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🇺🇸 The Manchin Compromise

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📉 President Biden Job Approval: Approve 44, Disapprove 54 (Rasmussen Reports)

🐘 Generic Congress Vote: Republicans 46, Democrats 41 (Rasmussen Reports)

🐴 Generic Congressional Vote: Republicans 40, Democrats 44 (USA Today/Suffolk)

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POLITICS

The Manchin Compromise

Last week West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin agreed to support Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer as he looks to advance a spending bill through Congress. Manchin, a key swing vote who tends to be more conservative, had consistently opposed earlier versions of the bill.

News Coverage from the Right: Biden's big Manchin deal gamble not without political risks (Washington Examiner)

News Coverage from the Left: Here's what to know about the Manchin-Schumer tax deal (POLITICO)

From The Flag: The proposed spending bill includes funding for measures aimed at addressing climate change and the cost of prescription drugs, as well as changes to the tax code. Here’s the latest from both sides concerning the deal itself and Manchin’s role in the process.

LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

A Political Win for Democrats: Environment, Healthcare, and Taxes

  • The will would address climate change by incentivizing the purchase of electric vehicles, and prescription drug prices would be reduced.

  • This agreement is a win in that the bill should force the wealthy to pay a more fair share of taxes, even if Democrats failed to achieve some other desired tax increases.

  • It’s not entirely clear if Manchin is playing a political game here, but the bill faces a rocky road toward actually getting passed.

“Joe Manchin’s Latest Reversal Could Be a Game Changer” John Cassidy, The New Yorker: “​​After more than a year of wrangling and frustration, Manchin’s surprise reversal means that some important parts of Biden’s Build Back Better agenda are now likely to be enacted. Just a couple of weeks ago, the agenda seemed to be dead. The revival of big tax credits for green energy, including means-tested tax credits for the purchase of electric vehicles, is particularly notable … In a long-overdue reform, the bill would enable Medicare to use its heft to negotiate prices with Big Pharma, which should sharply reduce the cost of certain drugs. … Another reason the spending bill will be difficult for Republicans to attack is that, unlike most spending bills, it will reduce the budget deficit. The new taxes and cost reductions it includes are larger than the new spending—a fact that has already earned it the support of budget hawks.”

“The surprise Manchin deal is cause for celebration” Editorial Board, Washington Post: “The tax provisions in the deal are sound on a policy level and smart on a political one. A 15 percent minimum levy on big corporations, the closure at long last of the carried interest loophole and funding for the Internal Revenue Service to bolster enforcement are changes that, put together, should ensure that the wealthy pay a fairer share of taxes. The refusal to lift the cap on state and local tax deductions, in what would have amounted to a massive giveaway to the affluent, is also a major improvement from the earlier BBB. Could Democrats have hoped for broader-based tax hikes, such as raising the top bracket or capital gains rates? Of course. But what they’re getting is a significant improvement on the status quo, and allows for an easier rebuttal to misleading claims from Republicans that the proposal will worsen inflation.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: Did Manchin and Schumer Just Play Mitch McConnell? Jim Newell, Slate

RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

This Is Phony Economics and Political Horse Trading

  • The spending bill may result in fewer jobs and higher inflation but it certainly won’t reduce the deficit.

  • At a time when the economy is in or near a recession Congress is looking to make conditions more challenging for businesses.

  • Senate Democrats proved once again they don’t understand that federal spending is one of the chief drivers of inflation.

“The Dems' New Proposal Does Nothing To Lower Inflation” David Harsanyi, Real Clear Politics: “The bill is far more likely to spike consumer prices than not. You can hate corporations with the heat of a thousand suns and grouse about the lack of fairness in the world, but it won't change the fact that businesses don't pay taxes, they collect them. The Dems' bill claims it raises $313 billion with a minimum 15% corporate tax rate. Democrats seem to be under the impression that corporations that pay less than 15% are evading taxes rather than using completely legal tools like accelerated depreciation or taking advantage of tax credits. Whatever the case, raising corporate taxes means fewer jobs or higher prices. Maybe both. What it won't do is lower inflation. …the bill features a bunch of accounting gimmicks that will allow Manchin to go back to West Virginia and claim his concerns about spending are allayed.”

“The Schumer-Manchin Tax and Subsidy Pact” Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal: “Talk about bad timing. As the economy slouches near recession, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin late Wednesday unveiled a tax-and-spending deal that they call the Inflation Reduction Act. Is their aim to reduce inflation by chilling business investment and the economy? Mr. Manchin is selling the deal as deficit reduction and a rescue for fossil fuels. If he believes this, he hasn’t thought through the impact of the 725-page bill. A more accurate name would be the Business Investment Reduction and Distortion Act since that will be the result of its $433 billion in climate and healthcare spending, and $615 billion in new taxes and drug price-control ‘savings.’ … Most climate spending also comes with prevailing wage and domestic content requirements that will drive up project costs. How will this help reduce inflation?”

One more opinion piece from the Right: The Democrat ‘Inflation Reduction Act of 2022’ Will Increase Inflation Brian Darling, Townhall

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In Congress We Don’t Trust

Earlier this month, polling data showed Americans are losing confidence in major US institutions. Just 7% said they have a “great deal or quite a lot” of confidence in Congress, which is down 5% from 2021 and represents a record low.

Sixteen institutions were included. Only Congress polled in the single digits (Gallup).

Flag Poll: Do you tend to lack confidence in Congress?

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