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The Senate passed a major and critical bill today, July 28, 2022. The $739-billion bill includes healthcare improvements and the climate crisis, raising taxes on high earners and corporations, and reducing federal debt.
Democrats, with the support of a handful of Republicans, have been struggling to pass this single piece of legislation for months. President Biden praised the Senate for doing the right thing.
“With this legislation, we’re facing up to some of our biggest problems and we’re taking a giant step forward as a nation …This bill is far from perfect, it’s a compromise, but that’s often how progress is made: by compromise.”
This is the first time in nearly six years that the problem described as “the greatest danger to world peace” has been addressed in the United States. The President is right. It is only a beginning, but it is important. Deliberation and compromise have been virtually non-existent since 2009 when Moscow Mitch McConnell created the ‘party of no.’
An equally critical part of this agreement is the beginning of fair taxation for the super-rich and our largest corporations. Beginning in 1981, tax cuts for those who need them the least have become the focus of our government. The Trump tax cuts resulted in years when our most profitable corporations, including Amazon and Walmart, paid zero dollars in taxes. The last four Republican presidents adopted a fiscal policy of ‘trickle-down economics, and this is the primary reason for the unforgivable increase in the national debt.
As for improving healthcare, let’s remember that President Obama himself recognized that the Affordable Care Act was not perfect, and positive changes would be necessary for the future. The time has come. Hopefully, this will be a step forward when universal healthcare for all will become a reality. The insurance companies and for-profit hospitals have driven the cost of adequate healthcare beyond the ability to pay for millions of Americans.
I am positive that when all of the details about this bill are revealed if the House passes the legislative effort from the Senate, it will be disappointing for many, including yours truly. However, every journey begins with the first step, and doing anything is far better than doing nothing.
What we do know is that It includes $60 billion for a clean energy manufacturing tax credit and $30 billion for a production tax credit for wind and solar, seen as ways to boost and support the industries that can help curb the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.
At Manchin’s insistence, $306 billion is earmarked for debt reduction. This could be easily solved if major corporations, including Manchin’s friends who own coal mines, would pay their fair share of taxes.
Many Americans who believe in the necessity of great change will feel disappointed. However, this bill offers hope, and we have not seen much of this in the last five-six years.
Once again, I admit that my hopes for President Biden were minimal. However, as he faced the ‘party of no,’ created by Moscow Mitch McConnel in 2009, he accomplished miracles. This bill, combined with his infrastructure bill, has been sought by most Americans for more than a decade. President Obama, who inherited the disasters left by George W. Bush, was unable to accomplish what Mr. Biden has in his first 18 months.
This is the difference between a working president and a golfing president.
Written by James Turnage, Novelist
The Guardian: Joe Biden hails Senate deal as ‘most significant’ US climate legislation ever; by David Smith
NBC News: Environmentalists say Biden’s win was ‘crucial’ for climate progress. Now what? By David Chow