Thu, Jul

Naming the "Inflation Reduction Act" is as Absurd as the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea"


THE DOCTOR IS IN - Maybe Congress thinks we're just stupid, and maybe we simply ARE just as stupid as they think we are.

Maybe Senators Manchin and Sinema, and also those many Democratic leaders who pushed the Inflation Reduction Act, think that spending another $739 billion will reduce inflation, actually think this name will ignore the fact that the monster spending bills we had during COVID-19 (even after the lockdowns ended) actually played a huge role in CAUSING inflation. 

Maybe we should all just ignore the concerns from the group of economists and data scientists at the University of Pennsylvania who predict that the Inflation Reduction Act will NOT reduce inflation

Maybe the single parts of this giant bill should be trumped and highlighted on their own. Do they EVER get clean legislation from these type of omnibus bills, or sweep and sneak in certain facets that have nothing to do with the naming of the bill? 

Maybe the limitation of the out-of-pocket drug expenses for seniors to $2000 annually, and the ability for Medicare to negotiate with drugmakers on prescription prices, are wonderful ideas that yours truly certainly favors...but without defining how those great ideas will be paid for, won't it fall on the shoulders of taxpayers and middle-class working-age Americans to foot that bill? 

Maybe, just maybe, the concerns that NPR and others raise about this bill having only limited impact on inflation, and certainly not for years to come, is something to take very, VERY seriously. 

Maybe, the $369 billion in new spending to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, invest in clean energy technologies, and extend subsidies for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are great and long overdue ideas...and maybe they're going to be as successful as the previous "green investments" and ACA during the Obama Administration with virtually no benefits to middle-class taxpayers. 

Maybe tax cuts, deductions, and even tax credits should go to green companies that plan to make a profit without government subsidies, and paying for them by reducing the size of the federal government, would be a better way of encouraging green technology in a sustainable way. 

Maybe the 230 economists warning that Senator Manchin's and Schumer's "Inflation Reduction Act" will worsen skyrocketing inflation should be taken seriously, to say nothing of the sweetheart deal Senator Sinema threw in to high-risk fund managers at the last second, are big, BIG problems

Maybe the tens of thousands of IRS auditors, complete with firearms, will audit only the bigshot, megabig corporations who aren't paying "their share of taxes"...and maybe they'll show up, audits and firearms and all, to the doorsteps of small businesses and mom-and-pop entrepreneurs. 

Maybe this bill will be another huge helping of pork to Wall Street to allow stocks to rise while Main Street was eating crow...and maybe it will trigger a worsening of our recession, stagflation, or what have you (despite all claims that it will help our economy). 

Maybe we'll see our mortgages and credit card balances go up...and maybe some of us will thrive while the majority suffers even worse than before because this current Congress has absolutely NO idea of how cruel economics is as a cold, hard science that doesn't give a damn about feel-good politics. 

And maybe some of us will buy just about ANYTHING that says "Inflation Reduction Act". 

After all, North Korea thinks that the name "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" makes their country just that...right? 


(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to a wonderful wife and two cherished children. He was termed out of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) twice after two stints as a Board member for 9, years and is also a Board member of the Westside Village Homeowners Association. He previously co-chaired the MVCC Outreach, Planning, and Transportation/Infrastructure Committees for 10 years. He was previously co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee, the grassroots Friends of the Green Line (which focused on a Green Line/LAX connection), and the nonprofit Transit Coalition His latest project is his fictional online book entitled The Unforgotten Tales of Middle-Earth and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)