WASHINGTON — Republicans continue to lament the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act this week, a bill Democrats have touted to help lower inflation costs throughout the United States.
However, an initial analysis from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says the bill’s effect on inflation will be negligible.
“It should be illegal to name a bill something that it doesn’t do,” said Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN-3rd) on Fox News. “The more you dig into this bill the worse it is. It taxes natural gas, so it means you’re going to pay more for energy. It’s going to kill energy jobs in America.”
Banks also criticizes the $80 billion set aside in the bill to hire 87,000 new IRS agents intent on cracking down on the underreporting of taxes. The White House also said these extra agents would help to catch cases of fraud, especially when it comes to pandemic relief fraud.
“Notre Dame’s football stadium couldn’t hold 87,000 new IRS agents,” Banks said. “I don’t take the president’s word for meaning much that he cares at all about waste, fraud, and abuse.”
Banks fears the extra IRS agents are meant to go after people in the working class.
The Congressional Budget Office is not the only entity saying the bill will not do much to stop inflation. The Penn Wharton Budget Model, which is a group of independent economists, has also calculated the bill will have little impact on inflation.
“The impact on inflation is statistically indistinguishable from zero,” the PWBM report said.
President Biden has said the way the bill will lower inflation is by lowering costs for families as well as the deficit.
“It pays for all this by establishing a minimum corporate tax so that our richest corporations start to pay their fair share,” the president said in a White House statement. “It does not raise taxes on those making under $400,000 a year – not one cent.”
Economists have also predicted that consumers will be the ones to pay for the aforementioned increase in taxes on the wealthy.
“Most, but not all, of the tax increases, fall on higher income households,” said PWBM. “We find that all income groups would bear some of the additional burden of the 2023 revenue-raising business tax changes. Average burden ranges from $5 for the lowest quintile, to $55 for the middle quintile.”