Larry Kudlow: This is $93 billion in direct attacks on fossil fuels and energy independence

Kudlow shreds the Inflation Reduction Act

Sometime later this week, Joe Biden is going to sign the fraudulently named "Inflation Reduction Act." This whole story is most unfortunate for Americans suffering from high inflation and recession. 

It's a terrible bill and actually might increase inflation and deepen recession in the period ahead. Above all, middle income working folks making less than $200,000 a year will pay significantly higher taxes. Federal debt will rise over $50 billion and a massive increase in the IRS will trample American privacy and basic constitutional rights even more than has already been the case. 

In fact, many of the new 87,000 IRS agents are likely to be armed, which is an incredible thing if you think about it, but among all the nutty things in this pathetic bill is another massive taxpayer-funded dose of Green New Deal programs that the public rejects but the Bidens obsessively support. 

Some of the lowlights will be a $250 billion slush fund for the Energy Department (think of Solyndra to the 100th power), $134 billion in tax credits for corporate welfare and Biden donors and $27 billion for a national climate bank. That's right, a national climate bank—as in an EPA slush fund. 


President Joe Biden speaks at the White House

President Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 relief package in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, March 15, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) ((AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) / AP Images)

Then, there's $7.5 billion in subsidies for new electric vehicles that typical families cannot afford and, by the way, most of the battery ingredients will disqualify even the cars for rich people because they're made in China and the radical greenies won't let resource-rich America mine these necessary minerals and, let’s not forget, $3 billion for so-called "climate justice" for the Biden wokesters, whatever "climate justice" is supposed to mean. 

Then there's $12 billion in new taxes on fossil fuels, a $1,500-per-ton natural gas methane fee. All told, $93 billion in direct attacks on fossil fuels and energy independence. 

 Now, you would think that somebody in the federal government would want some kind of scorecard and environmental review to figure out whether this astronomical Green New Deal spending does any good or harm to the economy and the climate, but you would be wrong. There is no scoring. 

There's no CBO estimate on the climate impact. CBO and JTC have already said this bill will not reduce inflation, but there's nobody around to tell us whether this will increase or reduce carbon. 

Does that sound as stupid to you as it does to me? All that money, which requires higher taxes on all Americans, going to what exactly? Nobody knows. Actually, both houses of Congress voted in favor of this goofy bill without even knowing what any of it costs. There's been no CBO price-out of the overall cost. 

That includes stuff like gimmicks to hide $250 billion-some odd healthcare spending, the wage-lowering impact of the $220 billion hike in corporate taxation, $74 billion tax hike on senior retirees and 401(k)'s, and a $50 billion last-minute tax hike on small businesses. 


None of this has been costed out by the CBO, so, to coin a phrase, "you won't know what's in this bill until it's passed." Even then, we may not know what's in this bill. 

So, back to the climate change impact. Our friend Bjorn Lomborg, who is our first guest this evening, has done his own price-out of the climate money using the United Nations climate model to measure the legislation’s impact on global temperature. 

His conclusion? The new climate act will have an unnoticeable impact, even by year 2100. In other words, this bill raises inflation, deepens recession, prints new money, increases the debt, all of which will continue for Lord knows how long, but over the next 80 some odd years has no noticeable climate impact. Wait a minute, I don't want to exaggerate here. 


According to Bjorn, the optimal scenario is that carbon could be reduced by twenty-eight thousandths of one degree Fahrenheit. The pessimistic scenario is that the carbon impact would be reduced by—get this — nine ten-thousandths of one degree Fahrenheit. Got that? 

Is that really worth roughly a trillion dollars of new spending and tax hike burdens on Americans?  I don't think so. The cavalry is coming and when it does, I hope all of this nonsense is repealed.  

This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow's opening commentary on the August 15, 2022, edition of "Kudlow."