On February 22, 2008, Barack Obama released the following statement:
The statement was made in response to more than 12 federal investigations, which found billions of dollars in federal small business contracts had been diverted to Fortune 500 corporations, their subsidiaries and thousands of other large businesses in the United States and Europe.
Report 5-15 from the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General stated, "One of the most important challenges facing the 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."
Since the exposure of this issue in 2002, nearly every major newspaper in the United States has covered the diversion of federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms.
Now, in the face of one of the most catastrophic economic disasters in U.S. history, President-elect Obama has failed to include any provision in his economic stimulus plan to stop the diversion of billions of dollars in federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms.
President-elect Obama's refusal to take decisive action to stop the diversion of up to $100 billion a year in federal small business contracts seems to be a direct contradiction to everything he has said about taking "dramatic action" to "put people back to work."
Many of the nation's most respected experts on the economy like Dr. Laura Tyson and Carly Fiorina agree the best way to stimulate our nation's failing economy is to direct federal infrastructure funds to small businesses. Tyson is the former Chair of the U.S. President's Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton Administration and is currently an economic adviser to President-elect Barack Obama. Fiorina is the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and McCain campaign economic advisor.
President-elect Obama's refusal to stop the fraud and abuse in federal small business contracting programs will only result in more lost jobs at middle class firms across the nation.
It does not make sense to throw nearly a trillion of hard earned taxpayer dollars at an economic stimulus plan and then ignore fraud and abuse in longstanding federal programs specifically designed to create jobs and stimulate the middle class economy. It would take one sentence in this bill to create thousands of jobs and to redirect billions of dollars in federal contracts to legitimate small businesses all around the country. My advice to President-elect Obama is that if he sincerely wants to create jobs in America he needs to include this one line in the stimulus package, 'The federal government can no longer report awards to publicly traded companies as small business awards.'
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