"Joe Biden" by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. https://flic.kr/p/2igLZUm

Americans for Tax Reform has joined a coalition of free-market organizations in a letter opposing the Biden administration’s weaponization of antitrust agencies. These organizations allege that the White House has exploited the threat of “corporate greed” to camouflage the failures of “Bidenomics.” Rather than harassing thriving businesses, the coalition calls on the Biden administration to focus on issues affecting everyday Americans, such as skyrocketing inflation and supply-chain mayhem. 

Read the full letter here or below


Dear Members of Congress,

President Joe Biden is heading into the 2024 general election as a historically unpopular incumbent. Biden’s tax-and-spend agenda has led to pocketbook pain for American families, who are getting squeezed with higher prices from gas stations to grocery stores. 

Instead of taking responsibility for the failure of Bidenomics, Biden scapegoats “corporate greed” and uses government power to go after his political targets. We oppose Biden’s weaponization of the antitrust agencies to back up his campaign trail rhetoric.

Biden’s antitrust agencies – the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ) – have both operated beyond their remit to provide political cover for Biden’s reelection. FTC Chair Lina Khan has openly talked about using antitrust law, which is supposed to promote consumer welfare, as a blunt tool to “shape economic outcomes.” Khan’s deputy, Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, wants to enact a “diversity, inclusion, and anti-racist” antitrust agenda. 

Khan has repeatedly weaponized the FTC to shakedown Biden’s political targets. After Elon Musk bought Twitter, Khan demanded that Twitter hand over all internal communications mentioning Musk as well as a list of journalists in communication with Twitter employees. In a hearing last summer, House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan said that the FTC’s treatment of Musk “…seems like more than harassment, that seems like obsession,” and questioned the agency’s “intense focus” on Musk. 

The DOJ’s Antitrust Division, led by corporate lawyer Jonathan Kanter, is working to turn Taylor Swift fans into Biden voters. The DOJ just launched an antitrust case against ticketing company Live Nation Entertainment that seeks to unwind its 2010 merger with Ticketmaster. “Swifties”  remain outraged that Live Nation’s website crashed as tickets for Swift’s Eras Tour went on sale last spring. 

Live Nation’s website did not crash because the company lacks competition – fans could have purchased tickets from Seatgeek, Stubhub, Vivid, or other companies. Swifties crashed the website because demand for Taylor Swift tickets far outweighed the supply. Instead of pricing tickets commensurate with demand, Swift set prices artificially low. As much as it may anger Swifties that were not able to purchase a ticket, there simply were not enough tickets to satisfy the demand. If the government breaks up Live Nation, it would be a massive boon to the scalpers that gobbled up Swift tickets and made a king’s ransom reselling them on the secondary market. 

The FTC and DOJ are supposed to protect consumers. Instead, they are targeting Biden’s political opponents in an election year, leaving American families struggling with Bidenomics worse off in the process. We urge the Biden administration to stop playing politics and correct course. 

Sincerely,

Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform 

Phil Kerpen, President, American Commitment

Robert H. Bork Jr. 

James L. Martin, Founder/Chairman, 60 Plus

Saulius “Saul” Anuzis, President, 60 Plus 

Anthony Zagotta, President, Center for American Principles

Ryan Ellis, President, Center for a Free Economy

Jeff Mazzella, President, Center for Individual Freedom 

David McIntosh, President, Club for Growth 

Ashley Baker, Director of Public Policy, The Committee for Justice

Jim Edwards, President, Conservatives for Property Rights

James Erwin, Executive Director, Digital Liberty

George Landrith, President, Frontiers of Freedom

Patrice Onwuka, Director of the Center for Economic Opportunity, Independent Women’s Forum

Jeffrey Cargerman, Inventors Project

Seton Motley, President, Less Government 

Mike Quatrano, Executive Director, Maine Civic Action

Matt Gagnon, CEO, Maine Policy Institute

Charles Sauer, President, Market Institute 

Holly Gogel, Policy Director, Missouri Century Foundation

Doug Kellogg, Executive Director, Ohioans for Tax Reform 

Tom Hebert, Executive Director, Open Competition Center

John Tamny, President, Parkview Institute

Jon Decker, Senior Fellow, Parkview Institute 

Lorenzo Montanari, Executive Director, Property Rights Alliance

Bryan Bashur, Executive Director, Shareholder Advocacy Forum

Bryce Fielder, Research Director, South Carolina Policy Council

Patrick Brenner, President, Southwest Public Policy Institute 

David Williams , President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Norman Singleton, U.S. Policy