Reality | Tom Camfield

Tom Camfield
Posted 8/24/22

BIDEN AND HIS SUPPORTERS also refer to the Inflation reduction Act as the biggest step forward on climate ever.” it comes after four years of unchecked destruction of earth, air and …

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Reality | Tom Camfield


BIDEN AND HIS SUPPORTERS also refer to the Inflation reduction Act as "the biggest step forward on climate ever.” it comes after four years of unchecked destruction of earth, air and water — all in ways best serving the self-interest of Donald Trump.

And what readily illustrates how things have changed during the Trump and Biden administrations are a couple of current headlines in The Seattle Times. Across the top of the front page on Aug. 17, the headline read: “WHAT’S IN THE VAST CLIMATE AND TAX BILL.” The sub-head Began “Inflation Reduction Act: It beefs up the IRS, imposes new assessment on big businesses . . .”

So I’ll pause here to note that the entire bill sticks with Biden’s original pledge not to raise taxes on families or businesses making less than $400,000 a year. And money also is raised to increase the IRS’s going after tax cheats.

Which is why I also found quite a bit of coincidence just two days later (Aug. 19) in The Times’ major headline that read “TRUMP EXEC PLEADS GUILTY IN TAX SCHEME. Plea Deal — Allen Weisselberg is required to testify at company’s trial.” Weisselberg entered the Trump scene in the 1970s as a junior bookkeeper for Ex-President Donald Trump’s father Fred. He so far is personally guilty of avoiding ‘$1.76 million in income taxes over the past 15 years.

The news story began: “One of Donald Trump’s most-trusted executives pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring with Trump’s company to carry out a long-running tax scheme, an admission that painted a damning picture of the former president’s family business but did not advance a broader investigation into the former president himself.“

Those interested in reading these stories by the Associated Press and The New York Times may Goggle the headlines on the Internet. I still personally prefer good old newspaper front pages.

With one of the most important elections in history coming up on Nov. 8 in the form of the 2022 mid-term, we’re fortunate indeed that Biden’s Inflation Reductional Act was passed into law Aug. 16 by a divided Congress. This included a 50-50 Senate forcing a tie-breaking vote by Vice-President Kalama Harris.

And even that required some fossil-fuel concessions to West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who should remembered by all for his family connections to the coal industry. Hard to say how the Senate (let alone the House) will be structured after Nov. 8 — although Biden should protect us from any serious reversals with the power of his veto well into the future.

As the AP reported last week, Biden’s bill — passed midway through his second year with a divided Congress — “brings the biggest investment ever in the U.S. to fight climate change. Also in the legislation is a $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket prescription drugs for Medicare recipients as well as a new 15% corporate minimum tax to ensure big businesses pay their share. And billions will be left over to pay down federal deficits.”

None of this, of course, sets well with Republicans. But although more comprehensive versions of the bill collapsed (thanks again in large part to Manchin), it will touch the lives of countless American lives and secure longtime party goals.

Politics will remain in play none the less as the bill probably won’t do much to immediately tame inflationary price hikes (which, it should be noted, are pretty much world-wide these days). So we’ll be hearing a lot from Republicans with short-term memories and short-range outlooks between now and Nov. 8.

Take GOP Governor Greg Abbott of Texas who is polling a slight edge over Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke. He blames Biden for a high inflation and looming recession — quite the opposite of what is promised by the climate and tax bill. In fact, government figures show inflation is 10.2% in the Houston area and 9.4% around Dallas — higher than the national average of 8.5%.

Trump and his ilk continue to find lies productive . . . so Republicans, who have long accused the IRS of unfairly targeting conservatives, have seized on the new law to fan unfounded conspiracy theories about the threat that mom-and-pop shops and middle-class Americans will face from an emboldened tax collector. The scale and speed at which rumors about the agency have spread portend the challenges the Biden administration will confront as it embarks on the biggest overhaul of the IRS since its inception. From Twitter and TikTok to newsletters and cable news, Republicans have embraced the notion that a bigger IRS is poised to be weaponized against them, often distorting facts to make their points.