West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin last fall sharply and rightly criticized a bonus tax credit for union-made electric vehicles in the Build Back Better bill. “We shouldn’t use everyone’s tax dollars to pick winners and losers,” he said. Yet that’s exactly what his tax and climate deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer does.
The 725-page bill is riddled with green goodies that favor unions and projects located in specific regions. Most tax credits for renewable energy projects are five times more generous if contractors pay “prevailing wages”—that is, union-scale wages—and employ workers participating in apprenticeship programs. These are usually run by unions.