Contradictor-in-Chief: Trump’s Pro-Small Business Rhetoric at Odds with Executive Orders & Policy Proposals

President Trump’s Congressional Address full of empty promises to Main Street businesses.

Tonight, President Trump addressed a joint session of Congress. During his speech, he once again made unsubstantiated promises to support working Americans, their communities, and the economy. During his first month in office, however, Trump has done the opposite: rolling back regulatory reforms that protect small businesses and consumers, filling his cabinet with secretaries who have made a career of decimating Main Street, demonizing immigrants and refugees, and failing to propose tax and infrastructure plans, to name a few.

“The type of widespread deregulation that President Trump advocates would be detrimental to small businesses and their communities on a number of levels,” said Amanda Ballantyne, National Director of the Main Street Alliance.  “Small business owners benefit from regulations that level the playing field and protect communities and investments that foster growth on Main Street.”

If Trump truly has the interest of small business owners at heart, he and his administration must consider the following:

Budget: Massive infusions of money to the military will mean cuts to other critical programs that Main Street needs for a thriving local economy, including a strong workforce, safety net programs, sound infrastructure, and good schools.

Health Care: Millions of small business owners and their employees rely on the ACA for their health care. Trump’s plan would lead to unaffordable premiums, the likely collapse of the private market, and escalating health care costs for small business owners. His plan rolls back the most important protections, returns us to the time when small business owners paid more for less coverage, got charged twice as much for administrative costs as larger groups, and small business owners had no leverage and no real choices. Repealing the ACA is just the first step in a plan to dismantle the health care system, privatize Medicare, and turn Medicaid into block grants. These efforts would not only cause widespread uninsurance but cost millions of jobs and starve state budgets.

Immigration: As job creators, innovators, entrepreneurs, and hard working employees, immigrants are critical to the US economy. Not only is an immigrant twice as likely as a native-born American to start a business, but Main Street Alliance members believe the US is strongest when it is most inclusive. The President has prioritized a border wall and a refugee and travel ban over commonsense immigration reform.

Infrastructure: Small businesses need investments in communities that strengthen the middle class with more high-quality jobs. Instead of having the government spend directly to fix our dangerously outdated roads, bridges, airports, water systems and more, Trump would give large tax credits to private investors, covering 82 percent of the capital they invest in infrastructure projects. Once built--and despite public investment--the new roads and bridges would be private property, resulting in more highway tolls, increased privatization of water and sewer systems, and other fees for public use. There’s no requirement or guarantee that the projects funded are those the country needs most, and many of them would have been built anyway, even without the tax sweetener.

Paid Family and Medical Leave: A federal paid family and medical leave policy must be gender-neutral and universal to work for Main Street. Trump’s plan for “working mothers” does nothing to make paid leave affordable and manageable for small business owners.

Tax: Small business owners need a tax code that levels the playing field and closes corporate tax loopholes. The Trump team’s “border adjustment tax” fails on that front, and is a regressive tax that hurts the middle class and weakens consumer demand – both which are bad for small businesses.