Unless raising cost of goods by 30% is considered 'reining-in' inflation...
By Ernest A. Canning on 3/3/2023, 12:10pm PT  

In addition to "chaos and dysfunction", MAGA Republican extremists, who now exercise dominance over the U.S. House agenda, have also recently advanced a pair of Orwellian-titled bills.

On Wednesday, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) boasted via Twitter that the "House passed my REIN IN inflation Act today."

There isn't a single word in her short, single-page bill, the "Reduce Exacerbated Inflation Negatively Impacting the Nation Act", which serves to "rein in" what U.C. Berkely Economics Professor and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich described as the principal driving factor for today's inflation: corporate greed. To the contrary, per the Congressional Budget Office, the measure simply mandates that Presidents provide an "estimate" on the potential inflationary impacts of "major" executive orders.

Meanwhile, these same House Republicans aspire to devastate the middle and working classes via their Orwellian-titled "Fair Tax Act" (HR-25), which Reich described as "one of the most regressive proposals in a generation, imposing a 30% federal sales tax on everything Americans buy from gas to food." That tax increase would be piled onto the backs of the bottom 63% of Americans who are currently "living paycheck-to-paycheck," according to a new report.

It would be nothing short of farcical for Republicans to suggest a new, 30% sales tax would be offset by HR-25's elimination of the IRS, the federal income tax (both corporate and personal), FICA (the taxes that fund Medicare and Social Security), and estate taxes (currently applicable only to estates valued over $12.92 million).

At present, the payroll tax rate for low income Americans is 14.1%. As Truthout's Jake Johnson observed, quoting Matt Breunig of the People's Policy Project, the so-called Fair Tax Act would force the poorest Americans to "pay roughly 70% of their income in taxes as the result of the bill's levy on consumption."

Inflation is defined as "a rise in prices, which can be translated as the decline in purchasing power over time." According to Investopedia, the highest rate of inflation ever experienced in the U.S. (29.78%), occurred in 1778. HR-25 would top that 245-year old mark via a 30% increase in the cost of everything we buy.

I hope someone has told Elise Stefanik.

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Ernest A. Canning is a retired attorney, author, and Vietnam Veteran (4th Infantry, Central Highlands 1968). He previously served as a Senior Advisor to Veterans For Bernie. Canning has been a member of the California state bar since 1977. In addition to a juris doctor, he has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science. Follow him on twitter: @cann4ing

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