Obama Rhetoric on Infrastructure Spending Doesn't Match Administration Actions

10/11/2010 08:47 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

On Monday, President Barack Obama emphasized the importance of putting Americans back to work using federal infrastructure projects. Yet, despite strong rhetoric on jobs, President Obama has failed to stop the purge of jobs caused by the diversion of billions of dollars a month in federal small business contracts to corporate giants.

Since 2003, more than a dozen federal investigations have uncovered billions of dollars in federal small business contracts, actually flowing into the hands of Fortune 500 corporations and other clearly large businesses. In Report 5-15, the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General referred to the issue as, "One of the most important challenges facing the Small Business Administration and the entire Federal government today."

The most recent information released by the Obama Administration indicates that of the top 100 recipients of federal small business contracts, 65 percent of the dollars actually went to large businesses. Some of the firms the Obama Administration has allowed to be included as small businesses are: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, L-3 Communications, British Aerospace (BAE), Northrop Grumman, Dell Computer, French firm Thales Communications, Ssangyong Corporation headquartered in Seoul, South Korea and Finmeccanica SpA, which is located in Italy with 73,000 employees.

Textron Inc., a Fortune 500 firm with 43,000 employees and annual sales over $14 billion, received approximately $775 million in federal small business contracts in a single year.

In February of 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama recognized the magnitude of the problem when he promised to, "End the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants." To date, President Obama has failed to honor that promise.

In May, the ASBL conducted an examination of the Obama Administration's track record for small businesses and uncovered a dramatic disparity between President Obama's rhetoric and his actions. In addition to failing to stop the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants, the Obama Administration has:

1. Reduced overall transparency in federal small business contracting data by eliminating fields such as the "small business flag."
2. Failed to allocate more than 3 percent of stimulus funds to small businesses.
3. Failed to bring an end to the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program, which allows prime contractors to circumvent their small business subcontracting goals.