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Build Back Better? Congress Doubles Down on Inflationary Gamble

By Eric Elgin

March 21, 2022


I have never looked to the federal government to fix problems I may face in day-to-day business, but the economic conditions we now face—brought about in whole or in part by federal government policies—deserve federal government attention and the small business community’s action.

As I write this article at the end of January, the day’s headlines report that the consumer price index for the month of December increased 7% year over year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation surged at its fastest pace in 40 years, fueled by rising prices for energy, food, transportation, and other essentials in the bureau’s “market basket.” Despite these rising prices and the pressure they are putting on consumers and businesses, our congressional representatives and the current administration are still working to pass the multitrillion-dollar tax hikes included in the Build Back Better Act.

My comments here are not news to AICC members. Rapidly rising costs for our raw materials, energy, and, increasingly, labor are posing a serious challenge to us and to our longtime customers. I recently read a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), wherein the group’s members ranked ongoing worker shortage as the No. 1 challenge employers face. When we can find workers, we are paying higher wages to attract and keep them on the job. Over the past year, I’ve spoken to many AICC members who face this issue, especially those located in high-competition job markets, where companies like Amazon bid up the price for labor.

In this difficult inflationary environment, the Build Back Better plan and its prospect of higher business taxes will place further strain on the profitability of the small business community. Recent estimates show that more than $500 billion of the Build Back Better Act’s cost will be shouldered by family businesses, and the bill would impose top rates on these businesses exceeding 50%.

AICC, as a member of the Small Business Legislative Council and Council of Manufacturing Associations, adds its voice regularly to letters to Congress and the administration on of importance to its members. This is one such issue. Raising taxes on America’s family businesses moves us in the wrong direction, and AICC joins in opposing these plans.


Eric Elgin is owner of Oklahoma Interpak and Chair of AICC’s Government Affairs subcommittee. He can be reached at 918-687-1681 or