks about the economy on Friday, Obama chastised those who think they’re self-sufficient and don’t need government:

“You can't build your own metro system.  You can't build your own highway.  You can't build your own airport.  And so we have a specific problem with under-investing in infrastructure.”

Then, on Saturday, Pres. Obama told Howard University graduates that his “pet peeve” is people like them who don’t credit luck for their success:

“And that means we have to not only question the world as it is, and stand up for those African Americans who haven’t been so lucky -- because, yes, you've worked hard, but you've also been lucky. That's a pet peeve of mine: People who have been successful and don’t realize they've been lucky.”

The remarks are redolent of comments Obama made to business owners when he told them that, if they have a successful business, “You didn’t build that.”

But, in fact, you actually can build your own airport. John Travolta did – it’s attached to his house. And, there are plenty of other private airports: here’s a list of some of the more popular ones.

And, as Obama’s grade school English teacher would surely point out, you actually “can” build your own metro or highway – you’re just not allowed to, under penalty of law.

Still, if you legally could build your own metro or highway, odds are it’d be less expensive, more efficient and safer than anything the government builds, funds, or manages. Just look at the safety problem with the D.C. metro system or the government-run health care provided to our nation’s veterans.

Obama then went on to blame the nation’s woes on those who don’t trust government:

“I talked about this when I came into office and sought to do more in terms of investing in our nation’s infrastructure.  The problem we have is that the Republican Congress has been resistant to really taking on this problem in a serious way.  And the reason is, is because of an ideology that says government spending in necessarily bad.”


“Surrounding businesses, suppliers, food trucks -- everybody does better.  And it gives a huge boost to the economy and it lasts for a long time.  Think about the investments we made in things like the Hoover Dam, or the Golden Gate Bridge, or metro. It's a good thing to do.  And it, historically, was not, and should not be, partisan.  But if we have a mindset that says whatever government is doing must be bad, then these are going to be the results.”

Granted, not everything the government does is bad. Some of it is simply self-serving. And, no, not all government spending is bad. Some of it is necessary, for things like national defense, border security and protection of the unborn.

But, there’s got to be some problem with government spending when it takes in record revenues and still can’t keep from accumulating a half-trillion dollars more debt. There are even enough examples of wasteful government spending each year to fill an entire book. So, maybe, the problem isn’t that the government doesn’t have enough money to build and maintain metros, highways and airports – it’s just spending it on other things.


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