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Paulson and Geithner Are Among Ex-Treasury Chiefs Backing Inflation Act

The Honorable Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
 

A bipartisan group of five former Treasury secretaries endorsed the tax, climate and spending bill that Democrats hope will salvage key parts of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda.

The group, which includes former secretaries Henry Paulson, who served under George W. Bush, and Timothy Geithner, under Barack Obama, added their voices to debate of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which is heading for a vote in the Senate as soon as this week.

The proposed legislation “is financed by prudent tax policy that will collect more from top-earners and large corporations,” the group wrote in an open letter. “This legislation will help increase American competitiveness, address our climate crisis, lower costs for families and fight inflation — and should be passed immediately by Congress.”

The letter, also signed by Lawrence Summers, Jacob Lew and Robert Rubin, also hit back at claims by Republicans that the bill would violate Biden’s campaign pledge not to raise taxes for families earning less than $400,000 a year.

“The selective presentation by some of the distributional effects of this bill neglects benefits to middle-class families from reducing deficits, from bringing down prescription drug prices, and from more affordable energy,” they wrote.

The legislation, whose fate may hang on whether Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema backs it, also received support from more than 100 economists, including Nobel Prize winners Peter Diamond of MIT and Columbia University’s Joseph Stiglitz. They said the bill would make crucial investments in energy and health care and put downward pressure on inflation.

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