What would you think if you heard that the majority of federal funds allotted to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy were being sent more than 3,000 miles away to Beverly Hills, California? Would you think that the people in Washington were out of their minds?
That's how I have felt every day for more than a decade as I have fought the federal government at every level to stop federal agencies from awarding billions of dollars in federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms here in the United States and to some of the largest companies worldwide.Think about this for a moment: For more than a decade, federal small business funds have been awarded to hundreds of the largest firms on earth. Doesn't this sound crazy to you? Don't believe it?
Through an investigation in 2003, the General Accounting Office (GAO) found more than 5,000 large businesses receiving federal small business contracts. Since that initial investigation (prompted by information I provided, by the way), more than a dozen other similar federal investigations have turned up the same information.
In 2005, the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General (SBA OIG) released Report 5-15, which described the diversion of federal small business contracts to large businesses as, "One of the most important challenges facing the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the entire Federal Government today."
Did you get that "Entire Federal Government Today" part?
For the last seven consecutive years, the SBA OIG has continued to identify the diversion of federal small business contracts to large businesses as the number one management challenge at the SBA. That's seven consecutive years!
Why is this a big deal?
According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, small businesses are responsible for more than 90 percent of net new jobs in America. The single largest federal program to create jobs for the more than 27 million small businesses is the Small Business Act. Today, that law requires that a minimum 23 percent of all federal contracts be awarded to small businesses. That makes perfect sense, doesn't it? What better way to invest your hard-earned tax dollars than to reinvest them back into small businesses? Small businesses create the overwhelming majority of net new jobs, employ 50 percent of the private sector work force and generate more than 50 percent of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP). Oh, and did I mention that more than 90 percent of U.S. exporters are small businesses?
President Obama realized what a huge problem the diversion of small business funds to large companies was during his presidential campaign when he released the statement: "It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants." Did you think Obama was going to save us? I did.
A few of the companies that have received federal small business contracts since President Obama was elected include: Boeing, Hewlett Packard, AT&T, Motorola, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Apple, John Deere, Rockwell Collins, General Electric, General Dynamics, Office Depot, Xerox, Dell and ManTech.
So lets see now...the U.S. is experiencing the worst economic downturn in 80 years...we have spent trillions of dollars trying to stimulate the economy and create jobs...about 23 million Americans are unemployed...the largest federal program to create jobs for the middle class is the Small Business Act...and yet billions of dollars in small business funds are being diverted to Fortune 500 firms.
What percentage of the American people would agree that Fortune 500 firms and other corporate giants around the world should not be receiving federal small business contracts? I'm guessing somewhere in the vicinity of 100 percent.
So why has this gone on for more than a decade? The answer is quite simple -- America is not a democracy -- this issue proves it. Our government is owned and operated by corporate giants and our president and Congress are heavily influenced by what those very powerful corporations want.
You know one thing that those big and powerful corporate giants running our government want? They want every single dime the government spends. They spend billions of dollars on campaign contributions and lobbying. If you look at the facts, it looks like they are getting their money's worth, doesn't it?
So, the next time you see President Obama, Mitt Romney or any member of Congress talking about creating jobs and investing in the middle class, remember, they all know the biggest companies in the world have hijacked hundreds of billions of dollars in government small business contracts and not one of them has ever done a thing to stop it. Why is this? Because you can't raise the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to win an election by looking out for the middle class and the 27 million small businesses where most Americans work.
But you can certainly raise that kind of cash and get elected by looking out for the interests of the biggest companies in the world.
So which lying, corporate-backed con man are you voting for this time?