By Stephen Rouzer, Main Street Alliance
Addressing a crowd in New Hampshire, Mr. Trump claimed he could eliminate 70 percent of regulations, many of which small business owners on Main Street view as necessary protections for employers and consumers.
Just hours after a Trump campaign advisor told members of the media that his candidate could quickly remove 10 percent of regulations on businesses, Donald Trump took the stage in New Hampshire and amplified the claim stating he could remove as much as 70 percent of regulations. The rules that keep big businesses in check, ensure product safety and protect our environment could be lifted under the Trump administration in favor of a free for all for large corporations and the wealthy elite.
Among the regulations Mr. Trump promised to target is the Department of Labor’s new Fiduciary Rule that demands that wealth managers and financial advisors act in the best interest of their clients. The regulation was deemed necessary by the DOL earlier this year and would prevent advisors from taking advantage of small business owners and our customers with high-fee investment plans and advice motivated by bonuses and incentives.
“When small business owners make investments they need to be confident that the advice given by professionals is in their best interest. Advisors chasing bonuses and incentives lead investors down the path that is most profitable to them, putting their profits ahead of their clients’ interests. It is this type of chicanery that led us to the market collapse in 2007 that devastated small businesses and communities, and the Fiduciary Standard shakes up business as usual on Wall Street and promotes a fairer and more equitable investment process,” said Amanda Ballantyne, National Director of the Main Street Alliance.
The GOP candidate took aim at the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act claiming it stifled the growth of American businesses. The act is designed to rein in the Wall Street abuses and deception that led to the mortgage and financial crisis, which seriously impeded growth. The very financial crisis Mr. Trump boasts about profiting from when making a case for his business genius. Meanwhile, small business owners on Main Street know that real genius lies in the ability to turn a profit while protecting homeowners and creditors and refusing to repeat the same mistakes of decades prior.
“Formed as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) acts as the first and last line of defense for consumers and borrowers,” said David Borris, the owner of Hel’s Kitchen Catering in Chicago and a member of the Main Street Alliance National Executive Committee. “That is why financial regulations are so important in their potential to stem the tide of financial ruin for millions of local consumers throughout the country.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an agency Mr. Trump’s promised to abolish, a promise he has since reframed, protects the solvency of our businesses and reduces the significant impact large companies have on our environment. We have seen countless instances of lax regulations and in cases when disaster results, small businesses often suffer. Take, for example, the restaurants and cafés in Charleston, West Virginia that had to close their doors for weeks following the 2014 spill that released MCHM into the Elk River, or the hotels, charter fishers and gift shops devastated by the ongoing fallout from the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill.
Mr. Trump’s proposals are the latest in a series of indications that his policies fall in line with his personal interests. They are policies designed for large businesses and real estate moguls like him that fail to consider the needs of small business owners and their employees. To ensure that our financial interests are put before our advisor’s profits, to protect our businesses and our customers from a repeat of the financial meltdown, and to reduce our impact on climate change and risk for eco-disaster, we must reject the notion that regulations are bad for business. Instead, we should embrace the regulations that keep companies in check and look for new rules that provide a safer and more consistent climate to conduct business.
“We want a regulatory system that works for all of us and does not give the advantage to the largest corporations and trade groups that employee huge lobbying staffs for the purpose of rigging the system to their benefit–at the expense of the rest of us. Most of all, Donald Trump must stop using small businesses good name to justify his self-serving attacks on the regulatory safeguards that keep his company in check and ensure the safety and well-being of our employees and customers,” said Kagalee “KB” Brown, the owner of Wolfpack Promotionals in Minneapolis and a member of the Main Street Alliance of Minnesota.