ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Cal Thomas: Inflation reduction act won't help

From the commentary: More spending, as in "The Inflation Reduction Act," won't reduce inflation, any more than drinking more alcohol leads to sobriety. But when Democrats are drunk on spending and power and too many Americans have an entitlement mentality, it doesn't appear either side is prepared to go cold turkey when it comes to spending.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks in the East Room of the White House Monday, Jan. 24, 2022 in Washington, D.C.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks in the East Room of the White House Monday, Jan. 24, 2022 in Washington, D.C.
Alex Wong/Getty Images/TNS
We are part of The Trust Project.

In January 1925, President Calvin Coolidge, addressed the American Society of Newspaper Editors in Washington. In his remarks, Coolidge said, "the chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with producing, buying, selling, investing, and prospering in the world."

Cal Thomas commentary
Cal Thomas Commentary
Tribune graphic
Summary: I once heard the late evangelist Rev. Billy Graham say America was not at a crossroads, but had traveled down the wrong road and needed to come back to the crossroads and take the right road. What if we can no longer agree on the right road and where the wrong road is leading us?
Summary: Donald Trump would do well to withdraw from the field and allow younger and less controversial candidates to replace him. His record of policy successes while president are undeniable (except for those in denial), but his narcissistic personality contributed to his loss. It is also contributing to the work of the January 6 committee. If that committee wishes to "bring us together," it will forgo recommendations of criminal prosecution and let voters decide, as they should and ultimately will, the future of Donald Trump.
Summary: When rhetoric gets heated, perhaps the best way to be heard is to speak in a tone Scripture attributes to God — "a still, small voice." As noted by the writer of Proverbs: "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
Summary: Many viewers might want to know why Congress can't seem to fix any of the country's real problems. That perennial question is why increasing numbers of Americans have grown sour about Washington. They see members of Congress more interested in re-election, in their careers and in perks than in the people they are supposed to represent.

Recently, President Biden returned from vacation to sign the misnamed "Inflation Reduction Act." He might as well have said in his mischaracterization of the legislation that the chief business of America is now government spending and increased debt.

The new law puts government ahead of business and diminishes the power of the individual in favor of the power of Washington. And it doesn't do what Biden and Democrats say it will do, particularly on inflation. The Penn Wharton Budget Model, a group of economists and data scientists at the University of Pennsylvania, concludes the law will have no impact when it comes to reducing inflation.

An analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office finds that audits of taxpayers making under $400,000 annually will account for about $20 billion in revenue for the Inflation Reduction Act.

Republicans don't have clean hands when it comes to government spending, a leading cause of inflation. The national debt increased by $7.8 trillion during the Trump administration. The last president to preside over surpluses was Bill Clinton, from 1998 to 2001. Part of that had to do with welfare reform, which resulted from cooperation between Clinton and Speaker Newt Gingrich. Such bipartisanship appears to be long gone.

ADVERTISEMENT

More Commentary:
From the commentary: Perhaps the ultimate point is that Pompeo’s attack on Weingarten and teachers must do just that. Pompeo’s demagogic words must bring together all the sane patriots who still call themselves Republicans. They must unite to condemn his message — and tell Americans we must work with our teachers to help them build the infrastructure that will be America’s ultimate bridge to tomorrow.
From the commentary: Ocasio-Cortez has a long record of pushing primary challenges to Democrats deemed insufficiently radical. These attempts are almost always unsuccessful though draining to the incumbent.
From the commentary: This fetish with identity started as a tic of the left, which tends to believe that voters want candidates who represent certain groups, as opposed to certain ideas. What it should have learned by now is that Republicans are perfectly capable of running their own candidates of color, witness their support in the Georgia senate race of the unintelligible Herschel Walker, a Black football player.

The federal government is taking in record amounts of revenue, but politicians can't control themselves when it comes to spending.

There is a certain elitism about this bill, as well as there is with many things that come from Washington. Government now sees itself as the primary provider of life's necessities. For many it has become a first resource, while in the Coolidge and earlier years it was a last resort. Credit, or blame, Franklin Roosevelt for expanding the role, reach and cost of government. Though some of his programs were necessary during the Depression, the idea of "entitlement" grew. Addictions, whether to substances, or government, are hard to break. Politicians know this, which is why trying to cut even the rate of increased spending for outdated programs is treated like taking away a child's favorite toy.

I am going to repeat a suggestion I have made before and maybe this time some legislators will pay attention. If Republicans regain control of at least the House of Representatives in November, they should commission an outside firm with no connection to a party or politician to conduct a complete audit of the federal government. Every program and agency that is not living up to its original purpose and can't be done better in the private sector should be eliminated. Businesses do this, or something similar. Only government seems to grow without end.

More spending, as in "The Inflation Reduction Act," won't reduce inflation, any more than drinking more alcohol leads to sobriety. But when Democrats are drunk on spending and power and too many Americans have an entitlement mentality, it doesn't appear either side is prepared to go cold turkey when it comes to spending.

This Cal Thomas commentary is his opinion. He can be reached at cthomas@wctrib.com.

Commentary logo
Commentary logo
Tribune graphic

What to read next
Ann Bailey explains why she's thankful for agriculture in professional and personal life.
From the commentary: Still, as Biden quietly marked his 80th birthday on Nov. 13, the basic Democratic dilemma remained: Will it be best for the party — and the country — to renominate the nation’s oldest president, even if the alternative is chaos?
"After a couple of years of celebrating apart because of the pandemic, and also for having just lived through another rancorous national election, we all could use the joy and hope and anticipation that is promised us in Christmas, in the birth of a mighty little king born in a manger."
Katie Pinke looks at the positive impact of 4-H on youth.