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The So-Called 'Inflation Reduction Act' Won't Really Help With Inflation Says...Bernie Sanders

A leftover from the weekend that very much merits some extra attention.  Let's stipulate that obviously Bernie Sanders wasn't going to vote against, and therefore personally tank, a massive spending bill that raises taxes and grows government.  He's a leftist.  This is why they exist in government.  I'll go a step further: Within the current Democratic power dynamics, legislative saber-rattling from both Squad-style progressives and "moderates" can generally be ignored.  When the prize is big enough, the left-wingers won't derail an imperfect (in their view) ideological priority, and the alleged centrists fear their leadership and base more than they believe in whatever buzzwords they tell the folks back home to make them sound reasonable.  Even putative red lines are toothless, as this crew is actively demonstrating. Ultimately, these people all joined the Democrats for a reason, and growing government is a fundamental, unifying goal.

All of which is a long wind up to the point.  Bernie's acknowledgement on the Senate floor wasn't useful in that they put passage in any sort of jeopardy.  Once Manchin had his name on the bill, it was over.  No, its utility lies in the simplicity and importance of the admission.  Democrats had cynically and insultingly labeled their giant spending and taxing package an "inflation reduction" measure because the number one issue in voters' minds is the clear and present crush of inflation.  The party spinmeisters decided that they had to at least claim that the legislation was designed to alleviate the public's acute pain.  Voters collectively and intuitively haven't bought it, as this recent poll demonstrates, but it's the sad, dubious line partisans have been forced to recite as they walk the plank on this.  The Vermont Socialist dispensed with all of that and just explicitly conceded that the bill's name is a sham, which nobody really believes:

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On this narrow but important point, he is correct.  Nonpartisan experts and scorekeepers have projected that the Democrats' so-called "Inflation Reduction Act" will not reduce inflation nearly at all, especially in the near term -- and may well slightly fuel inflation over the policy's first few years in place.  It's preposterous to call this a bill that seriously tackles inflation or reduces deficits, and Bernie -- whose worldview entails an insane appetite for government spending that practically requires him to not care about either phenomenon -- is willing to say so.  Another Senate Democrat, Chris Coons, more or less admitted the same thing on Sunday, allowing that perhaps the "Inflation Reduction Act" would not, in fact, do the thing it name claims it would within its first few years.  Are Coons and his friends aware that the inflation crisis is happening right now, and theoretical, microscopic reductions nine years from now may seem like a nasty joke to people getting hammered by it?  That's not really the concern, as it turns out.  Bernie said out loud what everyone else rooting for the bill understands to be true.  And sure enough, once the package finally cleared the most challenging hurdle in the Senate, the pro-passage journalism-activism machine promptly started describing it differently:

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As we've mentioned, the media have been eagerly flogging a Biden/Democrats 'comeback' narrative, hoping to help will it into existence.  This latest party-line "success" is another item they've added to the list, but it's also fascinating to see how certain propagandists are willing to define "Democratic" victories:


If they wanted to call these Biden's bipartisan successes (excluding the two party-line spending monstrosities), fine.  I'd argue that the president and his party were finally backed into the corner working across the aisle after their partisan cram-down approach kept failing, but that at least would be a more honest framing.  Calling big bipartisan votes, that would have been dead in the water without Republicans, "Democratic" victories is very misleading.  And many of the people celebrating this roster of cross-partisan wins will pivot right back to demanding the filibuster be eliminated because 'nothing ever gets done,' just as soon as it suits their interests again.  These are the rules.  The rules flow one way, and help one side.  And the rules -- enforced by many of the same people who selectively lament a lack of bipartisanship in Washington -- sometimes actually discourage and punish bipartisanship:

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I'll leave you with a few additional pieces of commentary on the "Inflation Reduction Act," especially on this theme:

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