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Let’s think for a moment

I don’t often respond to hyper-partisan ramblings, but I was deeply troubled by U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney’s op-ed on Manchin’s support of the Inflation Reduction Act. It had so much misleading information it’s hard to decide where to begin in response.

First, one thing anyone would agree on that worked with Joe Biden is that he has a kind heart, and is genuinely nice. To say he cares more about semantics than the welfare of the people of West Virginia or any other American is just to score cheap political points.

Second, to say Manchin was cajoled into falling in line is to not know Joe Manchin. I’m not a huge fan of his, but West Virginians know that’s not Joe Manchin.

Third, to call the act a $700 billion climate change bill is either misleading or ignorance. This bill focused primarily on reducing the cost of prescription drugs, and making sure big corporations aren’t using loopholes to avoid paying any taxes. Who is going to be hurt by prescription drug reduction? Pharmaceutical companies, many of which no doubt throw money at Mooney to take his positions.

Regarding minimum corporate taxes, as someone who’s worked for companies large and small for decades, I can say these companies are incredibly profitable and to say that this tax is going to cause them to stop chasing growth (which requires job creation) is misleading at best. There is also a big portion built around deficit reduction…yes, reduction. Is Mooney opposed to all of this?

Mooney is correct that this act will negatively affect coal. Manchin, who made his fortune on coal, knows this. But he also looks at record heat and massive floods right across our border and understands that anyone saying they can preserve coal demand is just pandering. Keep in mind that coal only employs around 11,000 people in West Virginia. What West Virginia should do is look at ways to soft-transition from coal into newer energy sectors, attracting companies like SPARKZ, which is building a new battery factory in West Virginia in 2022 employing over 350 people with well-paying jobs. Money in this act will help boost that new industry growth in West Virginia with Manchin’s help.

Mooney claims that the climate change aspect is a handout to “liberals in deep blue states,” singling out California. But does he know where the share of U.S. electric vehicle sales is growing fastest? Texas, Arizona, and Florida. Hardly liberal California.

Regarding the IRS, they are responsible for finding the money to run the government. And you know where a lot of that money goes? To West Virginia. It is one of the top 3 states in per-capita government payments to citizens. Do you really think small business and individuals in one of the poorest states is going to be the focus of IRS auditors? More likely rich Californians, with that additional revenue going to West Virginia. This effort will also help the super rich to do more to reduce the deficit.

By misconstruing this legislation, Rep. Mooney is trying to use political posturing to scare West Virginians into supporting his self-serving agenda. In fact, overall, this act is going to significantly benefit West Virginia. Don’t be taken in by twisted facts and political self-interest from any of your representatives.

Eric Thacker

Parkersburg

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