The whole idea behind the SBA is to allocate 23% of the value of government contracts dedicated to companies with 100 employees or less, which, according to the American Small Business League, amounts to 98% of all US businesses. In the last five years, the Bush administration has quietly dismantled the SBA by cutting the funding in half and not prosecuting companies for fraudulently obtaining government contracts set aside for small businesses.
To point out the hypocrisy of the Bush economic policy of punishing small businesses, I include these quotes:
“I understand small business growth. I was one.”
And from the White House web site of Presidential speeches, a search for keywords of "small business" came up with two thousand six hundred and eighty three references. Some examples:
"I understand that the small business sector of our economy is vital for economic growth."
August 10, 2006
The entrepreneurial spirit of America is robust and strong, and small businesses are thriving throughout our great Nation. The opportunity to own a business is an important part of the American dream. During Small Business Week, we celebrate small business owners and employees who are willing to take risks and work hard in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their families.
March 23, 2006
"I appreciate the fact that our small business owners are taking risks and pursuing dreams, and as a result, you're creating jobs for millions of our citizens."
April 27, 2005
"The dedication and entrepreneurial spirit of small business owners are vital to our Nation's economic growth and prosperity. We celebrate Small Business Week to applaud the efforts of America's small business men and women in our communities."
May 15, 2004
As they say on Seinfeld, yadayadayada. The appearance that Bush wants to put forth is clearly that he is a regular Joe and four square behind the little guy--the small business that drives the American economy. However, behind the scenes, he dramatically cuts the funding for the Small Business Administration by half, and the projections are damn near a virtual elimination of the office entirely. According to the director of the American Small Business League, Boeing is the biggest beneficiary of small business contracts.
Many small business owners look forward to Republican administrations under the belief that good business sense has come to town. They rest assured that they have a place at the table and those pesky Democrats will be kept at bay with their knee jerk wonky-assed regulations and cumbersome requirements. While this sounds good, as Bush has amply demonstrated 2,683 times, the reality is that in the conservative worldview, small business is a relative concept--Boeing and Halliburton being the benchmark of smallness.
It is an attractive concept for one to start a business, and through hard work and pride of quality, succeed by ones own bootstraps, without interference or assistance from government. This is the conceit of conservatism; it plays on such beliefs to further the agenda of deregulation, social darwinism and laissez faire economics. What it fails to recognize is our economic structure of today is the result of a couple of centuries worth of tweaking. In other words, all of the wonky Democratic regulations that paint the Democratic party as technocrats and boat anchors that slow down businesses and their ability to function as they see fit, are the very regulations that allow competition to exist.
The results of the conservative "trickle on" policy disaster began by Reagan and continuing on until today will take a herculean effort to clean up, before we hit a global economic crisis that will make our own Great Depression resemble a head cold. We have went from the largest creditor nation to the largest debtor nation in the world. We no longer produce, only consume and we import and rarely export. Our country, and our citizens are living on plastic, a situation that is untenable. The only reason the dollar is so strong is because so many countries are heavily invested in us. The Republicans have been running a massive check kiting scheme to prop up the illusion of prosperity, while swaggering around talking about personal responsibility and ownership society.
Knowing full well the public would never support the real conservative agenda of eliminating social security, Medicare and Medicaid, workers unemployment insurance and other social safety nets they deem as redistribution of wealth, they have set forth to bankrupt this country, passing on the burdens that we should bear onto our children and grandchildren. We should be so lucky to have sober, wonky leadership to clean up their irresponsible and downright criminal behavior before a worldwide economic crisis causes catastrophic damage.