BY RAUL ESPINOSA
President Obama promises to small businesses and to Minorities – to fix the economy and to help us create jobs – the main issues on the 2012 election, were never kept and his Administration has allegedly been ‘cooking’ numbers and statistics to appear as if we are ‘Moving Forward.’ Are we? Let us examine the situation.
The Obama outreach strategy and directives, outlined on his 2009 Executive Order, have been a fiasco. Federal spending has jumped from 20 percent to 24 percent of GDP on his watch and a July national poll, commissioned by The Hill, blames him for the paltry job growth and slow economic recovery. Does Obama deserve our vote?
The President has misrepresented his Administration record in contracting with small and minority businesses – through the SBA Report Card – by claiming, for example, that small and disadvantaged businesses had received 21.65% or $91.5 Billion of ALL the Federal contracts in FY2011. The $91.5 Billion would make the contracts grand total $424.1 Billion (before anomalies – like small business contracts awarded to large firms and ‘exemptions’ on the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) are removed).
The grand total of federal contracts in FY2011 – according to the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) - was $534.6 Billion and that would make the $91.5 Billion share Obama has claimed had been awarded to small businesses only 17.1%, the worse numbers ever. By law, Federal Agencies are REQUIRED to spend 23% of ALL the government contracts with small businesses, and there are over a $100 Billion which could have been eligible for set-aside competition. By the way, Obama is against the Republicans legislation that would increase the ceiling to 25%!
Most recently, the Obama Department of Labor Statistics (DLS) claimed that the jobs created by the economy in August and September had shown an increase of 243,000 and that unemployment had dropped to 7.8% from 8.3%. Those facts are akin to saying I cooked a plate of ‘Arroz con Pollo’ without any Latin condiments! Would you believe that?
The Obama Administration has never met its statutory goal during his 3 years in office; gave itself a “B” grade (instead of an “F”) on the SBA Report Card and it was caught ‘cooking’ the data on the SBA Report Card! What else does one need to know?
The Umbrella Initiative Think Tank had confirmed those facts in a report to a U.S. Senate Committee. There is a Power Point presentation that details the results of contracting with Small Business under the Obama Administration and those results are responsible for the dismal participation of minorities in the $600 Billion marketplace.
NBC-TV recently described, on its own investigative program, how the Obama Administration has been awarding billions in small business contracts to ineligible large businesses. He has lied and has ‘cooked’ results and statistics upsetting a lot of small business leaders and minority advocates, many of whom had supported him in 2008. Minority voters need to know these facts before they vote in November! SBA has denied fraud and abuse from within government, but the facts speak for themselves!
Javier Palomarez, President of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) has been quoted as saying, “President Obama’s minority business strategy has failed to achieve its goals and there is no excuse for this poor showing.”
Barney Bishop, former executive director of Associated Industries of Florida (AIF), a lobbying group for small businesses, commented, “I am a Democrat, and I plan to remain a Democrat. But, in this election, I will not be voting for Obama.”
Fellow advocate, Hank Wilfong, Jr., President of the National Association of Small and Disadvantaged Businesses (NASDB) has said, “I campaigned heavily and gave heavily to Barack Obama (in 2008) because his folks let me to believe that a lot of things would change under his Presidency.” None of that has happened!
My advocacy colleague, Lloyd Chapman, President of the American Small Business League (ASBL) has summed it all when he said, “I endorsed Barack Obama for President in 2008, but I couldn’t be more disappointed.”
Obama does NOT deserve our vote in November. He did not deliver on his promises to us; his outreach strategy, to help us create jobs, was a failure; he is giving our small business contracts to ineligible corporations; he is allegedly ‘cooking’ the statistics to appear as if his Administration record in government contracting and job creation is Moving Forward. It’s all Bull!
If anything, Obama has shown us he is a great COCINERO (a chef), but he cannot be trusted and he cannot take our vote for granted!
Raul Espinosa has been recognized as ‘One of the Nation Top Diversity Champions.’ He is the Founder and CEO of the Fairness in Procurement Alliance (FPA), a non-profit and non-partisan coalition of small business groups and the Managing Partner of the Umbrella Initiative whose mission is “to double the number of small and minority businesses contracting with the Federal, State and local governments by the year 2020.” He can be reached through Twitter @umbrellaiorg.