Putting the “Fib” in NFIB

August 8, 2014

The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) presents itself as a do-good nonpartisan group that fights for the best interests of small businesses and stays out of politics.

It isn’t.

Dig a litter deeper and you’ll quickly learn that NFIB is another group with Koch-funding working to push their anti-working family agenda and elect politicians who embody it. They purport to lobby for small business, but fight tooth and nail for tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans — tax cuts that help people like the Kochs and not people like the local hardware store owner.

And now their claim of being a non-partisan has been even further torn to shreds. The Washington Post reports that NFIB has significant ties to ALEC:

“The American Legislative Exchange Council, which connects state lawmakers with private sector executives to discuss and craft legislation, recently added Steve Woods, NFIB’s senior vice president in charge of state operations, to its private enterprise council. … On the advisory council, Woods will be sitting alongside executives from corporate titans like Exxon, Pfizer, AT&T, SAP and State Farm — as well as the head of public and government affairs for Koch Industries, according to ALEC’s Web site.”

NFIB isn’t an advocate for small business. And they aren’t nonpartisan. Their association with ALEC is yet another indicator of their true colors. This is just one more group in the massive Koch network that fights to make life even easier for billionaires and big business CEOs, and harder for working families.

No wonder Terri Lynn Land doesn’t want to talk about her support from this shady Koch-backed group.


CNN Headline: “Koch Bros.-Backed Group Gave Millions To Small Business Lobby”  [CNN, 11/21/13]

CNN: “The Champions Of Main Street America Got More Money Last Year From A Group Backed By Billionaire Industrialists Charles And David Koch Than Any Other Single Source.”  According to CNN:  The National Federation of Independent Business is one of the most influential small-business advocacy groups in the country. They battle against government regulation, higher taxes and, perhaps most famously, Obamacare. And they do it all as the self-described ‘voice of small business.’  But it turns out that the champions of Main Street America got more money last year from a group backed by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch than any other single source.”  [CNN, 11/21/13]

Government Watchdog Public Citizen: “The Idea That Koch Brothers Money In Some Way Is Going To Help Small Businesses Is Laughable. What They’re Buying Is The Ability To Help Set The Agenda.”  According to CNN: The big-money donations are raising questions about whose agenda NFIB is serving, that of mom-and-pop businesses or the captains of big industry.  Lisa Gilbert of the government watchdog group Public Citizen said the NFIB is “taking the name of small business in vain.’ ‘The idea that Koch brothers money in some way is going to help small businesses is laughable,” Gilbert said. “What they’re buying is the ability to help set the agenda.’”  [CNN, 11/21/13]

Businessweek: NFIB Supports Conservative Positions, Backs Tax Breaks That “Would Accrue To People Other Than Small Business Owners, According To A Nonpartisan Analysis”  Engages In “Small Biz-Washing.” According to Businessweek, “Does the NFIB support conservative positions? No question. It’s received $3.7 million in funding from Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS. The NFIB also spent $3.1 million in 2010 for ‘advertising services’ with Crossroads Media, which bills itself as ‘the premier Republican media services firm.’ Does that make the NFIB a front for big business, or are conservative policies just what its small business membership wants? That’s harder to judge. The NFIB backs extending tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, even though the bulk of those benefits would accrue to people other than small business owners, according to a nonpartisan analysis. We dubbed this practice ‘small biz-washing.'” [Businessweek, 9/26/12]

NFIB Is Prominent Defender Of Tax Breaks For The Wealthy. According to Mother Jones, “[Romney’s] argument has the support of a powerful ally: the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), a ‘nonpartisan’ small-business advocacy group that has put defending the Bush tax cuts for the richest of the rich near the top of its political agenda. Often cited as the leading voice of small business, the NFIB was founded in 1943 by a former US Chamber of Commerce staffer who thought that business groups were neglecting the little guys. Today it claims 350,000 members, chapters in all 50 states, and a $95 million budget. In May, the Washington Post cited the NFIB to back up Romney’s attacks on Obama’s tax plan, reporting that the group had given an F to the portion of Obama’s budget that deals with taxing the wealthy. The NFIB’s defense of the rich offers handy political cover for the Learjet crowd, but few among the legions of small business owners that it represents will benefit from its lobbying. Only 3 percent of small businesses net more than $250,000 a year, the lowest income that would be affected by Obama’s tax plan.” [Mother Jones, 7/23/12]

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation