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Illinois governor: 'Ridiculous' to suggest Dems' Inflation Reduction Act will worsen inflation

Democrat J.B. Pritzker said Chicago's crime rate is "coming down" and that he has taken steps to address criminal activity statewide.

August 10, 2022 2:13pm

Updated: August 12, 2022 11:17am

Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker pushed back against Republican lawmakers who argue that the Democrats' reconciliation bill, the $739 billion Inflation Reduction Act, will worsen alreay record-setting inflation in the U.S.

"Well, that's ridiculous," said Pritzker, who was in Washington for President Biden's signing of the $280 billion CHIPS Act. "It's going to lower our deficit in the United States, something that Donald Trump took to new heights. We've got to get rid of that deficit.

"This is something that's good for the United States. We reduce our deficit. It's also going to make sure to reduce our inflation rate. That's just one of the effects."

In FY2021, the deficit was $2.8 trillion, slightly down from a record high of $3.1 trillion the year prior, which was driven by coronavirus stimulus spending. 

Pritzker also said he thinks extending the $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit and creating a new $4,000 tax credit for the purchase of used EVs are worth the cost.

"We have a burgeoning electric vehicle manufacturing industry in the state of Illinois," said Pritzker, a billionaire heir to the Hyatt Hotel chain fortune. "So this is just going to add on top of what we're already doing in our Climate Equitable Jobs Act and in our Reimagining Electric Vehicles Act, which is incentivizing, again, new jobs, new electric vehicles. We're going to have a million electric vehicles on the roads by 2030."

During the interview, Pritzker said Chicago's crime rate is "coming down" and that he has taken steps to address criminal activity statewide.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago had more than 800 murders last year, which was the most on record in the last 25 years.

Pritzker was asked if there are changes that should be made to the criminal justice system to reduce crime and the number of repeat offenders.

"We're doing those things in Illinois," he said. "For example, I have increased the number of state police in Illinois. I've made sure we're investing in violence prevention and in youth jobs programs, all of which helps to reduce long-term criminal activity.

"And, very importantly, we've got to invest in lowering poverty. Addressing poverty is perhaps the biggest thing that we can do to reduce crime over the long term."

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