Joe Biden has officially announced his plan to ask Congress for a three-month gas tax holiday. Proponents see it as an opportunity to ease the burden high gas prices are putting on American families, particularly middle- and lower-class families.
The problem, as opponents are pointing out, is the negative impact such a holiday would actually have.
As my colleague Nick Arama pointed out earlier today, one of the biggest impacts a gas tax holiday will have is to increase demand while decreasing supply. And when demand goes up and supply goes down, prices also go up. The supposed 18 cents per gallon motorists would save? Negated by the increasing price of the dwindling supply.
Another issue Nick pointed out was how the energy industry has had to push back against Biden’s rhetoric already.
Meanwhile, Biden is blaming the oil companies for not producing more and threatening them with action. But the folly of all of this is that gas has been going up ever since Biden came into office — in part because he attacked the energy industry. Now he wants them to produce more after demonizing them and trying to do them in. But they can’t turn on a dime and come up with more.
The American Petroleum Institute and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers sent a joint letter to Biden about a week ago explaining that their refineries are already operating close to their maximum capacity, but that nearly half of the capacity was taken off-line because of the facilities converting to renewable energy production. Not to mention all the government restrictions that are also hamstringing capacity. So the inability to refine more that Biden is decrying is directly due to the green energy policies that he has pushed.
Chevron CEO Michael Wirth also leveled Biden for the instability his approach has caused and said that has to stop if the problems are going to be solved, “[Y]our Administration has largely sought to criticize, and at times vilify, our industry. These actions are not beneficial to meeting the challenges we face and are not what the American people deserve.”
Biden’s rhetoric against the oil companies and energy sector is just the latest line of attack meant to pass the buck and put the blame for the current crisis on someone else. Before that, it was Vladimir Putin and his war with Ukraine. The evil oil companies are always a villain the left can rely on, after all.
But the gas tax holiday is a new attempt to shift the blame, this time to Congress. What Biden is proposing is a policy that Congress has to approve, and it’s an attempt to make them responsible for high prices rather than him. This naked political ploy is Biden once again insulting the intelligence of the American people, who are increasingly becoming frustrated with his administration’s policies and antics.
In his speech, Biden continued to blame everyone under the sun while taking none of the blame for himself. Now, with the ball in Congress’s court, he will have someone else to blame… except that Democrats currently control both chambers of Congress and any failure to pass this gas tax holiday could potentially backfire and make them look even worse — at a time when they are facing an apocalyptic bloodbath in the impending midterms.
The Biden administration sees that a gas tax holiday polls well as an idea, so they’re going to go with it. But ideas always poll well. When the reality of the policy and the effects it has takes hold, it will backfire on the Biden administration and the Democrats. If it wasn’t obvious before, it should be obvious now: Governing by reacting and in response to polling doesn’t work.
His attempt to pass the buck to Congress will only serve to hurt the Democrats. He isn’t solving any actual problems with this speech. He’s just trying to get it off his plate ASAP.
Now that’s leadership.