Washington, D.C. — Government watchdog Accountable.US released a new analysis finding that right-wing nonprofits — many of which have spent years criticizing government spending — received cash from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) despite seeing increased revenue during 2020. The report found that Prager University Foundation, The Ayn Rand Institute, and Americans For Tax Reform Foundation (ATRF) all saw millions in increased revenue in 2020 and still managed to score thousands in PPP funds — funds that were meant for mom-and-pop shops struggling amidst the pandemic.
Right-wing groups that wave their finger at federal relief spending for local governments and working families never seem to mind when it benefits them. The same people who’ve made careers out of bashing government programs were among the first in line for taxpayer-funded assistance during the COVID-19 crisis — aid intended for struggling mom-and-pop businesses. Their hypocrisy is trumped only by their shamelessness. If these groups were serious about their own purported principles, they’d return that money to the taxpayers.”
Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US
- Prager University Foundation, home of the online conservative video site PragerU, received $704,057 in PPP relief in April 2020. Prager received $22.3 million in grants in 2019 before jumping to $34.6 million in contributions the year that it received PPP funds.
- The Ayn Rand Institute received $713,100 in PPP relief in April 2020. Despite a broad and long-established stance against government spending, the ARI justified their receipt of the funds by arguing emergency relief had been paid for by “extracting wealth from everyone,” including their organization and contributors, “many of whom have already been damaged financially.” But the ARI’s financial reports do not back up a rough year for the organization: for their fiscal year (which ends in September), ARI’s contributions showed a 19% gain for FY 2019 to FY 2020, going from $6.4 to $7.6 million.
- Americans For Tax Reform Foundation (ATRF) has been one of the consistent voices against virtually all government spending over the past few decades. ATF, run by anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, received $290,800 in PPP relief in April 2020. ATRF, the sister organization of Americans for Tax Reform, remained roughly steady in fundraising from 2019 to 2020, while the organization’s net assets increased from a deficit of $17.5 million to a deficit of $12.9 million, a $4.6 million increase.