Senate Democrats Pass Tax-And-Spend Bill

Senate Democrats Pass Tax-And-Spend Bill

Senate Democrats Pass Tax-And-Spend Bill

Just because we all knew the Democrats planned on sticking together, doesn’t make this horrific omnibus of taxes and spending, lamely titled the “Inflation Reduction Act,” any easier for the American people to swallow. And swallowing we shall all have to do, because all sorts of things are about to get a whole lot harder once this bill is (likely) passed by the House and signed by Biden.

As we all know, the “Inflation Reduction Act” doesn’t actually do anything for inflation. As Nina pointed out, no less a progressive than Bernie Sanders admitted that on the Senate floor. And suddenly, the media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) weren’t talking about inflation any more. Why, it’s as if once Bernie admitted once we all knew, the jig was up and they could all pivot to what this was really about!

Wait, this is about climate? This is about healthcare? This is about taxes? But it was SUPPOSED to be about inflation! Nope, this was “Build Back Better Lite,” and the Senate Democrats just gave it a more catchy name for the moment.

So, what will this bill do for climate? Give rich people tax credits, of course!

The bill includes provisions such as tax credits to encourage clean energy deployment, which could help shift the U.S. away from fossil fuels, as well as other programs aimed at combating climate change.”

So in other words, Solyndra part deux – along with the payoff to Joe Manchin for supporting the bill.

Other measures expected to cut emissions include a program that puts a fee on excess methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, incentives for efficiency and capturing carbon emissions from the industrial sector and tax credits and rebates for electrification and efficiency upgrades for buildings.”

The package isn’t all good for climate change efforts. It also requires the Interior Department to open up new oil and gas drilling as a requirement to open up new acreage for solar and wind energy. A separate side deal that helped secure Manchin’s support could also help advance a contested natural gas pipeline that runs through West Virginia and is backed by the senator.”

Never mind the Manchin bribe – MORE TAXES ON CORPORATIONS, WHEEE.

What could possibly go wrong? This bill is a huge mess, filled with giveaways for the rich. One of those giveaways nearly derailed things and gave Democrats a moment of panic – until they were able to appease seven Senate Democrats who were about to leave a SALT (state and local taxes) cap extension in place that Republicans had proposed.

The amendment was sponsored by Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.), who says the 15 percent corporate minimum tax would raise taxes on businesses with less than $1 billion in profits because it would apply to private equity groups that have partnership interests in those businesses.”

The amendment would be paid for by a one-year extension of the cap on state and local tax deductions (SALT) that was a key feature of the 2017 Trump tax cut and which Schumer pledged to repeal as majority leader.”

The amendment could have imperiled final passage of the bill as it would hit residents of high-tax blue states such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and California.”

However, Democrats quickly offered an amendment from Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) after passage of the other amendment to make changes to the bill that would make it more palatable.”

The Warner amendment replaced the SALT cap extension with a different tax provision raising revenue.”

Warner’s amendment was approved, with Vice President Harris casting a tie-breaking vote.”

That SALT cap is meant to keep the wealthiest people in high tax states from being able to deduct more of their state and local taxes from their federal tax bill. Of course this is something the Democrats wanted to get rid of! But notice who got cold feet – Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly of Arizona, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock of Georgia, Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen of Nevada, and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire. Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada are all very much swing states at the moment, and Kelly, Warnock, Cortez Masto, and Hassan are all in “toss up” races. They were all coerced back into lockstep with the Democrats, but they will bear the fallout of what this bill will do to the average American taxpayer, especially when the IRS comes knocking.

But wait, says Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland. Why should any honest American be afraid of the IRS, he said out loud.

Oh I dunno, Lois Lerner comes to mind. But why should Senator Cardin care – it’s the little people who deal with audits and stuff, not HIM. And not the rich who have very good tax lawyers.

And even while crowing that this is a win for Democrats and claiming that the GOP “lost” on this bill, even the media is admitting that some of these bill’s votes and provisions are going to make life harder for certain Senators and their reelection races.

The silver lining for Republicans is they also now have a much larger stockpile of political ammo to use against incumbents such as Sens. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) after forcing them to vote on proposals to repeal a 16.4 cent a gallon tax on foreign oil imports and a ban on the IRS targeting individuals and small business owners who make under $400,000 a year with audits.”

The GOP needs to start running ads in Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, and New Hampshire and make these senators own their vote, immediately. As in, these ads need to start running tomorrow. It’s clearer than ever that winning the House back is not enough – Republicans must win back the Senate. The Democrats got what they wanted – a tax hike, massive spending on all their pet climate projects, and making the IRS even bigger and more hungry to nitpick over your tax returns than ever before. Now it is up to voters to hold Democrats accountable for the fallout that is surely coming. Remember, no matter what the Democrats and the media say, we are in a recession. The only question is, just how much worse does this recession get with the “Inflation Reduction Act”?

Featured image via Proulain on Pixabay, cropped, Pixabay license

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  • Stephen C says:

    All the Republicans have to do, if they are smart and want to succeed, is to emphasize to the public the addition of 86,000 tax auditors. Everyday people are still waiting for the ‘simplified tax return on a postcard’. Increasing the number of tax auditors is a bad move.

  • Scott says:

    We are SOOOO screwed.. Whatever happened to tar and feathers???

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