When is a Recession not a Recession? When President Biden says it is a “Transition.” I guess we have to wait for a third straight quarter of declining GDP (gross domestic product), which will be reported a week or two before the November election. I wonder how they would define a Depression.
Only in Congress can a bill that will increase inflation be called the “Inflation Reduction Act.” Senate Leader Chuck Schumer has been hammering two fellow Democrats, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, for more than a year over their refusal to increase spending and raise taxes.
Last week Manchin caved. He claims that forcing companies that make a Billion or more to pay at least 15% of it to the Federal Government is not a tax increase. The government expects to collect $300 Billion more in taxes, but it’s not a tax hike. Really? If Sinema also gives in to Schumer, you may be surprised how many companies over the Billion-dollar threshold will cut production, lay-off employees, or split assets to get corporate income below a Billion. Or move the whole company to Mexico… or China.
Maybe Manchin can justify his change of view by saying the original bill promoted by Sen. Bernie Sanders was for 6 Trillion dollars, and he whittled it down to less than one Trillion. Manchin might even claim he saved $5 Trillion! But why vote to spend even one Trillion? As Will Rogers wrote on Nov. 22, 1929, “Never blame a legislative body for not doing something. When they do nothing, they don’t hurt anybody. When they do something is when they become dangerous.”
Do West Virginians and other Americans want deregulations and funding for energy? Yes! Increase the supply. And the Schumer-Manchin bill has more money for energy. However, instead of help to increase refining capacity, drill more wells and construct pipelines, the bill increases subsidies for buying expensive electric vehicles and invests billions in solar and wind. As Will Rogers wrote about US Senators on May 29, 1928, “We pay for wisdom and we get wind.”
Another new bill, promoted to help manufacturers of semiconductor computer chips move their manufacturing back to the US, has $60 Billion for chips, and $220 Billion for other stuff. And that extra $220 Billion will not produce one more chip! The “Farm Bill” has only 20% that benefits farmers. (Most of the 80% is for food stamps, known today as SNAP.) A bill to provide health care to veterans who suffered from breathing toxic smoke around burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan is held up because Senators piled Billions of unrelated spending onto it.
Can you imagine shopping at your local grocery store and have this happen? You put some milk, bread, apples, potatoes, roast beef and bacon in your cart. Total cost: $40. But at checkout, you are informed that you must also buy a few additional items: oysters, White Stilton Gold cheese, a bottle of fine French wine, two romance novels, and a New Yorker magazine. New total cost: $155. Yes, that’s outrageous. So, be glad your local grocer is Kroger, Walmart or Piggly Wiggly, and not one run by Congress.
President Biden is back home, alone in his basement, because of a rebound back to Covid. Let’s hope he recovers completely. He is taking advantage of the seclusion to mentally prepare for a 2024 rerun of his 2020 campaign.
Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
“If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics” WA # 31, July 15, 1923
“This country has gotten where it is in spite of politics, not by the aid of it. That we have carried as much political bunk as we have and still survived shows we are a super nation.” DT #1948, Nov. 1, 1932
“You know I like to make little jokes and kid about the Senators. They are a kind of a never-ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement. But the Rascals, when you meet ’em face to face and know ’em, they are mighty nice fellows.” WA #345, Aug. 4, 1929