My Point of View: Inflation Reduction Act will actually hurt small businesses

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2022

My Point of View by Brad Kramer

How often do you hear the Democrats lecture us about the wealthy paying their “fair share?” The Democrats use this slogan quite regularly to drum up angst against the wealthy and big businesses.

Brad Kramer

Starting a business is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Harder than parenting, marriage or home ownership, as far as I’m concerned. It’s also rewarding! Business is nothing more than the art of exchanging something of value for something else of value. A business owner might own a gas station, factory, a small side-hustle selling their art products, or one of thousands of other business models, down to one as simple as my daughter’s lemonade stand selling homemade lemonade. My business is a consulting firm, and I serve primarily manufacturing companies, so I have the pleasure of working with many small business owners who care about their employees’ safety and managing the risk of their business. While doing that, I get to know the stories of these business owners and managers, and many do it with the intention of making the lives of their employees better and bringing resources to their communities. The types of business owners the Democrats berate and hold up as the greedy are rare. While there are business owners who exploit workers and cut corners while trying to wring all the profits out of their businesses for more toys and riches, most place their greatest efforts on providing good paying jobs in a good environment for their workers. 

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For those business owners, every hurdle in business means more challenges to pay their workers well and provide those resources to their employees for better quality of life, like more paid time off or lower health insurance premiums. 

Do you have a public pension, 401(k), or another retirement account? You probably own stocks in many big businesses that the Inflation Reduction Act is going to make less profitable, meaning you will have to work until an older age to pay more money into your retirement for the same benefits. If you want GM and GE to pay “their fair share”, look at your retirement account. You likely own a small piece of those businesses you think are not paying enough. When you think it’s just “the wealthy” that will pay their fair share, the truth is, many times the person who you’re calling on the “pay their fair share” …is you!

While building our businesses, my wife and I have had many very difficult challenges, including tough conversations with our banker, learning money management, how to pay bills when our businesses weren’t bringing in money, paying taxes, taking enough time away from our businesses to focus on family and each other when we don’t have paid vacation and much more. Starting a business is a completely unique skill from practicing whatever trade it is that you started from. You might have a carpenter who starts a construction company, and they now need to build upon their carpentry skills, to include how to invoice, cashflow, pay taxes, get the right insurance policies, market their business, make sales, manage employees and train them, manage customers, and much, much more. They generally start out as their company’s marketing, HR, IT,  safety, sales, operations and bookkeeping professional until the business can hire someone for each role. 

One in five U.S. businesses fail in the first year. Half of businesses fail by five years. When a business fails, the owner often loses everything they invested, plus must pay back loans they guaranteed. This many times destroys marriages. For the business owners that succeed, it is relatively few who become wealthy. Without business owners building businesses, our economy would grind to a halt. There would be no efficient or new products brought to market. The quality of food and goods would plummet. Unemployment would skyrocket. That is exactly what happens when you put too much weight on the shoulders of businesses. And that is exactly what the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act is going to accomplish. 

Over the past few years, my wife and I have worked extremely hard to build our businesses. There is a joke amongst entrepreneurs that someone is “an overnight success story, 20 years in the making,” meaning that what appears to the world to be an overnight success, took many years of hard work and sacrifice. We’ve struggled down a very similar path as millions of entrepreneurs throughout American history. The more government gets in the way of businesses operating efficiently, the more we hurt our own economy, the next generation’s future and our own community. 

If you think 87,000 new IRS agents are only going to audit “the rich,” you should first look at your own retirement account, your neighbors and your employer. Don’t be surprised when those being audited includes you. The Inflation Reduction Act won’t reduce anything but jobs.

Brad Kramer is a member of the Freeborn County Republican Party.