What is Obama trying to hide?

Lloyd Chapman Contributor
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The American Small Business League has filed 12 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the Obama administration for refusing to release simple, routine information on federal small business contracting programs. I don’t think most people realize that although President Obama promised to have the most transparent administration in history, he actually has maintained one of the least transparent.

Despite the lip service he gives to small businesses, President Obama is clearly working with big business interests in mind while masquerading as a populist.

To make matters worse, the information that we have filed suit over clearly shows that the Obama administration is giving federal small business contracts to some of the largest corporations on earth.

Why should this bother the average American? More importantly, why should this bother you? Because small businesses are responsible for over 90 percent of net new jobs, half of GDP, over 90 percent of U.S. exports, and over 90 percent of all innovations. It’s irrefutable. Small businesses are America’s economic backbone, and its chief job creators.

Despite these facts, the Obama administration has given virtually none of the stimulus funds to small businesses and continues to give an estimated $100 million an hour in small business funds to some of the biggest companies in the world. Since President Obama moved into the White House, some of the firms that have received small business contracts include Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Dell Computer, Xerox, SAIC, General Dynamics, Bechtel and John Deere.

What do you think would happen if we took a survey of the American people and asked the following question: Do you think Fortune 500 firms and some of the biggest firms in Europe and Asia should be getting hundreds of billions of dollars in small business contracts?

My guess is that nearly 100 percent of respondents would come back with a resounding “no.” Yet President Obama continues to divert billions of dollars a month in federal funds — funds that by law should be going to the middle class — to corporate giants around the world.

This is one of the major reasons that unemployment is not going down. You cannot create jobs by giving stimulus money to Fortune 500 firms. It is well known that Fortune 500 firms have not created one net new job in America since 1977. Just think of the lunacy of giving over 97 percent of the stimulus funds to a segment of the economy that has not created one net new job since 1977, while at the same time short-changing the small businesses that create a majority of net new jobs.

As I love to say, people need to quit listening to President Obama’s rhetoric and start looking at what he actually does. When you really look at his actions, I think you have to come to the conclusion that he is an anti-small-business president. I cannot think of a more egregious crime against the middle class than diverting federal small business funds to Fortune 500 firms. If the government were to quit giving federal small business contracts to large businesses, and ensure that small businesses receive the congressionally mandated 23 percent of all federal contracts, two things would happen.

  1. Billions of dollars in existing federal infrastructure spending would be directed to America’s chief job creators, small businesses.
  2. An influx of job creation would sweep the nation, and put the Obama administration’s job proposals to shame.

If you want a true economic stimulus package, this is it, BUT don’t hold your breath. It’s not likely to happen. The Fortune 500 firms that are getting these federal small business contracts own Washington, and they control virtually every relevant committee.

The House and Senate small business committees are an excellent example. For the last several years, contributions to the two committees have been dominated by the very corporate giants that are currently receiving the lion’s share of all federal small business contracts.

Why aren’t more people complaining about this? It’s simple…

Look at any group that you think represents small businesses, and then look at their board of directors and primary funders. Guess what? Nearly every group that claims to represent American small businesses is actually funded by the very Fortune 500 firms that are currently receiving federal small business contracts.

For example, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a board of directors made up of a “Who’s Who” of Fortune 1000 firms who are either currently receiving small business contracts or have received them in the past. Unless more people in the media start to realize how the economy is being devastated by the Obama administration’s diversion of federal small business funds to large businesses, it is not likely that our economy is going to recover anytime soon.

You don’t have to be a Nobel Prize-winning economist to realize that when the government cheats the firms where most Americans work and where an overwhelming majority of net new jobs are created, it’s going to be a long time before we see a significant drop in unemployment. Quite frankly, I’m predicting that, unless the Obama administration stops diverting funds from small businesses, the worst is yet to come.

Lloyd Chapman is the president of the American Small Business League.