IMA

The Wall Street Journal profiled the I Make America campaign in an article this week, highlighting how different businesses and trade associations are ramping up their lobbying campaigns in favor of tax reform.

After a record-setting year for I Make America that saw AEM member companies more engaged than ever in grassroots advocacy, The Wall Street Journal singled out the campaign for its efforts in support of pro-manufacturing policies.

The Journal got a firsthand view of the I Make America campaign when they tagged along for an event at Elliott Equipment Co. in Omaha, Nebraska this past September. Freshman Rep. Don Bacon (NE-02) visited the company for the I Make America event.

Elliott Equipment Chief Executive Jim Glazer first mentioned taxes in a conference-room gathering before the rally. Rep. Bacon asked him and his brother John, also a company executive, about their most pressing issues.

Jim Glazer cited taxes, trade, worker training and infrastructure spending, since Elliott’s customers include utilities and state highway departments. He noted the firm is an S corporation, meaning its owners are taxed on business profits, rather than the company itself.

Mr. Bacon said House Republicans had S corporation interests in mind, noting their owners can face marginal federal tax rates close to 44 percent on business income. “We’re taking corporate down to 20 percent and S corporations to 25 percent,” he assured them. “That’s our starting point.”

The Glazers showed Mr. Bacon around Elliott’s 135,000-square-foot facility, where he chatted with company employees as they paused from fitting out boom trucks like those utility companies use to repair power lines.

Then most of the company’s 150 employees gathered outside, many adding their names to I Make America’s mailing list of manufacturing employees—already 40,000 strong—in return for a hat, beer koozie or bottle opener bearing the group’s logo.

As legislation develops in Washington, I Make America will send emails urging members to contact lawmakers on provisions that matter to manufacturers, with easy links to websites that generate and send editable form letters. Mr. Bacon’s predecessor in Nebraska’s Second Congressional District, a Democrat, also met with member-company employees under I Make America’s banner.

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