10 Questions With National Federation of Independent Business CEO Dan Danner


So I started with NFIB in '93, so, I love where I am. I love what I'm doing. I think I've got one of the greatest jobs in town because, you know, I love who we represent. And I do get a fair amount of opportunity to travel around, spend time with small business owners and hear their stories. I enjoy meeting them and talking with them and hearing their stories. It's what the country's all about. Take a risk, get rewarded, stick your neck out.

What's one of the most memorable businesses you've seen?

I visited a guy in Ohio — I mean, they're not all pretty. The renderings business. You take leftover parts of animals, you boil that stuff down, and I guess we went out because this was a guy I never met, just last year, and he made a sizable donation to our state PAC in Ohio, and so I said if I'm out there, I'd just really like to meet this guy. And I guess I was sort of anticipating – I didn't know a lot about the renderings business, if you had to wear gas masks or expected it to be very pretty, or you had to have high boots – his building, which is in northwestern Ohio in a tiny little town, was an entirely historic building that was renovated. It had the most gorgeous woodwork. That old red brick, it was a building that you could see in Williamsburg or something. It was spectacular. And I was, it just was a better example of, don't typecast. This guy was incredibly sophisticated, the building was wonderful, it was full of antiques and it was a nice head jerk – you know, don't typecast. It doesn't matter what the business is. All small business owners didn't all just get off the hay truck.

What are you looking forward to the most in the arguments that the Supreme Court will hear over the health care law?

I don't think the government's had a valid argument for this yet, so if the individual mandate on health care is constitutional, where is the line in terms of what the government can mandate you as an individual to do or to buy? Is there no line? The argument that the government makes is that health care's different. Our attorney argues, and I think very effectively, that he can make the case that there are four of five other areas that are in the national interest. If Congress thought at some point, the environment is so bad, everybody's dying, we really do need to totally get rid of gasoline-powered cars. We don't have enough money to subsidize everybody to buy electric cars, so we're going to mandate that the next car purchase you make has to be a Volt.

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