A week ago, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced an agreement on a bill that will invest roughly $300 billion in deficit reduction and $369 billion in energy and climate change programs. Dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act, Democrats are racing to ready the bill for a vote even as some experts say the $739 billion spending plan will barely influence prices over the next 10 years. Straight Arrow News contributor Newt Gingrich argues this tax increase is terrible timing, and Americans will vote accordingly:
I have to share with you that something very weird is going on. First of all, the really important to Chuck Schumer bill to help the American chip industry, which ballooned up to about a $250 billion bill, got passed with Republican support, partially because the Republicans had been led to believe that the Build Back Better or what I would call “build back poorer” legislation was dead, literally within hours of the bill passing the Senate with substantial Republican support.
They turned around, and Schumer and Manchin announced that they had an agreement on a new “build back poorer” bill, which would in fact, raise taxes very substantially, in the middle of a recession — an act of suicidal madness, in terms of an economics I know of.
So now I have a double problem. One is I think the Republicans are furious and feel that they were betrayed. The other is that they’re now asking the Democrats in the House and Senate to vote for a tax increase. And it literally just came out that we now are officially in a recession.
Now, of course, the double answer here for the Democrats is to debate the word “recession,” because historically, a recession is two quarters of declining economy. And certainly, we’ve now had two quarters where the economy got smaller, but they’ve now decided that’s not really what it means. And they’re all trying to invent a new word, just as they’re trying to invent new words for woman, and new words for all sorts of things.
So this is part of the same game. At the same time, you have inflation, you have a declining economy, you have pain for the American people, and so their answer is going to be a large tax increase, which they’ve decided to label the Anti-Inflation Act.
These are people who are so stupid, that they think if they tell you the price of gasoline isn’t going up, you won’t notice at the pump…if they tell you the price of food isn’t going up, you won’t notice at the grocery store…If they tell you that there’s no problem at the border, you won’t notice a million people coming across the Rio Grande.
I mean, their desire to redefine — remember, “Afghanistan was a great success” — that’s quote from President Biden after the disaster. They probably would like you to believe that there’s no war in Ukraine, and that China is really one of our closest friends and really likes to hang out with us.
It is amazing to watch them try to redefine reality. But here’s my prediction: Raising taxes, going into a recession, with massive inflation is pretty close to the dumbest thing you could do there. I don’t think in any realistic, serious economics class that you could get a passing grade with that proposal. And frankly, the American people are not going to give them a passing grade for this proposal.