EXCLUSIVE: As the Biden administration continues to tout the false benefits of the “Inflation Reduction Act” ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, leading conservative organizations emphasize the urgency of policies that put the interests and needs of America to the front. One of them is the America First Policy Institute (AFPI), which recently launched a series of townhalls to promote policies of liberty, free enterprise, and most importantly America first.
El American had the opportunity of speaking with Linda McMahon, chair of the AFPI board, about America First successes, the financial challenges facing the nation under the Biden administration, and the importance of meeting Americans on the ground to promote the principles that make AFPI such a unique organization.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What are the top priorities behind the town halls?
The top priorities and the reason we’re doing the town halls is to come into the communities to talk to the people who are here, not just sitting in Washington. We went to make sure that we can not only talk about our conservative policies: a free enterprise of parents having an opportunity to be part of their children’s education, to make sure that we’re putting policies forward that don’t increase our taxes, that we support our businesses, all those things. So, it’s important that we come into the towns and listen to the people in our country so that we can have a better idea of what’s impacting them as well.
During your tenure, as the Administrator of SBA, you focused primarily on helping small businesses succeed in America. We have seen a radical change under the Biden administration. They have talked about abolishing so-called ‘systemic disadvantages’ within the economy to help minority-owned businesses. Does the America First Institute oppose these policies, and if so, why?
Well, the America First Policy Institute and also America First Works (which is our sister C four organization) are both strong supporters of policy that will help small businesses grow, not to do anything to detract them.
In the administration, one of the things that I fought so hard for was President Trump’s tax policy at that particular time, which reduced taxes on small businesses, and then the deregulations that the administration put forward so that small businesses would be able to grow.
America First Policy absolutely supports our approximately 33 million small businesses around the country. You might not know this statistic, but about over 99% of all businesses in our country are small businesses that have fewer than 500 employees.
And, so when we pass tax laws that increase taxes on these small businesses and pass more regulations on these small businesses, it makes it very much harder for them to grow and to contribute to our economy. They contribute about 41% of our economy. It’s imperative that we keep small businesses healthy. We must be able to make sure they have access to capital so that they start new programs.
When was at SBA and the Trump tax cuts were being put through, and I would ask small businesses, what are you going to do with this money? And without fail, almost every small business I talked to said they were reinvesting those savings in their company, hiring more people, expanding their footprint for business, and all of that leads to growth in the economy.
Anything that is done to dampen that entrepreneurship and the ability to grow these small businesses absolutely takes away from our economy. And I don’t think that everyone has their eye on that ball.
Are there any policies that you guys are promoting that primarily target Latino-owned businesses?
We are pushing for policies that will help all businesses. We understand that many Latino businesses are small businesses. The extent to which we help all small businesses certainly helps our Latino market. And that’s exactly what we found out when I was an SBA.
One last question, Linda. What do you make of the so-called ‘Inflation Reduction Act’?
I call it the ‘Inflation Acceleration Act’ because I certainly do not believe it is going to reduce inflation. This whole act talks about reducing tax: ‘we are not going to tax anyone who makes under $400,000 a year.’ That’s just not true. Those people are going to be taxed. Small businesses, their pass-through money is going to be taxed.
When we look at the 15% percent that is going out on top of corporations, and this is on booked income, which means whatever their revenue that’s reported on the taxes, they’re going to pay that 15% on it.
To make sure that those who maybe are still paying their full share of taxes and have to spend more money, the IRS is going to have about 87,000 more agents to come in and audit not only big business, but it’s really going to fall more on our smaller businesses because the IRS is going to go for low-hanging fruit when they go into business. Big business corporations, they have wires, they have talent, they have all that stuff to push back. Small businesses don’t.
Now, that’s not to say that if anybody’s not paying their taxes, if anybody’s not abiding by the law, they should be held accountable and to do things legally.
But I think what really happened is that we see, well, for instance, in 2021, over half of the audits that were done, were done on small businesses. It’s just going to be, I think, a really big burden on our small businesses, just not going to go well for our economy.
The America First Policy Institute is expected to tour the nation and hold more town halls. Visit their website here.
Luis Cornelio is the English Editor-in-Chief at El American. After graduating cum laude from the Colin Powell School for Civil and Global Leadership, he went on to intern at the Heritage Foundation. Most recently he served on President Donald Trump's re-election campaign, writing research articles on topics including law and order, immigration, and the Supreme Court. He also currently works as the Director of Communications for Got Freedom and researcher for the election integrity watchdog Amistad Project. A Dominican-American, he was granted U.S. citizenship in February 2020.
// Luis Cornelio es el English Editor-in-Chief de El American. Después de graduarse cum laude de la Escuela Colin Powell de Liderazgo Civil y Global, pasó a ser pasante de la Heritage Foundation. Recientemente, participó en la campaña de reelección del presidente Donald Trump escribiendo artículos de investigación sobre temas como la ley y el orden, la inmigración y la Corte Suprema. Actualmente trabaja como director de Comunicaciones de Got Freedom y es investigador para el grupo de integridad electoral, el Amistad Project. Un dominicano-americano, se le otorgó la ciudadanía americana en febrero de 2020.