by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Democrats made a bold move by rebranding the remnants of Build Back Better as the Inflation Reduction Act, and now that President Joe Biden has signed it into law, voters will be expecting results.
Biden took a brief break from his vacation to hold a signing ceremony for the bill at the White House, where he praised the legislation as a major step forward for his agenda and for the country.
“We’re cutting deficits to fight inflation by having the wealthy and big corporations finally begin to pay part of their fair share,” Biden said at the signing ceremony. “Big corporations will now pay a minimum of 15% tax instead of 55 of them getting away with paying zero dollars in federal income tax on $40 billion in profit. And I’m keeping my campaign commitment: No one earning less than $400,000 a year will pay a penny more in federal taxes.”
The bill aims to reduce inflation, currently at 8.5%, mostly through a 15% minimum corporate income tax and via stricter tax collection at a beefed-up IRS. But it goes far beyond that, despite the name, by including allowances for Medicare to negotiate some drug prices, price caps on insulin for Medicare recipients, and the largest climate provision ever undertaken.
Biden stopped over in Washington between vacationing in South Carolina and another leg of vacation in Delaware. He’s been largely staying out of the spotlight amid a modest rise in his poll numbers.
Republicans roundly oppose the bill, which only passed the Senate thanks to a tiebreaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris, arguing it is misleading and that it violates Biden’s campaign pledge not to raise taxes on people earning less than $400,000 a year.