Often politics and business mix in a big way. Small Business America is no exception. Access to credit for small business, sole proprietors and entrepreneurs in the United States is in dire straits according to every walking & talking politician out there from the Big O to the Fed Chief to elected officials from both political parties. Yet nowhere is any real and effective help forthcoming.
The recent Small Business Jobs and Credit Act was shot down with filibuster assault rifles by the entire Republican Senate. The act included tax incentives and federal lending guarantees. Even one of the authors of the small business bill Olympia Snowe, the moderate Republican Senator from Maine, voted "No."
Guys and Gals, while you are fighting amongst yourselves for power and privilege, Small Business America is sinking like the Titanic!
Why did the Senate torpedo such hopeful help for the nation's entrepreneurs? Because according to opponents, it's a mini-TARP. "It has all the quality and features of the TARP program, " said Snowe.
And what is wrong with that??? Have you forgotten there is a continuing credit crisis for anyone but the largest banks and corporations?
Let me ask you a question Ms. Snowe and fellow Senate naysayers, why would you deny helping small biz the same way you helped big biz? Are you unaware that the TARP program is credited with "saving" the economy by many of the nation's top economists?
Did you also forget that TARP was created and engineered during the 8-year Republican Presidency of George Bush Jr., under the direction of former Goldman Sachs CEO (US Treasury Secretary) Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Bernanke - both appointed by that President?
Did you also forget that the purpose of TARP at the time of its origination was specifically sold to Congress as a way of supplying necessary credit to consumers and small business?
The fact that TARP was a fraud to cover for banking mismanagement and designed with no lending stipulations whatsoever for big banks is a matter worthy of criminal investigation. Errant financial firms were bailed out, because "credit needed to keep flowing." Our Fed Chief Bernanke claimed that the purpose of the bailout was to support Small Business & Consumer America. Yet we still have not done so nearly two years later. Are you waiting for America's small businesses to die on the vine in the name of politics?
It has been repeated over and over by members of Congress and most recently President Obama, "Small businesses create two out of every three jobs in this country. So our recovery depends on them. And if we want to keep America moving forward, we need to keep investing in our small businesses."
Yet for all the talk, Republicans do not want to pass any small business legislation before November midterm elections for fear that will help Democrats get the vote. And Democrats have waited twenty months after the credit crisis began to help the little guys just in time for an election fight.
Where is Small Business America in all this? Left in the dust of the partisan politics that is the state of the U.S democracy circa 2010.
Small Business has been on life-support since September 15, 2008 when Lehman Brothers, the investment banking giant and toxic debt King, crashed and burned. Since then we have saved AIG ($183bn), Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley ($20bn) and allowed them to borrow tens of billions more from the Fed at zero percent, liquidated Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ($160bn), bailed out Bear Stearns for JPMorgan Chase's benefit ($30bn), gave Bank of America an early Christmas gift of Merrill Lynch with taxpayer money ($45bn plus $118bn federal guarantee of toxic debt losses), saved Citibank for their bad behavior with another $45bn taxpayer cash and $306bn in toxic debt acquisitions, supported state, city, and federal government workers with a $1.2 trillion "stimulus", and billions of government "buybacks" of toxic debt, (i.e. defaulting mortgage securities created by the big banks and so-called investments from "bad" banking) for a total of $6.4 trillion according to CNN's Bailout Tracker.
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?
Yet we can't spare $30bn more for small business lending even though it supplies 2 out of 3 jobs? With 300 million Americans this amounts to an investment of ten cents each. Brother, can you spare a dime?
In this country, our politicians have their priorities mixed up. Senators and House members continually pretend to represent Americans. "Americans want...America is..."Americans need...." You know what Americans need? They need a government that gives a damn whether they succeed or fail instead of picking and choosing the winners from the campaign trail.