Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was reportedly part of “secret” negotiations that helped the Democrats pass President Joe Biden’s controversial “Inflation Reduction Act.”
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Democrats’ “Inflation Reduction Act” (IRA) will raise taxes on the middle class to the tune of $20 billion.
As Slay News has been reporting, the bill also plows billions into the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and will double the agency’s size by hiring an additional 87,000 new agents.
The IRS’s criteria for new agents include being “willing to use deadly force.”
Meanwhile, images have emerged from IRS training exercises that show armed agents being taught how to raid suburban homes.
A former IRS whistleblower has also revealed that the agency is planning to target middle-class Americans under the IRA, despite claims of the contrary from Democrats.
According to a new report, all of this was made possible by Bill Gates and, to a lesser extent, former President Barack Obama’s economic advisor Larry Summers.
In a Tuesday Bloomberg article, Gates recalls how he tapped into a relationship with Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (D-VW) earlier this year.
He said he’d that he’d been cultivating the relationship since at least 2019.
As moderate Democrat Senators Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) continued to block the tax-and-spend legislation over concerns that it would raise taxes on the middle class earlier this year, Gates says he stepped in.
As Bloomberg reports:
Gates was banking on more than just his trademark optimism about addressing climate change and other seemingly intractable problems that have been his focus since stepping down as Microsoft’s chief executive two decades ago.
As he revealed to Bloomberg Green, he has quietly lobbied Manchin and other senators, starting before President Joe Biden had won the White House, in anticipation of a rare moment in which heavy federal spending might be secured for the clean-energy transition.
Those discussions gave him reason to believe the senator from West Virginia would come through for the climate — and he was willing to continue pressing the case himself until the very end.
“The last month people felt like, OK, we tried, we’re done, it failed,” Gates said.
“I believed it was a unique opportunity.”
So he tapped into a relationship with Manchin that he’d cultivated for at least three years.
“We were able to talk even at a time when he felt people weren’t listening.”
Apparently, the relationship between Gates and Manchin first started when the billionaire wooed the West Virginia senator at a 2019 dinner in Seattle.
Gates was trying to garner support for a clean-energy policy.
Manchin, at the time, was the senior-most Democrat on the energy committee.
“My dialogue with Joe has been going on for quite a while,” said Gates.
After Manchin walked on the bill last December over concerns that it would exacerbate the national debt, inflation, the pandemic, and amid geopolitical uncertainty with Russia, Gates jumped into action.
A few weeks later, he met with Manchin and his wife, Gayle Conelly Manchin, at a Washington D.C. restaurant.
During the meeting, they talked about what West Virginia needed.
Manchin understandably wanted to preserve jobs at the center of the U.S. coal industry.
Gates, meanwhile, suggested that coal plant workers could simply swap over to nuclear plants, such as those from Gates’s TerraPower.
Manchin apparently wasn’t convinced.
On February 1, Manchin announced that Biden’s “Build Back Better,” the Inflation Reduction Act’s previous iteration, was “dead.”
In an effort to convince him otherwise, Democrats pulled together a cadre of economists and other Manchin influencers – including former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers.
Summers convinced Manchin that the bill wouldn’t raise taxes on the middle class, or add to the deficit.
Collin O’Mara, chief executive officer of the National Wildlife Federation, recruited economists to assuage Manchin’s concerns — including representatives from the University of Chicago and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware brought in a heavyweight: former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, who has spent decades advising Democrats.
The economists were able to “send this signal that [the bill’s] going to help with the deficit,” O’Mara said.
“It’s going to be slightly deflationary and it’s going to spur growth and investment in all these areas.”
Through this subtle alchemy, clean-energy investments could be reframed for Manchin as a hedge against future spikes in oil and gas prices and a way to potentially export more energy to Europe.
Gates also sprang into action again on July 7 this year, when Manchin was spotted at the Sun Valley media conference in Idaho.
“We had a talk about what was missing, what needed to be done,” said Gates, who was also attending the conference.
“And then after that, it was a lot of phone calls.”
Gates looks back at the new law with satisfaction.
He achieved what he set out to do.
“I will say that it’s one of the happier moments of my climate work,” Gates said.
“I have two things that excite me about climate work. One is when policy gets done well, and this is by far the biggest moment like that.”
His other pleasure comes from interviewing people at climate and clean-tech startups: “I hear about this amazing new way to make steel, cement and chemicals.”
“I don’t want to take credit for what went on,” Gates told Bloomberg in the article about how he gets credit for what went on.
The massive tax and spending bill was signed into law by Biden on Tuesday.
Biden hands Manchin the pen he used to sign the Inflation Reduction Act into law pic.twitter.com/GqIJFQocVK
— POLITICO (@politico) August 16, 2022