4 August 2022

Note from Norm: Democrats plan for higher prices, higher taxes and fewer jobs all the time

Democrat United States Senator Joe Manchin has done much to rein in the atrocious policies of the Biden Administration, and to prevent the ruinous excess of his colleagues in the United States Senate.

I’ve applauded his efforts in previous posts to block the egregious policy initiatives advanced by the likes of Bernie Sanders and the “progressive” wing of the Democratic Party.

But today we face a “Say it ain’t so, Joe” moment. After months of professing his opposition to the Democrat  massive spending that fueled inflation, Manchin changes course and announces an agreement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to spend nearly another $740 billion to cater to the extreme left of the already far-left faction of the Democrat Party.

Manchin now supports adding more fuel to the inflation fire-coupled with  tax increases that will kill jobs and  ensure that all Americans – that’s right, all Americans – would see their already-too-high federal income taxes rise again.

And, that’s not me saying that – or Republicans – or Conservatives – it’s the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation of the Senate Finance Committee saying it.

According to CNN, the Joint Committee on Taxation showed that passage of the bill will mean “ Federal taxes would increase by $16.7 billion on American taxpayers earning less than $200,000 next year, according to the JCT. And those making between $200,000 and $500,000 would see their levy jump by $14.1 billion. Those with incomes above half-a-million dollars would be hit with a $23.5 billion increase.”

And, remember inflation?  Of course you do, we all do!  It’s eating up everyone’s income, undermining America’s quality of life and making everything from gas to eggs to a loaf of bread more expensive.

The Biden Administration’s policies were the catalyst for inflation in America and now, if the Manchin-Schumer agreement goes into effect, it will not only add to inflation but likely extend its malaise on the American people.

The National Review writes that an analysis produced by the Penn Wharton Budget Model “… finds that the Inflation Reduction Act “would very slightly increase inflation until 2024 and decrease inflation thereafter.” The increase could be as high as 0.05 percentage points in 2024 and could be followed by an estimated 0.25 percentage point fall in the Personal Consumption Expenditures price index by the late 2020s.”

Now, if you’re rich and wealthy the impact of inflation increasing “slightly” until 2024 (two years from now!) might not be so bad.

But, if you’re not, like the vast majority of Americans, extending increases in inflation to 2024 sounds to me like an absolutely horrible idea.

President Joe Biden has poll numbers that he only wishes were suffering the same effects of prices due to inflation.  The chances that Democrats will lose control of the U.S. House in the mid-term elections are increasing by the day.   And, I suspect the agreement reached by Senator Manchin and the Democrat Senate Majority Leader, if passed and signed into law, is going to accelerate the likelihood that Republicans will take control of the Senate.

While Joe Manchin is not up for re-election in 2022, the fact that he barely won re-election in 2018 with a margin of 20,000 votes over his Republican opponent, means his own future in the Senate may be at risk due to this unwise public policy about-face.

The fact that barely a month ago he said his opposition to major spending initiatives like the one he just agreed to was “unequivocal” he has handed the President and Democrats another nail to pound into the coffin of the American economy already hard-hit by inflation.

With many economists, Democrats and Republicans, predicting a recession the American public, already dealing with a 40-year high rate of inflation, can be forgiven for the “WTF” moment they must be experiencing.

The idea that Democrats, whether Manchin or Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden, would deliberately double-down on measures that created the inflationary reality we are living in today, and increasing the likelihood of a recession on top of it, is outrageous.

In 2010,  Joe Manchin was unequivocal when it came to raising taxes when facing a recession, “I don’t think during a time of recession you mess with any of the taxes or increase any taxes.”

He was adamant.  Not this tax, or that tax, or some tax – it was any tax.

Yet, in the span of barely a month he not only became equivocal when it came to increasing taxes by well over three hundred billion dollars – he also decided that any tax increase was just fine by him.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell summed it up perfectly when learning of the Manchin-Schumer agreement:

“Minutes ago, new data confirmed what a supermajority of Americans already knew: Democrats have plunged America into a recession. According to official statistics, the U.S. economy just shrank for the second consecutive quarter…Apparently, our Democratic colleagues do not want to be responsible for just skyrocketing prices alone: They want Americans to be faced with skyrocketing prices and higher taxes and fewer jobs, all at the same time.”

Imagine what could have been done to improve the economic lives of Americans if Manchin and Schumer, instead of focusing on how to increase spending and adding more bureaucracy to the federal government, had spent the last month focusing on increasing domestic energy production, reducing the cost of government, and supporting initiatives to enhance public safety throughout the United States.

As election day approaches more and more Americans will be asking the same question as they continue to deal with a Democrat Economy that is filled with skyrocketing prices and higher taxes and fewer jobs – all at the same time.