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Debate over President's Comments and Role of Government in Job Creation Rises

Recent comments by President Barack Obama, while speaking to supporters in Roanoke, Virginia, have fueled the debate over government’s role in job creation.  The President’s critics, including presumptive GOP candidate Mitt Romney, say his statements represent the President’s anti-business views and are an attack on entrepreneurs.  The President claims, in television ads and in subsequent campaign appearances, that his words have been taken out of context.  (Scroll to the end of this article to read the comments in question.)

Ohio Governor John Kasich was at a ground-breaking ceremony on Monday for the new White Castle food processing Center in Vandalia.  Kasich said he’s working hard to bring jobs to Ohio, so I asked him about the President’s comments, and what he thought was the appropriate role of Government in creating jobs. 

"I mean these are people that are risk takers. Some of them will bet their very homes on the fact that they can be successful. So, it’s not like government gets the credit for an entrepreneur creating jobs. Government’s job is to do things that can’t be done without the government. And, so building roads; sometimes, educating kids, these are important functions. But don’t take the shine away from the risk takers. They’re the ones that do it, and move the needle."

Kasich added that businesses like White Castle were coming to Ohio because the right environment was being created, though tax incentives and other measures. 

Mayor Arlene Setzer confirmed that White Castle was in fact offered tax breaks for locating the new plant in Vandalia, but when another reporter asked her for specifics on those incentives, she would not give details, nor would she say what other companies the city was trying to bring into the Stonequarry Development area.  She said that was out of respect for the companies that were looking at Vandalia as a possible place to locate.


Excerpt from President Barack Obama's speech (Source ABC News Online)

“-look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.  You didn’t get there on your own.  I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.  Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business. you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.”