Tuesday, August 7, 2012

If You Wrote a Letter to the Editor, You Didn't Write That

    President Obama continues to push back against the idea that he believes that small businesses are incapable of making it on their own without government help.  This is of course part of the fallout from the president's now legendary "If you own a business, you didn't build that" remark.  In what could easily be seen as doubling down on that dubious concept, the Obama campaign has launched a new page on their website, Letter to the Editor, which provides a sample letter to the editor, a checklist of desired recipients (LA Times, Miami Herald, Wall Street Journal, etc.,) talking points, and even writing tips!  The subject of the sample email is even helpfully filled in: "A Romney presidency will hurt small business."  The sample letter reads as follows:
I worked hard to build my small business. Though it took time, investment, and a lot of hard work, I've built a business I'm proud of.
The American economy is built on businesses like mine - that hire American workers and promote American innovation. If we are going to create an economy built to last, we have to support our small businesses.
But Mitt Romney's plan for the American economy would put business like mine at risk. His plan would gut investments that benefit small businesses - like education and infrastructure -  so he can give more tax breaks to millionaires like himself and to companies that ship jobs overseas. His top-down philosophy won't grow our economy for the long run - we already tried it for the past decade, and it crashed our economy and hurt the middle class. If Romney thinks his plan is the best way to grow our economy and help small businesses, then he must have forgotten how we got into this mess in the first place.
Mitt Romney believes we can afford to shower the wealthiest Americans with tax cuts, but that it's a bridge too far to rebuild the roads, runways and ports our businesses rely on to ship goods across the country and around the world. He believes we can afford to cut taxes for companies that ship our jobs overseas, but that we can't afford to invest in the training and education that American workers need to compete for those jobs in the global economy.
Small business owners can't afford the failed policies of the past. And Americans can't afford a Romney presidency.
    The page includes the wise counsel: "Revising the letter and making it your own greatly increases the chance that a newspaper will publish it." So never again let it be said that Barack Obama doubts the ability of the American business owner to build his own business.  But, hey, letters can be tricky.