Marching in lockstep, the Democrats pushed a $700 billion spending bill through Congress, claiming it would reduce inflation. We know that to be a lie.
Independent analyses from the Congressional Budget Office, the Congressional Joint Tax Committee, and Penn/Wharton all show the badly misnamed Inflation Reduction Act would do little to nothing to stop the rate of increase in the price of goods and services.
Instead, relying on the oft-quoted strategy of never letting a good crisis go to waste, the Democrats rammed through a pared-down version of President Joe Biden's Build Back Better plan that, to the disappointment of those who put him in office, had languished on Capitol Hill for more than a year.
Biden and the Democrats plan to spend the month of September traveling the country, trumpeting their achievement — which will be interesting to watch as no Democrat considered even remotely at risk of defeat seems to want to campaign with him.
Let's look at what's wrong with it. One of the Democrats' proudest boasts is that by 2030 the new law will bring down carbon emissions by 40% from where they were in 2005. What they don't say is they're already projected to drop by 30% over that period. Spending $370 billion to maybe gain an additional 10% reduction sounds like a bad deal because the reduction in global average temperature would be imperceptible.
The new law also contains provisions that will increase costs for working families, according to a release from the minority staff on the House Ways and Means Committee. Among them are a $25 billion crude oil tax and methane taxes on American energy that will disproportionately harm middle- and lower-income households by driving up the price of gasoline and traditional home heating and cooling.
When it's cold, you can put on a sweater. When it's beastly hot, is it fair to force working American families to choose between buying groceries and school supplies or turning on the AC? And that's not even the most odious part of legislation Congress once again passed without knowing what was in it.
It makes things worse for working families in other ways. According to the Congressional Joint Tax Committee, more than 92% of households with incomes under $200,000 get no benefit or a tax hike. Median-income families earning $50,000-$75,000 are 33% more likely to get a tax hike than a tax cut. Families earning $75,000-$100,000 are four times more likely to get a tax hike, and families earning $100,000-$200,000 more than 10 times more likely to see their taxes go up
If they lose, who wins? The wealthiest Americans:
The percentage of $1 million-plus households getting a tax cut (19.4%) is twice as high as any other income group.
The group with the next highest proportion of tax cuts is those earning $500,000-$1 million.
Over the long term, 72.5% of households with income over $1 million get a tax cut.
The claim drugs prices will come down fares no better. The scheme the new law imposed will increase new drugs' launch price, according to the Congressional Budget Office. If new drugs cost more, you will pay more at the pharmacy and your health insurance premiums will rise, meaning new cures could be pushed out of reach for all but the wealthiest Americans.
From top to bottom, the Inflation Reduction Act is a budget buster, driving the federal government and the nation's families deeper into debt. Under the guise of bringing prices down, the Democrats used their momentary monopoly on power to reward the special interests who help them get elected and their electoral base.
It's a progressive political payoff, not the salvation of the American economy.