Inflation Reduction Act will make people and the planet healthier
Posted August 12, 2022 in Press Releases
Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Inflation Reduction Act, a bill that makes important reforms to the federal tax code, addresses rising costs and makes the largest-ever federal allocation to fight climate change. In response, Policy Matters Ohio Executive Director Hannah Halbert released the following statement:
“Today’s news is the result of everyday people and advocates from all corners of the country and of all backgrounds calling on policymakers to make communities healthier and more sustainable. Even when climate legislation and tax reform seemed like a lost cause, the people refused to quit. Now we have the biggest-ever climate package, which will also drive down long-term costs and make many of the corporations that have done well in our country start to do right by our country. While we celebrate, it’s important to recognize that to secure passage, senators included carve-outs for private equity corporations and concessions to the fossil fuel industry. These provisions mean that even while the nation reduces carbon emissions, Black and brown people and those in low-income communities will continue to bear the brunt of toxic pollution — and even as corporations start to pay taxes, wealthy investors can stockpile wealth in private equity. The work is far from over.
“No one should have to choose between food and medication. This act moves the nation in the right direction by providing real relief on drug costs and a $2,000 cap on medical expenses for people on Medicare. Energy costs can drive families into poverty and inefficient energy use deepens our climate crisis. Weatherization programs supported by the act will create jobs, reduce energy use, and make it less expensive to heat and cool a home. The act dedicates funds to spur new developments in clean energy and emissions-cutting technology. It will also help farmers develop new, more climate-friendly processes. By making electric cars more affordable and expanding public transit, the act will help remake our transportation system to be cleaner, more efficient and more affordable. These programs will improve the health and well-being of Americans and help keep our planet hospitable and safe.
“Some of the nation’s richest residents and wealthiest corporations don’t pay what they truly owe in taxes. With incredible profits, they’ve bankrolled politicians who blame Black and brown communities for tough times, so they can rig the rules to hold down wages, jack up prices and hoard the wealth our work creates. The act will make most large corporations pay a minimum corporate income tax rate of 15% and it will discourage corporations, including Ohio-based corporations like Marathon Petroleum, Procter & Gamble and Sherwin-Williams, from using stock buybacks to reward shareholders — instead of putting the money to use in productive ways like paying employees the true value of their work or making investments that will create good jobs — by assessing a 1% tax on the transaction. A better funded IRS will recover much needed public dollars illegally held by wealthy tax cheats.
“However, the concessions made to pass the bill serve as a powerful reminder that a handful of wealthy people and corporations have too much power over our public resources. Senators stripped key parts of the Build Back Better agenda from the bill, including making child care more affordable for parents, and the extension of the expanded child tax credit. The Inflation Reduction Act is just a step toward a nation where we all can lead happy, healthy lives, regardless of our race, gender or where we live. We must keep working together to make it reality.”