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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Obama Windfall Profits Tax on Oil and Gas Industry Could Fund Stimulus Plan

Petaluma, Calif. - The following is a statement from American Small Business League President Lloyd Chapman:

Every day for more than two years President-elect Barack Obama promised voters that if he was elected president, he would enact a windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry to fund a $1000 per household energy rebate. (

Just two days after being elected on November 6, President-elect Obama rolled out his transition website,, ( which contained all of the policies he intended to implement. The top issue under the "Economy" section of the Obama-Biden Agenda was the enactment of a windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry. Two days later on November 8, the windfall profits tax vanished from the website. To this day, President-elect Obama has never personally offered any justification or rational for the disappearance of one of his biggest campaign promises.

Now, with America in the middle of a historic economic disaster, which could rival the Great Depression, President-elect Obama's windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry might be the perfect vehicle for funding an economic stimulus plan.

President-elect Obama is now proposing to spend up to one trillion tax dollars to stimulate the nation's failing economy. As opposed to spending approximately $300 billion in taxes to fund a $1000 per household tax rebate, now is the perfect time for President-elect Obama to reconsider the windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry to help fund an economic stimulus plan. There is no question the oil and gas industry actually did make windfall profits during the last eight years and will almost certainly continue to do so.

The oil and gas industry's windfall profits began early in the Bush Administration. The Associated Press began reporting on the windfall profits in the oil and gas industry in 2003, when the average price of oil was $30 a barrel. (

Since the oil and gas industry has made windfall profits even when the price of oil was as low as $30 dollars a barrel, it is almost certain they will continue to make record profits no matter what the price of oil.

The greed and lack of regulation of the oil and gas industry was obviously a contributing factor to America's current economic crisis. Someone must pay higher taxes eventually to fund the Wall Street bailout, and President-elect Obama's one trillion dollar economic stimulus plan.

The oil and gas industry needs to be controlled in some way. The price of gas at the pump is on the rise again, and more windfall profits at the expense of working families struggling to cope are a virtual certainty.

President-elect Obama's windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry was a great idea; everyone that voted for him thought so. Now is the time for President-elect Obama to enact the windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry as he promised during his campaign. It will insure energy prices stay low in relationship to the price of oil, and help fund the economic stimulus plan needed to save our nation's economy from what could be the worst economic disaster in American history.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

CNNMoney: The big think: How to fix the SBA

Lloyd Chapman

President, American Small Business League

Prescription: Boost funding

"There are 27 million small businesses. The budget needs to be pushed up to $5 billion to $10 billion per year.

Obama had a rescue plan and a promised budget for small businesses, but those plans are absent from his Web site. With no mention of the SBA, I take this as a crystal ball into the future, that Obama has no intention of fixing the SBA.

But assuming a plan does fall in to place, the mission of the SBA needs to be restored. But the other crucial recommendation is to fix the lack of oversight. There are not enough people to make sure programs operate. Staff those departments where people review the contracts. Field offices should be open and staffed up, as they have been cut back dramatically."

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Pelosi-Backed Loophole For Venture Capitalists Will Damage Middle Class Economy

Petaluma, Calif. - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D - CA) is leading congressional support for a new loophole in federal contracting law that will allow some of the wealthiest venture capitalists in America to receive federal contracts set-aside for small businesses.

The new loophole could divert billions of dollars in federal small business contracts away from middle class firms and into the hands of wealthy investors. If Congress does adopt legislation that allows venture capitalists to participate in federal small business contracting programs, thousands of middle class jobs could be lost as legitimate small businesses struggle to compete head-to-head with firms owned and controlled by billionaire investors.

In 2008, Speaker Pelosi backed H.R. 3567 and H.R. 5819, both of which would have allowed individual venture capitalists and even some of the nation's largest venture capital firms to take contracts meant for small businesses.

After leading the opposition against H.R. 3567, the American Small Business League (ASBL) was joined by the Small Business Administration (SBA), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Government Contractors, the National Small Businesses Association, and the Bush White House.

The key element of the Pelosi backed legislation is a change in the longstanding definition of a small business, which is defined in the Small Business Act as a firm that is "independently owned." Pelosi would like to see the definition changed to include firms that are not "independently owned" but actually owned and controlled by well-heeled venture capitalists.

Many of the top venture capital firms in America are located in or near Speaker Pelosi's 8th congressional district and according to, from January 2005 to May 2008, Speaker Pelosi received a combined $108,400 from venture capital giant, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; pharmaceutical giant, Amgen Inc; and lobbyist, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

The ASBL predicts that Speaker Pelosi may try to include a loophole for venture capitalists in any up-and-coming economic stimulus plan coming out of the House of Representatives, under the guise of "increasing access to capital" for small businesses.

In the past, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) has used the term "increasing access to capital" for small business to disguise legislation and policies designed to allow its members to take federal contracts earmarked for legitimate small businesses.

President-elect Barack Obama has also received significant contributions from the venture capital industry. His appointment of Karen Mills, a venture capitalist, as Administrator of the SBA is seen as a clear signal he will support legislation that will likely divert billions of dollars in federal infrastructure funds away from middle class firms, and into the hands of some of the nation's wealthiest investors.