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Corporate Giants Force Obama to Drop Campaign Promises

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During the 2008 presidential election cycle, President-elect Barack Obama made two key campaign promises which would have directed billions of dollars into the middle class economy. With the election behind him, it seems that President-elect Barack Obama has now broken his promise to enact a windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry which would have provided a $1,000 emergency energy rebate to American families, as well as his promise to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants.

Prior to his election, President-elect Obama made a promise to initiate a windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry to fund a $1000 tax rebate for families. The promise was displayed prominently at the top of the economy section of Obama's campaign website. That same information was transferred to Obama's transition website, www.change.gov, but was recently removed in an unceremonious and abrupt manner. (Pre-change, http://www.asbl.com/documents/Economy_Change.pdf ; Post-change, http://change.gov/agenda/economy_agenda/ )

In February, President-elect Obama said, "Small businesses are the backbone of our nation's economy and we must protect this great resource. It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants." (http://www.barackobama.com/2008/02/26/the_american_small_business_le.php)

Since 2003, a series of more than a dozen federal investigations have found that every year billions of dollars in federal small business contracts are diverted to some of the largest corporations in the United States and Europe. Investigative stories by ABC, CBS, and CNN (http://www.asbl.com/media2.php) have all found that billions of dollars in government small business contracts actually went to firms such as Dell, Home Depot, John Deere, Xerox, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, GTSI, General Dynamics, L-3 Communications, Titan Industries, Northrop Grumman, Rolls-Royce and British Aerospace (BAE).

Obama's pledge to end the diversion of small business contracts to corporate giants has now been completely eliminated from the change.gov website.

The sudden elimination of these two issues from change.gov would seem to indicate that large corporations are already flexing their muscles with the Obama Administration and demonstrating their ability to control presidential policy over the will of the American people.

"He hasn't been inaugurated yet and we are already witnessing the elimination of policies that would have greatly benefited the middle class economy in the midst of one of the worst economic downturns in our lifetimes," President of the American Small Business League Lloyd Chapman said. "I endorsed him, I voted for him, and I supported him and now I feel betrayed. He is obviously already going back on campaign promises. I think all small business owners should be concerned. Based upon the extremely low priority that Obama has placed upon small business issues, it would not surprise me if he tried to completely close the Small Business Administration by combining it with the United States Department of Commerce."

Source: American Small Business League

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