The recent letter entitled “The fraud of the 'Inflation Reduction Act'” (Aug. 28) contains misinformation about this bill and the economy, despite the “multitude of studies” the author says support his “facts.”
Following are some facts about this act and how it will benefit Americans:
- Americans pay much more for their medicines than people in most other countries. The act includes several measures to control and even reduce these prices, such as authorizing Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies and requiring drug companies to pay rebates if price increases exceed the rate of inflation. Unfortunately, Republicans blocked a proposed measure to limit the cost of insulin copays to $35 per month.
- The IRS is significantly understaffed due to COVID, retirements and funding cuts over the past few years. As a result, it has taken the IRS almost a year to process many 2020 tax returns and refunds. Taxpayers have had to spend hours on help lines to reach an agent. The act will provide funding to correct this staffing shortage which should eliminate these bottlenecks. Taxes will not increase for medium income families and small businesses.
- Climate change deniers have been unable to prevent historic heat waves and droughts which have hit many parts of the U.S. and the world. This act includes various energy-saving tax credits for homeowners and businesses. There are also incentives for energy-efficient affordable housing for lower-income families.
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As for the author’s claims about inflation and recession, many contributing factors, such as COVID, worldwide supply chain shortages, and the spike in energy prices, are beyond the control of this administration or any other. A recession would have arrived sooner and been much more severe if it had not been for the relief packages. The Federal Reserve Board is now taking steps to lower inflation without causing the current “technical” recession to worsen. It is a delicate balancing act under any circumstances. The good news is that the unemployment rate is low — in July it was only 3.5 percent, down from a high of 14.7 percent in April 2020 and tied for the lowest rate in the past 20 years.
Deborah Sullivan, Fishersville