NFIB Responds to Obama’s “you didn’t build that” Statement

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 16, 2012The following statement is the response from NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner to President Obama’s declaration over the weekend that “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.” 

“What a disappointment to hear President Obama’s revealing comments challenging the significance of America’s entrepreneurs.

“His unfortunate remarks over the weekend show an utter lack of understanding and appreciation for the people who take a huge personal risk and work endless hours to start a business and create jobs.

“I’m sure every small-business owner who took a second mortgage on their home, maxed out their credit cards or borrowed money from their own retirement savings to start their business disagrees strongly with President Obama’s claim. They know that hard work does matter.

“Every small business is not indebted to the government or some other benefactor. If anything, small businesses are historically an economic and job-creating powerhouse in spite of the government.”

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NFIB 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 their 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 is available online at


  1. John Dewey says

    Exactly right, Dan Danner. Government was a significant and annoying obstacle both when I started my small business and over the 15 years that I owned it. Where was this government partner when I worked 80 and 100 hour weeks to get my small retail business going? or when I signed my name on a $250,000 lease?

    • William DiCarlo says

      The Government was busy building roads, highways and supporting infrastructure which in turn support your small retail business. I am thankful that folks like you put in 80hrs per week to keep the dream going. Government workers, while often ridiculed – especially DOT personnel, work just as hard in their own way to keep your dream alive. That’s the point he was making.

  2. OK, how about the non-retail, service oriented small businesses, like the one my family owned and operated, and I worked in for twenty years? Or the one I own and operate now? The federal and state governments spend the vast majority of their time getting in the way, taxing and regulating everything they can find. And what do I get back for that? Gee, they let me use their highways? You mean the ones that twice-taxed income pays for? How magnanimous of them!

    Obama has no idea what he’s talking about. The only people that helped me get my business going are my family, who put up with the long hours and expenses, and the people I employ, who, amazingly enough, trade their work for a respectable wage.

    Maybe if he’d ever held a job worthy of the name, he’d understand that.

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