Tom Basile on August 11, 2022
Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy said this week that raising taxes during a recession was a “special kind of stupid.” He’s not wrong, of course, but don’t be fooled. The high-fiving and devilish cackling over the Democrats’ latest spending bonanza isn’t just in the Democratic Cloakroom.
In typical Beltway fashion, everyone is spinning this as a good thing, either publicly or privately, and real people are left with the bill.
Democrats are finally able to tell their base they did something. The eco-cultists have been shafted thus far and this latest climate spending package, while slimmed down from previous versions, is a huge validation of their power over the party.
The lobbyists, who have been having a banner year, likely all are resigning at higher retainers after Vice President Kamala Harris signed the tie-breaking vote. Passage in the House should be a breeze and the influence peddlers who couldn’t care less about good public policy for America’s future, will be able to say they got it done in the tougher chamber to move legislation.
The executive branch agencies are crowing too. Hundreds of billions more funding that gives wide discretion to the likes of Pete Buttigieg, Jennifer Granholm and the tens of thousands of bureaucrats shepherding the administration’s toxic racial equity agenda and Green New Deal. In terms of raw power, arguably the biggest winner is the Internal Revenue Service, which will double in size to create a kind of financial Gestapo, even though federal tax collections continue to set records.
The EV and renewable energy industries win big. Real Americans want cheap reliable power and can’t afford electric vehicles, even with the incentives meant to create an artificial marketplace for the products. Nothing in this bill meets their needs but the companies will see a windfall.
China wins big too. Any effort to transition our energy grid too quickly to renewables emboldens the communist powerhouse. The CCP also controls 85% of the world’s lithium supply, meaning every taxpayer subsidized EV sold in the US to some virtue-signaling suburban liberal, puts money in the pockets of our greatest geostrategic adversary. Not exactly saving the planet.
Yes, Republicans are happy too. They’re already vowing payback for this at the ballot box. Now the GOP’s underperforming Senate candidates can finally talk in real terms about the actual damage done by the Democrat majority.
The television advertising machine will start churning to push back against this and McConnell and Co. will get a chance to play offense after being played like a fiddle over the chip manufacturing corporate welfare bill this summer.
And let’s not be too sure that while they are protesting the bill, a lot of Republicans, landowners and energy industry bigwigs are secretly cheering too. According to one analysis by Bloomberg CityLab, some $86 billion of the $107 billion in renewables funding will benefit red districts in red states.
Americans are smarter than the politicians and the media believe they are. They know raising taxes during a recession to placate political interests puts a radical agenda over the livelihood of their families. They know none of this nonsense will change the climate. They also know that more government spending isn’t likely to resolve the inflation crisis caused by government spending.
None of that matters of course to the disconnected denizens of Washington, elected and not, right and left, who continue to view governance like an old game of Dungeons and Dragons. To them all this jockeying, bargaining and spinning isn’t about real people, real lives, or real consequences.
It’s just one more bill — and those who live in the real world will be stuck with it.
Tom Basile is the Host of ‘America Right Now’ on Newsmax, author, columnist and former Bush administration official.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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