In a vote carried out this past Wednesday, the Senate of the United States officialy passed a new bill that subsidizes semiconductors that many proponents claim will let America once again compete against China while helping supply chains, but many critics of the bill warn that the piece of legislation is just a new flavor of corporate welfare.
The Senate was able to slide through the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science act in what was a 64-33 bipartisan vote. The new bill is slated to dedicate $52 billion in various government subsidies for computer chip-making companies, to go along with tax credits to the tune of $24 billion, all while making use of another $170 billion for scientific research over the next five years. People such as Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) have made the argument that the bill will end up being a complete waste of taxpayer funds.
“It makes no sense whatsoever,” exclaimed Johnson in an interview. “We have more than enough money sloshed around the economy to invest in semiconductor manufacturing here. It’s about aligning the incentives properly. We’re not looking at that at all. We’re just throwing more money at the problem, which is what Washington does.”
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) also stepped up to criticize the bill, making the argument that it will only end up helping people near the top of the economic food chain by imposing more taxes on those who make less.
“The poorer you are, the more you suffer,” stated Lee before the vote went out. “Even people well-entrenched in the middle class get gouged considerably. Why we would want to take money away from them and give it to the wealthy is beyond my ability to fathom.”
On Wednesday, Lee exclaimed via social media, “Next time you file your taxes remember the Senate just voted to give $75 billion to huge chip manufacturers—regardless of whether they use that money in the USA.”
Next time you file your taxes remember the Senate just voted to give $75 billion to huge chip manufacturers—regardless of whether they use that money in the USA.
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) July 27, 2022
On the other side of the aisle, Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) lauded the bill for boosting the overall global competition with the Chinese Communist Party.
“Remaining competitive with China is critical to our security and economic well-being,” stated Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) on social media. “Proud to join my colleagues in passing a package of China bills that will promote innovation, foster scientific talent, expand research, and break our dependence on China for microchips.”
However, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) condemned the plan, highlighting that the tech companies that would be getting this government funding would have been raking in billions over the past few years.
“The five biggest semi-conductor companies that will likely receive the lion’s share of this taxpayer handout, Intel, Texas Instruments, Micron Technology, Global Foundries and Samsung, made $70 billion in profits last year,” explained Sanders in a recent release about the CHIPS act. “Does it sound like these companies really need corporate welfare?”
Many advocates of the spending hailed it for protecting national security and creating a boost for our economy.
“This legislation is going to create good paying jobs, it will alleviate supply chains, it will help lower costs, and it will protect America’s national security interests,” claimed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in a release.
The bill also received much praise from Republican Senator John Cornyn (TX).
“This is a bad day for President Xi and the Chinese Communist party,” stated Cornyn about the passage of the bill. “The slumbering giant that is America has finally awakened to the challenge that we face from the People’s Republic of China.”
Old Uncle Joe also stated on social media that he and his team stopped for a moment to watch the Senate carry out its vote.
“I took a moment today to watch the Senate pass the CHIPS and Science Act, a bipartisan bill that will accelerate semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S.,” he stated. “It will lower prices, create jobs, and – critically – decrease our reliance on imported chips. The House should pass it ASAP.”
I took a moment today to watch the Senate pass the CHIPS and Science Act, a bipartisan bill that will accelerate semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S.
It will lower prices, create jobs, and – critically – decrease our reliance on imported chips.
The House should pass it ASAP. pic.twitter.com/dnsa3xVdDr
— President Biden (@POTUS) July 27, 2022