by Thomas R. Eddlem
Nothing in the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022” would reduce inflation in the slightest. But the bill might be more accurately labeled the More Corporate Subsidies Act of 2022, because it contains more than $200 billion in corporate subsidies.
In fact, Senate Democrats brag about the direct corporate subsidies in the bill in their press release summary:
- “Production tax credits to accelerate U.S. manufacturing of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and critical minerals processing, estimated to invest $30 billion.
- $10 billion investment tax credit to build clean technology manufacturing facilities, like facilities that make electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar panels
- $500 million in the Defense Production Act for heat pumps and critical minerals processing
- $2 billion in grants to retool existing auto manufacturing facilities to manufacture clean vehicles, ensuring that auto manufacturing jobs stay in the communities that depend on them.
- Up to $20 billion in loans to build new clean vehicle manufacturing facilities across the country.
- $2 billion for National Labs to accelerate breakthrough energy research.”
Did you catch that next-to-last item? $20 billion for more emissions-free auto factories? Senate Democrats must think Elon Musk really needs more money and can’t get a loan.
The above list of nearly $65 billion in corporate goodies is just the beginning. There’s $76 billion to “decarbonize the economy,” including a “$27 billion clean energy technology accelerator to support deployment of technologies to reduce emissions, especially in disadvantaged communities.” And there’s $60 billion for “environmental justice”, which includes a billion for more energy-efficient garbage trucks, school buses and city transit. […paging Elon Musk…]
And there’s $20 billion for agri-businesses “to support climate-smart agriculture practices.” Because if there’s one constitutional necessity that desperately needs to be funded under the US constitution, it’s giving cash-starved Monsanto more billions to create new proprietary seeds that grow in low-moisture environments.
In sum, it’s more than $200 billion in corporate subsidies, the vast majority in cash grants. In addition, there are indirect corporate subsidies, such as the economically genius program that imagines the poor will use a $7,500 tax credit to buy $60,000 Teslas.
And there’s no pretense that anything in this bill will help “small businesses.” The phrase “small business” doesn’t appear in the Senate press release. They long ago gave up pretending anything but politically-connected big business with the resources to hire platoons of tax attorneys and accountants will be the ones most likely to win the these subsidies; subsidies that are funded by the tips of waitresses and Uber drivers.
Fascism, economically speaking, (as defined by social scientist and author John T. Flynn) involves “the comprehensive integration of government and private finances, under which investment is directed and regimented by the government, so that while ownership is private and production is carried on by private owners there is a type of socialization of investment, of the financial aspects of production. By this means the state, which by law and by regulation can exercise a powerful control over industry, can enormously expand and complete that control by assuming the role of banker and partner.”
Economic fascism is the economic wave of the present, embraced especially strongly by the Democrats, but also by the Republicans in the form of massive “defense spending” contracts and other subsidies.
Libertarians instead support the separation of corporation and state, seek the end of economic favoritism, and favor — as an alternative — genuine free enterprise without government intervention.