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Dan Danner
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Small-Business Owners Do It, Why Canít Washington?


marginWhy canít Washington balance the federal budget and reduce the $16 trillion public debt?

marginThere is really no way to calculate all the different answers offered as excuses for this question. But when you sweep aside the political chatter designed to excite the press and scare the public, some other questions arise.

marginDoes Washington really want to balance the federal budget and cut the debt?

marginDo politicians have more to gain by not balancing the budget?

marginIt has been suggested that bringing federal spending in line with revenues would cause elected officials much greater pain than the current deficit mess. And actually balancing the budget would, of course, force them to make some very tough decisions.

Danner photo
Dan Danner
President and CEO of NFIB

marginSince the word ďnoĒ is rarely expressed during discussions of federal spending, perhaps the idea of government operating within its means ó like small-business owners must ó has become outdated idea in the nationís capital. After all, when youíre spending money that isnít coming out of your pocket, why worry about how much is going where?

marginBalancing the budget might also greatly reduce politiciansí opportunities for nationally televised press conferences and appearances on Sunday morning talk shows, not to mention limiting occasions to press the flesh with Hollywood stars, wealthy campaign contributors and special-interest advocates of no-limits spending.

marginThose who manufacture phony events, such as fiscal cliffs and pseudo-sequesters, should give serious thought to adopting a longer term view that extends past their terms of office. Simple mathematics dictates that no matter how many times the Can of Public Debt gets kicked down the road, sooner or later itís going to kick back.

marginAsk any Main Street business owner about financial can-kicking. Theyíll quickly tell you that such an unwise tactic is a sure way to wipe out the American Dream of owning and operating a small business. Plus, it causes unintended consequences such as killing jobs, endangering families and siphoning unexpected revenues out of the Treasury.

marginSmall-business owners, unlike professional policymakers, understand simple math. They donít spend their days talking to TV cameras or posturing for registered voters. They work hard, pay their bills and face customers who also know the importance of living within a budget.

marginThatís why successful small-business owners are determined to give customers quality, service and value. They understand the model: No customers, no money. No money, no small business.

marginEmployees of small businesses also understand: No small businesses, no jobs.

marginThe National Federation of Independent Business isnít waiting for prime time. The nationís largest small-business organization has launched a ďBalance the BudgetĒ petition drive in hopes of forcing Congress to adopt a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

marginOnly when Washington adopts the small-business operations model of fiscal responsibility will government spending reverse its destructive march towards bankruptcy. We just hope thereís still time to hit the brakes.


Commemorating its 70th anniversary, the National Federation of Independent Business is the nation's leading small-business association, with offices in Washington, D.C., and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small- and independent-business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB's powerful network of grassroots activists sends its views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America's free enterprise system. NFIB's mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available at

For further information or any other inquiries, you are invited to contact:

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Dan Danner
President and CEO

National Federation of Independent Business
1201 F Street NW ó Suite 200
Washington, DC 20004

Telephone: 202.314.2068 ó FAX: 202.488.4437


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Revised: March 8, 2013 TAF

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