What President Obama was saying was perfectly clear: the “that” in his statement refers to the bridges and roads and “this unbelievable American system.” He wasn’t, despite what one may have heard from Mitt Romney, saying that you didn’t build your own business. He was saying that your neighbors and ancestors helped. We drive on roads built for each by all.
What is strange about this bizarre adventure in amplified untruth, apart from its simple mendacity, is that what the President was saying was not some late arriving, New Deal-style codicil to the theory of free markets; it’s what the theory of free markets is. It’s the premise at the very heart of all free-market theory as Adam Smith—the guy whose profile is on every libertarian tie—conceived it.