Huffpost Business
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Lloyd Chapman Headshot

Obama Economic Policy Snubs Small Business

Posted: Updated:

Considering the dire state of our nation's economy, President-elect Barack Obama was expected to support existing federal small business programs and propose new policies that would stimulate the middle class economy and create jobs for our nation's 27 million small businesses.

There appears to be a significant disconnect between President-elect Obama's campaign promises to American small businesses and the actual policies he is proposing.

In February, Obama released the following statement, "Over half of all Americans work for a small business. Small businesses are the backbone of our nation's economy and we must protect this great resource. It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants." (http://www.barackobama.com/2008/02/26/the_american_small_business_le.php)

Any mention of President-elect Obama's February statement, or specific plans to stop the flow of federal small business contracts to "corporate giants" are conspicuously absent from the Obama-Biden Transition Team website, www.change.gov.

Change.gov and the Obama-Biden campaign website, www.barackobama.com, significantly minimize the importance of our nation's small businesses, which employ more than 50 percent of all Americans.

Less important topics such as "Rural" and "Service" received major headings under the issues section of the Obama-Biden campaign website while issues relating to America's small businesses, which create over 80 percent of all new jobs were relegated to the site's lower priority people section between "Seniors" and "Sportsmen." (http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/sbhome/)

The American Small Business League (ASBL) is predicting the Obama Administration may be preparing to roll out policies and legislation that could have a severe negative impact on the small businesses he acknowledged were the "backbone of our nation's economy."

From January 2001 to October 2008, Obama received more than $1 million in campaign contributions from the venture capital industry, according to Maplight.org. The site also indicates that the venture capital industry contributed heavily to senior Democratic leadership. (http://www.maplight.org/map/us/interest/F2500)

The ASBL predicts President-elect Obama will support H.R. 3567, the Small Business Investment Expansion Act of 2007, which will create a new loophole in federal contracting law that will allow our nation's wealthiest investors to receive billions of dollars in federal small business contracts. The venture capital industry has spent millions of dollars lobbying Democratic leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to have the legislation passed.

I predict President-elect Obama will not restore the Small Business Administration's budget and staffing as he promised during the campaign. I don't think he will do anything to stop Fortune 500 firms from receiving federal small business contracts. I believe he will sign legislation to create another colossal loophole that will divert billions more in federal small business contracts to billionaire venture capitalists. People need to start noticing the dramatic difference between what Obama said during the campaign and what he is actually doing.