Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) used some sleight-of-hand to demonize the Inflation Reduction Act. Fox News host Charles Payne helped promote the deception.
Cornyn, who appeared remotely after testing positive for COVID, called the bill a “backroom” deal by Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer and Joe Manchin, as if the two were supposed to hash out the bill on the Senate floor.
Despite a lower-third banner saying that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the bill cuts the deficit by $101.5 billion from fiscal year 2022-31, Cornyn went on a rant painting it as some kind of reckless spending measure. He also falsely described the bill as a tax hike on middle-income taxpayers. Instead of pointing out the truth, host Charles Payne repeatedly interjected his agreement.
CORNYN: This is not an inflation reduction act. According to Penn Wharton, it actually makes it a little bit worse in the near term. And it certainly is a tax increase.
Joe Manchin doesn't want to accept the fact that the Joint Committee on Taxation says somebody making as little as $10,000 a year would see a tax increase under this bill, under the distribution tables that are publicly available.
CORNYN: And then we're asking -- or at least Senator Manchin is asking for middle-income taxpayers to subsidize the wealthy -- wealthiest people in our population who decide they want to buy an electric vehicle...
CORNYN: ... and a $500 tax credit paid for by the middle class.
And we have seen … the subsidies for the Affordable Care Act. So, again, the working-class folks are asked to subsidize the top 1 percent when it comes to their health care.
This is a bad idea whose time has not come.
PAYNE: It’s absolutely maddening.
Payne played a clip of New York Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer saying the bill won’t raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000. Cornyn called that “a four Pinocchio performance.”
“There are scorekeepers on Capitol Hill, the Joint Committee on Taxation being one of them,” he said. “This massive tax increase will somehow be absorbed by corporate America, when they will pass those costs along to consumers and it will make inflation worse.”
FACT CHECK: Instead of going along with Cornyn’s politically self-serving spin, Payne should have called BS. For starters, a letter signed by 126 economists said the bill “will fight inflation and lower costs for American families” and will “quickly and noticeably bring down health care costs for families.”
The Center for American Progress has more:
In recent days, critics of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) have used a misleading and incomplete analysis to claim that the breakthrough legislation would be a “tax increase on everyone.” These opponents’ claims are based on an analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT)—released by Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) on July 30, 2022—that assumes that taxes levied on large corporations that currently pay little or no corporate income taxes represent a tax increase on individuals and families.
However, this simply is not true. The IRA closes tax loopholes exploited by large corporations that currently pay little or no tax and by wealthy investment fund managers. It also cracks down on tax dodging, especially by the wealthy, which currently accounts for the largest share of unpaid taxes. Contrary to critics’ claims, the IRA does not raise taxes on individuals earning less than $400,000 or on any but the largest and most profitable corporations.
The New York Times concurs:
Since the deal was announced, Republicans have attacked it as classic tax and spending — the same terms they have used to deride much of Mr. Biden’s agenda. Last weekend, Republican senators released a companion analysis from the Joint Committee that they said was proof the entire bill would raise taxes on the middle class, though it did not actually show middle-class Americans would pay more taxes under the plan.
Cornyn is trying to protect tax dodging by the wealthy by pretending he's looking out for the little guy. He should be the one getting four Pinocchios.
You can watch the deception below, from the August 3, 2022 Your World.