Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed 2ndVote Advisers’ Dan Grant in-studio to discuss the Sensible Taxation and Equity Promotion Act, which will ultimately tax small businesses out of existence with the aid of big corporations and Congress.
Leahy: In-studio with us, our very good friend, the CEO of 2ndVote Advisers, Dan Grant. Good morning, Dan.
Grant: Hey, Michael. Good to be back.
Leahy: It’s great to have you here. I’m so excited to learn about 2ndVote Advisers and what you’re doing. I’ve watched it with great trepidation – all of the very huge money market funds, money managers.
BlackRock and all those guys, and they’re trying to basically shove their politics down the throats of all the shareholders of these large corporations. And I just kept thinking, is anybody going to ever do anything about this? And, boom, there you are. 2ndVote Advisers.
Grant: What we’re really trying to do is help small businesses. I think small business is under attack from it seems like every corner of the government.
For example, what Biden is proposing in his recent tax plan. Big companies certainly aren’t looking out for smaller companies.
Leahy: No, I get the impression that the Biden administration’s deliberate intent is to crush small businesses and make it easier for large corporations to have market dominance.
Grant: Yeah, I think it’s central planning. I think you’re right. I’m going to take a look at the tax plan. My friend and board member Andy Puzder wrote an article.
Leahy: The Andy Puzder. This is the guy that resurrected, what was it? Hardee’s. He was the chairman of Hardee’s and turned him around. And is kind of a bit of a legendary entrepreneurial guy, from what I can tell.
Grant: He’s an attorney by trade, wrote some important legislation when he was in government. He turned CKE restaurants around. Was chairman and CEO there for 15 or 16 years and had 120,000 employees worldwide and was nominated for Labor Secretary by Trump.
And is a prominent conservative and just a great guy. He’s on our board. He’s a supporter of what we’re doing. Super helpful. And I can’t say enough good things about him.
But his article last week about this, what he termed the Biden zombie tax, and what it’s going to do small business. (Leahy laughs)
Leahy: He called it the Biden zombie tax? I love that phrasing. It captures the imagination, Dan.
Grant: It does, but of course, but that’s not the real name. What they call it is the Sensible Taxation and Equity Promotion Act.
Leahy: Okay, whenever you see the Democrats putting a name on a bill (Grant: – Step -), it’s exactly the opposite. Whatever they say it is, it’s going to have exactly the opposite effect.
Grant: So what this act does, it’s meant to pay for that $1.8 trillion price tag or the American Families Plan.
But what it’s going to do is it’s going to kill small businesses by taxing them out of existence through the elimination of the wealth tax exclusion.
If you own a small business, if you own a farm and you die and you want to pass it along to your heirs, there’s an immediate step-up in basis, and people are only taxed on the increase in value from the date of death.
They’re doing away with that step up. You’re going to be taxed 23 percent on capital gains, and then you’re going to get the 40 percent wealth tax.
Leahy: If you build a small business under this proposal, you will not be able to pass it on to your children.
Grant: You’ll be taxed between 66 and 80 percent based on most of these estimates, which obviously you’re not going to be able to finance. You may have 15 years to pay the tax, but no bank is going to loan you that money for 15 years. You’ll be forced to sell it.
And that is what we’re talking about. Anti-competitive small business central planning. It’s crazy. Somebody was telling me the other day in 2000, China had a GDP of $1 trillion dollars. In 2020, $14 trillion.
Leahy: Geez. A 14 times increase. Where is that coming from? It’s coming from …
Grant: It’s not coming from debt. So their debt $7 trillion. The US, their GDP in 2000 was $10 trillion. 2020, $20 trillion. And debt has gone from $5.6 to $27 trillion dollars. And with Biden’s – this new spending plan of $3.5 trillion, It’ll put us over $30 trillion.
We only have 331 million people in the country. China has got 1.4 billion. We’re being taxed out of existence is really what’s happening here. And that’s what our company is really meant to do and that is to highlight what is going on, because the government in many ways is using large businesses to really force these anti-competitive measures onto small and midsize businesses.
Leahy: Absolutely. It’s an attempt to basically create long-term oligopoly or monopoly power for large corporations. That’s the bottom line.
Grant: And they’re doing it under the guys at this ESG investing.
Leahy: Tell our listening audience what ESG stands for.
Grant: Well, it’s something that’s super good for you. (Leahy laughs) It’s environmental, social governance.
Leahy: It’s super good for you. Believe us, trust us. Not.
Grant: It’s here to protect you. From climate change and from all the social ills that are out there.
Leahy: It’s here to solve the problem of slavery and racism that they claim still exists in the country. They don’t claim slavery still exists, but racism, they claim it’s systemic – they argue.
Grant: Well, it’s here to create scorecards. So if you want a large company in Europe and a friend of mine does, and he’s buying another company, he has to fill out a social responsibility form in order to get leveraged financing.
That is coming to the U.S. 5-10 years from now. When you want a credit card, you can fill out your social responsibility card and it will tell you what your interest rate is going to be. That’s what is happening in Europe right now at the corporate level.
Leahy: The big issue that I see for Conservatives and for small businesses is exactly what you’re talking about. The availability of credit from financial institutions. It looks to me like you’re going: I have to think correctly in order to get credit. That’s where we’re headed. What do you think?
Grant: Make no mistake about it. We’re there already. There’s a group out there called the Partnership for Carbon Financial Accounting that all the big banks have joined. And basically what they do is they report the carbon footprint of their clients.
And this is an industry group, and all the big banks are a part of it. And if you don’t have an acceptable – if you are fossil fuels, if you’re – or things like that, your loans are going to be – the pricing is going to be raised, and ultimately, you’re going to be forced out of the bank.
And that’s where the bank’s friends in Congress come into play and say, hey, we’re Citigroup. We’re doing this for the good of society. These money-grubbing small and midsize banks, they’re taking on these customers that we’ve kicked out.
What are you going to do about it? And that’s where Maxine Waters will step in and say, hey, thank you for the baton. We’re going to go ahead.
And whatever you guys are doing voluntarily at the large bank level, we will regulate the small and midsized banks so they can do the same thing.
Leahy: This Step Act thing right now, where does it stand in the House of Representatives? Where does it stand in the Senate?
Grant: Unfortunately, right now, it is not dead. The Republican caucus wrote a letter to President Biden.
Leahy: I’m sure he really ripped it open and said, I got a read this.
Grant: He’s studying it hard right now. (Leahy laughs) He can’t believe what is in the letter. And if it’s true, he is going to retract it. Not.
Leahy: Yeah, right. By the way, he’s the same guy that a month ago said when he was asked about when the U.S. leaves Afghanistan, will the remaining Afghan Army be able to hold back the Taliban?
He said absolutely. Yesterday, he said to send 3,000 troops back in to evacuate the American embassy. The Taliban are just running crazy there. I think we can believe him on economic issues just as much as we can believe him on foreign policy issues. Which is not at all.
Grant: Make no mistake about it. This was not a mistake. The consequences that the Republican caucus laid out, they’re intended.
Leahy: Everything about this administration is a deliberate destruction of the Constitutional Republic as we’ve known. This is my view. Not your view.
Grant: They know what they’re doing.
Leahy: They know what they’re doing. It’s intentional.
Grant: They’re smarter than they look.
Leahy: This Step Act, where does it stand in the House?
Grant: Right now it’s moving forward.
Leahy: Is it on a path to be passed by the House?
Grant: Right now it is, unfortunately.
Leahy: And what’s going to happen in the Senate?
Grant: That’s a great question.
Leahy: It’s a question we’ll answer when we come back.
Listen to the full second hour here:
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