Six Major Problems Facing Manchin’s 2024 Reelection Bid
Joe Manchin has finally agreed to a compromise with Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer on the latest Build Back Better compromise bill, known, laughingly, as the Inflation Reduction Act. The Act was just passed by the Senate.
West Virginia is the nation’s fifth-largest energy producer. The energy is in the form of coal, natural gas, and electricity generated by burning fossil fuels. [bold, links added]
According to a 2020 report from USenergyjobs.org, roughly 49,500 West Virginia jobs are directly tied to fossil fuels and power generation.
The number is much higher if you include the indirect jobs tied to energy. A 2019 report by the Economic Policy Institute claims the number of indirect jobs created by energy activities is roughly 5.6 to 1.
If we accept a more conservative estimate of roughly 5 to 1, the number of indirect jobs could be as high as 250,000.
Add in the almost 50,000 direct energy jobs, and it is possible somewhere around 300,000 Mountain State jobs are tied to energy. Out of total employment of about 750,000, this is approximately 40.0% of the active workforce.
So, if Manchin does anything to hurt energy jobs, his reelection prospects in 2024 are bleak. …snip…
Manchin thinks he can brag about all the goodies he has brought to the Mountain State to get himself reelected in 2024. But there are problems with that strategy.
Problem one, the act will provide billions in subsidies for windmills, solar panels, and other alternative energy sources. This will hasten the closure of coal-fired power plants, reduce the demand for coal, and put many coal and power plant workers on the unemployment line.
There are incentives in the bill to build wind and solar farms in areas of West Virginia where coal mines have closed thanks to Biden’s energy policies.
However, wind and solar farms do not require as many workers to run them as do coal mines and power stations. But, hey, I hear McDonald’s is hiring.
Problem two, hardly any of the goodies in the bill will really help Manchin’s constituents. For example, credits for purchasing an electric vehicle are unlikely to help many West Virginians, the vast majority of whom can’t afford an EV in the first place.
Likewise, a trust fund for miners with Black Lung Disease funded by an excise tax on coal may be reduced or eliminated if coal companies are driven out of business. Also, allowing oil and gas leasing on federal land will not help West Virginia, which does not have much federal land.
Problem three, thanks to the act, taxes are going to rise. Supporters claim no one earning under $400,000 will see a tax increase, but the act has a tax on natural gas.
This tax would increase the average family gas bill by roughly 12%. So, if you heat your home with gas or use natural gas for any other purpose, your taxes are going up.
Problem four, the bill does nothing to curb inflation. The act raises taxes on businesses. Roughly half of that will be borne by manufacturers, meaning their costs will likely get passed on to consumers.
In addition, federal oil and gas leases are set to get more expensive, raising the price of gasoline, jet fuel, and natural gas. Not to mention that the direct tax on natural gas is inflationary.
Problem five, the act doubles the size of everyone’s friend, the Internal Revenue Service. Supposedly, the 87,000 new agents will be used to find tax cheats among corporations and wealthy individuals.
Of course, this is absolute total and complete BS. May I remind everyone that corporations and wealthy individuals have accountants and attorneys to manage their taxes and follow IRS directives.
They don’t depend on their kids or the guys in the mail room to load up the latest H&R Block software and wing it. Unfortunately, all of the new agents will need something to do. This means tax audits for everyone! Trump voters first!
Completion of the pipeline has been delayed since 2018 thanks to legal challenges from various environmental groups, civil rights activists, climate crazies, and lawmakers, almost all of whom are Democrats.
I cannot imagine Schumer or Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi deliberately annoying a key Democrat constituency from which campaign contributions flow.
Bottom line, in 2018, Manchin barely won reelection, receiving only 49.6% of the vote in a three-way race.
But with 2024 not far away, Joe may be vulnerable. The question is, will all the goodwill he built up being West Virginia’s shield against socialism get roasted in an oven of his own making?
Read in full at American Thinker
Trackback from your site.