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Western Livestock Journal Dec 10, 2021

Stalls, logjams and arguments

Often, the next best thing to Congress being out of session is it being bogged down. That has been the case with the massive 2,400-page reconciliation bill President Joe Biden has referred to as “Build Back Better.”

However, much of this bill includes things America has never done or considered “better” before, like government-regulated centers for preschoolers, climate change charging stations or making present energy sources more expensive, when future energy sources are unavailable or prohibitively expensive. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said high gas prices “make a stronger case” for investing in renewables.

The bill has created rifts between Democrat wings, as well as with Republicans. For some years, taxpayers have been able to deduct state and local taxes (SALT) from their federal income tax liabilities. That has been a great benefit to taxpayers in states with very high tax rates, like New York, New Jersey and California—states referred to as blue (Democrat-run) states.

The 2017 tax reforms first attempted to eliminate that deduction because lower tax red state taxpayers were, in effect, subsidizing blue state taxpayers. A compromise limited the SALT deduction to $10,000. In the House-passed version of the reconciliation bill, the SALT deduction ceiling increased to $80,000.

AFBF opposes Build Back Better Act

AFBF opposes Build Back Better Act

Citing inflationary concerns and indirect tax increases that could affect farmers, the American Farm Bureau Federation urged members of the House of Representatives to vote against the social spending bill. The House ended up passing the bill just a few days later.

Senate Conservatives are opposed to that high ceiling. But some Democrats are also furious because they are helping the “rich” at the expense of the poor and middle class. After all, poor and middle class folks would not benefit from tax credits far and above what many of their incomes are, much less tax bills.

Congress needs to handle the debt ceiling authorization by roughly Dec. 15, and Republicans have said they won’t help the Democrats do it. They wish to call attention to Democrat spending sprees by highlighting our growing national debt.

One ploy to get the debt ceiling passed is to tie it to some other must-pass legislation. But some on both sides are not happy with attaching it to the National Defense Authorization Act. That bill is usually not too controversial, but it has been stalled for some weeks, clogging the congressional calendar...


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