What “that” is

Thursdays are the last day that I drive into the office during the week. Friday traffic in Chicago is bad, no matter where you’re driving to or when you’re on the road, so fortunately I can work at home on Fridays. But I had an epiphany of sorts when I was on the road this morning, and I wanted to explain it here.

Every time I’m on the road, I see dozens of the vans or trucks like the one pictured above. I think of them as “ladder vans” because they’re pretty easy to spot with the ladder on top. And the people driving them are the people that Mitt Romney is trying so hard to mislead, based on something that President Obama said recently in Virginia. So I’m going to do what I can to clear things up, to the extent that anyone pays attention to what’s in this space.

Here is a video clip of the president’s remarks (with captions included):

The president’s remark about “You didn’t build that” doesn’t refer to the business, as epitomized by the van with the ladder on top. The “that” being referred to is the American system of roads and bridges. The things that exist for the ladder vans to be driven on in the first place. The things that make it possible for these vans to get to wherever their jobs are that day. Without those roads, which all of us pay for and all of us collectively own, those ladder vans have no purpose at all.

This might sound like socialism to some, but when it snows, who clears the streets? We all do, through our tax dollars. If a big pothole opens up in the street, does any one citizen have the burden of fixing that hole? No, we all do it, through public funding which comes from the taxpayer.

Anyone who buys a van or a truck and puts a ladder on top and uses that van or truck upon the public roads reaps the benefit of the “that” which President Obama was referring to. And if there’s someone who doesn’t get the President’s point, and continues to believe that a van or a truck is all it takes to make a business grow, there really isn’t too much more to say, except “ain’t that a shame” how someone can be mislead so easily.

6 thoughts on “What “that” is

  1. See I still disagree with you. Everyone in this country is given a start. That start is never ever going to be fair across the board for all that is just a fact of life. The inner city kids are going to have a much harder time in life than the suburb kids there is no debating that. Though that doesn’t mean that the inner city kid through his OWN hard work can’t be just as successful or more than the suburb kid.

    While I understand what the President was trying to say. He was foolish in saying it. If it wasn’t foolish for saying people like yourself would not still be trying to explain it away. It was a oopsy moment that backfired plain and simple. Even people in political office as much as I hate to admit are human after all. They make mistakes and this was one of those mistakes.

  2. @Brian:

    If you understood what he was saying, then it wasn’t so foolish? You sometimes have to look deeper to find out what someone is really saying.

    And to add more to the infrastructure talk President Obama(remember when Fox News always called W President Bush when now they just say Obama?) has a plan to revitalize the country. It includes creating more than a million jobs and jumpstarting the economy.
    What is this plan? To rebuild the entire US conveyance infrastructure.
    Sounds good, yes?
    You say: “Let’s do it”
    We can’t.
    “Why not?”
    Because Congress won’t pass it.
    “Why not?”
    Because they have there own plan to start the economy.
    “What’s that?”
    They want to build a pipeline for their cronies which will cause environmental havoc all the while supplying the US with 50,000 new jobs to build it.
    “But 1,000,000 jobs is better than 50,000. Why would they block such an easy solution to our problems?”
    Because then they would have to cede to the Democrats for the good of the country.
    “So they would be butthurt?”
    “That just makes them look silly and……..just silly”
    We know. It’s expected of them.

  3. @Cory

    I understood what he was saying and still think its foolish. When you are running for reelection you should not set out to alienate any potential block of people that are going to vote for you. By standing there and saying that anyone with a successful business didn’t build that its foolish and it was used to try and alienate that voting block. We live in a world that is based on sound bites nobody seems to want to take the time to dig any deeper than the 30 second blurb on TV. So by giving that soundbite President Obama gave the 24 hour new cycle something to run with for a while. Deeper meaning or not is irrelevant once that blurb gets out there spinning its way through the media. So again I call it a mistake and think deep down if you asked Obama himself he would to admit to as much.

    As far as the rest of your post huh? I wasn’t trying to debate anything else he said nor that is going on with regards to job creation. I don’t care what Fox News calls Bush or Obama, what they have to say is unimportant in my life. As for the rest sure a million jobs sounds better than 50,000 though is the difference really that simple? Or is it far more complex than just throwing out a couple of numbers that are widely different?

    1. If Romney is willing to mislead the public in order to become President, and that’s what he’s done by taking Obama’s words out of context, could we expect any different from him if he were to win in November?

  4. @Brian

    The rest of my post was just adding to the topic of the article, not at you in any way. Which is why I wrote ‘And to add to’ at the start of it.

    I can’t really comment on the 1,000,000 vs. 50,000 being more complex than it is because it’s not complex at all.

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