Hubzone amendment for our National Defense?

Yesterday a PR announced that Landrieu -Snowe amendment passes Senate.

WASHINGTON, July 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — An amendment filed by United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary Landrieu, D-La., and co-sponsored by Ranking Member Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine, passed the Senate late last night as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010. The amendment will place three small business government contracting programs – HUBZone, 8(a) and service-disabled veterans – on an equal playing field when competing for business.

Remember HUBZone for later.

What was it that these two could be teaming up to do?  Would it have  little,  if anything,  to do with our national defense?

Not much of anything really.

What the amendment does do is to give preferred status to three classifications of people over all other classifications of people when it comes to rewarding federal contracts to Small Business, and states it is necessary to make everything “fair”.

Seems the SBA was mistaken in believing “fair” was not giving anyone a preference.

What is HUBZone?

Well according to the GAO it is yet another government program with a systemic problem of  fraud and abuse by its recipients.  In fact back in March, 2009,  lawmakers were speaking about terminating the program for that reason.

GAO found (GAO-09-440) that 19 ineligible firms had received $30 million through the HUBZone program in fiscal 2006 and fiscal 2007 combined. To qualify for the program, firms must be located in an economically distressed region and at least 35 percent of their full-time employees must live within the zone.

For example, an Alabama ground maintenance services company that won $900,000 in HUBZone set-aside contracts in fiscal 2006 and fiscal 2007 listed an address that was in a qualifying area. But a visit revealed that the office — described as Suite 19 — was Trailer 19 in a trailer park, and the occupant had no association with the company. The firm’s two employees, a father and a son, lived about 90 miles from the trailer park, outside the HUBZone.

So, if a reporter should happens upon this story here are a couple of questions they may want to ask the esteemed Senator cosponsors of this amendment.

What changed?  Did all the fraud and abuse suddenly go away?  Why are you adding even more recipients to a waste fraud and abuse free ride?

Women are already capable, veterans with service related disabilities can be as minor as a slight hearing loss.

Are these classifications really at a disadvantage? Some individuals may well be but any, and all?

Seems like a simple free market solution could have saved another waste of taxpayers dollars-lower tax rates for those areas if you want business to come!

HUBZone has been around since 1999, how is that economic development progressing in those areas?  Are those economically underdeveloped areas shrinking as a result of this program, or is all the real shrinking related to the taxpayers wallet?

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