Joe Biden isn't good at very much, but when it comes to blame shifting, he's the world champion. Over the past several months he's argued repeatedly that the primary culprits for out-of-control oil and gas prices are first, Vladimir Putin and, second, nefarious oil executives. Neither claim was convincing, but his latest assertion is the baldest faced falsehood of all. Over Fourth of July weekend, when many Americans were hitting the road and holding cookouts (and, consequently, having to deal with the inflated cost of gas and food), the president did his best to transfer culpability to local gas stations:
My message to the companies running gas stations and setting prices at the pump is simple: this is a time of war and global peril.
Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product. And do it now.
— President Biden (@POTUS) July 2, 2022
This tweet is absurd. Biden's reference to "the companies running gas stations" notwithstanding, gas stations are generally owned and operated by individuals. They're Mom-and-Pop businesses, and they don't make much of a profit at all on gasoline. In fact, the gas pumps are essentially a way to draw drivers in to the real money maker, the convenience store. These are the people Biden is addressing with this thinly veiled "do it now" threat.
It is so nuts, in fact, that even liberals felt obliged to respond. Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos -- a Biden supporter it should be noted -- was one of them:
Ouch. Inflation is far too important a problem for the White House to keep making statements like this. It’s either straight ahead misdirection or a deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics. https://t.co/XgKfEICZpk
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) July 3, 2022
This, by the way, isn't the first time that Bezos has felt obligated to call out the president on Twitter. Back in May, Bezos mocked the idea that raising the corporate tax rate (which was cut during the Trump Administration) would solve the inflation problem.
The newly created Disinformation Board should review this tweet, or maybe they need to form a new Non Sequitur Board instead. Raising corp taxes is fine to discuss. Taming inflation is critical to discuss. Mushing them together is just misdirection. https://t.co/ye4XiNNc2v
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) May 14, 2022
And he further pointed out that Biden and his allies in Congress helped create these problems and then tried to make them worse:
In fact, the administration tried hard to inject even more stimulus into an already over-heated, inflationary economy and only Manchin saved them from themselves. Inflation is a regressive tax that most hurts the least affluent. Misdirection doesn’t help the country. https://t.co/a8cygcunEG
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) May 15, 2022
Now, Bezos is a devoted Leftist, and there is very little chance that he supports anyone other than the Democratic nominee in the next presidential contest. But his frustration with Biden's incompetence in these tweets is palpable. And, what's more, they likely reflect an increasingly common position among America's plutocrats. Elon Musk, for instance, has already semi-endorsed Ron DeSantis.
You get what you pay for of course, but it seems as if some of Biden's billionaire backers are beginning to think he's a bum investment.
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