By John and Andy Schlafly
“Why are we allowing someone that makes $500,000 to get a discount on an electric vehicle? That doesn’t make any sense to me at all,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) declared while stopping Biden’s $2 trillion boondoggle misnamed the Build Back Better (BBB) Act.
The socialists seeking to control our energy have no satisfactory answer to Senator Manchin’s criticism. Biden’s BBB would rob from the poor and middle class, to give to the elite under the guise of climate change.
The BBB includes a whopping $7,500 tax credit to purchase electric vehicles, which would mostly benefit the wealthy. The legislation also contains $5 billion to build electric vehicle charging stations nationwide, plus $2.5 billion for grants to mostly liberal groups to construct charging stations in disadvantaged areas.
Another $900 tax credit, which could be doubled for couples earning up to $150,000, is for those who buy a battery-powered “e-bike” to avoid the strenuous exercise of pedaling a traditional bicycle.
Rural America, speaking through Sen. Joe Manchin, has asserted itself against this endless theft by the coastal elite. Democrats are apoplectic that one of their own has torpedoed Biden’s centerpiece legislation, but Manchin is speaking for all of rural America in blocking the BBB.
It is the 39-point margin by which Trump won West Virginia that doomed Biden’s agenda. A state that Bill Clinton carried 25 years ago has swung completely to the Republican side.
Sen. Manchin first won his seat in a special election by campaigning hard against Barack Obama’s anti-coal agenda in 2010. Manchin is up for reelection in 2024 and there is no Democratic presidential candidate who will help him win with rural voters.
Without a big-city Democratic machine to deliver votes, West Virginia’s elections can’t be stolen as they are in other states. There is no Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, or Atlanta in the Mountain State, as West Virginia is known.
Election results are tallied quickly after residents cast legitimate ballots. Returns are not withheld until after Election Day as done in Democratic strongholds.
National Democrats have tried to embarrass Sen. Manchin, but it only backfired. He observed that some of the tactics used by the White House staff against him have been “absolutely inexcusable."
The true embarrassment is by liberals who vowed to enact this bad legislation. Even now top Democrats plan to hold a vote on this bill early next year, to increase pressure on Manchin.
A vote should help the GOP, as rural regions including southern parts of Illinois and New Jersey have swung sharply pro-Trump. Big cities are what have kept these states in the Democrat column, while mostly rural West Virginia is free of dominance by machine and media-driven politics.
The rebellion by rural America against cities and their media is apparently behind Manchin’s stance as much as the energy issue is. He opposed the expanded child tax credits in the BBB legislation as strongly as he opposed the green energy handouts.
Taxpayer-funded child care amounts to taking from the rural poor and giving their money to wealthier people in the cities, where fewer parents raise their own kids. In rural West Virginia most parents raise their own children, so the massive child care credits in BBB would further redistribute wealth from Manchin’s constituents.
Rural America remains an untapped reservoir of support for Republicans. There is not much more in voter turnout that can be found in big cities, but statewide elections can be swung to the GOP column by increasing the historically low turnout among rural voters.
The avalanche of 23 retirements by Democratic congressmen, including three departures nearly announced earlier this week, suggest that Manchin’s approach is in line with the political future. Two years ago, only 9 Democrats had announced retirements by this time.
These are not merely politicians at the end of a long career who are calling it quits. Young Democrats thought to be emerging leaders are also leaving Congress, which increases the chances that the GOP will retake the House in ten months.
This giving up by Democrats occurs amid new polling that shows an historic defection of the youth from Biden. Without a strong turnout by young voters, his party has no chance of holding onto power in Congress and the White House.
An independent poll by YouGov/Economist confirms that the biggest drop in support of Biden is among young voters, of whom only 29% approve of his job performance. Fully half of young voters disapprove of Biden now, giving him a negative 21 point rating by this key demographic.
This is the worst rating for Biden among any age group. The party that was built on youthful enthusiasm by the likes of JFK and Bill Clinton has become an anachronistic dinosaur that Sen. Joe Manchin is prophetic to stand up against.
John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work.