And to Reduce Development of New Drugs

The Wall Street Journal headline reads Democrats Vote to Raise Drug Prices. That’s in response to the Senate Progressive-Democratic Party’s unilateral vote to pass President Joe Biden’s (D) Build Reduced Back Act last Sunday. Included in that bill is a capability for Medicare to “negotiate” the prices on a select list of drugs. Negotiate: accept Medicare’s offer or pay a 95% tax on revenues. Nice drug you got there….

This is one inevitable result:

If drug makers must give Medicare steep discounts on certain drugs, they will compensate by increasing prices in the commercial market.

Food or Fuel?

That’s the choice being forced on Americans by the push for “clean” fuel for our cars, even as the Left and the Progressive-Democratic Party push for elimination of gasoline-burning cars. Dave Loos, Illinois Corn Growers Association’s Director of Biofuels and Research, actually is proud of that diversion of food to fuel.

Illinois has 13 ethanol plants that can produce 1.6 to 1.7 billion gallons of ethanol annually.

A bushel of corn produces 2.8 gallons of ethanol. That’s roughly 590 million bushels of corn diverted from food in Illinois alone. Illinois corn farmers produced 2.13 billion bushels of corn in 2019. The equivalent (because it’s not only Illinois corn in those plants) of more than 27% of Illinois’ corn production is diverted away from food production in Illinois’ plants.

Lies of the Progressive-Democratic Party Politicians

Senator Joe Manchin (D, WV) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY) and President Joe Biden (D) tout the just passed (I ass-u-me; I’m writing this on Sunday morning) Build Reduced Back Act as not raising taxes on Americans with incomes less than $400k per year. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D, AZ) agrees with that by her relative silence on the matter.

However, their very own Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation demonstrates the lie of that claim.

Just the News aggregated those data:

Jobs

Some statistics indicate a strong and growing jobs situation in our economy. Other statistics…not so much.

A couple of the latter, for instance.

The labor force participation rate has dropped for the second month in a row in the face of burgeoning inflation and wage growth that isn’t keeping up, so that real wages—what your money actually can buy in the grocery store and gas station and for your home in the form of electricity—are shrinking drastically.

On Governor Newsom’s Plan to Produce Insulin

Regarding that idea, a letter writer in The Wall Street Journal‘s Tuesday Letters section offered this after suggesting that Newsom’s effort would have the salutary outcome of demonstrating the foolishness of such a move:

Targeted subsidies for at-risk populations cost a fraction of the investment needed to bring “affordable” medications to the people….

Sue, Settle, and Biden’s Demand for Producers to Produce

There was a time when a million acres of land were available in California for oil and gas leasing and hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

Then California’s Attorney General, Governor, and “other state agencies” sued, claiming that the Bureau of Land Management’s environmental impact analysis was inadequate. BLM then settled. Under the terms of BLM’s sue-and-settle agreement,

until the Bureau conducts a supplemental environmental review of the project, new oil and gas leases will not be granted in central California….

Three guesses when that review will be begun, and you get a pass on the first two.

The Manchin Tax Increase

Senator Joe Manchin (D, WV) continues to…misunderstand…the situation that would be created by his agreement to the Manchin-Schumer Build Back Reduced bill.

People should be paying their fair share, especially the largest corporations in America that have a billion dollars of value or greater.

Manchin—along with his Progressive-Democratic Party cronies—continue to not say what anyone’s “fair share” is. That forces us to conclude that their view of “fair share” is “more.”

And

Can’t they pay at least 15%, so that we can move forward and be the leader of the world and the superpower that we are?

To Repeat

In a Wall Street Journal article centered on the problems volatile energy prices cause for central banks, there’s this allegation:

The pass-through of higher energy prices to other goods and services, along with their volatility, could make it harder for the Federal Reserve to tell what price shocks are temporary and thus set interest rates appropriately.

Wrong answer.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. Instead of trying to play the market, or even to time it, the Fed needs to set its benchmark interest rates at levels historically consistent with the 2% inflation rate that it’s historically used for its target inflation rate, and then sit down and shut up.

Part of the Agreement

…on Reduced-Build Back that Senators Joe Manchin (D, WV) and Chuck Schumer (D, NY) settled on last week is this Progressive-Democratic Party gem, and which illustrates in no small part the depth of the betrayal that is Manchin’s agreement.

The Senate drug agreement would require the Health and Human Services Secretary to “negotiate” prices for 10 of the top-spending drugs in Medicare starting next year and 20 by the end of the decade. If drug makers don’t accept the government’s offered price, they would get slapped with a 95% excise tax on their sales. Take his offer or else.

Some Lipstick for the Pig

Here’s some of what’s in the Build Back Reduced bill—formally styled Inflation Reduction Act—that Senator Joe Manchin (D, WV) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY) agreed, which Manchin euphemizes as an all-in energy policy:

[T]he Interior Department would be required to offer up at least two million acres of federal land and 60 million acres of offshore acreage to oil and gas producers every year for the next decade. If Interior officials fall short, they wouldn’t be able to advance some permitting aspects of the wind and solar projects on federal land.