From: Chairman Jim Banks
To: RSC Member Offices
Re: 50 Radical Policies in the Inflation Reinforcement Act
Working Americans have suffered through record inflation, historic gas prices, and now an official recession. After two years of Biden, voters simply don’t have the stomach for another extravagant leftist spending package.
That’s why Democrats are selling their revived reconciliation boondoggle as a limited attempt to improve the economy.
But the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022” will drive us deeper into the Biden recession by raising taxes on American families, manufacturers, and energy producers. Penn Wharton has already proved the claim it will fight inflation is a complete farse. That’s reason enough to vote against the package.
Republicans also must communicate that this bill is transformative. It is just as radical and destructive as the Democrats’ “Build Back Better” proposal, which is why they are trying to push it through on entirely partisan lines.
RSC staff produced the below list of far-reaching and far-left cultural and economic policies hidden in bills 725 pages of legislative text:
- Build Back Beijing: The $369 billion in giveaways to green special interests will significantly increase our reliance on China—which controls 80 percent of the rare earth minerals necessary for supporting the Democrats’ expensive and unreliable green energy agenda. The bill is almost completely devoid of guardrails that prevent hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars from effectively subsidizing the Chinese Communist Party and their genocide of the Uyghur Muslims.
- Idiotically Boosts Taxes During a Recession: The 15% minimum tax on book income is a double tax on investment. When reporting book income, companies are prevented from deducting the cost of investments in equipment, structures, research and development, and other projects that increase productivity. This would raise taxes on American companies by $313 billion—half of which would be borne by American manufacturers—and kill 27,000 jobs. At a time of 40-year inflation, this tax would hit working-class Americans even harder by worsening current supply chain problems and raising energy costs by disproportionately raising taxes on key industries such as coal, automobiles, and utilities. (page 2)
- Fake Deficit Reduction: The Democrats’ claim that the bill would reduce deficits by $305 billion is based on several gimmicks. First, the Democrats only extend their expanded Obamacare spending for three years when everyone knows they will keep pushing to have it extended permanently, a gimmick that Senator Manchin has previously condemned. Accounting for this gimmick, the spending on the Obamacare bailout is $184 billion more than claimed by the Democrats. Second, the bill would spend more than $400 billion on Green New Deal giveaways when removing the fake two-year sunsets. Finally, the Congressional Budget Office will score no savings from the Democrats’ $80 billion scheme to spy on and harass Americans with 87,000 new IRS agents. Even when allowing the imaginary savings from “repealing” President Trumps’ prescription drug rebate which was never implemented, the bill would still add $114 billion in new debt over 10 years.
- Carried Interest Tax Hike to Kill More Jobs: The bill would reduce American investment by increasing taxes on carried interest income by $14 billion. Carried interest is simply a share of the gains made in an investment fund that is paid to managers of those funds. Taking these investments would kill jobs, cause pensions to lose billions of dollars, reduce wages for working-class Americans, and make our current stagflation worse. (page 27)
- Biden’s IRS Army: The bill weaponizes the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with about $80 billion in new funds (6x IRS’s annual budget) meant to hire tens of thousands of new IRS agents who will spy and harass Americans. This would include $45.637 billion in funding for IRS enforcement. This funding could be to enforce the IRS’ proposal to spy on Americans with more than $10,000 worth of financial transactions. This funding will be used by Biden’s IRS army to intimidate and harass middle-class Americans, not wealthy taxpayers who can afford the best tax lawyers money can buy. (page 33)
- Price Controls to Kill Life Saving Drugs: The bill would institute a socialist price control regime to force certain drug manufacturers to accept whatever price the Biden administration thinks is reasonable, or face a potential 95 percent tax (page 123). According to the CBO analysis, this provision would reduce the number of lifesaving drugs by 15 over the next 30 years. The bill would institute so-called “inflation rebates”— another layer of price controls that will also kill the development of life-saving drugs. (page 41)
- Obamacare Expansion: The bill would extend the Obamacare subsidy expansions created by the inflationary American Rescue Plan, which can even benefit people making as much as $300,000. (page 231)Taxpayers should not be forced to endlessly subsidize the irredeemably flawed- and premium-increasing structure of Obamacare. Instead, these subsidies should be left to expire, which would save taxpayers $64 billion per year according to the Democrats’ summary. Rather than forcing taxpayers to bail out the failures of Obamacare, Congress should pass common-sense reforms to lower costs and increase access to care.
- Payoff to Union Bosses: The bill would implement prevailing wage requirements for companies that utilize various tax credits in the bill. Prevailing wage requirements kill jobs and are nothing more than a pay–off to labor union bosses. (page 235) (page 269) (page 302) (page 321) (page 348)(page 364) (page 403) (page 409) (page 473) (page 496)
- Tax Breaks for Green Energy Corporations: The bill would reauthorize expired tax subsidies and extend others that benefit green energy technologies almost exclusively. This, according to Democrats, would force taxpayers to give $60 billion in corporate welfare to green energy corporations while artificially holding back oil and gas development. The Democrats failed green agenda is designed to crush traditional American producers, increase oil and gas prices, and cruelly inflict further pain on the American people. (page 232) (page 254)
- Manipulating the Tax Code for “Environmental justice”: The bill would establish a new “environmental justice solar and wind capacity limitation program” to give a windfall to solar and wind energy production that serves the Democrats’ radical “environmental justice” agenda. (page 276).
- Tax Breaks for Rich People to Buy Green Appliances: The bill would revive through 2032 and significantly expand—by 140 percent—the Nonbusiness Energy Property tax credit. This credit, which expired at the end of 2021, pays individuals for so-called “energy-efficiency” improvements. This credit almost exclusively benefits high-income households and forces working-class Americans to pay for it. (page 331).
- Tax Breaks for Rich People to Buy Solar Panels: The bill would extend the Residential Clean Energy Credit through 2034. This credit, which is set to expire at the end of 2023, pays individuals to install green energy features in their homes, such as solar panels and wind turbines. Again, this credit almost exclusively benefits high-income households. (page 344)
- Tax Breaks for Fancy Green Corporate Offices: The bill would expand the Section 179D Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings deduction for installation of interior lighting, building envelopes, or heating, cooling, ventilation, or hot water systems that reduce energy consumption. (page 347). Last fiscal year, this tax break cost taxpayers nearly $200 million.
- Tax Breaks for Construction of Green Homes: The bill would extend and expand the recently expired New Energy Efficient Home Credit. This credit forces taxpayers to subsidize the construction of “energy-efficient” homes that can be $125,000 more expensive than traditional homes.
- Subsidizing Electric Vehicles for the Wealthy: The bill would force working-class taxpayers to subsidize EV purchases for wealthy taxpayers (couples with income up to $300k per year) by extending the current $7,500 tax credit for purchases of new EVs through 203. 78 percent of current EV tax credits are claimed by taxpayers making over $100,000. The bill would also remove the current law cap of 200,000 EVs sold per manufacturer. It is simply wrong to force working class taxpayers to subsidize vehicle purchases by the wealthy to appease liberal central planners. (page 366). It would also create a new tax credit of $4,000 for used EV purchases (with an income cap of $150k per household). (page 387)
- Taxpayer Subsidies for Inefficient Green Energy: The bill would force taxpayers to provide $10 billion in expanded tax credits first created in Obama’s failed 2009 stimulus package for inefficient green energy projects. Not only is this funding duplicative, but it funds technology that has forced working-class Americans to pay higher energy prices and face rolling blackouts. (page 406)
- Making Energy MORE Expensive – Part 1: During a time of historically high gas prices, the bill would inexplicably raise the Superfund excise tax rate on crude oil and imported petroleum from 9.7 cents/gallon to 16.4 cents/gallon. (page 440)
- Another taxpayer-funded giveaway to green special interests: The bill would create new production and investment tax credits for carbon-neutral electricity generation facilities. These subsidies are duplicative and would force taxpayers to subsidize facilities that use inefficient energy sources and increase energy prices. (page 442) (page 464)
- Making Energy MORE Expensive – Part 2: The bill would increase energy costs for consumers by permanently extending certain taxes paid by coal mining operations. (page 524)
- Radicalizing the Department of Agriculture: $20 billion funneled through the Department of Agriculture toward the left’s Green New Deal priorities. (page 527)
- Cow Farts are BACK! The bill (page 529) would require the Secretary of Agriculture to prioritize new funding for certain farm grants that “utilize diet and feed management to reduce enteric methane emissions from ruminants.” Translation = taxpayer money to feed cows food that that won’t make them fart.
- Promoting “Environmental Justice” in Agriculture – Part 1. $8.45 billion for the environmental quality incentives program (EQUIP), which is part of Biden’s environmental justice program (“Justice40”) program and seeks to support Climate-Smart agriculture to “sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change.” (page 528)
- Promoting “Environmental Justice” in Agriculture – Part 2. $3.25 billion for the Conservation Stewardship Program (page 530) and $1.4 billion for the Conservation Easement Program (page 531), both of which are part of Biden’s Justice40 program, and which President Trump sought to cut and eliminate,
- Promoting “Environmental Justice” in Agriculture – Part 3. $6.75 billion for the regional conservation partnership program, also a Justice 40 program. (page 532). All of these are supposed to mostly focus on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Free Money! $1 billion in additional funding for renewable energy storage projects, but the Biden administration can choose to make these so-called “loans” 100% forgivable with no strings attached (page 539).
- Green New Deal Takeover of Rural Areas: $9.7 billion in taxpayer-funded subsidies for the development and construction of solar energy systems and other renewable energy systems in rural areas, and for zero-emission systems, or carbon capture and storage systems. (page 543).
- Tree Planting in Liberal Cities: $1.5 billion for grants through the Urban and Community Forestry Assistance program for planting trees in urban areas in a way that promotes the left’s social agenda.
- Biden’s Industry Takeover Slush Fund: $500 million “to carry out the Defense Production Act,” which, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), “confers upon the President a broad set of authorities to influence domestic industry…” (page 557). In other words, this is just a slush fund for the Biden administration to carry out its radical climate agenda under the guise of a national emergency. Just this past March, Biden invoked the DPA to ensure “a robust, resilient, sustainable, and environmentally responsible domestic industrial base to meet the requirements of the clean energy economy.”
- Free Green Appliances: $4.5 billion for state-run high-efficiency electric home rebate programs, which would provide rebates, including point of sale rebates, to governmental, commercial, or non-profit entities to pay for up to 100% of the costs of home projects that use of Energy Star home appliances. (page 595)
- Taxpayer-Backed Climate Change Loans: The bill would give the DOE Secretary the authority to guarantee up to $40 billion in loans supporting projects to reduce greenhouse gasses. (page 600).
- Electric Vehicle Subsidies – Part 1: $3 billion for the ATVM program, which President Trump sought to eliminate “because the private sector is better positioned to finance the deployment of commercially viable energy and advanced vehicle manufacturing projects.” Funds could only be used for used to support low- or no-emission vehicle production. (page 603) The bill would also eliminate the ATVM program’s current $25 billion cap on total loan authority, which would unleash the Biden administration to provide an untold amount of loans for electric vehicle development backed with taxpayer money. (page 604).
- Electric Vehicle Subsidies – Part 2: $2 billion for the DOE to provide grants for domestic production of hybrid, hydrogen fuel cell, and electric vehicles (page 604).
- Quarter TRILLION of Guaranteed Green Loans: $5 billion in spending to support $250 billion in DOE loan guarantees and loan refinancing for green energy infrastructure projects and remediation activities. (page 605).
- Making Energy MORE Expensive – Part 3: Despite oppressive energy and gas prices, the bill would increase royalties paid by energy companies, which will be passed along to consumers in the form of even higher prices. Royalties for offshore oil and gas drilling leases would be jacked up from 12.5% to between 16.66% and 18.75% (page 632). For federal onshore oil and gas leases, the bill would increase the rate from 12.5% to 16.66%. (page 633).
- Making Energy MORE Expensive – Part 4: The bill would also balloon other fees applicable to onshore oil and gas energy production by quintupling the minimum bid amount (page 634), raising the rental rate 1,000% by when a lease hits the eight-year mark (page 635), adding a $5 per acre fee for expressing interest in leasing land for oil and gas development (page 636), and increase existing bonding requirements from $10,000-$25,000 per well to $150,000 per lease (page 640).
- Making Energy MORE Expensive – Part 5: The bill would also expand royalty requirements applicable to onshore and offshore production to cover methane produced, consumed, or lost, instead of that which is produced and sold. (page 640).
- Free Electric Heavy-Duty Vehicles for Contractors and Local Governments: The bill would force taxpayers to provide $1 billion to effectively give away free zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles, including to contractors, local governments, and school districts. (page 650).
- $27 billion to Force Low-income Communities to Rely on Unreliable Energy Sources: The bill would provide $27 billion for a greenhouse gas reduction fund to pay for deploying green energy equipment in environmental justice communities. ( 658).
- Taxpayer subsidies for diesel emission reductions: The bill would force taxpayers to provide $60 million for so-called Diesel Emission Reductions grants, which in the past have gone towards wasteful projects involving cherry pickers, electrifying parking spaces, and retrofitting tractors. These grants are the definition of pork and taxpayers should not be forced to burden the cost of additional subsidies. (page 663).
- Backdoor Civilian Climate Corps: The bill would provide $87 million to launch a propaganda campaign to “educate” communities on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. (page 668).
- Funding to Support Radical ESG Movement: The bill would spend $5 million for the EPA to support “transparency” surrounding “corporate climate action commitments.” (page 675).
- Carbon Labelling: The bill would force taxpayers to waste $100 million for labeling construction materials based on carbon emissions. (page 691)
- Climate Justice Crusade: The bill would give $3 billion for the EPA to spend on, among other things, regulatory emissions enforcement, inventing new jobs to carry out the left’s green agenda, and lobbying state and local governments for more regulations. (page 695)
- Infrastructure is Racist…Again: The bill would spend $3 billion for the Department of Transportation to undertake projects to address its claim that infrastructure is racist. (page 699)
- Greening Federal Office Space: The bill would waste $2.15 billion of taxpayer money to ensure that the federal government is issuing “low-embodied carbon materials” when constructing or altering federal office space. (page 707) It would also create a $975 million green tech slush fund for the GSA. (page 708).
- Low-Emission Highway Materials: The bill would hand $2 billion of taxpayer money to transportation construction companies so that they use “low-embodied carbon construction materials” in highway projects, an unnecessary expense designed to advance the Biden administration’s radical vision. (page 712).
- Ignoring Biden’s Border Crisis: Rather than spending a dime to address his ongoing border crisis, the bill would spend $500 million to make sure that the Department of Homeland Security (which is supposed to be securing the border and enforcing our nation’s immigration laws) is carrying out “sustainability and environmental programs.” (page 716).
- Electric Postal Trucks: $3 billion for a new fleet of electric Postal trucks. (page 717).
- Equity Enforcement: The bill would spend $25 million for the GAO to ensure that the hundreds of billions of dollars spent by the bill are distributed under the Biden administration’s notion of equitable. (page 718).
- Raiding the DRF: The bill would authorize the Biden administration to raid the Disaster Relief Fund to purchase low-carbon materials instead of helping communities reel from natural disasters. (page 719)
CONCLUSION: Democrats in Congress aren’t damaging Americans’ pocketbooks—they are trying to damage their way of life. I hope this list of partisan provisions will help you convey that fact to your constituents this August recess.