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posted: 9/9/2012 5:00 AM

Argument was built out of context

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Ms. Van Der Woude's perfectly good letter of Aug. 23 is marginalized by a misleading first sentence in which she claims that President Obama credited government, not people, for creating businesses. Her preamble undermines the rest of her earnest words on the importance of hard work, family and faith by subtle suggestion that the president doesn't share these values.

What Ms. Van Der Woude was referring to is a July speech in Roanoke, Va., in which the president did in fact say "if you've got a business, you didn't build that." Not a particularly good choice of words, but that sentence was taken completely out of context by the Romney campaign and is now flying on his flags and banners. The much larger theme of the speech focused on the role government has played in providing the infrastructure needed to support and fuel the unprecedented economic growth the U.S. has experienced over the past 60 years.

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Where would American business be today without the interstate highway system, the national railroad system or the Hoover Dam? And consider how important the GI bill was to the historic economic boom in this country after World War II. Perhaps if Ms. Van Der Woude read the entire speech she'd see that one sentence plucked from the text doesn't tell the full story.

Dave Crost

Prospect Heights

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