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The Inflation Reduction Act - Narrative Intelligence

August 8, 2022Evan Robert

Three weeks ago, the Inflation Reduction Act seemed to be an impassable bill. Senator Joe Manchin stated publicly that he was not ready to support the bill in its current form. After extensive private discussions, however, Manchin and Majority leader Chuck Schumer announced that they had come to an agreement on the $776 billion package. The bill will fall under the Reconciliation Act, meaning the Senate would only need a simple majority to pass it.

Senator Kristen Sinema was the final roadblock, being the last Democrat with objections to the bill. But last Thursday, she announced that she too was prepared to vote for the Inflation Reduction Act. With all of these moving parts, it’s important to ask: what all does this bill contain?

One of the major parts of this bill is a 15 percent minimum tax rate on all corporations who generate over $1 billion in annual revenue. Secondly, it has a hefty prescription drug reduction that may be the largest the country has ever seen. The bill also allows Medicare to negotiate with drug companies on medicine pricing.

Another major aspect of this bill is the climate change investments. These include: Tax credits for households who use clean energy for their home, investments in companies who make clean energy products, and tax reductions for companies who demonstrate a tangible commitment on less carbon emissions. 

Senate Republicans have been quick to point out that the Inflation Reduction Act is expensive. Their primary concern is that this bill will produce an inflation spike.

With all the buzz surrounding the bill, it’s important to take a look at how the media is perceiving it. This EdgeTheory narrative brief on the Inflation Reduction Act analyzes how U.S media has reacted to this bill. 

Keyword dynamics showing over time how popular keyword were on certain days

Over the last week, 2,124 narratives emerged from the brief, spanning 377 different sources. In the diagram above it is clear that on August 5th the phrase “Inflation Reduction Act” hit a new peak. This coincides with Majority Leader Schumer’s announcement that the Democrats believe they have the votes needed to pass the bill.

The most popular keywords reflect the key players of this bill, Senators Manchin and Schumer. At number four though, “climate change” garnered over 1700 mentions in the past seven days. This suggests that the climate provisions of this bill are the most covered topic by the U.S media thus far.

When looking at the most active sources in the brief, three of the five most popular outlets have a right leaning bias. Fox News is the second most active U.S media outlet and has amplified 106 articles from July 31st to August 6th. Their most popular topic was “Joe Manchin”. The most popular narrative trend was the claim that Senator Manchin’s campaign was being funded by green energy companies.

Bar graph showing the most popular terms by mention

Senator Krysten Sinema, is the final piece of the puzzle on this bill. The term “Krysten Sinema'' had 963 mentions, and that is not including the other names used in articles such as, “Sen. Sinema'' and “Sen. Krysten Sinema'' which would put her name well over the 2,000 mark in total mentions.

Carried interest is a more niche trend associated with the bill. Once a key part of the Inflation Reduction Act, carried interest is a tax loophole for the wealthiest Americans. It helps those in private equity by allowing fund managers to classify money made from their clients' investments as capital gains, which receive a much lower tax rate. Earlier drafts of the bill provisions in place to make this loophole much harder to utilize. In order to gain support for the Inflation Reduction Act though, Senator Sinema was able to negotiate this provision out of the bill.

As this topic evolves and the Inflation Reduction Act is either passed or blocked, this brief will see the trends shift one way or another. To stay updated on the U.S media’s reaction to the Inflation Reduction Act, check this narrative brief for the newest narrative trends that are forming every day:

Inflation Reduction Act in U.S. Media

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