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What Stabenow, Peters Like About ‘Inflation Reduction Act’

August 16, 2022

It does not contain everything they wanted, but Michigan’s senior and junior U.S. Senators will take the “compromise” as they tell the folks back home – alleged inflation relief is on the way once the U.S. House ratifies the Senate’s passed “Inflation Reduction Act” and the President signs it.

While Republican senators failed to support it because they contend it will only pour gasoline on the current inflationary flames, the two Michigan Democrats point out there is $300 billion in the package to buy down the U.S. deficit, and that alone will help to ease the inflationary pain felt across the state and nation they contend.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D), who rode the bus to Canada with senior citizens to purchase cheaper prescriptions years ago, was especially proud of the reforms she said will reduce the cost of drugs. Off the top, as of January those on insulin will see their costs capped at $35 a month, and after years of battling big PHARMA on this front, the federal Medicare program will be able to bargain with those drug companies for “the best price” at a supposed cost savings at the drug counter.

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D), during a Zoom news conference, reported that all of the costs are paid for.

“This is paid for from the large profits of those large corporations that have paid no taxes using huge loopholes.”  The 15% tax is on all companies earning profits of $1 billion or more.

The duo focused on the tax credits to reduce the carbon imprint by moving to more electric vehicles, but neither was pleased with the final product.

“This is an area that is very concerning. The EV tax credit is not the way I would have written it,” lamented Stabenow. But when you consider that a key Democrat, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) opposed any tax credits from the outset, Stabenow said this deal is better than none at all.

It includes credits for batteries, which the Michigan car manufacturers are building, and some limited credits on the purchase of some but not all EV SUVs and trucks.  Any vehicle costing more than $80,000 is excluded and motorists can receive a $7,500 credit if they earn under $150,000 a year for one or $300,000 for a couple.

GM, Ford and Stellantis can use the credits, but the senators concede that is limited because of the “very restrictive content requirements” imposed by the package on them.

Asked if it was fair to say that the average person who is not on insulin or eligible for some of the credits would be left out of the inflationary reduction benefits, Stabenow shot back, “not at all.” Although she does not have the data on the financial benefit to that typical taxpayer, she argues when you take into account the electricity savings and the trickle-down impact on drug prices, consumers will get some inflationary relief.

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