WASHINGTON – In an exclusive op-ed recently published on Louisiana-based RVIVR.com, Competitiveness Coalition Chair Scott Brown urged conservative lawmakers to oppose the American Innovation Choice Online Act (AICO), S.2992, arguing the bill does nothing to address inflation and hurts American competitiveness.
“This legislation presents far too many security vulnerabilities and does nothing to fix the most pressing economic issue,” Brown states. “Louisiana’s federal delegation can work in a bipartisan fashion to help lift – rather than hurt – struggling businesses, families and taxpayers. That process starts by rejecting the AICO Act.”
Chair Scott Brown emphasizes that the current inflationary crisis has hit Louisiana the hardest, propelled by a high sales tax and low average state income. If enacted, this legislation could further squeeze hardworking Louisianans’ paychecks.
“The AICO Act would eliminate features many Americans rely on, such as Google Maps or Amazon Prime and its free two-day shipping.”
Launched in April 2022, the Competitiveness Coalition is a first-of-its-kind group educating the public and advocating for policies that put consumers first while fostering innovation and attracting new investment.
Inflation is the unfortunate topic du jour for families across America, squeezing budgets and forcing tough conversations around kitchen tables. The Biden Administration is being rightly lampooned for scrambling to redefine the technical term of “recession,” as if a textbook debate will bring any relief to those living with its consequences. Meanwhile, some in Congress, including certain conservatives, are threatening to exacerbate the problem through a bill called the American Innovation and Choice Online (AICO) Act.
Republicans on Capitol Hill, particularly those asking voters for another term in Washington this fall, should oppose this misguided legislation.
Billed by its supporters as an antitrust effort to punish so-called Big Tech, the AICO Act imposes restrictions on tech companies’ ability to feature their products and services online. Proponents have tried to tap into Americans’ concerns about content moderation by tech companies to muster support for this bill. But Larry Summers, President Obama’s former top economic adviser whose early warning signs about inflation were sadly ignored by the current administration, has sounded the alarm bell on policies reflected in this bill as well, saying it could worsen our economic woes.
When even prominent left-wing New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is willing to admit he “got it wrong on inflation,” it’s time for the rest of us to take note.
Take for example Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where the cost of living crisis is hitting especially hard, forcing residents to seek assistance from local charities to make ends meet. Consumer prices in the West South Central region, which includes Louisiana, jumped a whopping 10.6% during the past 12 months. Beyond rising costs of gas, grocery and rent prices, many Louisianans will soon face a new slate of annual expenses for back to school season – prices are projected to be 8% higher than last year.
In fact, according to a new study from Merchant Maverick, Louisiana has suffered more than any other state from the current inflationary crisis, driven by the one-two punch of a high sales tax and low average state income. The state’s tourism industry is still recovering from the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and GDP dropped 4.3% in the first quarter.
Read the full op-ed at RVIVR’s website here.