After agreeing to pass a $280 billion mini “Build Back Better” bill last week, Republicans gave up their leverage to block Democrats from using budget reconciliation to raise $739 billion in taxes and spend $433 billion fundamentally transforming health care, agriculture, and energy. While Republicans are vowing to fight this tax-and-spend bill, they have failed to publicly float the nuclear option, aka blocking the fiscal year 2023 continuing resolution if Democrats pass the reconciliation bill. They need to understand that this bill is much worse than a typical tax-and-spend bill and therefore requires them to proverbially lie down on the tracks to prevent it from passing.
Aside from extending Obamacare itself in this bill (another $100 billion in spending for the health care cartel), the Orwellian-named “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022” will do to agriculture and energy what Obamacare did to health care. The bill will essentially create a government-run monopoly for wind and solar and transform our economy away from energy that works to the sources that don’t work. If you like what you see in Germany, with edicts to take cold showers and turn the lights off because the country went “green,” you will love this new BBB bill.
Despite years of subsidies totaling over $100 billion for green energy that failed to yield a breakout in its utility for consumers, this bill throws $30 billion at the states to transition to green energy. In addition, the bill creates a $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles, which cost an average of $66,000, a clear handout for the elites. They have not been shy about their desire for us to transition to only purchasing electric vehicles, and this bill will attempt to socially engineer that outcome. The bill also increases subsidies for biofuels, which increase the cost of fuel and food.
And speaking of food prices, this bill increases spending on “conservation programs” by $20 billion over five years. For years, our government has de facto paid farmers not to grow crops by enrolling up to 25 million acres annually in the Conservation Reserve Program. The program has incentivized wealthy landowners to buy up land from real farmers to keep it dormant in order to save the planet from the weather! The program does nothing but enrich wealthy landowners and further inflate the cost of land, just like any subsidized asset bubble, all the while reducing the supply of crops. This bill will further exacerbate the trend of Bill Gates and his ilk buying up land to ensure that American farming as we know it is transformed.
After offering leftists’ prized industries tailwinds in the economy, the bill has headwinds planned for the industries they don’t like, namely oil, gas, and coal. The bill imposes (Sec. 60113) for the first time a methane tax of $1,500 per ton on the oil and gas industry on “excess” methane emissions. In addition, Sec. 50261 of the bill increases royalties for drilling on federal offshore lands from 12.5% to between 16.67% and 18.5%. It contains numerous other fee increases up and down the process of leasing and using the lands, which will collectively make the process more expensive and pass the costs down to consumers at a time when they are suffering from record costs.
As for the coal industry, the bill provides $45 million for the EPA to regulate carbon emissions, which will cost the private economy a lot more than $45 million and shutter the already wounded industry. Even Germany is smart enough to begin jump-starting its coal industry during this energy crisis.
In other words, this is not a typical tax-and-spend bill. This is about fulfilling Biden’s campaign promise to “end fossil fuel.” Typical tax-and-spend bills don’t use a slogan that is being pushed by the communists internationally. Yet “Build Back Better” is a refrain incessantly used by the World Economic Forum, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacenda Ardern, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and even the Ukrainian government.
“Build Back Better” Compilation – “The Great Reset” Montage
The bill also allocates $80 billion for empowering the IRS to collect more taxes, a shocking and scary number that is likely about a lot more than raising revenue.
As such, Republicans cannot afford to fake fight this as they do other spending bills; they must lay it all on the line. There are two must-pass bills coming up before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30: the FY 2023 budget bill and the defense authorization bill. Now is the time for them to make a stand and refuse to supply the 60 votes to pass those bills unless Schumer backs down on budget reconciliation. Although the reconciliation bill can be passed with 51 votes, the budget bill is still subject to a filibuster.
If Republicans cannot hold a budget bill hostage in the minority when Democrats are extremely unpopular, nothing will change when they are in the majority.