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Republican Candidates Are Ignoring America's Chief Job Creators

01/10/2012 12:52 pm 12:52:42 | Updated Mar 11, 2012

Because my greatest fear is what the next president is going to do to the middle class and America's small businesses, I constantly watch coverage of the Republican primaries. Of course, one of the most popular subjects is the economy and jobs. But I've noticed something -- I have not heard one Republican presidential candidate mention the fact that small businesses create virtually 100 percent of the net new jobs in America. In fact, I have not heard one Republican candidate mention any plan to create jobs that focuses on America's 28 million small businesses.

It's both amusing and frustrating.

We know from U.S. Census Bureau data that small businesses create more than 90 percent of the net new jobs, that they employ half the private sector workforce, that they are responsible for more than half the gross domestic product and 90 percent of U.S. exports. And yet we sit here and watch politicians talk about the economy and jobs and no one ever mentions any of those statistics.

If we're being realistic, small businesses are not that important to candidates running for President of the United States. Small businesses don't contribute to campaigns the way that Fortune 1000 firms do. Small businesses don't have an army of lobbyists bending the ear of each candidate the way corporate giants do. That's why anyone running for national office will focus economic stimulus on big business. Most say they won't cater to the big boys. They pay lip service to small businesses, saying that we need to stimulate the middle class. Truth is the middle class is going extinct and politicians couldn't care less.

The reality is that Fortune 1000 firms in American have not created one net new job in more than 30 years. If anybody running for president really wants to create jobs and bolster the economy, they're going to need a plan that involves America's 28 million small businesses. But I don't expect that to happen. I'm not naive enough to hold my breath.

Bottom line is that small businesses create all the net new jobs but not one GOP candidate has said they would reverse the Obama administration policy of giving federal small business contracts to Fortune 1000 companies. The U.S. is the biggest customer in the world. A free and easy way to create demand for the nation's chief job creators is to purchase good and services from small businesses. But every year billions of dollars in federal small business contracts is awarded to Fortune 1000 firms and nobody blinks an eye.

If one of the candidates really wants to take President Obama's job, they would talk about how Obama broke his promise to stop giving small business contracts to corporate giants. If you want to see who these guys really are, ask them one question: If you're elected president, will you reverse the Obama administration policy of diverting small business contracts to large businesses? Let's try asking that simple question and see what they say.