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Does Terry Sutherland Prove The Pentagon Runs The Small Business Administration?

3:04 pm in Uncategorized by Lloyd Chapman

Read the Small Business Administration (SBA) press release announcing that retired Naval Commander Terry Sutherland is taking over as Press Office Director of the SBA.

Portrait of Terry Sutherland

Was Terry Sutherland sent from the Pentagon to dismantle the SBA?

It states, “Terry Sutherland reported as the Director, Press Office, U.S. Small Business Administration, Washington D.C. in April 2013.”

The second paragraph says, “Prior to this assignment he served from 2009-2013 as the Director, Corporate Communications, for the Pentagon Force Protection Agency…”

I would imagine that Terry Sutherland almost certainly wrote that press release. He at least reviewed it before it went out. Look at the statement that he “reported” as the Press Office Director. Who refers to taking a new job as “reported?” People working for the Pentagon do.

How about the statement, “Prior to this assignment…” It sounds like he was given an “assignment” to “report” to the SBA as Press Office Director. Who gets an “assignment” to  “report” to a new position? People that work for the Pentagon do.

When you read that press release it sounds like Terry Sutherland was ordered to “report” to his new “assignment” as SBA Press Office Director by the Pentagon.

I have already written about the astounding fact that one of the most tenured and experienced spokesmen for the largest agency in government, the Pentagon, would suddenly take over the Press Office of one of the smallest agencies in government, the Small Business Administration. I’ve written about the fact the SBA budget is .001% of the Pentagon’s budget. I have written about the fact Terry Sutherland went from the Pentagon spokesman in stories such as “China Threatens U.S. With Missile Strike”, “U.S. Team In China For Look At Spy Plane” and “Defense Agency Proposes Outsourcing More Spying” to “National Small Business Week hosting training and webinars and online events May 12-15.”

I think Terry Sutherland’s sudden appearance at the SBA is part of a larger plan by the Pentagon to bring an end to all federal small business programs. Current federal law requires a minimum of 23% of the total value of all federal contracts to be awarded to small businesses. The Pentagon’s largest prime contractors want 100% of all contracts awarded by the federal government. The only way to achieve that goal is to eliminate the federal laws and policies that require that and the agency that manages those programs.

The Pentagon has always been behind the efforts to close the SBA by combing it with the Department of Commerce. They tried it during the Reagan Administration and they tried it again under the Obama Administration.

Over the last two years the SBA budget has been slashed more than any federal agency in history. The annual operating budget for the SBA has been cut by more than 25% in just 24 months.

Now the SBA has announced several new policies that will essentially legalize fraud. The SBA has proposed new small business size standards that will allow hundreds of Pentagon contractors that were before illegally included in federal small business contracting data to be now legally considered small businesses. Many of these firms are 100 times larger than the average American small business. According to the US Census Bureau, 98% of all U.S. firms have less than 100 employees. The new SBA policies will allow firms 15 times larger than that to be considered small businesses.

So I don’t think the sudden appearance of one of the Pentagon’s most senior PR officers at the SBA is just a coincidence. I believe Terry Sutherland received his “assignment” to “report” to the SBA by the Pentagon to preside over the Pentagon’s latest attempt to dismantle the SBA and all federal programs for American small businesses.

Terry Sutherland’s job is to make sure no journalists report on what is actually happening at the SBA. His job is to make sure no journalist writes about the fact the SBA Office of Inspector General has found the diversion of federal small business contracts to large businesses as the number one problem at the SBA for close to a decade. Later this summer when the SBA announces the federal government has just missed the 23% small business-contacting goal, Terry Sutherland’s job will be to make sure no journalist reports that in reality, most of the money the SBA will claim was awarded to small businesses actually went to some of the largest firms in the world.

If you would like to have some fun with Commander Cover-Up, as we like to call Terry here at the American Small Business League, here is a link to some questions he won’t answer.

Anti-Small Business Policies Prove Depth of Government Corruption

4:03 pm in Uncategorized by Lloyd Chapman

Over the last twenty-five years three U.S. Presidents and thousands of members of Congress have continually approved some of the most anti-small business, anti-middle class federal programs in history.

Microsoft sign in front of company research building

Just one of many small businesses awarded small business contracts by the US government.

U.S. Census Bureau data indicates small businesses are responsible for over 90% of net new jobs, over 50% of the private sector workforce, over 50% of the Gross Domestic Product and over 90% of all U.S. exports.

The single largest federal program in history to assist small businesses, stimulate the middle class economy and create jobs is the Small Business Act of 1953. Today federal law based on the original Small Business Act requires that a minimum of 23% of all federal contracts be awarded to small businesses.

For over 11 years a series of federal investigations and investigative reports in the media have found billions of dollars a year in federal small business contracts that have been knowingly diverted to Fortune 500 firms and corporate giants around the world. ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN have all covered the rampant fraud in federal small business contracting programs.

Some of the firms that have been uncovered as receiving federal small business contracts include IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Microsoft, Dell, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Chevron, Apple, General Electric, AT&T, Verizon, Citigroup, Boeing, UPS, John Deere, Thales in France, Rosoboronexport in Russia, Ssangyong Co. in South Korea, Finmeccanica in Italy, Buhrmann N.V. in Holland and British Aerospace Engineering (BAE) and Rolls-Royce in England.

One of the ways that this fraud and abuse has been allowed to occur, even endorsed, is via the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program.  The program began in 1990 and eliminated all transparency, along with any and all penalties for non-compliance with federal small business subcontracting goals for the Pentagon’s largest prime contractors.  The purpose of the “Test Program” was to determine if this would increase subcontracting opportunities for small businesses.

Let me emphasize this was a “Test Program.” Think of the insanity of a program that eliminates transparency and penalties for the Pentagon’s largest prime contractors and then tests it for 25 years to see if it helps small businesses. Even the language in the FY15 National Defense Authorization Bill that will renew the “Test Program” admits it has failed, yet Congress and President Obama intend to renew it for three more years through 2017.

Our government is going to renew this anti-small business, anti-middle class, anti-job creation scam into its 28th year and no one is objecting but me? Astounding!

If you are a Democrat, Progressive, Republican, Conservative, Libertarian or however you chose to describe your political views, realize this. Not one of the politicians you support has ever stood up to oppose any of the federal government’s anti-small business policies. NOT ONE!

Much like they say you can tell a lot about people by the way they treat animals, I think you can tell everything about politicians by how they treat small businesses. Remember, small businesses are where most Americans work and where most of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product is created, yet politicians continue to turn a blind eye towards anti-small businesses policies that affect the very people who got them elected.

The fact that Fortune 500 firms have been allowed to fraudulently and illegally hijack trillions of dollars in federal small business contracts for over 11 years with no repercussions proves how corrupt the government actually is.

The fact Congress and President Obama will renew the anti-small business, anti-transparency Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program into its 28th year of testing without objection from the American people must mean one of two things. Either the government thinks Americans are apathetic, uninformed, delusional fools who don’t care about small business, or they are confident that a lack of media coverage will allow them to slide in anti-small business policies right under all of our noses.

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Congress to Renew 25 Year Old Pentagon Test Program to “Help” Small Businesses by Eliminating Transparency

1:29 pm in Uncategorized by Lloyd Chapman

Government Accountability Office seal

The GAO calls it a bad idea … but who listens to those dirty hippies anyway?

Congress and President Obama are set to renew a 25 year old Pentagon test program. The Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP) was developed to determine if removing all transparency from federal small business contracting programs for the Pentagon’s largest prime contractors would increase subcontracting opportunities for small businesses. That makes sense right?

Then to really sweeten the deal for small businesses and increase subcontracting opportunities, the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program totally eliminates all penalties such as “liquidated damages” for prime contractors that do not comply with their small business contracting goals. Genius!!!

This all sounds like a really amazing opportunity for small businesses. Current federal law, The Small Business Act of 1953, requires that a minimum of 23% of all federal contracts and subcontracts be awarded to small businesses. Obviously, eliminating all transparency and public access to the reports used to determine if prime contractors are complying with their small business goals will cause subcontracting opportunities for small businesses to skyrocket. The elimination of any penalties for non-compliance is a total bonus for small businesses. What took them so long to come up with this fantastic idea?

Oh wait, did I mention the part about testing it for the last 25 years? How about the part where the Pentagon has refused to release any data on the results of the “Test Program” for a quarter of a century? Clearly, they don’t want to jump to any conclusions. Anything worth doing is worth doing right, I say.

Those wacky conspiracy nuts over at the Government Accountability Office just don’t get what a sweet deal this is for small businesses. Ten years ago they issued the results of an investigation, GAO-04-381, that found no data showing that the Pentagon “Test Program” had ever helped small businesses in any way.

Those guys at the GAO are so suspicious. Don’t they know that all the men and women that work at the Pentagon and in the defense industry are American heroes? Have they not seen the Sunday TV news shows with those fantastic Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman ads talking about how they are helping to protect this great nation of ours? You would have to be a paranoid conspiracy nut with a tin foil hat if you don’t realize that the men and women at the Pentagon only have the best interest of American small businesses at heart.

I think even Congress is getting a little paranoid. The language in the 2015 Defense Authorization Bill Section 811 says, “However, after nearly 24 years since the original authorization of the program, the test program has yet to provide evidence that it meets the original stated goal of the program…

DUH! In just 25 years how can you expect the Pentagon to adequately test if removing all transparency and eliminating all penalties for non-compliance with federal small business contracting goals would actually increase subcontracting opportunities for small businesses?

House Small Business Committee Chair Sam Graves is right: The Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program clearly needs to be renewed until 2017. That would give the Pentagon 28 years to see if the “Test Program” works.

I think the Pentagon is on to something. I’m thinking we could dramatically streamline government and get some really impressive results if we applied the same principal used in the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program to other areas of government.

The IRS should immediately launch a 25 year test program to determine if eliminating tax returns and any penalties for not paying your income taxes increases tax revenue. Tax revenues should hit an all time high!

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The Small Business Administration Could Be Closed In The Next 30 Days

3:09 pm in Uncategorized by Lloyd Chapman

I predicted President Obama would resurrect Ronald Reagan’s plan to permanently close the Small Business Administration (SBA) by combining it with the Department of Commerce in November of 2008.

Ronald Reagan

Obama resurrected a Reagan-era plan to close the Small Business Administration.

In addition to being a conspiracy nut, I’m apparently also clairvoyant because that is exactly what the President announced he planned to do in January of 2012.

I think it’s fascinating that not one journalist in America contacted me and asked me how I knew. I’m also astonished that, so far, not one journalist has reported that President Obama’s plan to “streamline government” by combing the SBA and the Department of Commerce is identical to Ronald Reagan’s plan to permanently “close the SBA.”

President Obama’s staff must have seen the TV news reports from 1985, that showed the violent opposition most members of Congress had to Reagan’s plan to close the SBA. Senators like Carl Levin, Lowell Weicker and James Sasser pounded Reagan’s budget director David Stockman as he testified before Congress to push for the closure of the SBA.

Journalists like Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, Irvin R. Levine and Ann Compton covered the story for the prime time news.

Because of the overwhelming opposition in Congress and the attention the issue received from the mainstream media, Regan’s plan to close the SBA failed. Thank God it did, as a result over the following three decades, millions of small businesses were allowed to get their start with SBA-backed loans and compete for the 23 percent of all federal contracts that are required by law to be awarded to small businesses.

Apple Inc. and Federal Express are just two household names that got their start with help from the SBA.

Fast forward to 2013.  I have lost count on the number of press releases and blogs I have written trying to sound the alarm about the impending doom for the only agency in government to assist the 28 million small businesses where most Americans work that create over 90 percent of net new jobs.

Not one journalist has reported that President Obama’s plan to close the SBA, or should we say “streamline government” is identical in every way to Ronald Reagan’s plan to close the SBA.

There hasn’t been a word out of a single member of Congress objecting to the pending closure of the tiny federal agency that has helped to launch millions of small businesses. Why?

Here is the single most astonishing thing about this whole issue; I am the only person in the United States of America that has voiced any objection to closing the SBA. Where are all these national organizations that claim to represent the interests of American small businesses? The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) claims to be the “voice of small business in America.” So far, their voice has been silent. What about the U.S. Chamber, the American Small Business Chamber of Commerce or the National Small Business Association? They haven’t said a word. No press releases, no TV appearances, no blogs, no nothing. Why?

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Can there be a new Apple Computer or Federal Express Without SBA?

7:52 am in Uncategorized by Lloyd Chapman

 

Apple Computer and Federal Express are just two examples of thousands of firms that got their start with the help of the Small Business Administration (SBA).

President Obama has announced his intention to resurrect Ronald Reagan’s plan to permanently close the SBA by combining it with the Department of Commerce.

When Ronald Reagan caved into pressure from the nation’s largest defense contractors and agreed to try and close the SBA, the mainstream media and Democrats in Congress mounted a formidable opposition. Small business advocates like Senators Carl Levin, James Sasser and Lowell Weicker defeated Reagan’s plan to close the SBA and dismantle all federal small business programs.

Journalists like Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, Ann Compton and Irving R. Levine all came to the aid of American small businesses.

As a result, during the last 30 years, millions of small businesses were able to get their start, compete for federal contracts, receive loans, flourish and create millions of net new jobs in America.

According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, small businesses are responsible for over 90 percent of net new jobs in America, over 50 percent of the private sector workforce, over 50 percent of the GDP and over 90 percent of U.S. exporters. A study by the Kauffman Foundation found 100 percent of all net new jobs in America, since 1980, have been created by small businesses.

Reagan was honest and blunt that he wanted to permanently “close the SBA” by combining it with the Department of Commerce. President Obama has learned from Reagan’s failed attempt to “close the SBA” so he has renamed his SBA closure plan, “streamlining government” and “combining agencies.”

So far, it has been extremely successful in avoiding media attention and not one journalist in America has reported Obama’s plan to close the SBA is identical in every way to Ronald Reagan’s plan to close the SBA.

Without the political opposition and accurate media coverage Reagan faced, President Obama will likely be successful in closing the SBA and bringing an end to the only agency in American history to assist the 28 million small businesses that create up to 100 percent of the nation’s net new jobs.

Without coverage by the mainstream media, by the time most Americans find out the SBA has been shuttered and all federal small business programs are to be dismantled, it will be too late.

If the SBA is closed, millions of future companies like Apple and Federal Express will never exist. Their positive impact on our economy and our society will never be known. The devastating negative impact of the SBA’s closure on our nation’s economy will be felt for generations.

For the latest video from the ASBL, click here.

No Matter Who Takes The Wheel On November 6, Small Businesses Are In For A Bumpy Ride

3:42 pm in Uncategorized by Lloyd Chapman

President Obama has announced on several occasions his desire to essentially close the Small Business Administration (SBA) by combining it with the Department of Commerce. Anyone who has been in Washington long enough to have lunch knows the Department of Commerce is essentially a division of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The U.S. Chamber and I aren’t exactly close friends.

President Obama

If Mitt Romney wins this election, he will start talking about closing the SBA before Anne gets the new curtains ordered for their White House bedroom. Despite their unending campaign baloney about investing in the middle class and creating jobs, Republicans, since Ronald Reagan, have had it out for the SBA. Reagan tried closing the SBA twice. The corporate bosses want that 23 percent of the federal contracts allotted to small businesses and they want it now.

President George W. Bush tried to starve the agency to death during his administration by cutting the SBA budget and staff by almost 50 percent. The agency was so understaffed during the Hurricane Katrina aftermath that 2,000 temporary employees had to be hired to assist the storm victims in receiving SBA backed loans to rebuild their businesses. He told his SBA appointee, Administrator Hector Baretto, that he wanted the agency closed by the end of his first term. Some mouthy guy in California launched a PR campaign that made that assignment a lot more difficult than Bush and Barreto had ever expected and the SBA was saved. Barrreto was ultimately fired for his failure to fulfill his mission.

Fortune 500 firms and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have lobbied to close the SBA for decades. The Small Business Act mandates that a minimum of 23 percent of the total value of all federal contracts be awarded to small businesses. Why do corporate giants want the SBA closed? It’s really quite simple – GREED. The corporate giants that call the shots in Washington DC want every penny the federal government spends to go straight into their pockets.

The fact that small businesses are responsible for more than 90 percent of all net new jobs in America, 50 percent of the private sector work force, more than 50 of the gross domestic product (GDP) and more than 90 percent of all U.S. exporters doesn’t mean a hill of beans to the most ruthless corporate giants ruling the roost in Washington DC.

Let’s take a quick inventory, the U.S. is in the midst of the worst economic downturn in 80 years, small businesses are responsible for the overwhelming majority of net new jobs, and there is only one miniscule federal agency to service the 27 million small businesses where the majority of Americans work.

The corporate-backed, corrupt politicians see this issue a different way. They don’t want to squander a measly $900 million a year on the only federal agency that services the small business that are responsible for the vast majority of net new jobs. Forget the fact that the SBA’s budget is roughly one tenth of one percent of the budget allotted to the Department of Defense (DoD), which outright loses or misplaces almost 10 times as much money a year as it takes to run the SBA. There is obviously no way we can ever balance the budget and cut the deficit without closing one of the smallest agencies in Washington DC, right?

In all seriousness, the best way to determine if a politician is an outright, lying crook and a conman is to just look for one that proposes to close the SBA under the guise of saving money to balance the budget and cut the deficit.

Any honest elected official in Washington would realize that doubling the SBA staff and budget is the best way out of our economic recession. The SBA budget was higher 30 years ago than it is today. We need to reopen the SBA field offices the Bush administration closed. We need to reinvigorate each and every federal program to help our nation’s chief job creators – small businesses.

Hey, I’ve got a wacky idea, why don’t we stop giving federal small business contracts to some of the biggest companies on earth? Every year, for the past seven years, the SBA Office of Inspector General (SBA OIG) has named the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants as the number one management challenge at the SBA.

I know it sounds crazy to quit giving billions of dollars a month in federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms but, who knows, it just might help the 27 million small businesses that are the irrefutable engine of economic growth and job creation in this country.

Creative Commons photo by Bernard Pollack on Flickr.

Romney and Republican Congress Will Wipe Out All Small Business Programs

2:23 pm in Uncategorized by Lloyd Chapman

If Mitt Romney is elected President and Republicans take over both the House and the Senate, it would be a nightmare for small businesses.

A decayed country convenience store.

Will small business dry up under President Romney? (Photo: Kevin Dooley / Flickr)

I don’t want to upset my Republican buddies but I predict that Mitt Romney would follow a long line of Republicans that have been trying to close the Small Business Administration (SBA) and end small business programs ever since Ronald Reagan was president.

Reagan tried to close the SBA twice. His budget director David Stockman even went before Congress and argued for closing the SBA, making the outrageous claim that the SBA was “a billion dollar waste—a rat hole.” Thankfully, Senate Democrats, led by Senator Carl Levin (Dem-MI), opposed the move.

While Reagan’s plans to close the SBA failed, I believe he devastated small businesses by changing the definition of a small business from 100 employees to 500 employees, which was illegal. To change the definition like that, you’d have to put the proposal up for public comment, which Reagan didn’t do. Moreover, a company with 500 employees is much too large to be a small business, considering that 98 percent of all U.S. firms have less than 100 employees and 89 percent of U.S. firms have less than 20 employees.

The SBA was safe under President George H. W. Bush but President George W. Bush removed the SBA Administrator from a Cabinet-level position and told his SBA Administrator, Hector Barreto, to close the SBA by the end of his first term. I’ve spoken with people who said Barreto admitted this in a meeting. Bush cut the SBA budget and staffing every year that he was President and the budget has never recovered. Even when Ronald Reagan was president, the SBA’s budget was more than $1 billion.

Republicans are always talking about small business, but their track record is appalling. I believe that the Republican desire to close the SBA is based on the party’s marriage with big business. Federal law mandates that a minimum 23 percent of federal contracts must be awarded to small businesses. That’s more than $120 billion annually that big businesses want.

If Mitt Romney is elected and Republicans control both houses, within a matter of months you’ll see the SBA abolished. At the very least, you’ll see the SBA budget slashed just as it was during the Bush administration, or you’ll see them close the agency under the typical Washington scam of combining it with the Department of Commerce. Combining the SBA with the Department of Commerce is a way to close the agency without public scrutiny. You won’t be able to see the budget being cut or the employees being laid off.

So my prediction is that a Mitt Romney Whitehouse and Republican-controlled legislature would end all federal small business programs, including those for women-owned, minority-owned and veteran-owned small businesses. This would be detrimental to the economy.

The smartest most cost-effective thing you could do to create jobs is to simply uphold existing federal law that says 23 percent of all prime contracts dollars go to small businesses. After all, small businesses employ more than half of the private sector workforce, are responsible for half the gross domestic product, more than 90 percent of U.S. exports and, according to U.S. Census Bureau (PDF), more than 90 percent of all net new jobs. Unfortunately our government is controlled by big business and their greed and corruption knows no bounds.

As a small business advocate, I am afraid of a Romney White House and a Republican legislature.