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Stumped: Biden Official Struggles to Explain How 'Inflation Reduction Act' Will Quickly Reduce Costs

She wasn't totally stumped, in the sense than she manage to did blurt out an answer.  It just wasn't a very good one.  At all.  Then again, expectations were low, given that this was the same cabinet secretary who famously burst into uproarious laughter when asked about her plan to reduce fuel prices.  Democrats decided to call their mammoth tax-and-spend, IRS-doubling scheme the 'Inflation Reduction Act.'  That was a choice -- such a cynical and clumsy choice, in fact, that even Bernie Sanders flippantly dismissed it on the Senate floor.  But if that's the talking point, designed to make voters believe Democrats are doing something to combat the inflation they've turbo-charged, they should at least offer something compelling in the way of explanation when asked questions like this:


"Amazing," responds a top Republican operative. "How will this bill lower costs for American families right now? Well, if you spend tens of thousands of dollars to upgrade your home appliances, add solar panels and install an electric vehicle charging station, you’ll get a tax credit."  These tax credits will benefit those about to take expensive actions to retrofit homes or purchase costly new vehicles.  Some rich people will certainly take full advantage, and IRS enforcement-on-steroids, including targeting working and middle class people, will help foot the bill.  What 'progress.'  If spending thousands in order to take advantage of green tax credits isn't in your budget (most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck) how does Granholm's answer resonate with you?  How does it benefit your family?  In another weekend interview, the White House Press Secretary was challenged on Democrats' "Orwellian" marketing of a bill that has virtually nothing to do with inflation as an inflation curbing measure.  Karine Jean-Pierre's reply:


Maybe I'm grading on a curve, but I'm not sure she "crumbles" here -- but her answer is, er, not strong:

KJP: I appreciate the question. We’ve actually addressed this, the CBO. It was the top line number, there’s more in there that shows that it will have the money from — remember how we’re doing this, too, it’s making sure that billionaires in corporate America are paying their fair share, making sure that it’s — that the tax code is a little bit more fair, and so when you do that, when you put it in its totality, you will see that it will — it will bring down — lower the deficit, which will help fight inflation. Look, here’s the thing. We have 126 economists, both Republicans, both Democrats who have said it’s going to fight inflation. We have five former Secretaries —

KARL: So you disagree [with CBO]?

KJP: Well, there’s more to it. It’s just — it was — the way that Republicans did was so that it could make an argument that is false. It is going to fight inflation. It has — we — it has been proven, it has been said by economists across the board on the Republican side and the Democrat — on the Democrat side.


CBO's nonpartisan finding is what it is, so blaming Republicans for 'falsely' citing the data doesn't really work. The GOP did come up with those numbers; CBO did.  There's also the Wharton study, which projects that the 'Inflation Reduction Act' will increase inflation slightly in the short term, then have negligible impact down the line, effectively mirroring CBO's conclusion.  Jean-Pierre tries to make it sound like there is a cross-partisan consensus that the legislation will reduce inflation, but that point is belied by every single Republican, of all ideological stripes, voting against the bill, in both chambers.  The dubious point about future deficit reduction is just that: Dubious.  The "fair" tax increases she touts will not only impact billionaires and corporations, but Americans across all income groups.  And if she's going to wave around some list of 126 economists saying one thing, does she care to comment on another list of even more economists saying the opposite thing?  Nevertheless, it's is still a better answer than this:


You just voted for the 'Inflation Reduction Act,' Congressman.  How specifically will it do that?  Next question.  Good stuff.  But hey, at least the guy bothered to show up and vote for the thing:

Finally, remember this?  I wonder how ole Joe Manchin, who's taken quite a hit in at least one new poll, is feeling about getting his promised pro-fossil fuels permitting reform through at this point?

Democratic leaders will likely try to attach the provisions to a 'must-pass' package like shutdown-avoiding government funding, but it's still looking at least a little dicey.


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