The Bush administrations proposal to cut $119 million from the SBA’s 2005 fiscal year budget doesn’t seem to upset the SBA’s leader, Hector V. Barreto, as Elizabeth Olson writes in a recent New York Times News Service article. Barreto defended the administration’s proposal saying that revisions in the SBA’s most popular loan program will eliminate the need for $100 million, and a proposed 30% increase in the overall loan amount the agency can guarantee “will provide more businesses with the capital needed to start up and expand.’ Barreto’s optimism doesn’t quell some critics’ fears that the administration’s proposal is a smoke screen for its real intentions — to dismantle the agency all together — which Barreto brushes off as nonsense.
You really can’t blame critics for expecting the worst. Just in January, as Bobbie Gossage and Elizabeth Wasserman recently reported in SBA Slams Door on Borrowers, the SBA put its most popular loan program, the 7(a), on indefinite holiday, leaving many capital-strapped business owners out in the cold. And all of these proposed cuts and “holidays” while President Bush repeatedly reassures small businesses that he sees them as the primary creator of jobs in the nation.
During this election year, it’s certainly too bad that no one has reminded him that actions speak louder than words.