All Part of the Plan

Tom Finnerty28 May, 2022 2 Min Read
No joke.

It's almost as if President Biden has generously agreed to film opposition-research ads for the RNC in the lead-up to the midterm elections:

That was Biden's response when he was asked during a press conference in Japan earlier this week about the possibility of an American recession. The obvious implication of this statement is that high gas prices are not an unfortunate byproduct of events that are beyond the Biden Administration's control, but in fact are the intended outcome of the president's policies. Of course, this conflicts with Biden's defensiveness about gas prices in the same statement, as when he said,

And what I’ve been able to do to keep it from getting even worse — and it’s bad.... But we have released over two hundred and, I think, fifty-seven thousand — million barrels of oil, I should say. Us and the rest of the world we convinced to get involved. It’s helped, but it’s not been enough.

Well "helped" is a strong word, Mr. President, as those "two hundred and... fifty-seven thousand — million barrels of oil," had only the slightest impact on the price of petroleum products, just as we predicted when their release was announced:

Meanwhile, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which exists for a true national emergency -- not to arrest the president's tumbling poll numbers -- is now emptier than it has been in nearly 40 years and the federal government will have to purchase oil at a much higher rate per barrel to replenish it.

Still, this seems like a shift in approach from the administration, of a piece with their decision to cancel already scheduled oil and gas lease sales. Those leases were announced with an eye towards tamping down on exploding gas prices. Canceling a not-insignificant number of them after their sale had been announced was likely done to placate Biden's environmentalist supporters, but it also demonstrated the White House's growing realization that none of its proposed half-measures were going to get pump prices down to an acceptable level. Nothing short of a total about-face would move the needle in the right direction, and their attempts to spit on an intensifying conflagration were just making them look weak.

So what solution did they come up with? Lean into high prices. This is Putin's doing, yes, but it is also part of the glorious green energy transition which will leave us all better off! That is to say: Don't worry, this was all part of the plan. It's a desperate move and it isn't going to help them in November. But it will result in a rough economic summer just as American's were gearing up for a post-Covid party.

Start prepping for that recession.

Tom Finnerty writes from New England and Ontario.

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