Published Date Written by Bill HarnsbergerEditor,
If National Federation of Independent Business CEO Dan Danner had been hooked up to a lie detector when he wrote his recent letter to the Daily Sun ("President Obama displayed lack of understanding about small businesses with weekend remark," letters to the editor, July 17), the needles would've gone haywire.
In his dishonest letter, Danner mimics the same phony outrage displayed by Fox News and Mitt Romney over a snippet ("If you've got a business---you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen") from a speech the president gave last week that has been taken out of context. For the record, this is President Obama's complete remark:
"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 president was not criticizing the risks small business owners take. He was not criticizing the hard work required to run them. He also was not, as Danner claims, "challenging the significance of America's entrepreneurs."
Government may be a convenient punching bag for conservatives, but the fact is that businesses would have a helluva time thriving without roads, bridges, public education, police and fire protection, training programs, small business loans, pilot projects, trade protections, interstate commerce laws, safety laws, investments in technology and innovation, and on and on.
Anyone who owns a business, big or small, has a lot on their plate, no doubt. But I guarantee you, if government services and programs just up and left tomorrow, they'd feel it, and not in a good way.
President Obama's remarks are literally right on the money: government and the private sector need to work together to propel our economy forward.
Mt. Danner's response, by contrast, is ridiculous and dishonest. But I'll give him credit for one thing. He sure is good at whining.