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
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
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.
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