Cameron Comments: What's in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022?

Aug. 25, 2022

Charles Cameron, Professor of Politics and Public Affairs and CSDP Faculty Associate at Princeton University, provided analysis of the politics of the Inflation Reduction Act in HAMODIA PRIME newsmagazine. Hamodia is a Hebrew-language daily newspaper published in Jerusalem, with a daily English-language edition published in the United States.

 

There are two different ways to evaluate the Inflation Reduction Act, as well the other pieces of legislation recently enacted by Congress. “On the one hand, they are solid but relatively modest accomplishments, often enacted with a degree of bipartisan support. Because they are relatively modest and incremental, they disappoint people who wanted the Biden administration to ‘go big’ and make radical changes, turning the U.S. into a
European-style welfare state.

Given the astoundingly thin margins of the Democrats in the Senate and the narrow margin in the House, the bills are an amazing achievement. In other words, the accomplishment is not that you ran a marathon with a poor time; it’s that you finished at all when you were carrying a 100-pound bag of sand. Going forward, the almost certain loss of the House in November and the possible loss of the Senate will shut down much more legislative accomplishment by the administration and the Democrats. The action will shift to executive action, administration, and management — boring, but important. We’ll see if the exceptionally experienced legislator at the head of the government can effectively run a workforce of 9 million employees with a budget of $4 trillion dollars.