Rep. Phillips Fails Fact-Checks

Opinion_Sign.jpgIn his constituent email of August 3, Rep Dean Phillips expressed his pleasure with the initial agreement in the Senate over the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

He goes on to state “This legislation will make a historic down payment on deficit reduction to combat inflation …”

Not so fast, Rep. Phillips. Sen. John Thune (R, S.D), speaking on the floor of the Senate, said, “Sounds like a bill that’s going to address the number one problem facing our nation, which is inflation, and then you actually look at the bill’s contents and will discover that the bill will do nothing to reduce inflation.”

The Congressional Budget Office, as reported by the Washington Post in an article on August 7, “estimates that, over the next two years, the Inflation Reduction Act is likely to change the inflation rate by less than one tenth of one percent — but it isn’t sure whether the change would be up or down.”

Phillips believes that “these investments would be fully paid for by making the biggest corporations and ultra-wealthy pay their fair share – with no new taxes on families making $400,000 or less, and no new taxes on small businesses.” CNBC’s Jim Cramer argues that “the Inflation Reduction Act is really a tax on companies and shareholders.” It may not raise the income taxes of many taxpayers, but it will likely reduce the return on their investments.

Will it help reduce the price of gasoline? Sen. Lindsey Graham (R. S.C.) proposed an amendment to strike a 16.4 cent a barrel tax on imported petroleum products and crude oil refined in the United States. The Democrats in the Senate defeated that amendment.

Phillips is pleased with a bill that had no Republican support in the Senate and required the vote of Vice President Harris to pass. Not a demonstration of “reaching across the aisle”, Rather than seek compromise on a real inflation reduction bill, Dean Phillips joined his Democratic colleagues in getting as much as they could of their former Build Back Better infrastructure and climate change bill.

Rep. Phillips touts in his constituent email that the bill will “cut carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030.” It is ironic that to secure the support of Sen. Joe Manchin (D, W.V.), the White House and Democratic Congressional leadership agreed to ensure final approval of all permits that are needed to complete construction through West Virginia and Virginia of a huge natural gas pipeline.

According to ProPublica{Manchin Trades Climate Support for Massive WV Pipeline — ProPublica], the agreement “would also strip jurisdiction over any further legal challenges to those permits from a federal appeals court that has repeatedly ruled that the Mountain Valley Pipeline violated the law.”

Quoting ProPublica again, “In essence, the Democratic leadership accepted a 303-mile, two-state pipeline fostering continued use of fossil fuels in exchange for cleaner energy and reduced greenhouse emissions nationwide.”

Opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline claim that it may contaminate rural streams and cause erosion or even landslides. They have filed lawsuits over the potential impacts on water, endangered species and public forests. Similar arguments were enough to push Pres Biden, with the support of Minnesota’s DFL Congressional representatives, to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline.

Now the ends justify the means, Rep. Phillips?