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By Lawrence Lessig

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Ear to the Ground

Convention Speaker Complains: Government Doesn’t Give Me Enough Money

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Posted on Aug 28, 2012

Aren’t Republicans supposed to argue that the government gives out too much money, not that it gives out too little? Evidently, someone forgot to tell that to GOP convention speaker Phil Archuletta, a business owner who ripped the government for not giving him more financial help.

Some background info from The Huffington Post:

Phil Archuletta is the owner of P&M Signs in New Mexico. His business specializes in making outdoor and traffic signs.

It is also the beneficiary of federal government contracts.

“For the last 40 years, my company has built the road signs on the Forest Service road system,” Archuletta explained in his prime-time speech at the Republican National Convention. “In fact, in 1984, I was fortunate to receive the national award from President Reagan for being the most successful minority business in the United States. In 2004, President Bush made it possible for our company to manufacture signs for all federal agencies.”

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From 2001 to 2011, Archuletta received more than $18,000 from the government. But, according to him, that wasn’t enough.

“When President Obama came on board and pushed the stimulus, I believed my business was going to explode with work,” Archuletta said. “Unfortunately, it never happened. The Democratic Congress and the Obama administration created a new procurement process that harmed existing small-business contracts, which devastated my business.”

Basically, his argument is as follows: Don’t vote for Obama, he’s bad for small business because he didn’t give me enough government help.

Wait a minute! Isn’t that exactly the opposite of the argument Republicans have been trying to make?

Incidentally, the theme of the Republican National Convention on Tuesday was “We Built This.”

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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