ABC News anchor Jon Karl pressed top White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre on Sunday about whether it was “Orwellian” to refer to a Democrat-backed spending bill as the “Inflation Reduction Act.”
Karl noted recent analysis from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. Despite its legislation’s branding, the CBO found the recently passed bill would have a “negligible” impact on inflation this year and next.
“Isn’t it almost Orwellian?” Karl said. “How can you call it the Inflation Reduction Act when the nonpartisan experts say it’s not going to bring it down?”
Jean-Pierre deflected Karl’s question, arguing the White House has “actually addressed this with the CBO.” She pointed to the legislation’s tax hikes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans, which Democrats say will cover the cost of its hefty price tag over the next decade.
“It was the top line number, there’s more in there that shows that it will have the money,” Jean-Pierre responded. “Remember how we’re doing this, too. It’s making sure that billionaires in corporate America are paying their fair share, making sure that the tax code is a little bit more fair.”
“And so when you do that, when you put it in its totality, you will see it will bring down, lower the deficit, which will help fight inflation,” she added.
The Inflation Reduction Act passed Congress last week with votes along party lines in both the Senate and House. Democrats say the bill will raise $737 billion in new revenue to offset $437 billion in new spending.
Republicans have slammed the legislation as an irresponsible push for the Biden administration’s partisan policy goals, with Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) labeling the bill a “hoax” with a misleading name.
“The way that Republicans did that was so it could make an argument that is false. It is going to fight inflation,” Jean-Pierre added. “It has been said by economists across the board.”
The University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Wharton Budget Model concurred with the CBO’s findings, determining the Inflation Reduction Act’s “impact on inflation is statistically indistinguishable from zero.”
“GDP falls slightly within the first decade while increasing slightly by 2050. Most, but not all, of the tax increases fall on higher income households,” Penn Wharton said in a summary of its findings.