PETALUMA, Calif.--()--The following is a statement by American Small Business League President Lloyd Chapman:
According to most polls and news coverage, President Obama won Tuesday night’s debate. But If Mitt Romney had challenged the President’s track record for small businesses and transparency, he would have delivered a knockout punch to President Obama.
President Obama delivers unending rhetoric about his commitment to rebuild and invest in the middle class. But the truth is his administration has diverted billions of dollars in federal funds that by law should be going to small businesses to some of the biggest companies around the world.
Romney could have simply brought up the fact that the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General (SBA OIG) has named the diversion of federal small business contracts to large corporations as a top management challenge every year President Obama has been in office.
According to U.S. Census Bureau data, small businesses are responsible for more than 90 percent of all net new jobs. They employ half the private sector workforce, generate more than half the gross domestic product, and more than 90 percent of U.S. exporters are small businesses.
In the first presidential debate, President Obama challenged Governor Romney’s definition of a small business. He accused Governor Romney of proposing policies that would classify Donald Trump as a small business. Governor Romney should have brought up the fact that, since President Obama has been president, some of the firms that his administration has given small business contracts include Boeing, AT&T, Harris Corporation, Motorola, John Deere, L-3 Communications, Raytheon, Apple, Oracle, IBM, General Electric and Hewlett-Packard.
President Obama also accused Governor Romney of shipping jobs overseas. Governor Romney should have mentioned the fact that President Obama has diverted billions of federal small business dollars to foreign-owned companies, such as Rolls-Royce, British Aerospace and Finmeccanica—an Italian defense giant with 72,000 employees. The Obama administration even gave more than $375 million in small business contracts to Rosoboronexport, an arms dealer owned by the Russian government.
President Obama also promised to have the most transparent administration in history. But based upon several news reports, the Obama administration has one of the least transparent administrations in history. In August 2012, The Washington Post reported that the Obama administration denied 10 percent more Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in 2011 than 2010. That followed a 2010 study by the Associated Press that found the Obama administration had denied 50 percent more requests during 2009 than the Bush administration did in 2008.
Clearly the economy is the number one issue for most Americans. It cannot be denied that small businesses are the engine of economic growth in America. If Mitt Romney wants to be President, he needs to help voters realize the facts about President Obama’s poor record on small business. The facts are that the largest program to help the middle class is the Small Business Act. That law mandates that 23 percent of federal contract dollars be spent with small businesses. President Obama is diverting those dollars to corporate giants around the world. Furthermore, the Obama administration is one of the least transparent administrations in history and Governor Romney should ask President Obama what he is trying to hide.