In this weeks EETimes there is an article on the presidential candidates, Tech off radar in ’08 race. In a photo caption they have this quote from Mitt Romney:
Reform Sarbanes-Oxley to aid small businesses
The text of the article repeats this sentiment.
Among the industry interest groups, TechNet‘s senior-executive membership has put forth perhaps the most detailed economic agenda. The group calls for reforming Sarbanes-Oxley to reduce the legislation’s unintended repercussions and compliance burdens, especially on small companies.
Both Giuliani and Romney call for reining in the excesses of Sarbanes-Oxley, particularly for small businesses.
Sarbanes-Oxley only applies to publicly traded companies, last time I looked there are no small businesses listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. Therefore small businesses are not required to follow Sarbanes-Oxley. So obviously changing Sarbanes-Oxley is not going to help companies for whom it does not apply. I suppose it’s possible that Mitt, Rudy & TechNet are so clueless about business that they don’t actually know what a small business is but, they certainly don’t portray themselves that way. That quote seems to me like they are simply trying to muddy the waters to push for regulatory relief that benefits big businesses on the pretense of helping small businesses. If that’s their purpose then it’s just classic political lies. A rewording of the quote to, reform Sarbanes-Oxley to aid smaller public companies, would make this an honest sound bite and is what is currently being worked on in Congress.
My conclusion, Mitt, Rudy & TechNet are either clueless about real world businesses or they they are lying to muddy the waters. Either case means they can’t be trusted on this issue.