Tag Archive for: JoeManchin

A Little Reality About the New Spending Bill

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Democrats are masters of misnaming the intended purpose of bills they offer up to disguise what is really happening. It is indicative of how gullible they believe we are. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will do nothing to reduce inflation. The main reason is that revenues will not be achieved to offset the expenditures.

This column has a ban on using definitive terminology. I do not use words like Never, Always, or Every. That is because those terms are rarely applicable. However, here is a truism. Whenever there is a projection of revenues that will be produced from a new tax increase, they never come to fruition. Here is another truism. Whenever there is a reduction in tax rates, they always produce increased governmental revenues. I know this because I have both studied and written about it for over 40 years.

This ridiculously named bill has a few major elements of the supposed increase in revenue. Please do not believe the eventual scoring by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The CBO is rarely correct because they do their scoring based on whatever Congress tells them to do. Just think about this: if Schumer named this bill which he did, do you think he gave the CBO realistic numbers on which to do a projection?

The first element of this bill’s increased revenues has to do with money flowing in from audits because of new hires at the IRS. This is an agency that cannot even answer their phones. This is an agency that cannot even process their tax returns – the current estimate is they are twenty million behind, but who really knows? I believe they have finally processed all the 2020 tax returns. They are now digging into the unprocessed 2021 returns. This is an agency that is currently auditing a client of mine and they are having a problem because neither the computer of the auditor nor his supervisor can read a thumb drive I sent them. They cannot read any thumb drives.

Yes, the IRS needs an increased budget to tackle its basic problems which include a wholly inadequate computer system. Agents communicate this regularly. It is compounded by allowing agents to work from home which has significantly impacted IRS production because of these inadequate systems. If the system does not work well when they are sitting in front of their office screens, how well do you think they operate remotely?

Until they fix these problems, how are they going to hire a slew of new people to perform audits? And where are they getting all these new personnel to work at the most reviled agency in the country? We cannot get people to work at our restaurants, car repair shops, or appliance stores. So how is the IRS going to get qualified personnel to work their audits? How many people graduating college with an accounting degree are going to work for the IRS when there is a shortage of personnel at accounting firms with a much more attractive environment and future? They may be able to hire people with sociology or geography degrees who can only get jobs as bartenders. How long do you think it will take them to get prepared to audit your tax return? How long to audit Amazon?

I can say if you should get audited by these people, the process will take at least twice as long as it should because they will be inexperienced. A professional CPA will need to walk them through everything about which they have no clue. So, you tell me, is this $80 billion spent over the next ten years going to bring in an additional $204 billion from all those supposed tax cheats out there? And will spending an additional $8 billion a year on the IRS for the next ten years do anything to reduce inflation in 2022, 2023, or 2024? I think you know that answer.

Then there is the big lie of this bill. It repeals the Trump “rebate rule.” This was a vague rule that has to do with Medicare Part D that was never implemented by Trump, has not been implemented by Biden, and the regulation never going into effect. This is a magical savings of $120 billion that was never implemented and thus becomes “mystery savings.”

Last, we must confront the corporate minimum tax of 15%. Sounds nice. I have read a substantial number of analyses of these corporations that supposedly pay no taxes. We hear this kind of malarkey all the time. I will get a call from a client. They will tell me they spoke to someone, and they were paying no taxes. “Why am I paying so much?” My answer is always they are full of ———. You fill in the blank. Then I tell them to get a copy of the tax return for analysis. And that is the problem, the Left-wing analyses of these “non-paying entities” never include a full analysis of the reasons why these entities are not paying taxes.

They may be getting research credits which Congress created to encourage companies to spend money on research and development with the idea that these companies will maintain or increase their position to be competitive in the world economy. They may be buying Low Income Housing Tax Credits which encourages the development of affordable housing. They may be getting credits for tax paid to foreign countries based on income made in foreign countries just like you may be getting on your investments. If we limit that tax offset, these companies will be paying a lot more than a minimum tax of 15% since they pay tax in America on their worldwide income.

This is the ultimate act of industrial policy initiated by the Democrats. They are throwing money at the computer chip industry and anybody who spends money on their questionable green policies. They want to pay for it by reducing deductions at a group of other companies. Those companies have been allowed to deduct the expense for new equipment and other purchases as opposed to writing them off over seven years or more. That encourages those companies to expand, improve efficiency and safety and hire more Americans. These tax and spending plans are used to steal the money directly from you and me. Now they have lurched into full bore Socialistic government planning policy as if that has worked anywhere.

Remember the age-old truism. Corporations do not pay taxes; they just pass the tax onto their customers or cut jobs.

And the fact that a large portion of the tax increase will come from a group President Biden has stated he would not raise taxes on – those couples making under $400,000 a year. Senators Schumer and Manchin said nothing about that.

The Democrats got their wish with new spending of over $750 billion between the Chips bill and the Inflation Will Continue Unabated Bill. They are never going to get their revenue offset. Mr. Manchin, how naïve you must be.

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This article was published by Flash Report and is reproduced with permission from the author.

It Doesn’t Get Much Worse Than ‘Build Back Better’

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Sen. Joe Manchin and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer just struck a deal on a massive spending package they call the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. In all important respects, the legislation is no different from the Democrats’ long-running social spending plan known as Build Back Better.

Americans should be alarmed. The bill has the potential to handcuff innovation in one of the most critical and successful sectors of the American economy.

The plan would allow unelected federal officials to “negotiate” with drugmakers over the price Medicare will pay for an ever-growing list of brand-name prescription drugs.

In practice, these “negotiations” are federally mandated price controls. Under the plan unveiled by Democratic leadership in early July, the government would have enormous power to name its own price for an increasing range of advanced medicines, and drugmakers would have little choice but to submit.

The cost to patients would be disastrous. That’s because the main consequence of these price controls will be to destroy the research-and-development system that makes America the world leader in medical innovation.

Developing medicines is already a risky business. It costs, on average, nearly $3 billion over 10 to 15 years for each approved new medicine. That’s partly due to the direct expense of the research-and-development activity itself — and partly because only 12 percent of potential medicines entering Phase I clinical trials ultimately win approval. Private investors are willing to take such risks because a successful drug has the potential to earn back those costs and then some.

But if the government successfully puts itself in charge of drug prices, the chances of recouping a medicine’s development costs would plummet, and investment in new research would dry up quickly. Everything from cancer breakthroughs to new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, COVID vaccines and heart medications would become rarer.

This predictable consequence will leave the innovative biopharmaceutical industry in no position to compensate for the investment loss. A recent review led by University of Chicago economist Tomas Philipson notes that studies consistently show a 1 percent reduction in industry revenue leads to a 1.5 percent reduction in research-and-development activity. He finds this legislation would reduce industry revenue by 12 percent through 2039 and R&D activity by 18.5 percent, or $663 billion. He estimates the result will be 135 fewer medications being developed in that period — a crippling shortfall that will also be measured in lives lost.

Families worldwide rely on research and innovation from the American health and science industries to bring new lifesaving medicines to their loved ones facing diseases lacking cures. The Build Back Better plan will obliterate future breakthroughs and any hope that comes with them instead of providing real solutions.

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This article was published by AIER, American Institute for Economic Research, and is reproduced with permission.

In Condemnation of Kyrsten Sinema

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Last January we wrote a piece called “In Praise of Krysten Sinema.”

It was written in a generous bi-partisan spirit. The senior Senator from Arizona had stood up to a massive, expensive, intrusive spending bill.  She had done so under relentless attack. These attacks even became personal as she was accosted in a bathroom at ASU by progressive activists and even had a wedding she attended disrupted by activists. By showing better judgment and courage, we felt she deserved the praise.

Now, in the interest of fairness and a generous spirit, we must condemn her.

After the capitulation of Senator Joe Manchin, Sinema, who holds the “maverick seat” in Arizona, folded like a cheap lawn chair.

She is no maverick. She is a progressive Democrat.

A maverick in this context means a leader who stands independent of party and acts in the interests of constituents.

The so-called Inflation Reduction Act is just a slightly smaller version of Build Back Better which she previously rejected. This suggests that the original objections she may have had were not based on principle rather she was just concerned about the size of the original proposal.

However, what is being proposed is massive compared to most previous legislation.

Moreover, it has some really nasty features: higher taxes on the middle class, corporate welfare for green energy industries, higher corporate taxes which will simply be passed on to the public, creates a gigantic army of IRA agents to harry and harass citizens, price controls on drugs, all financed by higher deficit spending.

Even Barack Obama had enough common sense to know you don’t raise taxes in a recession. But Sinema seems to endorse a key provision of Modern Monetary Theory, to wit, you fight inflation by raising taxes. Since the government itself is the source of inflation, this leaves the taxpayer in the untenable situation of either paying higher hidden taxes via currency debasement or higher direct taxes back to the government. Either way, they take the money your earned and spend it on things the government wants, rather than the things you want.

Price controls on drugs will have the same result as price controls on New York apartments. It will stifle investment and innovation, creating chronic shortages and eventually even higher prices.

Moreover, she buys into some of the critical mistakes of the Green New Deal.

Advocates desire to “transition” from fossil fuels to what they contend are “clean and sustainable” energy sources. This is all based on the theory of global warming, which itself is unproven. And even if there is a relationship, it is far less costly to adapt to higher temperatures than attempt to control the temperature of the earth 100 years from now.

Such top-down policies will not succeed given the following variables. It does not control the tilt of the earth, the amount and strength of solar radiation, or volcanic activity both above the surface of the land, and below the sea. Then there are sea currents and all kinds of other natural variables.  The earth’s climate is always changing for reasons we cannot control and in many cases, do not understand.

Finally, we cannot control even man’s activities, let those of the universe. While we are cutting back on coal and oil, China and India are burning more. How will our sacrifices and destruction of our economy do anything constructive, based upon the progressive theory of global warming, when countries with much greater populations than ours are still putting CO2 in the atmosphere?

Senator Sinema, what is your answer? Are you willing to destroy our standard of living to make a meaningless gesture? Do you see what electricity prices are in Europe?

Starting with that base assumption of a relationship between CO2 and warming, Senator Sinema how much of a reduction in temperature are we going to get with the bill and when? Please specify what we are getting for our money. If that is the reason for this monstrosity, we are entitled to an answer.  We know the cost is over $700 billion, can we know the benefit?

If it is for the “environment”, why do we need to hire so many IRS agents? Are they going to be installing solar panels?  No, they are going to be looting the American people.

This is bait and switch. Bait with a vague undefined promise of helping “the environment” while switching to price controls on drugs, higher taxes, corporate welfare, higher deficits, and a vast addition to the ranks of IRA agents.

We have gone through energy transitions before. The question is whether it is a voluntary transition or a forced transition. A good example of a voluntary transition was the transition from whale oil for interior lighting to kerosene. John D. Rockefeller was perhaps the greatest savior of the whales ever. It occurred gradually, required no government money or subsidy, and was embraced by consumers.

Any energy choice should pass the test of the marketplace where voluntary transactions between mutually consenting parties, each seeking their own best interests, are concluded.

What she is backing is a forced transition, using taxes as weapons and subsidies as incentives, to force consumers to make choices they do not wish to make. The evidence for this statement is verified by the policy. A natural transition of energy sources does not require government intervention. It happens because consumers desire it and entrepreneurs desire to profit by satisfying that demand. Choices and competition are present to direct economic decisions and minimize waste to the correct mix of alternatives. If consumers want less expensive and cleaner energy, they will choose it because it is in their best interests. It does not require a centralized government, command, and control approach that likely will make political decisions largely based on pleasing special interests that contribute to campaigns. 

This is not a bill that supports the public’s best interests, rather it supports special interests, i.e. the green industrial complex. And quite alarmingly, this group of interests is largely Chinese communist. They are not reliable partners that have our best interests at heart.

The Biden/Sinema energy transition is a top-down, centrally planned debacle wherein our existing energy infrastructure is being destroyed while the new infrastructure is yet to come on line. This is causing a huge spike in energy prices, contributing greatly to inflationary pressures, and leaving the West, particularly Europe, in the tender hands of Vladimir Putin. This is just stupid geopolitical thinking.

For oil and gas, we leave ourselves vulnerable to Putin. For the rare earth minerals and production capacity for solar and wind, we leave ourselves in the hands of the Chinese Communists.

This bill is bad for the economy, bad for the environment, and bad for our geostrategic interests. We can and should produce all the energy and minerals we can by ourselves.

Senator, you will soon be up for re-election and we will not forget it was your cowardice and bad judgment which unleashed this travesty upon us.

Yes, we know your party is pushing it and you are not completely to blame. But you knew you were the pivotal vote, and it would not move forward without you. So, in that sense, the full responsibility does fall on you. And, you failed us.

 

The Inflation ‘Reduction’ Act – Really?? Are You Kidding?? Calling Senator Sinema

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

The $739 billion Inflation ‘Reduction’ Act of 2022 – really?? Are you kidding?? Joe Manchin, Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden are attempting to rapidly hoist this Senate bill on America before the coming recess to reduce inflation!

Does any sane American (sane = common sense, attached to reality) actually believe this totally partisan and desperate legislation arriving months before the November 8th reckoning will reduce the Biden inflation caused by uncontrolled federal spending and the attack on energy in America?

After appearing as a rare, sane and pro-American Democrat, Manchin now claims his elevation to the world’s oldest profession from the political profession, a close second.

This legislation, to be passed by reconciliation (50 votes plus the Vice-President), will be economically devastating to Americans and make the economic crisis in America much worse as recession deepens and severe inflation goes higher.

The bill includes a higher tax burden on all classes of taxpayers and small businesses (where American jobs are created), hundreds of billions for the Green New Deal, over $250 billion taken from Medicare and a host of other hostile provisions hurting the working folks and producers in the nation. The enviro-left-Democrat base is cheering the Democrat Senators on to ‘save the planet’.

Who is left among the Senate Democrats to stop this assault on economic and energy policy, in effect a crushing of the middle and lower classes? There is one person – the one who previously stood with Joe Manchin against eliminating the Senate filibuster, against packing the Supreme Court, against spending 5 trillion dollars on Build Back Better, etc., etc.

It is Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Contact her now and be loud and clear – her political future is at stake and she may be the only Senator who can actually stop this craziness and threat to America’s future.

She is on the ballot in 2024 and has billed herself as an independent, maverick styled politician. Remind her that Arizonans reject this damaging, partisan election year legislative stunt and will reject her if her name is on it.

Let Senator Sinema know that her name is now the only important name – she is the one Senator who can kill this bill at a time of recession and galloping inflation. The state she represents is polling decidedly against the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 and a vote for it by her will not be forgotten or forgiven.

See the TAKE ACTION link below to contact Senator Sinema and inform her of the consequences of caving to Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden.

Although Senator Mark Kelly is a predictable and loyal shill for Chuck Schumer and does what he is told, he is on the ballot this November and is very vulnerable. Delivering the same message to Kelly is appropriate and might be helpful even if his vote is quite predictable.

A Political Victory for the Joes Is a Loss for the Country

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Editors’ Note: If Manchin thinks this will end the war on fossil fuels, he of course is wrong. The legislation through taxation and subsidies still directs energy choices through a top-down, central planning model, rather than allowing free competition among choices. It also does nothing to challenge the dubious science of global warming, rather it embraces it. Nor does it stop wrecking our existing energy infrastructure while new plans fail to deliver. You would think with the example of Germany right before us, our leaders would have more sense.This defection could have been predicted as he is, after all, a Democrat. With such a narrow margin in the Senate, this capitulation by Manchin is of serious consequence to the nation. Senator Sinema of Arizona remains, but we doubt she has either the nerve or philosophical gumption to resist caving as well.

 

After months of being portrayed as a villain or worse in the mainstream media, Joe Manchin suddenly has become a Democratic Party hero—all because he has declared he will support legislation that he and President Joe Biden claim will “reduce inflation” and give us better weather. Not surprisingly, the New York Times is leading the way in effusively praising the legislation, claiming the bill “would be the most ambitious action ever taken by the United States to try to stop the planet from catastrophically overheating.”

The “newspaper of record” continues:

The bill aims to tackle global warming by using billions of dollars in tax incentives to ramp up wind, solar, geothermal, battery and other clean energy industries over the next decade. Companies would receive financial incentives to keep open nuclear plants that might have closed, or to capture emissions from industrial facilities and bury them underground before they can warm the planet. Car buyers with incomes below a certain level would receive a $7,500 tax credit to purchase a new electric vehicle and $4,000 for a used one. Americans would receive rebates to install heat pumps and make their homes more energy-efficient.

Biden declared: “This is the action the American people have been waiting for,” adding that the proposed bill provides “investments in our energy security for the future.”

Progressives claim this combination of new taxes, tax credits, and political favoritism will promote wind and solar energy, vastly curb carbon dioxide emissions, save the US government billions of dollars via cheaper drug prices, and curtail inflation (it is currently titled The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022). And—to ensure Manchin’s endorsement—it supports a natural gas pipeline in Manchin’s home state of West Virginia.

If anything can embody the current disconnect between progressive elites in politics, academe, and the media with how things operate in that sphere we call reality, it is the response to this legislation. We are told that increasing taxes on individuals and businesses, putting in a regime of price controls for drugs (which have artificially high prices in the first place because of government favoritism toward that industry), installing a system of tax credits for vehicles that are mostly a plaything of wealthy people, along with creating credits and subsidies for wind and solar power is going to reduce inflation and improve most Americans’ lives.

While each portion of this hodgepodge of wish lists needs scrutiny, one can sum up the entire ordeal by pointing out that the gap between what supporters of something like this claim it will do and what it actually does is enormous. Not surprisingly, the media concentrates upon the political aspects of passing the legislation, the “big story” being Manchin’s willingness to go along with it after having opposed similar legislation before.

Rarely, if ever, are the results of legislation—and especially the kind of legislation progressives tout—scrutinized after passage. Instead, progressives assume that the legislation in question will do everything its supporters claim. One should not expect to see an assessment of the results of this latest “historic” bill on the NYT op-ed page a year from now.

For example, any bill with the goals and actions presented in this “inflation reduction” legislation needs to be examined based on real costs and benefits. Tax credits and subsidies for “renewable” energy (which many unrenewable components go into producing) will mask the prices people must pay for these goods, but what are the real costs? What is the value that people will receive in return?

The first thing to remember is that while one can argue over whether a tax credit is a government subsidy or a real benefit, the fact that often is lost in the argument is that without the possible tax reduction, many people would not purchase the subsidized good in the first place. The tax credit incentivizes car buyers to make choices they would not have made otherwise, and it further distorts structures of production.

For all the happy talk about electric cars and the slick advertisements that herald a new age of electricity, the so-called transition is not about political goals and NYT editorials that claim otherwise. When we go past the rhetoric, we are dealing with government central planning, an energy-focused form of the Gosplan, which made the USSR’s economy nonfunctioning. Central planning can call for reallocation of resources and lay out the plans, but without market prices and profits and losses, resource allocation will become an economic train wreck.

While progressives give lip service to profits and losses, even trying to tilt the economic landscape with tax credits, bans on certain goods, and other coercive means, resources still will move in the direction of consumer choice. Economies depend upon real information, real goods, real prices, and real resources. If we do not have these things, along with free consumer choice, then there inevitably will be resource dislocations as production is pulled onto an unsustainable path.

Take the automobile industry, for example. Although some companies have announced their intention to go all-electric in the next decade, one doubts that anyone in those industries believes that operating vehicles purely with batteries is going to have the outcomes that progressives are promising. While battery costs have declined in recent years, they are decreasing at a decreasing rate. The gasoline-electric hybrids have more potential both in terms of unit cost declines and lowering emissions (when one takes in the entire scope of emissions per mile), but the political climate is pointing everything toward the exclusive use of batteries.

When politics and reality collide, reality always must win, no matter the rhetoric progressives give us. Joe Manchin can claim this newest version of “Build Back Better” is going to reduce inflation and improve life for most Americans, but the reality is that it is going to result in more inflation and shortages. The government can create new tax credits for electric cars, but that will not change the technological reality of building those cars. Consumers still are going to have to wait weeks and even months for their new electric cars, and after they get them, they will have to deal with the limitations those cars place upon them.

As for the progressives in the Democratic Party, the propaganda machines will move in reverse. Manchin now is a hero instead of a villain, and Gail Collins may even write something nice about him for a change.

The hard reality, however, is that central economic planning will create unnecessary hardships for many Americans—and this legislation attempts to do just that. In the end, the rhetoric accompanying this bill cannot overcome the reality that when politicians direct economic resources, bad things happen.

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This article was published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute and is reproduced with permission.

Once Again, Senator Manchin Detonates Biden’s Agenda

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Nero Incendiarius!” (“Nero, the arsonist”) Romans called their emperor after most of Rome burned to the ground in 64 AD. The rumor was that Nero wanted to burn down the city as inspiration for one of his poems — a myth started by Nero’s enemies. But most of Rome wanted Nero’s head on a spike.

You have to believe that Democrats are thinking the same thing about their Senate colleague, Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Manchin has single-handedly — literally — set afire the radical, frighteningly expensive agenda of the president and far-left Democrats in Congress. That agenda included ruinous tax increases, massive changes to America’s energy policy, and other items on the radical left’s wish list to transform America. “Build Back Better” was a blueprint for disaster.

It’s been Manchin who has insisted on some kind of fiscal sanity. It’s been Manchin insisting the president’s climate policy include an “all of the above” promotion involving coal, oil, gas, and nuclear power as well as solar and wind energy generation.

Manchin’s vote is crucial given that Republicans are universally opposed to Build Back Better and Biden needs all 50 Senate Democrats to support it if the party wants to use reconciliation to pass it. He derailed the bill last December. He derailed it again when Biden tried to revive it in March.

And now Manchin has reduced Biden’s gargantuan $2 trillion Build Back Better bill to a measure that would extend Obamacare subsidies for two years and reduce drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate with Big Pharma.

Politico:

Sam Runyon, a spokesperson for Manchin, indicated the West Virginian has little concern for how his rejection might affect his party’s overall political prospects, should Democrats ultimately fail to accept the narrow terms he’s outlined.

“Political headlines are of no value to the millions of Americans struggling to afford groceries and gas,” said Sam Runyon, a spokesperson for Manchin. “Sen. Manchin believes it’s time for leaders to put political agendas aside, reevaluate and adjust to the economic realities the country faces to avoid taking steps that add fuel to the inflation fire.”

While radical Democrats prepare the tar and feathers, Manchin has quietly carried out his own personal anti-inflation war against his party. The West Virginian blew up the bill in December, citing inflation concerns. His argument hasn’t changed; Build Back Better is inflationary and raising taxes with the economy teetering on the edge of a recession is madness.

“All of our efforts should be: How do we reduce the gas prices, the high prices of energy, the high prices of food, all of these things: that’s every day living. And everyone’s talking about everything except though things,” Manchin said in an interview earlier this week. “Unless you can get your financial house in order, you’re not going to get inflation under control.”…..

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Continue reading this article at PJ Media.

‘Ludicrous’: Buttigieg Watches As Manchin Throws Cold Water On Biden’s EV Dreams

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin slammed the Biden administration’s lofty electric vehicle (EV) plans as “ludicrous,” saying the U.S. should first address root issues.

Manchin expressed concerns that the administration was focusing too much on electric vehicle incentives rather than shoring up the domestic battery and critical mineral supply chains, during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Thursday [4/28.22]. He noted that China, which controls the vast majority of global critical mineral mining and refining needed for renewable energy tech, could use its leverage over the U.S. for geopolitical reasons.

There’s a waiting list for EVs right now with the fuel price at $4,” Manchin told Buttigieg. “But they still want us to throw $5,000 or $7,000 or $12,000 credit to buy an electric vehicle.” (RELATED: Ford Reports Devastating Losses Thanks To Electric Vehicle Gamble)

“It makes no sense to me whatsoever when supply and demand — we can’t produce the product for the people who want it and we’re still going to pay them to take it? It’s absolutely ludicrous in my mind,” he continued. “But I’m thinking we are getting ourselves tangled in a situation that we’re not going to be able to supply … everything that’s going to be needed for this product.”

The West Virginia lawmaker then asked Buttigieg if the Department of Transportation shared his concerns about EV shortages and credits.

“We are following this closely and I think it’s a great example of one of the areas of manufacturing capacity that we’ve got to do more of right here on American soil,” Buttigieg responded. “If you look at the timelines that the physicists have laid out on climate, some of them can — in terms of our action and our need to rise to the challenge — could arguably be measured in months rather than years at this point.”

“So, we feel a sense of enormous urgency to accelerate not just the uptake of electric vehicles, but, as you note, their production and our productive capacity for them,” he added.

Buttigieg didn’t address Manchin’s concerns about the EV credit included in President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act.

U.S. consumers in the market for an EV must wait up to 18 months to receive their purchase depending on the desired model. Several popular Tesla EVs, for example, have wait times stretching into late 2023.

The Build Back Better Act includes an up to $12,500 tax credit for purchases of electric vehicles made with union labor using American batteries. EVs made in non-union shops would offer consumers much smaller credits.

Biden has promised that 50% of new vehicle sales in the U.S. will be emissions-free by 2030 and every addition to the federal government’s 600,000-vehicle fleet will be electric by 2035.

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This article was published by The Daily Caller News Foundation and is reproduced with permission.

Sinema Stands Up to Biden, Dem Leadership on Axing Filibuster

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

The same week that President Joe Biden called for “getting rid of” the filibuster to push through Democrats’ agenda on federalizing elections, U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., doubled down on her opposition to ousting the long-established Senate rule.

Despite Democratic leadership’s push to alter the filibuster to pass legislation for a federal takeover of state elections, a bipartisan majority has remained in opposition. Sinema doubled down in that opposition Thursday, casting serious doubts on any changes to Senate rules.

“There’s no need for me to restate my longstanding support for the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation,” Sinema said from the Senate floor Thursday. “There’s no need for me to restate its role in protecting our country from wild reversals of federal policy. This week’s harried discussions about Senate rules are but a poor substitute for what I believe could have and should have been a thoughtful public debate at any time over the past year.”

Sinema went on to argue that removing the filibuster would only add to the nation’s division, not unity.

“But what is the legislative filibuster, other than a tool that requires new federal policy to be broadly supported by senators, representing the broader cross-section of Americans,” Sinema said. “Demands to eliminate this threshold from whichever party holds the fleeting majority amount to a group of people separated on two sides of a canyon, shouting that solution to their colleagues.”

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., has also expressed reservations about nixing the filibuster. Politico reports that multiple other Democratic senators, including Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., are on the fence as well. Their opposition makes changing the Senate rules or passing Democrats’ federal voting bill, unlikely.

“We need some good rules changes to make the place work better,” Manchin told reporters this week. “But getting rid of the filibuster doesn’t make it work better.”

Sinema quietly pushed back against Biden’s “Build Back Better” legislation last year, but Thursday’s floor speech was a public rebuttal of Biden’s call to action earlier this week.

Biden delivered a blistering speech in Atlanta Tuesday where he accused opponents of Democrats’ voting legislation of racism, opposing Democracy, and wanting “chaos to reign.” He advocated for “getting rid of” the filibuster to push through federal voting laws that would give the federal government sweeping control of state elections.

Biden argued that Republican state legislatures’ legislative efforts in recent years to shore up election integrity were actually attempts at voter suppression. Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer has made similar comments and called for changing the filibuster rules.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell responded to those comments, calling them “profoundly unpresidential.”

“The President repeatedly invoked the January 6th riot while himself using irresponsible, delegitimizing rhetoric that undermines our democracy,” McConnell said. “The sitting President of the United States of America compared American states to ‘totalitarian states.’”

A key line of attack against the Democratic effort to end the filibuster has been their previous positions on the issue. Both Biden and Schumer have publicly supported the filibuster in the past.

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., lambasted Schumer for just that in a speech from the Senate floor, repeating Schumer’s previous comments that removing the filibuster would make the Senate “the rubber stamp of dictatorship.”

“The bottom line is very simple: the ideologues in the Senate want to turn what the Founding Fathers called the cooling saucer of democracy into the rubber stamp of dictatorship,” Cotton said, reiterating Schumer’s past comments. “They want to make this country into a banana republic where if you don’t get your way, you change the rules! Are we going to let them? It will be a doomsday for democracy if we do.”

Near the end of his speech, Cotton pointed out his words had all been taken from Schumer himself.

“Every word of my speech today was originally spoken by my esteemed colleague, the senior senator from New York, Chuck Schumer,” Cotton said. “Senator Schumer spoke so eloquently in defense of the Senate’s rules, customs, and traditions when the fortunes of his party looked a little different. My, how times have changed.”

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This article was published by The Center Square and is reproduced with permission.

The Limits Of Joe Manchin’s Conservatism

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Of the three-headed hydra of universal prekindergarten, subsidized child care, and the child tax credit, the latter was far and away the most defensible policy and the one least injurious to the aims of social conservatives.

 

Senator Joe Manchin, the recent subject of a Two Minutes Hate for torpedoing the “Build Back Better” legislation, approached the White House yesterday to lay out a framework for future domestic-policy negotiations. From the New York Times this morning:

On Tuesday, Mr. Manchin went to the White House and put forward his own outline for the domestic policy plan, which included money for universal prekindergarten, child care and some environmental provisions, but did not include the one-year extension of the child tax credit, according to people familiar with the offer.

That Manchin is willing to sign on to limited climate-initiative funding, child care, and universal pre-K is in keeping with a Monday Washington Post report on his private offer to the White House. It also reveals the limits of Manchin’s Blue Dog posture.

There’s no getting around it: The child tax credit is expensive. It would cost $1.5 trillion dollars over ten years if made permanent and fully refundable. While that figure is large—and I realize in making this point I’m going to sound a lot like the most insufferable people you know—it is a fraction of what America is projected to spend on defense in the coming decade, which totals over $7 trillion. The child tax credit appears to have contributed significantly to recent declines in childhood hunger and poverty. If conservatives are serious about making it easier for Americans to raise large families, the child tax credit is one of the best policy tools at their disposal.

Manchin’s support for universal pre-K and child-care are concerning for social conservatives. Of the three-headed hydra of universal prekindergarten, subsidized child care, and the child tax credit, the latter was far and away from the most defensible policy and the one least injurious to the aims of social conservatives.

You sound like a nut when you say it out loud, but universal pre-K is almost guaranteed to move an entire generation of children to the left. It is hard to think of a surer path to social upheaval than turning hordes of small children over to agents of the state whose federal funding is contingent on teaching children the racial and sexual dogmata of high-church progressivism. If you think colleges are effective in brainwashing kids, wait until the education majors from Berkeley are teaching your three-year-old about gender identity.

On child care, note the way prominent progressives speak about the issue. Elizabeth Warren said creating a universal, federally funded child care regime was urgent, because “too many mamas and daddies today are getting knocked off the track and never get back on,” with the “track,” of course, being slavery to Mammon. At Slate, Jordan Weismann said “One of the better arguments for providing child-care services—as opposed to straight cash payments to parents, as some policy wonks have proposed—is that encouraging women to stay in the workforce will create future economic gains.” The universal child-care program is a way to remake the structure of the American family, normalize and subsidize two-income households, and ensure that young children are spending as much time as possible around right-thinking progressive functionaries instead of their (potentially reactionary) parents.

It’s fine to worry about the costs of these programs amid rising inflation, but Manchin’s reported counter-offer suggests he either hasn’t thought through their social implications or he doesn’t care.

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This article was published on December 22, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The American Conservative.

Another Letter to Senator Joe Manchin (D-WVa)

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Editors’ Note: The following letter is my second letter (10/26/21 letter here) sent to Senator Manchin’s offices in Washington, D.C., Charleston, WVa, Fairmont, WVa, and Martinsburg, WVa. Please feel free to copy and paste any of the following to communicate by email and hard copy to the Senator how we Americans feel about his party’s legislative power-grab and their attempt to transform our Republic. Time is short – Speaker Pelosi is desperate and may soon push the Build Back Better bill over the line in the U.S. House. Senators Manchin and Sinema are under unrelenting pressure and the Vice President is prepared to cast a 51st vote in the Senate to transform the nation in weeks ahead if she can. “We the People” should be unrelenting – do everything you can to declare your opposition. 

 

Dear Senator Manchin,

I have recently communicated with you by email and hard copy. Although you are a Senator from West Virginia, you are representing all Americans. My message recently to you was to question why you are staying in today’s Democrat Party.

I have repeatedly watched the video of the aggressive activists surrounding and blocking your car and refusing to let you leave the parking garage. You were assaulted and threatened as a sitting U.S. Senator. This represents your current party today – out of control, power hungry and totally lacking civility and decency. It was recently the case for Senator Sinema, unbelievably accosted in a bathroom as she was about to enter a stall! Disgusting and reflects the ideological insanity of your party. You have eloquently stated that the transformational legislation (Build Back Better) that Speaker Pelosi and Senators Schumer and Sanders are attempting to ram through Congress with no bipartisanship and being pushed by the large radical left component of your party has to be actually paid for and analyzed after scoring before it can be voted on. The attack on you in your car and the present day radical leftist character of your party may seem like separate issues but they are not. They are attacks on America – on a sitting Senator and on a nation of citizens rejecting crippling debt, social engineering, the killing of our work ethic, the indoctrination of our youth and the creation of a permanent non-working adult population to say nothing of the open border and outlays for illegal aliens, the enormous burden on all citizens with huge tax increases (which everyone will pay for), etc., etc.

Senator Manchin – you do not belong in the Democrat Party. You described yourself recently as a West Virginian Democrat but in reality, you are a West Virginian leader representing your citizens (in a very Red state) and all Americans against this authoritarian craziness. Stand up, get out of the party, stop the vicious undermining of our foundational values, our economy, our natural rights and our culture by a party out of control. Our President is horribly compromised and all of this transformational legislation is Bernie Sander’s ideological socialist dream. Last Tuesday’s election spoke loudly but your deaf party (they unquestionably heard the results) are shouting a loud “we don’t care about you average Americans” and flashing a middle finger at all of us in both parties, including you Senator. Join the Republican Party now and stop this – history and your constituents will reward you greatly for being a true leader and showing how a courageous leader can really lead. As I stated in my last communication to you, I have little regard for the Republican Party but Republicans (and most Democrats) do not want a socialist tyranny to replace our founding structure and what we believe in as Americans – equality before the law, equal opportunity for all, love of our natural rights and founding principles.

You are one of the few Democrats remaining in America with any degree of respectability and trust – get out of the Democrat Party before you are forever stained in history for failing to serve America at this perilous moment. God bless you Sir.

Respectfully,

John R. Ammon, MD

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Senator Joe Manchin, III (West Virginia)
306 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
202 224 3954
Fax: 202 228 0002
Email Address: Email Form
Website: Official Website

900 Pennsylvania Ave., Ste. 629
Charleston, WV 25302
304 342 5855
Fax: 304 343 7144

230 Adams Street
Fairmont, WV 26554
304 368 0567
Fax: 304 368 0198

261 Aikens Center, Ste. 305
Martinsburg, WV 25404
304 264 4626
Fax 304 262 3039