I found this on Hot-Air, but they actually short-sheeted this a bit. President Obama, at a campaign event in Virginia, said this, according to the official White House transcript(should a campaign speech transcript be on the WH website, btw?):
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.
Where to begin? "Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the internet?" Seriously? A few universities were sharing a small amount of arcane data on a primitive computer network when the private sector saw the possibility for innovation. The internet was never intended for commercial application. If Jobs and Gates hadn't done what they did, there never would have been a commercial application for a computer network. There would be no home computers!
But beyond that. Yes, we all owe some measure of our success to others. How does that justify the government deciding the most successful of us should pay a "success surcharge," which is what he seems to be arguing here? Steve Jobs had parents that put up with a lot more than most parents would. How does that mean the government should tax him more.
If you want to read it, the entire transcript is here.