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Texas' success stories are hard-earned

Don’t Mess With Texans’ Hard-Earned Success
By U.S. Sen. John Cornyn

Texans have long prided ourselves on a strong spirit of independence and a can-do attitude. We think big; we set ambitious goals; and we work hard to accomplish them. That’s why many Texans did not take too kindly to words spoken by President Obama earlier this month. In a speech that highlighted ways the government has helped Americans to achieve success, he said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

To the contrary, I’ve heard from and met with a number of Texas business owners who can claim, “I built this.” These entrepreneurs credit hard work and personal creativity—not government assistance—as the keys to their individual success. 
These are folks like Frank Scantlin, whose story is a true example of the American Dream. As a child, Frank was so poor that at times he could not afford to buy new shoes. Times were so tough that Frank had to quit school in ninth grade to help his mother put food on the table and a roof over their heads.

Despite such challenges, Frank persevered. Through hard work and determination, he founded Sunbelt Machine Works in 1978, with his wife Mary, in Stafford, Texas. With a staff of just three individuals, Mary occasionally had to drive the trucks, in addition to serving as bookkeeper and secretary. What began with only 2,100 square feet of work space today has evolved into a full-scale business that manufactures precision-crafted components, employs 90 Texans, and has a combined footprint covering almost 60,000 square feet.

Of course, not every company sees the same success Frank has experienced. But that is the nature of free markets. Texans understand this. We also understand the proper role of government in fostering entrepreneurship and job creation. Our pro-growth agenda of low taxes, limited government and sensible regulation provides all the “stimulus” job creators need.

You can see more stories like Frank’s on a new site I’ve created called “I Built This.” If you would like to share your entrepreneurial success story with the President and claim “I built this,” please visit www.cornyn.senate.gov to submit your story. I will post your story on my website, send it to the White House and let President Obama know that the government is not responsible for your success – you are.

Sen. Cornyn serves on the Finance, Judiciary, Armed Services, and Budget Committees. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee's Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.