By American Small Business League
June 1, 2012
The U.S. Department of Labor reported Friday that unemployment jumped to 8.2 percent. Labor’s most inclusive unemployment figure, U-6 unemployment, remained staggeringly high at 14.8 percent, which does not include the 20 percent of the population that is self employed.
Despite the rise in unemployment, the Obama administration continues its policy of diverting federal contracts earmarked for small businesses to some of the largest corporations worldwide. The latest federal procurement datashows that the Obama administration has diverted billions in federal small business contracts to firms such as Lockheed Martin, Apple, Bank of America, Finmeccanica and many others.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, small businesses are responsible for more than 90 percent of all net new jobs. A study by theKauffman Foundation found that small businesses have created virtually 100 percent of all net new jobs since 1980.
Federal law mandates that a minimum of 23 percent of all federal contract dollars be awarded to small businesses. But since 2003, aseries of federal investigations have found that most of that money is actually awarded to large businesses. In Report 5-15, the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General (SBA IG) referred to the issue as, “One of the most important challenges facing the Small Business Administration and the entire Federal government today.” The SBA IG has named the issue as the agency’s top management challenge for the last seven consecutive years.
In February 2008, President Obama promised to end the problem stating, “It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants.” The Obama administration has failed honor that promise, leaving small business advocates wondering what changed his mind.
“If President Obama was serious about cutting unemployment, he would stop giving small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms,” said American Small Business League (ASBL) President Lloyd Chapman. “He needs to back the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act, which would once and for all stop the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants. That bill would inject billions into the middle class and create millions of jobs.”