IRA’s benefits lauded

To the Editor:

Everyone deserves to live a healthy life with financial security. We want to pay less for prescription drugs and live in a world that we can pass on to our grandchildren where carbon pollution is dramatically reduced. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), signed into law by President Biden in 2022, does just that. Are you paying less for some of your prescription medicines like Jardiance, Xarelto or Eliquis? Paying $35/month out-of-pocket for insulin? Have you received tax credits for home improvement projects like weatherization or rooftop solar? If you said yes to any one of these, you benefited directly from the Inflation Reduction Act.

The Inflation Reduction Act is a massive piece of legislation with a not-so-sexy name that covers many important areas like healthcare, the environment, IRS tax enforcement, investment in rural communities, tax credits for electric vehicles and a minimum corporate income tax. The size and scope of the legislation makes it difficult to keep track of.

So here are five ways that the IRA helps us right here in North Carolina. First, it increases access to clean energy for working people by lowering energy costs, providing $80 billion in financial rebates for millions of households to buy clean energy products like more efficient heat pumps and appliances. Second, it brings an estimated 2.7 billion of investments in clean power generation and storage. Third, it makes electric vehicles more affordable to the average person through discounts. Fourth, it supports farmers by funding and supporting climate-smart farming solutions and investments to boost clean energy and provide energy efficient upgrades. Finally, it provides funding to protect our communities against climate change by providing flood proofing and storm resistance.

And that’s not all! The IRA allows Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, helps to build a fairer tax code by getting corporations to pay a 15 percent minimum tax and cracks down on wealthy tax cheats by increasing enforcement of the tax code. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) prior to the Inflation Reduction Act, budget cuts prevented the agency from ensuring that large corporations and high-income individuals pay the taxes they legally owe. However, a January IRS report noted that, due to funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, the agency collected $482 million in ongoing efforts to recoup taxes owed by 1,600 millionaires, while also improving taxpayer services for all Americans. We often complain and wonder what the federal government has done for us, and we have a hard time naming anything concrete. Well, here are concrete ways that we benefit from just this one piece of legislation.

To learn more, join Indivisible Common Ground WNC at Bridge Park in Sylva on Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. to spin a wheel, answer questions about the IRA and win prizes! 

Nilofer Couture, Cullowhee

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