Get The Mink First

On Tuesday, The Daily Caller posted an article about the compromise the Democrats made with Senator Joe Manchin in order to persuade him to vote for the Inflation Reduction Act. The Inflation Reduction Act passed by a vote of 51-50, with Vice-President Kamala Harris breaking the tie–all Democrats voted for it. If Senator Manchin had not voted for it, the bill would not have passed. In order to win his vote, the Democrats made promises of reforming the permitting process in energy permits in a future bill. The Democrats have reneged on that promise, and Senator Manchin is stuck with a bill that will negatively impact his home state of West Virginia. Now the Senator has backed down from his insisting that the agreement made be honored in the government funding resolution. He is not looking good. He is up for re-election in 2024, but maybe voters will forget what he did by then.

The article reports:

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin backed down from including his energy permitting overhaul in a government funding resolution Tuesday evening after a bipartisan group of senators threatened to block it.

Federal funding is scheduled to run out Sept. 30, and the continuing resolution introduced by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York would pay for the government to stay open through Dec. 16. As part of Manchin’s support for the Inflation Reduction Act, Schumer promised the moderate that the Senate would pass his permitting reform proposal. The Energy Independence and Security Act would speed up completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a more-than-300 mile pipeline that would transport natural gas from West Virginia to Virginia, and amend the National Environmental Policy Act or the Clean Water Act to require federal agencies to approve or reject energy projects faster.

The article concludes:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky whipped Republicans against the provision, although Manchin’s fellow West Virginia senator, Republican Shelley Moore Capito, came out in favor of it.

“Given what Senator Manchin did on the reconciliation bill, [it’s] engendered a lot of bad blood,” Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn told Politico of the package. “There’s not a lot of sympathy on our side to provide Sen. Manchin a reward.”

Manchin announced his support just hours after 17 Republican senators voted in favor the CHIPS and Science Act. McConnell had threatened to pull Republican support from the research and development package if Democrats continued with reconciliation negotiations.

The Senate voted 72-23 shortly before 7 p.m. to open debate on the continuing resolution. The final bill must become law by Saturday to avoid a government shutdown.

Remember when Congress actually paid attention to the correct, legal budgeting process and we didn’t have threatened government shutdowns? It’s time to get back to a time when annual budgets were passed rather than continuing resolutions. I believe that the last time we actually had a federal budge passed was sometime between 2007 and 2009. It’s time we got back to doing things according to the law.

 

Just What We Needed–Another Government Agency!

On Sunday, The Epoch Times reported the following:

The Biden administration on Saturday launched a new national office dubbed the “Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights” charged with addressing what some officials say are the disproportionate harms inflicted on low-income areas and communities of color by pollution and climate change.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an independent executive agency of the U.S. federal government, announced that the new office “will position the agency to better advance environmental justice, enforce civil rights laws in overburdened communities, and deliver new grants and technical assistance.”

The new office will oversee a portion of Democrats’ $60 billion investment in environmental justice initiatives created by the Inflation Reduction Act—specifically, the implementation and delivery of $3 billion in block grants to underserved communities affected by pollution.

The EPA said the new office will also “ensure EPA’s implementation of other funding programs provided by the Inflation Reduction Act [and] Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

Three existing EPA programs that oversee environmental justice, civil rights, and conflict prevention and resolution will be merged into the new senior-level office.

Wow! A whole agency saying that the climate is racist. Good grief!

I have a suggestion. If the summertime temperature is higher in black neighborhoods that white neighborhoods, plant trees. I am sure something could be worked out so that the city involved could afford to do that. We don’t need another government agency to do that.

Note that they are merging three current EPA programs into this new office. These programs oversee environmental justice, civil rights, conflict prevention and resolution. Let’s get something straight–if the earth burns up because of climate change (which is highly unlikely) all people will be equally impacted. The climate is not aware of anyone’s financial situation or political power. If those screaming the loudest about climate change really believed what they were saying, would they buy oceanfront estates and run around in private jets?

The article concludes:

The EPA’s definition of “environmental justice” is “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.”

There is no such thing as environmental justice–the government does NOT control the environment! This office will simply be a center for the redistribution of wealth, which is the ultimate goal of the Biden (Obama) administration.

The Pigford Settlement Revisited

In April 2013, Investor’s Business Daily reported the following:

Turns out conservative crusader Andrew Breitbart was correct when he exposed a multibillion-dollar redistribution scheme to African-American farmers based on largely dubious claims of discrimination.

If there’s a patron saint for government watchdogs, it’s Breitbart, who was well into exposing at the time of his early death one of the most egregious examples of wealth redistribution in the name of social justice: the Pigford case.

A handful of black farmers who arguably were discriminated against in their dealings with the Agriculture Department were exploited by a racial grievance industry empowered by a government and a president out to fundamentally transform America.

Outside Breitbart and his Big Government website, only a handful of outlets, among them IBD, pursued the story. Late to the story, but welcome, comes the New York Times with an analysis that Breitbart was right, that Pigford became not a redress of legitimate grievances but a “a runaway train, driven by racial politics, pressure from influential members of Congress and law firms that stand to gain more than $130 million in fees.”

The article notes:

Based on Census data reflecting the original period in question, the USDA first estimated only 2,000 claims would be filed. But in this age of victimhood and dependency fanned by demagoguery, “more than 90,000 people have filed claims” and the “total cost could top $4.4 billion,” noted the Times.

As BigGovernment.com reported, the only “proof” required was a form stating the claimant had “attempted” to farm, perhaps planting tomatoes in the backyard, and to have a family member vouch for that assertion.

The government would then send the aggrieved “farmer” a check for as much as $50,000.

Remember Shirley Sherrod, the former USDA official whose speech before an NAACP group revealing her angst about helping a white farmer got her fired?

Time magazine reported that $330,000 was “awarded to Shirley and Charles Sherrod for mental suffering alone,” in their claim against the USDA.

On September 26, 2022, The Daily Caller reported:

The Democrats’ massive climate spending and tax bill gave the Department of Agriculture (USDA) $2.2 billion in loans to pay farmers, many of whom are black, who have previously been denied USDA loans due to discrimination.

The provision, which was backed by Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Raphael Warnock of Georgia, is intended to provide financial assistance to farmers, ranchers or forest landowners that the department determines to have experienced discrimination in USDA farm lending programs before January 1. 2021, according to the bill’s text. Although the funding could go to any farmer that the government has discriminated against, such as white women or members of the LGBTQ community, the money is primarily intended to rectify the historic denial of loans to black farmers, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Somehow I don’t believe that there were $2.2 billion in loans denied to black farmers (or anyone else). This is another attempt (unfortunately successful) to pay reparations and to redistribute money from people who earned it to people who didn’t.

Something To Consider

Front Page Magazine posted an article today about the recent White House celebration of the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. James Taylor sang, and everyone present celebrated the coming end of inflation.

The article reports:

Biden threw a party to celebrate the Inflation Reduction Act on the White House South Lawn even as the latest figures showed that core inflation has continued to rise. Grocery prices had the steepest increase since 1979. Rent prices shot up again and medical costs are escalating.

Even the most loyal media lapdogs could hardly stand this festival of lies. CNN cut away from Biden’s masque of red ink to show what was happening to the stock market. Reuters acidly headlined its coverage, “Biden celebrates ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ as food, rent prices climb”.

So what’s there to celebrate?

The Inflation Reduction Act is a lie. It doesn’t reduce inflation: it actually gooses it. The IRA is another inflationary leftist spending boondoggle that throws billions at green energy and $80 billion at the IRS to audit the middle class in the hopes of balancing out some of the crony cash.

The article notes the real intention of the Inflation Reduction Act:

The Biden administration isn’t fighting inflation, it’s deliberately increasing it even as its cronies in the Federal Reserve hammer home new interest rate hikes to force the economy into a recession. This two-step dance destroys savings, wrecks investments and allows for a massive wealth transfer to Democrat donors, special interests and voters. The more that the Democrat majority spends, the worse inflation gets and the more justification there is for higher rates.

If a recession arrives, there’ll be even more justification for government wealth transfers.

The transfer of wealth actually began during the Covid pandemic. Small businesses were forced to close while big box stores remained open. Amazon became the place to shop for people who were fearful of leaving their homes. Walmart remained open while the local clothing stores closed. In California, restaurants were forced to close while Hollywood created their own restaurants on movie sets. Churches closed while liquor store remained open. The transfer of wealth has been happening for a while.

The article concludes:

While inflation is a useful tool, it’s not the only one. The EPA, CDC, FDA, USDA and numerous government agencies with virtually unchecked regulatory powers can dramatically change product availability and price at the macro level leading to demands for further interventions.

COVID lockdowns were the patient zero of this new economy. Seemingly irrational and unjust measures shut down small businesses while allowing Amazon and major retailers to roll on. But there was nothing irrational about it. This was a deliberate strategy to further consolidate the retail sector, concentrating the pain among small businesses before offering them temporary subsidies, and narrowing the retail pipeline to put it even further under government control.Labor disputes in rail lines and UPS allow Democrat unions to shut down the supply chain.

But as they used to say on television, “This was only a test.” Socialism, on a much broader scale than we’ve seen it, is being tested. As destructive as these tests were, that’s still what they are. Anyone living under actual socialism can tell you that it can get much worse. And will.

When that happens, Biden will throw an even bigger party. And we’ll be the ones paying for it.

Cap And Trade Comes To America

In 2010, the Democrats were talking about passing a Cap and Trade Bill. Their efforts were futile.

As I reported in 2010 (article here):

Informed sources are predicting that if the Democrat party loses the House of Representatives in the November election, there will be lame-duck session of Congress after the election to pass some of the legislation that the Democrats can’t seem to get passed now.  The logic is that since many members will have been voted out and thus not have to worry about being re-elected, they will be willing to vote for some of the more unpopular bills–Cap and Trade, Card Check, and tax increases.  I suppose that is possible, but it really would be political suicide for the Democrat party.  When I thought about that, I wondered why, even after the global warming scandals, the Democrats would still be pushing Cap and Trade.  Well, I think I have my answer–follow the money!

There was a very interesting article at the American Thinker yesterday.  The article reported that the Chicago Climate Exchange is running out of money and laying off employees.  What is the Chicago Climate Exchange?   It is a company that trades ‘carbon credits.’

The American Thinker pointed out:

“The biggest losers have been CCX’s two biggest investors – Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management and Goldman Sachs – and President Obama, who helped launch CCX with funding from the Joyce Foundation, where he and presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett once sat on the board of directors.”

As usual, follow the money.

Well, Cap and Trade is back. The Conservative Treehouse reported the following on September 15th:

Deep inside the legislative language of the falsely titled “inflation reduction act”, aka The Green New Deal legislative vehicle constructed by lobbyists and passed by congress, people are now starting to realize a carbon-trading system was created.

Ultimately, a carbon trading system has always been the holy grail of the people who run the western financial system and want to create mechanisms to control wealth by using the ‘climate change’ agenda.

A carbon trading system is a very lucrative financial transfer mechanism with a potential scale to dwarf the derivative, Wall Street betting, market.  Secondarily, such a market would cement the climate change energy policy making it very difficult to reverse.  The new creation as explained by the Wall Street Journal, holds similarities to the EPA ethanol program.

On September 14th, The Wall Street Journal reported:

A brand-new market for green tax credits is taking shape as bankers and advisers figure out how to funnel tax breaks from energy companies that generate them to profitable corporations eager for smaller tax bills. 

The market is forming because Congress last month expanded renewable-energy tax credits and made them transferable in the law known as the Inflation Reduction Act, which also lowers prescription drug prices and imposes new taxes on large corporations.

The tax-credit sales mark a shift in the U.S. strategy for attracting public and private capital to renewable-energy projects, and they will happen alongside existing climate-finance markets such as carbon offset purchases. The deals won’t start in earnest until 2023, but lawyers and financiers are already structuring transactions. They are discussing arrangements in which credits would be sold at discounts from face value, and they are determining how to cushion tax-credit buyers against potential risks. 

The bottom line here is simple–the federal government is going to have more control over who prospers and who doesn’t. At the rate we are going, we can pretty much assume that companies with the correct politics will be allowed to flourish and companies with incorrect politics will be hampered in their ability to grow. Yuck.

Promises Made, Promises Broken

On Friday, The Hill posted an article about more than 70 House of Representatives Democrats reneging on the promise they made to Senator Joe Manchin in order to persuade him to vote for the Inflation Reduction Act.

The article reports:

More than 70 House Democrats are signing on to a letter pressing Democratic leaders to not include a side deal with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on reforming the permit process for energy projects in a bill funding the government.

The permitting reform language was offered to Manchin to win his vote on the massive climate, tax and health care bill known as the Inflation Reduction Act that was signed into law by President Biden last month.

Manchin provided the critical support to get that bill through the evenly divided Senate after winning concessions from Democratic leaders.

But in the new letter, the Democratic lawmakers are asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) not to include the permitting reforms championed by Manchin into a stopgap funding measure that Congress is expected to take up this month.

Without a stopgap funding measure, the government will shut down on Oct. 1.

“The inclusion of these provisions in a continuing resolution, or any other must-pass legislation, would silence the voices of frontline and environmental justice communities by insulating them from scrutiny,” they lawmakers wrote. 

“We urge you to ensure that these provisions are kept out of a continuing resolution or any other must-pass legislation this year,” they added in the letter that was spearheaded by Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.).

The opposition from Democrats is a significant problem. If the group follows through on the letter, Democrats might not have the votes to pass a government funding bill if it includes the language backed by Manchin. 

Budget by continuing resolution is garbage. Between 1975, when the current budget process took effect, and 1998 Congress never failed to pass a budget. Since then, Congress has failed to pass a budget in 7 of the last 15 fiscal years. It’s time to go back to each governmental department having a budget passed individually. The reason that is not currently happening is that in Washington, money is power. The more money you control, the more powerful you are considered to be. Continuing resolutions take away accountability and have pretty much eliminated budget cuts. The threat of a government shutdown if a continuing resolution is not passed can be used to justify almost anything, and it will be this month.

When You Don’t Deal With A Lawbreaker…

On Tuesday, Townhall reported that the Biden administration has chosen the person to lead the new, expanded Internal Revenue Service.

The article reports:

As the Biden administration continues its attempts to consolidate power within the federal government and among its leftist allies, there’s a familiar face being tapped to lead Biden’s effort to surge power, resources, and agents to the IRS — and she has quite the track record of working to target conservative groups and organizations. 

One of Lois Lerner’s lackeys from the Obama-era IRS scandal — one that saw the agency target conservative and tea party affiliated groups as a political arm of the Obama-Biden administration — will be leading the Biden administration’s expansion of the IRS and stated goal of hiring 87,000 new agents.

Nikole Flax, who most recently served as the deputy commissioner in charge of the IRS’ Large Business & International Division, has been with the IRS since 2008. According to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, Flax will be leading “the creation of a new, centralized office for implementation of all IRS-related provisions” outlined in the boondoggle falsely named the “Inflation Reduction Act.” There’s little Democrats love more than a chance to work on “centralized” anything within the federal government. 

I wonder if the IRS will be used to squelch conservative speech before the mid-terms and before the 2024 presidential election.

The article notes:

Once the IRS was caught in its scheme of treating conservatives disparately from liberal organizations, Flax was one of several senior IRS officials who had their emails conveniently get “lost,” along with Lerner’s, as Katie reported in 2014. “One of those officials is former chief of staff to former Acting Commissioner Steven Miller, Nikole Flax,” Katie also noted. “The ‘lost’ emails fall during the time period when ‘the Washington, DC office wrote and directed the Cincinnati field office to send abusive questionnaires, including inappropriate demands for donor information, to conservative groups,” according to the House Ways and Means Committee.”

Somehow in Washington, the excuse ‘the dog ate my emails’ is accepted.

The article concludes:

As a refresher, the emails that *were* recovered from Lerner and other high-ranking officials included explanations of their main goal in going after conservatives and tea party groups: “One IRS prosecution would make an impact and they wouldn’t feel so comfortable doing stuff,” Lerner wrote.

Flax also, as Katie reported here, “visited the White House 35 times after talking with former head of tax exempt groups Lois Lerner about working to criminally prosecute conservative tea party groups for ‘lying’ about political activity.” What was Flax doing at the White House? Who did she talk to? Was she reporting progress or taking orders? All that’s known is that Flax will again now have a leading role within the IRS as the Biden administration steps up its attacks on conservatives by labeling vast swaths of Americans as fascists.

A Facebook friend who does excellent research points out:

Nikole Flax was the pointPERSON in the Obama program to target conservative businesses. When it was discovered that they broke the law in specifically targeting opposition, the inspector general sent Flax instructions to deliver her computer to his office for inspection.
She miraculously had a hard drive crash that very instant and, notwithstanding the incredible amount of computer geeks at the FBI, no one was ever able to recover a single bit of information from her hard drive. Imagine that.
She was never prosecuted for abuse of power, obstruction of justice, or destruction of evidence.
Instead, China Joe has appointed her to head the IRS Central Office controlling the audits for the 87,000 new agents as well as its existing auditors. The White House did not disclose whether she gets one of the new AR-15s and some high-capacity magazines the IRS recently purchased.
Do you really think they are going to enforce the law equally?
Not since Vladimir Putin has an evil person in government been given so much power.

Stay tuned (and make sure you are current on alternative news sources)!

There Is No Honor Among Thieves

On Tuesday I posted an article about the few good things in the Inflation Reduction Act. They were things that would prevent the fossil fuel industry in America from disappearing entirely under the extreme environmentalist agenda of the Biden administration.

On Tuesday, Townhall posted an article raising the possibility that the items that made the deal with Senator Manchin possible might not happen.

The article reports:

The deal that took place between Manchin and Schumer, as well as Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, assured Manchin that there would be a separate method approved that would involve permits for energy infrastructure, including gas pipelines. There would also be new lease sales for oil drilling on federal lands. 

It doesn’t seem like everyone is on board, though. As POLITICO reported on Tuesday for Congress Minutes, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) says he’s “reserving judgement for now.” As the headline aptly read, though, “Tom Carper sure doesn’t sound sold yet on the permitting deal Chuck Schumer struck with Joe Manchin.” 

While Carper’s highlighted remarks begin sounding hopeful enough, there’s still room for concern. “I’m confident we’ll find some areas where we agree. There will probably be some areas where we don’t agree. I’m not sure the vehicle. I feel confident we’ll do that. … At the end of the day, I just don’t want us to make the changes in permitting that will undermine our ability to fight climate change,” he said. 

A newsletter from Inside Climate News last month explained a whole host of complaints that environmentalist groups had about the agreement. 

The remarks came after Carper presided over a pro forma session that same day. 

The article notes:

Making the agreement even more high stakes is that Sen. Manchin is threatening to shut down the government if he doesn’t get his permitting deal in a continuing resolution (CR). While Republicans have taken heat for threats to shut down the government, now it’s a Democrat who is doing so.

On Sunday, The West Virginia MetroNews reported:

As part of an agreement between Manchin and Democratic leaders, Congress will consider changes to the permitting process once lawmakers return to Capitol Hill next month. Related legislation will include steps to speed up approval of energy projects as well as the completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a 303-mile system capable of transporting natural gas from West Virginia to southern Virginia once complete. The project has been marred by legal challenges.

Manchin said the language will be in a continuing resolution to fund the federal government for when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

“This is something the Republican Party has wanted for the last five to seven years I’ve been with them,” he said.

“It either keeps the country open, or we shut down the government. That’ll happen Sept. 30, so let’s see how that politics plays out.”

Stay tuned.

 

Good News?

I was very unhappy when Senator Manchin signed on to the Inflation Recovery Act. I was not necessarily surprised, as he has caved in the past when his vote was critical. However, it seems as if there might be a silver lining to this atrocious bill. Please follow the link to the bill to read the Associated Press’ comments on the legislation.

On Sunday, Hot Air reported the following:

Some of the Democrats who have been spiking the ball in the end zone after the passage of the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” probably didn’t read all of the finer details in the bill. They’ve been celebrating its passage along with Joe Biden as the “biggest climate legislation” to ever be passed. They have also been grudgingly thanking West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin for getting the bill over the finish line. But it turns out that Manchin snuck in a few items that haven’t drawn many headlines yet and the climate warriors aren’t going to be very happy about them. While there were billions of dollars for wind and solar energy incentives in the bill, there were also provisions to bolster the oil and gas industry and keep it viable for quite some time to come. And previously stalled permits for drilling both on federal lands and offshore are about to be back on track. (Associated Press)

The article notes:

The most amusing part of this story is perhaps not the underlying news about new oil and gas leases, but the language the AP reporter chose to employ. After the CBO report came out, along with multiple analyses from economists, they’ve basically given up on calling the recent legislation the “Inflation Reduction Act.” In the title of the article, they simply call it the “climate bill.” They then go on to call it the “climate measure.” You have to dig down to the third paragraph before they bother mentioning the actual name of the bill as it was crafted.

The article concludes:

The oil and gas industry clearly saw this coming and they had been preparing. Despite the CEO of Chevron predicting earlier this year that no new oil refineries might ever be built in the United States again thanks to Joe Biden, we learned in recent weeks that Meridian Energy Group has received approval and is moving forward on construction of a new refinery in North Dakota. Two other previously shuttered refineries are undergoing refurbishment and will reopen later this year.

Don’t get me wrong, here. There are still plenty of awful things in this “climate bill.” But these additions lashing renewables and fossil fuels together have at least brought us a few significant steps closer to the “all of the above” energy policy that America needs to survive into the next century.

There may actually be a silver lining to this monstrosity.

 

The Inflation Reduction Act

The Inflation Reduction Act has passed through Congress and will undoubtedly be signed into law by President Biden by the time you read this. So what exactly does this law do? Well, for starters it does not reduce inflation and it will not impact the climate. However, it will help China’s economy (they dominate the green energy field) and it will let Democrats celebrate that they passed something through Congress. It will also raise the cost of living for all Americans in the form of increased energy costs and some tax increases.

On Monday, The New York Post reported:

An analysis by the CBO estimates those earning less than $400,000 — the group on which Biden promised not to raise taxes — will pay an estimated $20 billion more in taxes over the next decade as a result of the Democrat-pushed $740 billion package, which also sets aside $80 billion to hire 87,000 IRS agents.

The bill has yet to be scored in its entirety by the CBO — which typically gives each piece of legislation a price tag before it is voted on — but the agency scored the impact of the IRS expansion on middle-class taxpayers on Aug. 12 after a provision from Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) sought to exempt those making under $400,000 from increased IRS scrutiny.

Crapo’s proposed amendment would have kept those taxpayers from being targeted by the new IRS hires, but his provision was shot down 51-50 in the bill passed by the Senate last week.

On Monday, John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog reported the following:

Democrats quickly gave up on the Inflation Reduction Act, since they couldn’t sell the idea that another $700+ billion in deficit spending would somehow reduce inflation. So now it is alleged to be a climate control act, instead.

But the bill won’t affect the climate any more than it would have reduced inflation. Even if you assume the UN’s inflated estimate of the impact of CO2 emissions on global warming, the bill’s impact is nil:

[W]e get somewhere between 0.028 and 0.0009°F reduction in temperature by 2100 for about 400 billion dollars in climate spending contained in the bill.

But the oceans will stop rising! Which, by the way, they have been doing for the last 15,000 or so years.

The article at Power Line Blog concludes:

So the Democrats’ prize legislation is an exercise in futility. Unless, of course, you are one of the many Democratic Party constituents who will be cashing the checks that add up to more than $700 billion, with a little over half ostensibly going to benefit the climate.

The purpose here is to buy votes, obviously, and the Democratic Party press is ecstatic over the idea that Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer finally have a “win” to brag about. But I wonder. I haven’t seen much evidence that the Democrats’ deficit spending extravaganzas are especially popular outside the precincts of those who cash the checks. (And, by the way, the number one beneficiary of this particular $700 billion will be the Communist Chinese, who dominate “green” energy.) My guess is that most Americans have caught on to the Democrats’ game, and understand that this legislation will no more dictate the Earth’s climate than it will bring our crippling inflation under control.

That’s where we are, folks.

Despite What You Are Being Told, The Inflation Reduction Act Is Simply A Tax Bill

On Monday, Breitbart reported:

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) has listed several taxes in in the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” that passed the Senate on Sunday — which Democrats now hail as a “climate” bill, since the Congressional Budget Offices says it will hardly reduce inflation.

These taxes include taxes on fossil fuel, which will raise energy costs for working-class families, still struggling with high gas prices; taxes on businesses that will affect consumers and entrepreneurs; taxes on medicines; and taxes that affect pensions.

The article lists the taxes:

The full list, as published by ATR, is summarized below.

  • Taxes on fossil fuels: These include a $6.5 billion tax on natural gas production; a “16.4 cents-per-barrel tax on crude oil and imported petroleum products”; and a $1.2 billion coal tax. All of these would likely raise energy costs for typical households.
  • Taxes on corporations: The bill includes a 15% minimum tax on large corporations, which ATR argues will be passed onto consumers, and which will hit the manufacturing industry particularly hard as it is still struggling with supply chain problems.
  • Taxes on medium-sized businesses: ATR says the bill extends a limit on loss deductions for “passthrough” businesses — S corporations and sole proprietorships — for two years, without extending a corresponding 20% deduction on income.
  • Indirect tax on pensions through taxing stock buybacks: The bill taxes companies that buy their own stock back, ignoring the fact that doing so often raises the price of the stock. The tax therefore hurts 401(k) savings, and even union pension funds.
  • Tax on pharmaceuticals unless they accept price caps: The bill imposes a 95% excise tax on pharmaceuticals that do not accept government price controls, which could affect the ability of drug companies to develop new treatments in the future.

As Ronald Reagan used to say, “Here they go again.”

The article concludes:

The Congressional Budget Office has said the bill will likely have a negligible effect on inflation in the near future, despite its name. The bill passed the Senate on Sunday evening, and now heads to the Democrat-controlled House for likely passage.

Why am I not surprised that the bill will not immediately impact inflation? The way to stop inflation is to stop spending and bring back energy independence.

The Latest Excuse For The Low Workforce Participation Number

On Saturday, Breitbart posted an article about the Biden administration’s explanation for the drop in the Workforce Participate Rate in July. The explanation was about on a par with ‘the dog ate my homework.’

The article reports:

Claim: The decline in the labor force participation rate fell in July because fewer teenagers were working.

On Friday, after the Department of Labor’s jobs numbers showed that the labor force participation rate declined from 62.2 percent to 62.1 percent despite employers taking on 528,000 new workers, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre claimed that the decline as “about teenagers.”

The article includes a Fact Check of the claim that teenagers were at fault:

Verdict: False.

While the teenage participation rate did fall in July from a seasonally adjusted 36.6 to 35.8, this represented a decline in the number of teenagers in the labor for of 126,000. That contributed to the decline but it contributed less than the decline in the number of adult men in the labor force.
Men aged twenty and over saw their labor force participation rate decline from 70.1 to 69.9. While smaller in percentage terms than the teenage decline, it was larger in absolute terms because it represented a 183,000 decline in participation. As a result, grown men contributed more than teenagers to the decline in the participation rate. The data show that men aged twenty-five to thirty-four saw their labor force participation drop by 136,000, for a decline from 88.9 to 88.3.

If the Inflation Reduction Act becomes law, you can expect the Workforce Participation Rate to decline further.

This Is Probably A Done Deal

Now that Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema has agreed to vote for it, the Inflation Reduction Act will probably pass the Senate and become law. That is not good news for Americans.

The Conservative Treehouse points out some of the changes that were made to the law to get Senator Sinema to agree to vote for it:

Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema has announced her support for the senate climate change spending and tax proposal after some modifications to the new taxation.

To support the hedge fund donors, Senator Sinema insisted the carried interest loophole tax provision be removed and instead replaced with a corporate tax on stock buybacks.  Any time a corporation wants to buy back their own shares of stock, they will now pay the U.S. government a tax for doing so; at least that’s the ¹intent.

[¹Note: taxing shares of company stock will never work, because that’s exactly what shell companies were designed to avoid. Set up a child shell company to purchase the stock and the parent company doesn’t pay taxes on the child’s purchase. It’s a shell game]

Additionally, according to reports, there is some kind of agreement to modify the 15% corporate minimum tax. Details unknown. Bottom line, Senator Sinema now supports the $700 billion climate change spending and tax proposal.

The Tax Foundation has an analysis of exactly what the financial impact of the bill will be:

Last-week’s Democrat-sponsored Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), successor to the House-passed Build Back Better Act of late 2021, has been touted by President Biden to, among other things, help reduce the country’s crippling inflation. Using the Tax Foundation’s General Equilibrium Model, we estimate that the Inflation Reduction Act would reduce long-run economic output by about 0.1 percent and eliminate about 30,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the United States. It would also reduce average after-tax incomes for taxpayers across every income quintile over the long run.

By reducing long-run economic growth, this bill may actually worsen inflation by constraining the productive capacity of the economy.

Our analysis contains estimates of the budgetary, economic, and distributional impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act as specified in bill text provided on July 27.

Using the General Equilibrium Model, we estimate that the tax provisions, IRS enforcement, and drug pricing provisions in the bill would increase federal revenues by about $656 billion over the budget window, before accounting for $352 billion in expanded tax credits for individuals and businesses, resulting in a net revenue increase of about $304 billion from 2022 to 2031.

Excluding the anticipated revenue from increased tax compliance and the drug pricing provisions, the bill would lose about $126 billion in revenue over the budget window.

The article includes the following chart:

The bill also includes almost $80 billion in appropriations for the Internal Revenue Service to put toward taxpayer services and enforcement. I suspect those of us in the middle class will feel that change. Even if your taxes are done correctly to the penny, the IRS can make you very uncomfortable. My husband and I experienced that after we donated to the tea party. The next year we were audited. We sent them all the applicable information, and they delayed the case for a year. They couldn’t find anything wrong, but they took a long time admitting that. The IRS does not need more money–it needs to go away and have our tax code replaced by something that people can understand and can fit on one sheet of paper.

 

 

I Wonder If They Have Thought This Through

A website focused on English grammar lessons posted the following in May 2022:

The expression “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” originates from the writings of Thomas Bertram Lance. Lance was the Director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Jimmy Carter administration in 1977. The newsletter of the US Chamber of Commerce, Nation’s Business, quoted Lance as saying the following in May 1977.

Bert Lance believes he can save Uncle Sam billions if he can get the government to adopt a simple motto: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

However, while Lance gets the credit for popularizing the expression, its origin goes back to a colloquial saying from the southern states. The Texas newspaper, “The Big Spring Herald,” published the following in an article in December 1976.

“We would agree with the old Georgia farmer who said his basic principle was ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’”

The expression comes to mind when reading an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal written by Jason Riley and posted on Tuesday.

The op-ed notes:

“During Trump’s first three years in office, median household incomes grew, inequality diminished, and the poverty rate among Black people fell below 20% for the first time in post-World War II records,” the Journal reported in October 2020. “The unemployment rate among Black people went under 6% for the first time in records going back to 1972.” Minorities weren’t the only beneficiaries of this boomlet. Between 2017 and 2019, wages for the bottom 10% of earners grew at more than double the rate they did during President Obama’s second term.

This record is all the more impressive because it defied expectations. The growth of gross domestic product during Mr. Obama’s final year in office was only about half of what it had been a year earlier, which prompted no shortage of doom-and-gloom economic forecasts for the Trump presidency. Nevertheless, in 2017, 2018 and 2019, the unemployment rate came in below what the Federal Reserve had predicted, while GDP was higher than anticipated.

…Lower corporate tax rates were intended to reverse the downward trend in business investment, and following their implementation major companies announced wage hikes, bonuses and 401(k) match increases. In the two-year period after the 2017 tax reform passed, household incomes rose by more than they had in the previous eight years combined.

The article explains that the Inflation Reduction Act is the exact opposite of the policies that resulted in the growth of the economy and will have a negative impact on growth:

The reason this history is important is because Democrats, via the Inflation Reduction Act unveiled last week, want to raise the taxes that Mr. Trump cut. No matter what it’s called, the legislation is another tax and spending bonanza that will do little if anything to reduce inflation. But passage could discourage the kind of business investment we saw before Covid. And because corporate levies are borne mainly by employees, higher taxes on businesses can also lead to lower wages and less hiring.

Congress needs to take an economics course and a history course.

The article is shared on Facebook in the Right Wing Granny group. You can read the entire article there. Otherwise the article is behind The Wall Street Journal pay wall. Please read the entire article.

Yes, Your Taxes Will Go Up If The Inflation Reduction Act Passes

The Biden administration is claiming that the Inflation Reduction Act will reduce inflation, help bring down the deficit, and not raise taxes on any American who makes less than $400,000 a year. That’s a really great idea. Unfortunately it’s not true.

The Daily Caller posted an article on Monday that explains what the bill will actually do. The article cites the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) as the source of its information:

The JCT found that taxes would go up by a total of $16.7 billion for Americans making less than $200,000, and by $14.1 billion for Americans making between $200,000 and $500,000.

Tax rates will begin to increase for a number of income groups as soon as the 2023 calendar year, according to the JCT. Those making less than $10,000 would see their average tax rate increase from 7.3% in 2022 to 7.6% in 2023, while those making between $30,000-$40,000 would go from 7.8% to 7.9%, and those making between $100,000-$200,000 would go from 19.1% to 19.4%.

That may not be a significant amount, but it is a tax rate on every American who pays taxes.

The article notes:

Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden’s spokeswoman Ashley Schapitl pushed back against the estimates, arguing that the JCT analysis is incomplete since “it doesn’t include the benefits to middle-class families of making health insurance premiums and prescription drugs more affordable,” Politico reported.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre made a similar argument Monday when pressed on the incongruities between the JCT estimates and Biden’s claims.

“The JCT’s report that we’re seeing is incomplete because it omits the actual benefits that Americans would receive when it comes to prescription drugs, when it comes to lowering energy costs like utility bills,” Jean-Pierre said.

The promise made was that the bill would not raise taxes. It raises taxes. The other savings may or may not happen. Green energy has been shown to increase utility bills–not decrease them, and a lot of money in this bill goes toward increasing America’s dependence on green energy.

The article concludes:

But it remains unclear how President Biden’s initial claim that taxes are not going to go up on those making under $400,000 dollars squares with JCT’s data, even if there are certain “indirect benefits” like “drug-price savings,” “mitigating the climate crisis” and “deficit reduction.” Tax rates on at least some individuals making under $400,000 will still increase, according to the JCT, a bipartisan committee, contrary to Biden’s claim.