Welfare for the Wealthy & Big Corporations

By Jason Smith, member of Congress

The Missouri State Fair is typically a celebration of Missouri’s agriculture, with farmers and craft makers showing off the latest advances in their field. But while I was at the Missouri State Fair earlier this month, the topic getting all the attention was Washington Democrats’ ridiculously named Inflation Reduction Act, a $745 billion spending bill packed full of handouts for the wealthy and big corporations. In our conversations it was immediately clear that Washington Democrats failed in their attempt to deceive Americans into believing their legislation is the solution to the worst inflation crisis in 40 years.

Families have watched as the price of everyday goods – from groceries to gas – has risen at historic rates. At the same time when Americans are struggling to put food on their table, clothes on their backs, and gasoline in their cars, Washington Democrats wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on things that have nothing to do with lowering energy costs, reducing inflation, and getting our economy back on track. In fact, their $745 billion Inflation Act will only worsen and prolong the worst inflation crisis our nation has experienced in 40 years. The bottom line is that Washington Democrats used the inflation crisis as an opportunity to get their radical environmentalist agenda through Congress.

More than half of the spending – $400 billion – in the Inflation Act goes to Washington Democrats’ Green New Deal items, which also just so happen to benefit their wealthy donors. $7.5 billion of that total is to help wealthy families making up to $300,000 purchase new luxury electric vehicles (EVs). On top of that, the bill includes $1.3 billion in taxpayer dollars to boost the resale value of older luxury EVs to help the wealthy sell their used cars. How does spending nearly $9 billion to help the wealthy sell their EVs and purchase new ones bring relief to families who are struggling to afford the gasoline they need to drive to work or take their kids to school?

While I was speaking at the Missouri Farm Bureau’s annual press conference at the Missouri State Fair, nothing caused more concern than when I informed them that Washington Democrats included $27 billion in the Inflation Act for an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) slush fund. That number – $27 billion – is three times the amount of the EPA’s annual budget! This massive funding increase for EPA will give the notoriously overreaching agency more resources to wage a regulatory onslaught against farmers, small businesses, and contractors who are already struggling with inflation and worker shortages.

Once again showing no concern for the challenges facing working-class Americans, Washington Democrats’ Inflation Act spends more than a quarter billion dollars to help corporations renovate their office buildings to earn the radical Left’s ‘green’ seal of approval. That’s right – as inflation is costing Americans an extra $8,900 a year in Missouri, the Left is showering major corporations with hundreds of millions of dollars to help cover the cost of renovating their office buildings. $1.9 billion in the Inflation Act went to filling gaps in tree canopy coverage in America, another $1.5 billion for better “tree equity,” and $3 billion to support “Climate Justice.” How will any of that help working-class Americans who are already being crushed because of out-of-control Washington spending?

In the Inflation Act, Washington Democrats proved once again just how out of touch they are with working families. Instead of increasing funding to help U.S. Customs and Border Protection secure the border, they decided to supercharge the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with $80 billion so the agency can hire an army of agents to go after low- and middle-class taxpayers. Now that agency might have 8 times the number of IRS agents as our nation has border patrol agents.

Instead of reining in their wasteful spending that started the inflation crisis in the first place, the Left increased the deficit by spending $745 billion on a bill packed full of handouts to the wealthy and major corporations and is asking the working class to pick up the bill. What our nation needs right now is commonsense leadership. As a fighter for Missouri families, I will do everything in my power to hold the Left accountable and get our nation back on the right track.