WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an op-ed published today in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) wrote about the current Democrat proposal to raise taxes, spend hundreds of billions of dollars, crush American manufacturing and coal, and empower the IRS to target more small businesses and individuals in the midst of record inflation and a recession.
“So, what’s in this version of Build Back Better? In addition to repeating the same mistakes Democrats made to steer our economy into a recession, there are several harmful provisions that couldn’t come at a worse time for working West Virginia families right now,” Senator Capito wrote.
The full op-ed is available here and below.
Inflation Reduction Act Indefensible
By U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)
Word Count: 772
With the U.S. economy now likely in a recession, inflation at its highest point in 40 years and Americans paying more for just about everything, you’d think now would be a good time to hold off on pouring more fuel on the fire.
Yet, inexplicably, Democrats have revived their reckless tax-and-spending spree, formerly known as Build Back Better and now, laughably, called the “Inflation Reduction Act."
In doing so, they are choosing to ignore the consequences of inflation for working families and push our economy even further to the brink.
Americans understand pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy and raising taxes will certainly not reduce inflation.
How do we know? Because we’ve lived it.
In March 2021, Democrats passed the “American Rescue Plan,” another inaccurately named, $1.9 trillion spending package. Studies have shown, and economists agree, the bill, which passed without a single Republican vote, significantly contributed to the current inflation that has driven up prices for producers, wholesalers, and consumers at record levels.
So, what’s in this version of Build Back Better? In addition to repeating the same mistakes Democrats made to steer our economy into a recession, there are several harmful provisions that couldn’t come at a worse time for working West Virginia families right now.
To start, if you make less than $400,000, your taxes will go up. That’s right: At a time when Americans are struggling to put gas in their car, afford groceries and pay their utility bills, Democrats want to increase your taxes.
This isn’t a talking point. It’s what the nonpartisan, Joint Committee on Taxation’s analysis of this reckless tax-and-spending spree found.
The bill also implements a book minimum tax to penalize companies for, well, doing business here in America. Ironically, the Tax Foundation found that the industry that would be hit hardest by the book minimum tax is coal.
In fact, more than 50% of the tax’s impact would be on manufacturers. So, if you work in manufacturing, keep in mind that anyone voting for this latest Build Back Better bill is comfortable putting you at risk of being sent to the unemployment line.
The tax-and-spending spree also is littered with the far-left’s Green New Deal wish-list items, like nearly $370 billion in “climate change” tax credits and other wasteful spending, including subsidizing wealthy Americans who want to buy electric vehicles. Meanwhile, there is a new methane fee targeting oil and natural gas production at a time when energy costs remain high.
Passing this bill means giving $40 billion to the Environmental Protection Agency. This money would create new and duplicative programs, like a $27 billion “Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund,” $5 billion for “Climate Pollution Reduction Grants” and $3 billion for “Climate and Environmental Justice Block Grants.”
Additionally, tens of millions of dollars are sent to the EPA with the instruction to “carry out, with respect to greenhouse gases” the same section of the Clean Air Act used by the Obama administration to develop the Clean Power Plan.
West Virginians have seen before how devastating it is when the EPA sets its sights on our state’s coal and natural gas industries. Why on earth would we want to supersize this agency?
We also are being told that a key component of this effort is a promise for legislation later on easing the permitting process for drilling and energy projects. They are saying pay now, permit later. I don’t think West Virginians trust the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Joe Biden to follow through on a plan that would expand drilling, build pipelines or decrease regulations. And, given their track record, I can’t either.
If this bill passes, the United States would be trading the economic policies of the Trump administration for the disastrous energy provisions of the Obama-Biden administration.
And just for good measure, authors of this $740 billion tax-and-spending package threw in a massive expansion of everyone’s favorite government agency: the Internal Revenue Service.
It boosts funding for the IRS by a whopping $80 billion, meaning it will have more capacity to target and audit individuals and small businesses, with no accountability or proper oversight.
What could go wrong?
The bottom line: The untimely and indefensible “Inflation Reduction Act” is a lie being sold by those in Washington desperate to accomplish something, anything, before the midterm elections. They want to do so even if it means rushing through a harmful, partisan measure that raises taxes, fuels inflation and declares war on energy-producing states.
We’ve seen this play out before. Right now, working families are experiencing real hardship in this economy. Let’s not make it any harder on them.
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