COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Inflation has hit record high numbers this year, impacting Ohioans trying to make ends meet.
The Inflation Reduction Act has caused some divide between economists and politicians. Despite the criticism, White House Secretary of Commerce Don Graves said it will help Ohioans pinch a few pennies.
“Just that little extra bit to be able to support their kids, get them to school, to pay their bills, keep food on the table, get the gas they need,” Graves said.
Graves said the point of the Inflation Reduction Act is to help Americans while moving the economy forward. A big part of that is reducing prescription drug prices.
“Bringing down those prices, making sure we’re holding companies accountable for price gouging,” Graves said.
Senior Fellow at the Pacific Research Institute, Wayne Winegarden, said by controlling prescription drug prices, companies won’t try to compete for the market by making their prices lower.
“Over the past year, when inflation is running 8% to 9%, prescription drug inflation is at 2%,” Winegarden said. “We’re discouraging a way to cut prices in half by imposing price controls and that’s going to have a bigger impact on families than the price controls.”
Winegarden said, in the long run, he does not think this act will really help Ohioans or the economy. He said the economy would naturally correct itself over the next few years.
“As long as the fed stays the course, we’re going to see a reduction in inflation,” Winegarden said.
Still, Graves said this is a long-term investment for the U.S. economy. According to Zip-Recruiter, most Ohio salaries range from $34,606 to $59,491 a year, so Graves said most Ohioans won’t feel any tax increase.
“The Inflation Reduction Act actually won’t raise taxes for anyone making under $400,000,” Graves said. “This is not going to increase inflation, this is not going to create more debt for the county, what it’s actually going to do is bring down the deficit and help grow our economy.”
Despite criticizing the act, Winegarden said Ohio will see an economic boost thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act.
“Ohio has some counterbalances because of the EV tax credits and things of that nature,” Winegarden said. “So, it will bring money to Ohio.”