Over the weekend, Senate Democrats passed a massive health care and climate change spending bill misleadingly titled “The Inflation Reduction Act.”
Over the weekend, Senate Democrats passed a massive health care and climate change spending bill shamelessly titled “The Inflation Reduction Act.”
- The $740 billion spending package cleared the Senate on a 51-50 party-line vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie.
- The legislation includes $370 billion in “climate-related spending” like tax incentives to buy electric vehicles and wind and solar power subsidies, allows Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, raises taxes, and would double the size of the IRS.
- The so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” is a relatively smaller version of Democrats’ behemoth “Build Back Better” spending package that failed last year.
- The “Inflation Reduction Act” was supported by maverick Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, the primary stumbling blocks to prior efforts to ram through a Democratic policy wish list using special “reconciliation” rules that allow budget bills to pass with 51 votes.
- The New York Times wrote the Senate bill was “five decades in the making” and touted the bill as “the nation’s first major climate law.”
- CNN called the bill “Biden’s big win” and a “landmark climate change and health care bill” while admitting “the Inflation Reduction Act may not live up to its name and cut the cost of living.”
- The Washington Post acknowledged that the impact of $369 billion in climate-related spending (mostly tax incentives) from what it referred to as “the climate bill” will not be felt for years.
- National Review pointed out that even Sen. Bernie Sanders “thinks the Inflation Reduction Act is a fraud.” In remarks, “Sanders labeled it a “so-called” Inflation Reduction Act, “because,” he said, “according to the CBO and other economic organizations that study this bill, it will, in fact, have a minimal impact on inflation.”
- FOX News reported angry Senate Republicans vowed Democrats would “pay the price” for “raising taxes on families during a recession” and predicted that voters would punish them for this bill in the November midterm elections.
- The Wall Street Journal noted Democrats pushed last-minute changes to the bill to shield private equity companies from their new corporate minimum tax, a maneuver that prevented Congress’s budget watchdog from producing a final analysis on the bill’s impact on the federal budget.
The Democrats’ shameless bait-and-switch – calling a massive climate and healthcare spending bill “The Inflation Reduction Act” while openly admitting the bill does nothing to fight inflation– is one of the most dishonest political acts in recent years, right up there with the greatest hits of the Obama era: The myths of the “moderate Syrian rebels” and “moderate Iranian mullahs” and “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”
It’s rare that Congress passes a bill so clearly designed to bedevil future high school history students. Should this bill live up to the hype of being “the nation’s first major climate law,” teachers will have to remind their students that it’s not a trick question – the “Inflation Reduction Act” is really about climate. Struggling high school students of the future can blame Joe Biden and the Democrats should they earn a B- on their “politics of the 2020s” exam for mixing up inflation, climate change, and healthcare. The misdirection is the point.
© Dominic Moore, 2022