Joe Biden’s $700 billion Inflation Reduction Act passed both the Senate and House without a single vote from Republicans. It has zero redeeming value and is the most wretched bill out of Washington since Obamacare was approved in 2010. The GOP has to take it off the books.
As we pointed out in this space weeks ago, the entire bill is a lie. It has nothing whatsoever to do with inflation and, in fact, won’t reduce it at all. The University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Wharton Budget Model says the IRA’s “impact on inflation is statistically indistinguishable from zero.” Bill Adams, chief economist for Comerica Bank, says it won’t rein in rising prices “over the short run.” Even the Congressional Budget Office says it does nothing to address inflation.
What it will do, however, is:
- Enact much of the New Green Deal, a counterproductive bill that was conceived as a means to redistribute wealth rather than save the environment through green initiatives (anyone sensing a pattern here?), and was estimated to cost $51 trillion to $93 trillion over its first decade.
- Raise energy costs and, says James Agresti of Just Facts, “make America poorer by subsidizing products that are much more expensive.”
- Outright rob millions of Americans of their livelihoods by requiring businesses to hire workers rather than letting them work as independent contractors, which many prefer. This provision of the bill is based on California’s 2019 Assembly Bill 5, which has stolen Californians’ right to work and hurt small businesses. The law is so depraved that it’s likely to require the state’s 70,000 independent truckers, who are key to moving goods from West Coast ports to the rest of the country, “to sell their trucks and either retire from the business or drive as an employee of a shipping company,” says Edward Ring of the California Policy Center. It’s nearly impossible to overstate how cruel and malevolent AB5 and the similar provision in the IRA are.
- Enact hidden taxes that hit Americans across all income groups (Agresti again).
- “Reduce the incentives of some people to work, mainly because of the enhanced health insurance subsidies, pushing down output and pushing up inflation,” says the CBO.
- Create a small army of IRS shock troops who will abet the progressive-socialist political complex’s consolidation of raw political power while wrecking families, individuals, and small businesses.
- Use its 40 pages of amendments to the Clean Air Act “to arm litigants hostile to the energy industries” and employ “various provisions of the Clean Air Act not heretofore deployed by the climate crowd as possible vehicles to re-engineer the U.S. economy,” says author and attorney Chris Horner.
Simply put, the IRA is jam-packed with Democratic Party crackpot ideas that couldn’t get passed on their own. It is the most rancid of rotten policy stews cooked up in more than a decade. Republicans need to campaign for the midterms on the sworn pledge that if they get veto-proof majorities in both chambers, they’ll repeal it. Fake promises, like the ones made about Obamacare, are unacceptable.
In the meantime, the Republicans, or some sharp attorneys who understand how harmful the IRA is, should seek relief through the courts. Use the most novel legal theories if necessary to have a judge issue an injunction that will halt its implementation until it’s repealed. There’s nothing the GOP can do that’s nobler than ridding the country of the Democrats’ sleaze.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board