MAGA: Rising Gas Prices

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Dear wannbe Governor,

I would have sworn that everyone was onboard with oil prices rising so as to save the oil industry? That seemed to be the mantra under the last president. I mean, the oil industry collapsed under Trump and the glut of gasoline that his pandemic failure caused drove oil down into unheard of negative prices per barrel last summer. Republicans were crying left and right for someone to do something to prop up the price of oil. You can’t sell gasoline if no one is driving, and no one was driving last summer or all of last year. This summer, now that people are driving again, there isn’t enough gasoline to go around. Hence the price rise. This is not rocket science, nor does it have a single thing to do with President Biden.

If you want to thank President Biden for something, thank him for the infrastructure bill that he helped guide through congress with bipartisan support. He’s easily been more of a president in his first six months in office than Trump was at any point in his entire four years in the office. I’ll bet Biden won’t be impeached even one time during his presidency. He’s hands down better than the last guy, but probably not better than what might have been if the woman had won in 2016. What was her name again?

President Biden has been good for the country, in any case. There is no point in trying to throw shade at him for the elevated gasoline prices, which are ridiculous right now. Who’s going to disagree with that? Would you like him to institute price controls so that the cost to the consumer doesn’t go up? No? Then what action by the executive will change the price of gas? Nothing. Nothing that the executive branch can do will reduce the price of gasoline at the pump right now aside from that action.

Joe Biden has not been bad for the country. It floors me that Republican hopefuls think that trashing President Biden will earn them points. If anything, Biden and the Democrats should be doing even more than they’ve already done. They should have already killed the filibuster and passed voter protection laws:

They should have passed the bigger infrastructure bill.

Afghanistan? You want to blame Joe Biden for Afghanistan? Obama should have pulled us out of Afghanistan eight years ago instead of waiting for Trump to make a deal with the Taliban to take over when we left. The only thing that would have been better than that is if Bush II hadn’t been dumb enough to try to colonize Afghanistan in the first place (Graveyard of Empires? Hello?) The bullshit coming off the current crop of Republicans is the same odiferous stuff that Trump was shoveling for the last four years. The people who smell what is coming off the Biden administration and think that what they smell is bad for us should remember that. If what is coming out of the White House smells bad, it’s because the staff there haven’t gotten all the bullshit that Trump left in the White House out of it yet. You can take that observation to the bank.

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Postscript

This country has done price controls in the past:

The Indicator from Planet Money – The beef over price controls – January 12, 2022

Roosevelt signs the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942, and this gives the Office of Price Administration sweeping powers to enforce their price caps and also to administer rations. It hires thousands of people, including a young lawyer named Richard Nixon. You might know him.

npr.org

So, yeah. We could do that and a Democratic president has done it before in a time of emergency. Do we really think it is that time again? Maybe rent control or a re-think on the way we do housing here in the United States, but general price controls? Hardly seems warranted. Do you want to retract this whole move to hold the President personally responsible for the price of your gasoline? No, I didn’t think so.

Republicans blamed Jimmy Carter for the inflation and the high interest rates that had plagued all of his years in the White House, when he was in the White House 1976-80. I remember those days distinctly because those were my first years of semi-independence. They heaped scorn on Carter for things that he did not control. The high interest rates, while painful, were the remedy to the high inflation caused by coming off of the price controls and manufacturing controls imposed during World War Two and partially re-imposed by Nixon when the first moments of inflation scared him. Carter, to his credit, let the money men at the Federal Reserve do the job that needed doing, and they slew inflation at the cost of handing the federal government to the Republicans for the next forty years.

Bush’s two wars that he charged on credit, instead of paying for them with tax hikes, combined with Trump’s pandemic idiocy, have re-awakened the beast of inflation, not some mystical hand-waving thing that Joe Biden did or didn’t do. These are the cold, hard facts that most Republicans will never allow themselves to hear or understand. What I know is that I will be buying electric cars from this point onward, if I ever get to buy a car again. I kind of hope that I don’t have to buy a car again. If you don’t want to be scalped at the pumps, don’t go to the pumps. The solution to that equation is easy to comprehend.