18 cents a gallon? Whoop-de-do. Desperate gas tax gamble shows Biden's impotence on energy




  • In World
  • 2022-06-22 17:45:00Z
  • By Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Have you recently played America's exciting new game, Gas Tank Gamble?

You know the one: Drive past your local station, hoping to reach a spot with a slightly lower price.

I won big this weekend, passing up my local station's $4.799 a gallon, pulling into Costco with half a gallon to spare and saving 20 cents per gallon.

I drove on feeling like a millionaire. But then I did the math: My fill-up would have been a whopping $3 more closer to home.

Expect a similar reaction nationwide if President Joe Biden persuades Congress to pause the federal gasoline tax for three months, an idea he was expected to announce Wednesday afternoon.

President Joe Biden motions before boarding Air Force One at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.
President Joe Biden motions before boarding Air Force One at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.  

Federal taxes add 18.4 cents to a gallon of unleaded, and 24.4 cents for diesel. (In Texas, state taxes add 20 cents a gallon to either). The Associated Press calculates that at a national average of about $5 a gallon, people would save about 3.6%.

Let's be clear about one thing: Every bit of savings helps, particularly for poorer families. Rapid inflation is crushing people, and there's often not much they can do to use less fuel. Economists say, however, that such a modest cut might not even be noticed - especially cast against the rapid rise in prices since Biden took office.

This move is clearly meant to stem the tide of Americans' anger and pessimism, which has Biden's approval ratings at Trumpian levels and Democrats panicking about huge midterm losses in November.

And yet if Congress enacted his plan, the tax would be set to return at the end of September - a sudden spike right as voting gets underway in some states. Smart!

But Biden has to try something, because the blame-everyone-else strategy isn't working. The White House is still trotting out the sad "Putin's price hike" framing, as if people didn't notice higher prices before the invasion of Ukraine. He's attacking oil companies and asking them to reduce profits - without acknowledging that he all but invited them to take profits short-term by taking steps to curtail production long-term.

Next month, he'll go to Saudi Arabia and implore it, too, to boost production. What happens if leaders of the state he condemned as a "pariah" asks: Why should we?

Energy prices underlie all inflation because of shipping costs. And the effect is cumulative; farmers are warning of possible food shortages if diesel prices keep rising. It's one thing when people are stressed about the cost of feeding the family; it's another if they can't even get groceries.

Like most of the economy, gas prices are complex. No, it's not all Biden's fault. But people aren't buying his blame games, and for many voters, weak steps like suspending fuel taxes merely emphasize that it's time for someone with better answers.

In the meantime, keep that Costco card handy.

Editor's note: A version of this column originally appeared in our opinion newsletter, Worth Discussion. It's delivered every Wednesday with a fresh take on the news and a roundup of our best editorials, columns and other opinion content. Sign up here.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Biden was poised to nominate an anti-abortion attorney to a federal judgeship on the day Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court: report
Biden was poised to nominate an anti-abortion attorney to a federal judgeship on the day Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court: report

"If the president makes that nomination, it is indefensible," Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear said of conservative Kentucky attorney Chad Meredith.

Exclusive: Email shows Biden was set to nominate anti-abortion GOP judge on day of Supreme Court Roe ruling
Exclusive: Email shows Biden was set to nominate anti-abortion GOP judge on day of Supreme Court Roe ruling

Kentucky Democrats told the USA TODAY Network that the plan to nominate the GOP judge was part of a secret deal between Biden and Mitch McConnell.

Manteca woman embezzled $685,000 from local business through Amazon, Costco, other orders
Manteca woman embezzled $685,000 from local business through Amazon, Costco, other orders
  • US
  • 2022-07-02 14:00:00Z

Her theft included ordering 7,813 items from Amazon and sending them to her house over a three year period.

From AM to PM, the fickle force of government is with you
From AM to PM, the fickle force of government is with you
  • World
  • 2022-07-02 12:59:25Z

When you groggily roll out of bed and make breakfast, the government edges up to your kitchen table, too. The government makes sure you can see the...

Roe v Wade: Women travelling for abortions will be protected - Biden
Roe v Wade: Women travelling for abortions will be protected - Biden

The US president warns some US states will attempt to arrest women crossing state lines for access.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

  • facebook账号解封
    (2022-06-28 10:42:48Z)

    事实上,facebook账户被屏蔽是正常的。特别是在美国大选的初期,该组织发布了许多信息,都在抱怨账户被屏蔽。如果您的个人数据是真实的,并且没有严重违反社区规定,那么解封并不困难

    REPLY

Top News: World