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SPOTLIGHT
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Muddled debate

Published on -7/26/2012, 11:02 AM

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It seems pretty disingenuous for candidate Romney to allow his writers to take advantage of the indefinite pronoun "that." They not only infer, but state that the president was referring to small business when he said, "You didn't build that."

I believe it was obvious to actual listeners that the president was referring to the enabling infrastructure that exists for American businesses, the infrastructure the nation makes available to them and is the product of the world of construction, education and labor of all types.

While businesses use it, build on it and profit because of it, it was provided to them by others. So, they had a lot to start with and, no, they "didn't build that."

No one is an island was the point of the remark, and to try and twist that into a seemingly ignorant remark is contrived, awkward and flat-out dishonest. Just because it's politics doesn't make it OK. I discredit Romney's writers in all this. I don't see candidate Romney coming up with this little twist on his own. I believe he relies on writers or strategists, apparently conflicted ones, that help him think, but not in a particularly consistent way.

This time though they overreached by a mile. It wouldn't even make sense the way they spun it. The president obviously values small business and values their support. He does have some problems appreciating large business owners, such as Romney, who tend to vote for themselves rather than America. He would not denigrate small business owners when his campaign consistently recognizes their obvious contributions to our economy.

The president's concern for small business is reflected in his signing many tax credits and tax cuts initiated specifically for small business. His proposed tax increases do not affect owners of small business, contrary to GOP spin. They know many of us think if we hear it on TV it is a fact.

So while only a fraction of business owners bring home an adjusted gross income over $250,000 annually -- the top 2 percent would have us think that group is large, is somehow "us," "middle-class" or "small" business. It sounds like it could be true, but it's not even close.

They are aware of the facts, but treat it like some sort of opinion and just say it anyway. I don't know about you, but I think our political process deserves clearer debate than that.

Jean Binder

Hays

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