Actually, we appreciate this question from ABC’s Jon Karl a lot more than Karine Jean-Pierre did, who never got around to actually answering it. On This Week, Karl presses Jean-Pierre to explain the branding on the reconciliation bill, noting that the label “Inflation Reduction Act” on a bill that does literally nothing on inflation is almost an Orwellian construct.
Jean-Pierre offered her appreciation for the question, and proceeded to make Karl’s point by noting all of the things the bill directly does … and argues that those will indirectly impact inflation. Maybe.
ABC'S JONATHAN KARL: "Isn't it almost Orwellian? How can you call it the Inflation Reduction Act when the nonpartisan experts say it's not gonna bring inflation down?"
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: "I appreciate the question." pic.twitter.com/tmtFTdsgXx
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 14, 2022
KARL: But let me ask you, it’s called the Inflation Reduction Act but the Congressional Budget Act — Office, which is nonpartisan, said that there would be a negligible impact on inflation this year and barely impact inflation at all next year. I mean, isn’t it almost Orwellian — how can you call it Inflation Reduction Act —
KARL: — when the nonpartisan experts say it’s not going to —
JEAN-PIERRE: So I appreciate that —
JEAN-PIERRE: I appreciate the question. We’ve actually addressed this, the CBO. It was the top line number, there’s more in there that shows that it will have the money from — remember how we’re doing this, too, it’s making sure that billionaires in corporate America are paying their fair share, making sure that it’s — that the tax code is a little bit more fair, and so when you do that, when you put it in its totality, you will see that it will — it will bring down — lower the deficit, which will help fight inflation.
Look, here’s the thing. We have 126 economists, both Republicans, both Democrats who have said it’s going to fight inflation. We have five former Secretaries —
KARL: So you disagree —
KARL: — assessment of —
JEAN-PIERRE: Well, there’s more to it. It’s just — it was — the way that Republicans did was so that it could make an argument that is false. It is going to fight inflation. It has — we — it has been proven, it has been said by economists across the board on the Republican side and the Democrat — on the Democrat side.
It’s going to “fight” it to a draw? After losing the first round? The CBO’s analysis isn’t the first to point out that the “Inflation Reduction Act” doesn’t actually impact inflation, after all. A Penn Wharton Budget Model analysis showed that the IRA would actually increase inflation slightly over the first year. That first got reported by Politico and the Wall Street Journal more than two weeks ago, well before either the Senate or the House voted on the reconciliation bill.
CBS News just got around to reporting it on Friday afternoon:
That’s the conclusion of the Penn Wharton Budget Model, a group of economists and data scientists at University of Pennsylvania who analyze public policies to predict their economic and fiscal impacts. Its analysis, published Friday, comes as inflation remains near a 40-year high, crimping the budgets of consumers and businesses alike.
The Inflation Reduction Act would invest nearly $400 billion in energy security and climate change proposals, aimed at reducing carbon emissions by approximately 40% by 2030. It also would allow Medicare to negotiate with drugmakers on prescription prices, and would limit out-of-pocket drug expenses for seniors to $2,000 annually. The bill also directs $80 billion in funding to the IRS, aimed at helping the underfunded agency hire more auditors and beef up its customer service and technology.
But the impact on inflation “is statistically indistinguishable from zero,” the Penn Wharton Budget Model said on Friday.
Yeah, well, thanks for providing this information when your consumers really needed it, CBS. At least Politico and the WSJ offered it on a timely basis.
The “Inflation Reduction Act” is nothing more than a dodge, and even the Democrats who pushed it aren’t sticking with the sales pitch for long. They’re now selling it as a “climate change” bill, a down payment on the Green New Deal, hoping to fool voters into forgetting that they sold this latest massive government spending bill as a solution to their top concern in 2022 — inflation and the dramatic erosion in buying power that has taken place in the Joe Biden presidency. When inflation continues unabated in the next couple of months and more recessionary data comes in, voters will have a longer memory than Democrats think.