The highest price I’ve paid for gasoline recently was $5.56/gallon, and that was at Costco in Bonney Lake. Since I got my last fill-up, the prices are predicted to drop. The cause for the rise in prices — inflation — has been placed at the president’s door.
Inflation has been the major reason for President Joe Biden’s poor poll numbers. Granted, part of the increase in gas prices is due to the president pushing and Congress passing the COVID-19 relief bill back in March 2021. Several Republican governors, pundits, and party leaders have criticized the president for the rise in prices. The argument that President Biden is responsible for inflation bears an examination of the facts.
If President Biden is responsible for inflation, then why are inflation and high gas prices found in at least 111 countries? Is he responsible for inflation worldwide? Based upon a video by Beau of the Fifth Column (“Let’s Talk about Biden’s Inflation….” June 15, 2022), U.S. inflation sits at 8.6 percent, about in the middle of the pack. Turkey’s inflation rate sits at 74 percent. The inflation rate of most Latin American countries are in double digits. China, with its price controls, is among the lowest in inflation. If inflation is worldwide, then why is Biden getting blamed?
If your news source is putting the responsibility for inflation and high gas prices on Biden’s administration, then why are you watching that pundit or network when they are lying to you? Their approach indicates that they don’t believe you are smart enough to do your own research. They are trying to manipulate you.
When Republican governors complain about high gas prices, what they don’t say is that they have the power to lower state taxes on gasoline. Pennsylvania, an oil producing state with a Republican governor, has the highest gas tax at $.576/gallon. Texas, a petroleum producing state, charges $.20/gallon, Florida charges $.19/gallon and. Idaho’s gas tax is $.32/gallon. Why blame Biden when Republican governors have within their authority the power to create a tax holiday, yet don’t? California, a Democratic state, has a gas tax of $.511/gallon. Washington State’s gas tax is $.494, but our state doesn’t have an income tax.
The answer is simple: Gas taxes provide income for the state to provide public services like police, roads, and fire protection. No governor, whether Republican or Democrat, wants to cut his/her state’s income. It’s easier to point the finger at President Biden as responsible for inflation than to cut gasoline prices in their states.
The war in Ukraine has brought about a rise in petroleum prices and food worldwide since Russia is one of the major oil and grain producing nations. Ukraine is also one of the major grain producers. Sanctions have been levied against Russia to get President Putin to end the conflict. Supply chain disruptions brought about by COVID-19 have also created a rise in prices. These issues can in no way be placed at Biden’s feet. Most Americans support the U.S. government aiding Ukraine in its fight against Russia. Decisions have consequences. Wars create pain, and Americans have indicated they are willing to bear some of that pain when they support Ukraine’s fight against Putin.
President Biden is considering declaring a federal gas tax holiday, which will save driving Americans $.15-.20/gallon. The average American uses between 562-656 gallons of gas a year, which will mean a savings of between $9-11/month, not much of a savings for most drivers (Beau of the Fifth Column, “Let’s Talk about Gas, Taxes, and Prices….” June 21, 2022).
This is Biden’s attempt to show the American public that he is doing everything he can to cut inflation. Is it a political move? You bet. I don’t agree that Biden should ask Congress to pass a three-month gas tax holiday. It will cut about $10 billion from the infrastructure act. But Biden doesn’t want to lose his majority in Congress in the November elections. The other option for him is to do nothing. At least he is showing he is listening to concerns of average Americans.
One of my senior citizen students asked me why Biden is so unpopular. My reply was that Americans are grumpy over all the changes that they have suffered over the past two-plus years. Could that be true for you? From my perspective, Biden is doing a very good job.