McCain Small Business Plan Favors Fortune 500 Firms With Little or No Help for Small Businesses, According to ASBL President Lloyd Chapman


American Small Business League

2008-08-06 07:00:00

McCain Small Business Plan Favors Fortune 500 Firms With Little or No Help for Small Businesses, According to ASBL President Lloyd Chapman

PETALUMA, CA–(EMWNews – August 6, 2008) – The following is a statement by the President

of the American Small Business League, Lloyd Chapman:

On Monday, August 4th, the McCain campaign released “John McCain’s Plan To

Help Small Businesses.” Senator McCain’s plan is exceptional, that is, as

long as your small business is a Fortune 500 corporation.

Senator McCain’s small business plan uses a tried and true Bush

Administration tactic of attempting to pass off the classic Republican

political platform of “big benefits for big business” as a plan to help

small business. Factually, the majority of Senator McCain’s small business

plan is comprised of tax cuts that Fortune 500 firms have been lobbying

for, and changes in United States energy policy, for which oil companies

have been lobbying.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 98 percent of all firms in the United

States have less than 100 employees. Senator McCain’s plan contains nothing

of substance for these firms. McCain’s small business plan is nothing more

than smoke and mirrors.

The proof of Senator McCain and President Bush’s total lack of concern for

America’s nearly 27 million small businesses can be uncovered by paying

attention to their actions, as opposed to listening to their tired and

predictable recitation of empty republican catch phrases on the importance

of American small business.

The truth is, while President Bush has been unwavering in his two-faced

pandering to the small business community, he has cut the budget and

staffing for every single federal program to assist legitimate small

businesses, and Senator John McCain has never objected in any way.

Since 2001, the Bush Administration has done everything in its power to

close the only federal agency to assist America’s small businesses, the

Small Business Administration (SBA). In fact, President Bush has virtually

starved the SBA to death with the largest budget and staffing cuts of any

federal agency. He has even refused to implement a seven-year-old federal

law establishing a 5 percent set-aside goal for woman-owned firms and

closed the SBA office to assist veteran-owned small businesses. Again

McCain said and did nothing.

Since 2002, more than a dozen federal investigations, including three

during the last thirty days, have all found widespread fraud, abuse and

manipulation of contracting numbers within federal small business

contracting programs. As recently as July 1, the Department of Interior

Inspector General released a report, which found the DOI had intentionally

included Fortune 500 corporations in its small business contracting

statistics. Evidence supports the conclusion that these abuses have been

designed to divert federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms

and give the impression that the Bush Administration is hitting its small

business procurement goal.

In February of 2005, the SBA Office of Inspector General issued Report

5-15, which stated, “One of the most important challenges facing the Small

Business Administration (SBA) and the entire Federal Government today is

that large businesses are receiving small business procurement awards and

agencies are receiving credit for these awards.”

Some of the firms that have received billions of dollars in federal small

business contracts during the Bush Administration include: Lockheed Martin,

Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Titan, Rolls Royce, John Deere, Xerox,

British Aerospace and Engineering (BAE), Dell, GTSI and the multi-billion

dollar Dutch conglomerate Buhrmann NV.

In June of 2007, Former SBA Administrator and Bush Administration

fundraiser, Steven Preston implemented a federal policy that will allow

Fortune 500 firms and hundreds of other large businesses around the world

to continue to receive U.S. government small business contracts until the

year 2012.

Despite hundreds of stories in mainstream media outlets across the country

on the diversion of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal small

business contracts to many of the largest companies in the world, Senator

McCain has never uttered a single word on the subject.

If Senator McCain wants a real plan to help small businesses, he needs to

address the specific challenges facing legitimate small businesses, as

opposed to proposing a plan consisting of government giveaways to Fortune

500 firms and calling it a small business plan.

If Senator McCain sincerely wants to help small businesses, he needs to

release a plan that addresses helping the SBA. That agency needs to have

its staffing and budget restored so it can fulfill its real mission of

administering a wide variety of loan, grant and contracting programs for

America’s 27 million legitimate small businesses and the 160 million

Americans that work in those firms.

Additionally, perhaps Senator McCain should consider a plan to stop the

flow of more than $100 billion a year in federal small business contracts

to some of the largest corporations in the United States and even Europe.

It is my understanding that Senator Barbara Boxer (D – CA) has produced

draft legislation, specifically designed to stop the diversion of federal

small business contracts to large corporations. The draft legislation has

been tentatively titled, the Small Business Fairness and Transparency in

Contracting Act. I believe it would bring an immediate end to the

diversion of federal small business contracts to large businesses.

Since millions of American small businesses are owned by women, Senator

McCain might want to give us his plan to implement the federal law passed

more than seven years ago mandating the establishment of a 5 percent

set-aside for woman-owned firms.

Minorities own millions of small businesses. Senator McCain may want to

come up with a plan to ensure minorities receive a fair share of government


As a concerned veteran, Senator McCain might want to see if he can’t

encourage the SBA to reopen, fully staff and fund the office to assist

veteran-owned firms.

This year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D – CA) pushed two pieces of

legislation (H.R. 3567 and H.R. 5819) through the House of Representatives,

which would allow billionaire venture capitalists to participate in federal

small business contracting programs. If that legislation were to become

law, thousands of legitimate small businesses could be forced to shut their

doors. Maybe Senator McCain could come up with a plan to ensure billionaire

venture capitalists are not allowed within 1000 miles of a federal small

business contracting program.

I do like Senator McCain’s ideas on legislation to prevent speculation from

driving up the cost of fuel. If he really wants to help small businesses

with the escalating price of fuel, Senator McCain might want to consider

supporting some sort of excessive profits legislation for the oil and gas

industry. I am not an economist but I think there may be a connection

between the highest gas prices in American history and record profits for

the oil and gas industry.

Who knows, if Senator McCain can come up with a plan to stop the diversion

of more than $100 billion per year in federal small business dollars to

Fortune 500 firms, small business might be helped out a little. Maybe if

the government would stop pulling $100 billion a year out of the middle

class economy where most Americans work and where over 90 percent of all

new jobs are created, more Americans might be able to afford decent health

care and make their mortgage payments.

Christopher Gunn
Communications Director
American Small Business League

(707) 789-9575

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