Some Thoughts on the IRA

Of course, until the House passes it, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is only provisional (SWIDT?). Anyway, some thoughts in no particular order:

  1. It was the best of bills, it was the worst of bills. Regardless of the issue, whether it be taxation, environmental policy, or social spending, there is a lot that is good, and a fair amount that is disappointing. It is simultaneously the most progressive environmental legislation the Congress has passed, and it simply gives away too much to the fossil fuel industry.
  2. Related to the previous point, it’s ok if people want to be excited about the IRA, and it’s ok if they’re disappointed.
  3. While there’s good legislation on electric vehicles, there still isn’t enough to cut down on transportation miles. An EV is better than a car powered by lighting things on fire, but every highway, regardless of the car used, is a transmogrification of an oil pipelilne. We need to do much more on transportation.
  4. Pressuring Manchin works, but it depends who does the pressuring. Like all people, he has respected sources, and when they turned on him, he felt a lot of pressure.
  5. Meanwhile, it’s amazing how Manic Pixie Dream Senator Sinema held out for the brass ring of protecting hedge fund managers incomes. She apparently believes getting rid of the carried interest tax deduction would harm investment (that’s bullshit, but it’s quite possible she believes this).
  6. It really isn’t much of an inflation reduction act at all. Who gives a shit? If it had to be called the “Reduces Male Pattern Baldness Act” to get it passed, so be it.
  7. The U.S. Senate is a Rube Goldberg device that doesn’t work.
  8. Professional Democrats should realize that people are desperate for action. Don’t stop here! Keep going!
  9. While this isn’t the IRA per se, the Republican overreaction to Democratic governance, resulting in their ability to prevent a price cap on insulin will really hurt them. Yes, it’s part of their usual m.o. to prevent every Democratic success they can, but the ads write themselves.
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