Bush Small Business Rhetoric a Stark Contrast to Administration Policies
Bush praises Small Businesses while moving to end all federal programs to assist small businesses.
April 24, 2008
Petaluma, Calif. - On Tuesday, President George W. Bush issued Proclamation 8241, which stated, "Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, and my Administration is committed to fostering an environment in which the entrepreneurial spirit can thrive." However, an examination of the Bush Administration's policies from the last seven years reveals a patchwork of anti-small business policies that have been instituted to the detriment of small businesses across the nation.
Since 2002, a series of federal investigations and private studies have all found that the Bush Administration has diverted billions of dollars in federal small business contracts to some of the largest corporations in the United States, such as: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, L-3 Communications, Titan Industries, BAE and Raytheon. The story has been covered by virtually every major newspaper in the country (https://www.asbl.com/showmedia.php?id=138) and by ABC, CBS and CNN.
The Bush Administration responded by issuing a press release and claiming that it was a myth that large businesses received federal small business contracts. (http://www.sba.gov/idc/groups/public/documents/sba_homepage/news_07-30.pdf)
In Report 5-15, the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General 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." (http://www.sba.gov/ig/05-15.pdf)
- Shortly after taking office, President Bush removed the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration from the President's Cabinet, and began to cut the SBA's budget and staffing. Today, the SBA's budget and staffing are approximately one half of what they were when the Bush Administration took office. In a private conversation, one SBA official acknowledged that the agency's budget and staffing has been cut to the point that it can no longer carry out its mission. (http://www.inc.com/news/articles/200511/sbabudget.html)
- Since 2000, the Bush Administration has refused to implement P.L. 106-554 to establish a 5 percent set-aside for women owned firms.
- In 2006, the Bush Administration was responsible for the closing of the SBA office specially designed to assist veteran owned small businesses in obtaining federal small business contracts. (http://www.targetgov.com/Content.asp?id=2313)
- The Bush Administration has consistently refused to release the names of the actual recipients of federal small business contracts. (http://www.federaltimes.com/index.php?S=3359565)
- In December of 2006, in the midst of a third investigative story by CBS into the actual recipients of small business contracts, Bush officials removed information from the government's Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database that would indicate whether a firm was small business or a large business. (https://www.asbl.com/showmedia.php?id=537)
- On June 30, 2007, Bush officials adopted a policy that will allow Fortune 500 corporations to receive federal small business contracts through 2012. (https://www.asbl.com/showmedia.php?id=577)
-The Bush Administration tried to misrepresent the actual recipients of federal small business contracts. (https://www.asbl.com/showmedia.php?id=594)
- Regarding the diversion of federal small business contracts to large corporations during the Bush Administration, Larry Makinson, a senior fellow at the Center for Public Integrity stated, "A lot of the money that you would think is going to truly small businesses isn't." (https://www.asbl.com/showmedia.php?id=38)
- David Drabkin, a senior procurement officer for the General Services Administration stated, "The numbers are inflated, we just don't know the extent." (https://www.asbl.com/showmedia.php?id=403)
- SBA Spokeswoman, Sue Hensley stated, "This transition has led to the apparent diversion of contract dollars intended for small business." (https://www.asbl.com/showmedia.php?id=403)
The American Small Business League has won three federal lawsuits against the Bush Administration and forced the release of information that proved Fortune 500 corporations were the actual recipients of billions of dollars in federal small business contracts. The ASBL is currently suing the SBA to force the release of the actual recipients of federal small business contracts for 2006 and 2007. The ASBL projects that by the time President Bush leaves office more than $800 billion in federal small business contracts will have been diverted to large corporations.