WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 27: An American flag is waved during a protest on the second day of oral arguments for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building on March 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. Today is the second of three days the high court has set aside to hear six hours of arguments over the constitutionality President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)2012 Getty Images
The American Dream, that wonderful notion that anyone -- anyone -- can make it in America, will not only survive, but will become stronger, in spite of President Obama’s remarks last Friday, when he said at a campaign rally: “If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made it happen."
That statement goes against everything America stands for.
I had to reread that statement and listen to his entire speech with an immigrant’s perspective in mind.
My heart shrunk.
Immigrants risk their lives; they leave everything behind because they believe they will make it in America.
Show me an immigrant, I will show you an entrepreneur. They have the greatest percentage of new businesses. However small they start, their businesses eventually grow just like everyone else's.
I understand the President continues on his divide-and-conquer strategy.
That is clear. We have seen how methodically he pits one group of people against another.
This time though, he has gone too far.
Why does he have to make it a zero-sum game, where someone’s win means someone’s loss?
In a zero-sum game there is only one pie. When that pie is divided, if someone gets a big piece, someone else gets a smaller piece. In America we believe in making more pies.
Time after time we have witnessed the greatness of America, where someone’s win becomes everyone else’s win.
Just to name a couple of small businessmen, consider Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.
Their wins became everyone’s win.
Their entrepreneurial spirit, indomitable pursuit and sheer determination created new and improved technologies, enriched livelihoods worldwide and accumulated massive wealth. For the President to diminish the efforts of entrepreneurs, to scold them ever so sanctimoniously, and to admonish them for their successes, is to go against the fabric of America.
At a time when the economy is in dire need of more entrepreneurs, when business people need to be cheered, and when investors need to be encouraged, this president is attacking the job creators; he is vilifying the very means that could get us out of the hole he has plowed us in.
In excoriating them, he demonstrates how little he understands the inner workings of the economy.
It takes people willing to risk everything they own to create a new company, develop a new gadget, provide a new service and hopefully make a profit.
In the America I love, that risk is applauded and rewarded.
It is painfully ironic that a President, who epitomizes what America stands for, is the one who uses the bully pulpit to chisel away our most sacred belief.
But America is greater than the President and our belief is stronger than his politics. The conviction that anything is possible in America has bonded us together our entire history and will continue to unite us past November.
Rosario Marin was the 41st Treasurer of the United States and is co-chair of the American Competitiveness Alliance.