Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, August 8, 2022
Did the 80-year-old socialist say the quiet part out loud?
Vermont Democrat Sen. Bernie Sanders, during debate on the Inflation Reduction Act, admitted that the bill pushed through Congress by Democrats to appease their leftist supporters will, in fact, not cut inflation.
“Madam President, I want to take a moment to say a few words about the so-called inflation reduction that we are debating this evening,” the senator said. “And I say so-called, by the way, because according to the CBO, and other economic organizations that study this bill, it will, in fact, have a minimal impact on inflation.”
Senate Republicans had for days prior to the bill going up for debate pointed to a Penn Wharton analysis which concluded the Inflation Reduction Act will have a negligible impact on inflation.
Sanders continued: “The American people are tired. They are hurting and they are begging their elected officials to respond to their needs. The wages for the average American worker are lower today than they were 49 years ago, and clearly, the inflation of today is pushing the average person even further behind.”
Sanders pointed to the lower standard of living many younger people now expect compared to their parents’ generation, the cost of housing for people starting out in the work world and the stagnation of wages.
“This legislation does not address any of their needs,” Sanders said. “This legislation does not address the reality that we have more income and wealth inequality today than at any time in the last hundred years.”
He complained the bill doesn’t address the fact that CEOs of major corporations make 350 times as much as their workers, or do more to improve the health care system.
“This bill does nothing to address the systemic dysfunctionality of the American health care system,” he charged.
Democrats insisted their legislation would give Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, but that provision does not start for four years at which time only 10 drugs will be covered.
“If anybody thinks that as a result of this bill we’re going to see lower prices for Medicare, you are mistaken,” Sanders said. “It ain’t going to happen next year, the year after, or the year after. And by the way, given the incredible power of the pharmaceutical industry, I would suspect even money that they will figure out a way to get around this provision if it takes four years to implement. So this provision will have no impact on the prices for those Americans. Furthermore, this provision will have no impact on the prices for Americans who are not on Medicare.”
Sanders then went on to vote in favor of the bill, which is now sent to the House for its consideration.
The final vote on the Inflation Reduction Act was 50-50 with Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote in favor. Usual Democrat holdouts Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona caved to party pressure and voted in favor. No Republicans voted for the legislation.
The Republic National Committee noted in a tweet: “Senate Democrats just passed a bill that will raise taxes on small businesses and middle-class families, hire 87,000 new IRS agents, crush U.S. manufacturing, shrink the economy, and make inflation WORSE. Vote accordingly.”
Harris cheered as she cast the deciding vote.
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