NFIB to Washington: 'Cut Spending, Balance the Budget' -- 'It's Not Rocket Science'

By Jon Street | January 16, 2013 | 7:11pm EST

NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner. (AP photo)

( - The nation’s small business owners have a “simple” message for Washington: "Cut spending, reduce regulation, [and] balance the budget.”

“That’s not rocket science,” Dan Danner, president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) wrote in a recent column on the organization’s Web site.

On the heels of the so-called “fiscal-cliff” deal, Danner said many small-business owners are still worried.

“Although the cliff deal spared a majority of [small business owners] a tax increase and will seize less of their estates, most entrepreneurs continue to despair,” he wrote, adding: “Few believe a ‘real’ solution to the nation’s debt and addictive spending habits will be reached.”

The $4 trillion fiscal cliff deal, intended to reduce the national deficit, the difference between the amount of money the government takes in and the amount of money the government spends, passed Congress on Jan. 2 and was signed into law by President Obama the next day.

The new law will raise tax rates on individuals making more than $400,000 per year and on couples making more than $450,00 per year. In addition, another part of the reached agreement postpones sequestration cut, or dramatic cuts in U.S. defense spending, until March 1, and raises the payroll tax rate from 4.5 percent to 6.5 percent for nearly every working American.

The fiscal-cliff deal passed the Democrat-controlled Senate on a vote of 89-8 and later passed the Republican-controlled House on a 257-167 vote.

Danner cited the most recent NFIB Optimism Index, now at a historically low level, along with a new Gallup poll that shows 77 percent of Americans believe Washington politics is harming the nation.

He suggested that lawmakers and the president should spend some time visiting “Main Street businesses.”

“The owners are easy to spot. They’re the ones with worried brows standing close to the cash drawer doing everything they can to satisfy customers,” he wrote.

“Every day, small-business owners make tough decisions in order to survive. Their way of life could be instructive for a government that desperately needs a role model,” Danner said.

The NFIB president said asking just one question would give lawmakers much greater insight into the concerns facing job creators than countless hours of Capitol Hill committee hearings: “How’s business?”

He added that if lawmakers also asked, “Is now a good time to expand?” the question would draw an “Are you kidding?” response from business owners.

Danner said the next question to business owners from lawmakers should be “What can Washington do to help?””

“They can avoid this latest fiscal danger by simply adopting the small-business model of spending less than it takes in, re-investing for growth and saving for rainy days that will surely come,” Danner wrote.

“That’s not rocket science,” he concluded.


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