June 17, 2024

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view | Republicans, it’s okay not to thank Biden for cutting gas prices


Having reached $5 a gallon in June, Gas prices fell sharply. The national average for regular gas is now about $3.30 13 states The average is less than $3, which is the national average It could be by christmas. If your car has a 15-gallon tank, that means you’ll soon be paying $45 just to fill the tank, instead of the $75 it cost you this summer. What a relief!

This is a political victory for President Biden, a direct result of his actions. Even his Republican opponents are lining up to praise him for heeding their earlier criticisms, now that he has slashed prices at the pump and put more money in the pockets of hardworking Americans.

Everything in the second paragraph is an invention of course. Biden is no more responsible for lowering gas prices than he was for raising them in the first place. And Republicans certainly don’t praise him – for that or anything else.

But when prices were high, they couldn’t stop repeating that it was all Biden’s fault. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine and rising demand from a booming economy originally led to higher gas prices, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) Blame The “out of touch politics” of the Democrats. “That’s intentional,” He said Republican National Committee Chair, Ronna McDaniel, claimed that gas prices were going up because Biden had a secret plan to “exhaust our energy independence.”

Other Republicans agreed. Some started called “Biden Gas Rise.” Even conservatives Stickers are sold With a picture of Biden pointing his finger and saying, “I did it!” For irate gas buyers to screw it up at fuel pumps.

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This was all based on two ideas: first, that Biden wants gas prices to go up, which is clearly absurd (wouldn’t an evil villain like him at least want prices to stay low to support his approval ratings?), and second, that Biden was in his power to set those prices.

Kathryn Rampell: Are you excited about the drop in gas prices? Be careful what you wish for.

For the past couple of years, as in earlier times when gas prices went up, fact-checkers have been doing just that sincerely explained That Republican claims were bogus. In general, the boss can do little to raise prices, and even more so to lower them. the reason Their fall now has to do with recession fears, along with lower demand in China.

Unfortunately, Biden may have contributed to the belief that he can control gas prices by making a big offer to try to do something about it. he is called for Gas Company Investigations into “Whether Illegal Behavior Cost Families at the Pump,” And the starting oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. But even people who generally support him (Like meHe noted that while a number of presidents have taken this step in the past, freeing up oil from the Strategic Reserve could have, at most, a small and temporary effect on aggregate supply.

And in the news media, these occasional fact-checks have been awash in an avalanche of reports along the lines of “price hike poses political challenge to Biden.” Those quotes were peppered with quotes from Republicans who said it was Biden’s fault, and he was motivated by the assumption that assigning responsibility for gas prices to the president is routine and reasonable, even if a line in paragraph 12 might make it clear he had nothing to do with it. they.

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The long-term solution to the gas price problem is familiar to every American who owns an electric car or plug-in hybrid: Get off fossil fuels. If you drive a Hyundai Ioniq or a Tesla (which conservatives now think is cool since Elon Musk is a right-wing elf), you don’t care about the price of gas.

While electric vehicles still make up a small part of the market, sales have grown steadily and will certainly continue to increase, especially due to the containment of inflationary law. judgments It aims to promote the manufacture and sale of electric vehicles. However, most cars on the road will be powered by petrol for some time to come. Which means we will continue to worry about gas prices.

So here’s what we should do now, while everybody’s a little quieter on the issue: let’s promise ourselves and each other that next time prices go up–as they inevitably will–we’ll try not to be so stupid about it.