The ads are hard to miss. A Bedford bakery owner talking about the impact of inflation on her small business; attacks on “outrageous” federal spending and billions wasted during the COVID crisis; the message “call Sen. Hassan, tell her to stop the reckless spending that’s causing rampant inflation.”
But if it is having any impact on the incumbent Democrat, it hasn’t appeared in her voting record.
Since President Joe Biden took office, Hassan has voted for the $1.9 trillion “America Rescue Plan,” the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, and the $280 billion CHIPS subsidies for microchip manufacturers. If she backs the new $739 billion Schumer/Manchin deal, that would bring her total to around $4 trillion in new spending, just in the past 18 months.
And she certainly sounds enthusiastic about the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act,” as the massive reconciliation spending plan is now called, telling WMUR’s Adam Sexton last Sunday, “I hope to vote on it next week.
“What does the act do? It says we are going to pivot to a clean energy economy and we are going to help consumers with their energy costs,” Hassan said. “Credits for buying either a new electric vehicle or a used electric vehicle, which helps people who are in the middle-income range and may not be able to afford a new EV. These critical measures will help lower costs, and they will help fight climate change.
“It is a really important bill. It is kind of unbelievable to me it is not getting any Republican support,” Hassan added.
This new TV ad targeting Hassan on spending and inflation launched this week.
For Hassan, the political calculus appears to be that the appeal of spending on EV subsidies and Obamacare subsidies will outweigh concerns about inflation, which she is reluctant to admit is linked to the trillions in new money poured onto the economy under Biden. Asked about the inflation problem, Hassan blamed it on “the combined crises of the COVID 19 pandemic and the war [waged by] Russia.”
Republicans clearly disagree. CBS News reports Republicans have spent more than $40.6 million on television advertisements mentioning inflation so far this year, according to an ad tracking firm. “They have also spent more than $1.6 million on digital ads on Facebook with text mentioning inflation, which have received more than 97 million impressions.”
A new ad from the One Nation PAC targeting Hassan’s support for increased federal spending launched Tuesday.
Polls show that while some Americans point the finger for higher prices at Putin or “Big Oil,” many say the spending policies of Biden and the Democratic majority are to blame. In fact, one poll released in June found a majority of Democrats blame Biden for inflation woes.
And a report by the independent Tax Foundation says that, in addition to increasing federal tax collections by about $656 billion, “the proposed 15 percent minimum tax on corporate book income is the most economically damaging provision in the bill, reducing GDP by 0.1 percent and costing about 23,000 jobs.”‘
Also overlooked: the bill “reinstates the Superfund tax on crude oil and imported petroleum at 16.4 cents per gallon (indexed to inflation) and increases other taxes and fees on the fossil fuel sector.” That puts upward pressure on already high gasoline prices.
Jack Pandol with the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) points out what New Hampshire Republicans have been saying since the Manchin deal was announced: Democrats are setting themselves up to vote for nearly $1 trillion in new spending and $500 billion in higher tax collections, just three months before the November election.
“Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden announced Senate Democrats’ new reckless plan: Raising taxes and giving the IRS more money to harass small businesses in order to pay for their left-wing climate agenda,” the SLF said in a statement. “Now that the economy is officially in a recession, are vulnerable Senate Democrats really comfortable following through with raising taxes and going after small businesses? If past is prologue, they’ll fall in line.
“First Democrats’ reckless spending sent inflation through the roof, now they want to raise taxes during a recession. It’s clear Democrats won’t stop coming after Americans’ paychecks and jobs until we boot them out of the majority,” Pandol said.