The FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago was a reckless political stunt meant to show the left that Attorney General Merrick Garland will keep the heat on former President Donald Trump. It was unprecedented, seemingly unnecessary, and infuriating to the millions who saw the heavily armed agents’ 10-hour search vividly spotlighting our uneven application of justice.
The raid was also incredibly stupid. Among other things, the furor completely overshadowed passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which Democrats are hawking as President Joe Biden’s greatest legislative accomplishment.
Combined with photos of the Biden family – complete with compromised son Hunter Biden — jetting off for a lavish vacation at a mansion owned by a rich Democrat donor, the White House political messaging machine appears, as usual, clueless.
If Biden couldn’t stick around to sign his big bill, how important could it be?
On the other hand, diverting attention from the Inflation Act could prove a blessing for Democrats, and for President Biden. The bill is riddled with pitfalls – at least five — for the president’s party, giving Republicans much campaign fodder for the months ahead.
Pitfall number one: it turns out, the Inflation Reduction Act, passed via reconciliation with only Democrat votes, is a stink bomb.
Its very name is so non-credible that even liberal media outlets like CNN and the New York Times have dumped the “Inflation Reduction Act” handle, and now describe it as the “Climate and Healthcare Bill.”
That figures; recent polling finds that only 12% of Americans think the package will actually reduce the cost of living, while 40% expect it will increase inflation.
That assessment reflects the near-universal repudiation of the legislation’s inflation-fighting credentials by analysts at Penn Wharton and elsewhere. Democrats will struggle to tout an essentially dishonest bill.
Pitfall number two: The main focus on the bill is not fighting inflation, but instead fighting climate change, which will likely drive prices higher, not lower.
Climate change, according to Gallup does not even register in the top eleven issues Americans are concerned about.
Democrats have allocated hundreds of billions of dollars to push our nation towards greater use of renewable energy. Renewable energy that is more expensive than cheap coal and natural gas, despite claims made by environmental groups, and that will raise electricity costs across the nation.
Take a look at California, where local legislators have been in the vanguard of imposing renewable energy mandates and where electricity costs 80% more than the national average. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Public Advocates Office cited in a report last year some 17 “state legislative measures that increase the share of electricity that come from renewable power sources and energy efficiency programs” and that are raising consumer costs.
Because the state is effectively mandating a switch to electric vehicles and electric home heating, demand for electricity in the state is expected to soar, and prices too. The CPUC report noted, at $3.27 per gallon for gas, “it was cheaper to fuel an internal combustion engine vehicle than to charge an EV in the San Diego Gas & Electric Co. service area.”
California is not unique. All but one of the ten states punishing consumers with the nation’s highest electricity costs have renewable energy mandates. The Inflation Reduction Act will dictate such mandates nationwide, increasing electricity prices. The government, as in California, will have to step in to hide the real costs of these policies, and not just by providing taxpayer subsidies for EVs.
Pitfall number three: Biden celebrated the Inflation Act’s passage by claiming, “Today, the American people won. Special interests lost.” Fat chance.
There is no more “special interest” than the green lobby, which funnels tens of millions of dollars every election cycle to Democrats.
According to Open Secrets, the League of Conservation Voters spent over $18 million in the 2020 elections, with more than 99% going to Democrats. The Environmental Defense Fund, the Sierra Club and others also gave heavily to Democrats. These groups expect payback for their investments, and they got it.
They weren’t alone. To bring Arizona Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema aboard, the Party removed a minor tweak to the carried interest tax law that would have cost wealthy hedge fund and private equity players some $14 billion over the next ten years.
Those beneficiaries gave Sinema millions of dollars in campaign contributions between 2017 and 2022, according to Open Secrets, which paid off handsomely.
It’s nice that when Joe Biden and his family spend their usual Thanksgiving on Nantucket this year, generously hosted by private equity billionaire David Rubenstein – there won’t be any awkward conversations about ditching the carried interest loophole.
Pitfall number four: In the Inflation Reduction Act Democrats have presented deficit reduction as an inflation-fighting measure.
Why is that a problem? Because numerous analysts have concluded that it was the over-the-top American Rescue Plan, passed with only Democratic votes, that kicked off inflation.
Throwing $1.9 trillion in stimulus onto an economy that was already red-hot caused the price of everything to rise, as billions in checks and other benefits plumped up consumer bank accounts, savings and spending.
Biden and his party have refused to take responsibility for spending our way into an inflationary cycle. But their insistence that a minor (and uncertain) reduction in the deficit can help bring down prices undermines their argument.
Pitfall number five: The bill asks Americans to applaud a giant increase in the staffing and powers of the IRS.
Imagine: 87,000 new agents invading that many more small businesses and households. Does any sane person think that will be popular? Or non-political?
Or, that the newly-energized audit teams will only pursue high earners? Even Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has admitted some middle-class taxpayers will fall victim to the supersized IRS; the CBO just made it official.
President Biden thinks the U.S. is riddled with tax cheats. He has also repeatedly accused our country of being racist.
It almost seems like Biden doesn’t like Americans very much, doesn’t it?
Published on Fox News