COMMENTARY: Power to the people who build the dream

TAMPA, FL — President Ronald Reagan once said that “there are no great limits to growth, because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination and wonder.”

He believed, like I believe — like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan believe — that the potential for America is limitless.

We can – and we will – overcome any economic challenge IF government lets go of the regulatory chokehold zapping the air out of the economy and deflating the spirits of our entrepreneurs.

We need a president who will applaud and encourage those who work hard to pursue their dreams … to reach their potential … and, in doing so, make themselves and America better and stronger. 

That man is Mitt Romney.

The history of my state of Oklahoma offers a great example of pursuing the American Dream. It was built and settled by pioneers moving West to seek better lives.

During the great the Land Run of 1889, thousands of families rushed to put a stake down on empty plots of land. They built tent cities overnight, they farmed the land and they worked hard. And in 1897, eight years after the Land Run, a handful of adventurous pioneers risked their own money – NOT, the federal government’s – to drill Oklahoma’s first oil well, the Nellie Johnstone.

By doing so, these early-day pioneers changed the future and the fortune of Oklahoma forever, and today Oklahoma is one of the nation’s key energy producers and job creators.

President Obama wants us to believe that Oklahomans owe that success to the federal government: to the Department of Energy, to the EPA, the IRS or maybe even to him.

Mr. President, we know better … as we say in Oklahoma, that dog won’t hunt.

We owe these remarkable successes to the imagination and ingenuity of people like my friend, Oklahoman Harold Hamm. The son of sharecroppers, and the youngest of 13 children, Harold grew up in the small town of Lexington, Oklahoma.

As a child, he helped out on the farm and went to school only after the first freeze or Christmas. While attending high school, he worked for a dollar an hour at a gas station.  After high school, Harold took a job cleaning out oil barrels. 

At the age of 20, he bought his own truck and began a one-man oil field service business.  He made enough money to begin taking college level classes in geology and mineralogy.  At 26 years old, he drilled a wildcat well that produced 75 barrels of oil an hour … we call that a gusher.

Today, Harold Hamm is the Chairman and CEO of Oklahoma’s own Continental Resources, a top ten U.S. producer of petroleum liquids with nearly 700 employees operating in 10 states and valued at over $13 billion.

Now Harold and his company are helping to power cars, homes and businesses across the nation. Harold and other energy entrepreneurs have completely transformed the U.S.’s energy outlook. And with a President Romney, we’ll reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil even further and create even more American jobs.

Harold’ success story is not one-of-a-kind; it is an American dream that has been realized by countless men and women since the founding of this country. He is just one of the many visionaries and innovators in the private sector that are the true drivers of economic growth and job creation.

And that’s where President Obama just doesn’t get it. He’ll tell you that “If you’ve got a business ‘you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.’” Well, Mr. President … like who? The IRS? The EPA? Or the Federal government?

The president believes that government is responsible for our successes and that’s why his solution to everything is more government, bigger spending, more regulation, and more bureaucratic programs like ObamaCare.

He says his plans are working, but look at the results:

• 42 straight months of unemployment over 8%.

• 23 Million Americans out of work, underemployed, or no longer looking for work

• A nation threatened by nearly $16 trillion of debt

Families feeling pinched not just by a bad economy, but by a President who promised hope and change and left many Americans with no hope and just change in their pockets. President Obama believes the power of a Big Government is the key to American success.

Mitt Romney believes in the power of the people.  Mitt Romney understands that free enterprise and hard work — not government handouts — have made the United States the envy of the world.

And the selection of Paul Ryan to be his running mate is an excellent choice.  There are many reasons that Congressman Ryan will be an great Vice-President . . . not the least of which is his wife is from Oklahoma . . . and their two dogs are named Boomer and Sooner — after the Land Run Oklahomans!

They will reverse the tide of decline and promote economic security. They know it is hardworking American families, not a federal bureaucracy that has built our great and glorious nation.

Mitt Romney is ready to lead.  He has the experience and the vision we need to restore America’s economy and its greatness.  I am proud to support his candidacy for president, and as the next leader of the Free World he will make us proud.