I am the 1 percent. I am a S.O.B. (son of a butcher). I started out with nothing. I was raised in a blue-collar dead-end town on the Bronx borderline. Today I live the American Dream. My story is the story of the 1 percent.
The fake story meant to deceive you is that the 1 percent is Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Warren Buffett, Sen. John Kerry, or Arianna Huffington.
Gates was born to a family that owned the biggest bank in the Northwest. Trump was born to a billionaire father, the largest landlord in Brooklyn and Queens. Buffett’s father was a well-connected congressman. Arianna Huffington and John Kerry married into fortunes. They aren’t the 1 percent. They’re the lucky sperm club.
99 percent of the 1 percent are just like me — small businessmen and women who started from humble origins and earned their money the old-fashioned way. Our "overnight success" came from 25 years of hard work, risking everything, and overcoming failure. Many of us are struggling, but will forever keep striving for the American Dream.
I am sick of being denigrated and misrepresented by the media and leftist politicians who are purposely misleading the public about the 1 percent.
I am sick of Obama targeting, vilifying, demonizing, and punishing us for our success. I am sick of the class warfare, jealousy, and envy that Obama’s socialist cabal tries to foment among the masses. The public has been told lies about the 1 percent.
My story is the story of 99 percent of the 1 percent. I am a small businessman. I work 16-hour days, mornings, nights, weekends, holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries. I have no guaranteed job for life, nor any pension. I have no rich daddy or sugar daddy.
I don’t own a yacht. I have no private jet. I don’t have millions in an offshore trust. I don’t have one dollar offshore. Unfortunately, I don’t have $100 million here in America either. I am not connected, work like a dog, and fought like a cornered wolverine for everything I’ve ever achieved. No one has ever given me anything. I’ve earned it.
I don’t run a bank and have never been friends with a bank president. My buddies don’t run giant multinational corporations. My friends don’t control the White House, Congress, or the Fed. My friends are small business owners just like me. They are the 1 percent.
Along the way I’ve created many jobs, helping others live the American Dream too. I’ve made countless payrolls, and paid for other people’s health insurance. I’ve also failed countless times, wiping out my savings. But I never complained, blamed anyone but myself, and never asked for a bailout. Is this the story the media tell you about the 1 percent? Funny, I’ve never heard it.
My butcher father taught me to ask for nothing from government. I believe in self-reliance and personal responsibility. I’ve never collected a check from government in my life — other than a student loan. And I paid that back in full, with interest.
I want and expect nothing from government. And in return, I just want government to get out of my way, and stop stealing (Obama calls it "redistributing") so much of the money I've earned.
I became a self-made millionaire by the age of 30 by working grueling hours, being relentless, and risking my own money. My success was earned with blood, sweat, and tears. I’ve missed far too many cherished family moments with my four children. I rarely get a chance to watch TV. I live on a world-class golf course, but I've never played golf once in the 10 years I've lived here. Should I be demonized and punished for my sacrifice and work ethic?
My butcher father taught me to out-work, out-smart, and out-hustle my competition. He taught me to study hard when others are partying. He taught me to stay away from drugs and alcohol. He taught me that nothing good ever happens after midnight. His dream was that I be accepted at Columbia University, where he wished he could have gone.
So I studied. I sacrificed. I got straight A’s. I graduated valedictorian of my high school. I was accepted at Columbia University (as was my sister). I earned Deans List honors. Should I now be punished for doing everything right, by others who chose to party when I was studying?
My butcher father was right. So I listened some more. He told me you had to risk your own money and start your own business to achieve the American Dream. So I became a risk-taking entrepreneur. After enduring several devastating failures, I became a business owner, television anchor and host, Las Vegas oddsmaker with my own star in the Las Vegas Walk of Stars, and eventually the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee. As Don King says, “Only in America.
Is this the story of the 1 percent you hear in the media? Is this the narrative you hear from Obama?
I’m just one of millions of small business owners in the 1 percent who strive every day to achieve the American Dream through discipline, unmatched work ethic, sacrifice, and personal financial risk. Are you aware that the standard Small Business Administration loan is personally guaranteed? How many bank, automotive, or green energy executives personally guaranteed their government loans? Zero.
We have earned our success. Shouldn’t those who create jobs, pay the taxes that pay for the roads, schools, entitlements, and the bills of government be celebrated as heroes and role models? Last I checked you don’t demonize, denigrate, or punish heroes, do you?
We are the true 1 percent.
Wayne Allyn Root is a former Libertarian vice presidential nominee. He now serves as chairman of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee. He is the best-selling author of "The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold & Tax Cuts."
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