Presidential candidates have long emphasized their efforts to help small business owners. Three-quarters of Republicans, Democrats, and independents view these embodiments of the American Dream favorably, according to a recent Pew Foundation poll. Therefore it's not surprising that the White House recently highlighted the president's work on behalf of small business owners. "From the moment he took office," the 82-page report (PDF) from the National Economic Council says, "President Obama has fought tirelessly to ... invest in entrepreneurs and small businesses." There's just one problem: Much of what the report claims isn't true.
Consider small business lending. The report credits the president with "helping small, main street banks provide more loans to help small businesses." But bank credit to small business has dropped dramatically since the president took over. From 2008 through 2011, the last year that data are available, the Small Business Administration shows (PDF) that the number of business loans of less than $1 million--a commonly used measure of small business credit--fell 22 percent and the value of the loans declined 18 percent in inflation-adjusted terms.