Rampant inflation got you down? Don’t worry: Democrats are here to help! Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), and Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) have proposed a bill that would give every American $100 each month to help offset the scourge of rapidly rising inflation.
CBS News noted of the proposal, which is being called the Gas Rebate Act: “The gas stimulus would ‘provide middle-class Americans with monthly payments to ease the financial burden of this global crisis,’ Thompson said in a statement about the proposal.”
Not to be outdone, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) have put forth a second proposal, one that would provide a quarterly rebate to consumers based on a tax levied on oil and gas companies. According to a statement from the two lawmakers, their “Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax” would charge a per-barrel tax equal to 50% of the difference between the current price of a barrel of oil and its pre-pandemic average price between 2015 and 2019. Khanna and Whitehouse claim to have calculated that if the per-barrel price is, say, $120, the tax would raise about $45 billion a year — providing single filers with $240 annually and joint filers with $360 per year. (Another marriage penalty?)
When you really think of it, this is mind-blowing. And counterproductive. Democrats want to offset the negative effects of their own policies by trying to buy our votes? And the money they would send us would have to be taken from us taxpayers in the first place, be printed out of thin air, or just be added to our already astronomical national debt. In any case, it would exacerbate the very inflation whose effects these ignorant asshats purport to be attempting to ameliorate.
[ZH: Nomura’s Charlie McElligott summed up this farcical approach to ‘solving the inflation problem’:
YOU HAD ONE JOB:
Unfortunately, as is so often the case, these “best-laid plans” from politicians are utterly myopic and long-term unhelpful (and I’m not simply talking about the “money drops to solve inflation” fallacy here LOLWUT).
Because instead of letting, ummm, basic “supply / demand” rebalancing realities work to create “demand destruction” here (which ultimately “kills” prices and sends them lower), what these efforts end up doing is creating “demand CONSTRUCTION” (h/t Javier Blas)…
…which will only act to stimulate further consumption and push prices even higher #FACEPALM
As for the tax on “Big Oil,” these companies would have to pass on the cost of the tax to consumers, thereby raising the price of gas even further. And necessitating another gas rebate for consumers and an additional tax on “Big Oil”? Do Dems wish to repeat this cycle ad nauseam until the complete and utter collapse of our economy? “Windfall profits”? I thought “Big Oil” engaged in price-gouging only when their enablers in the Republican Party were in power. But gas prices were historically low when President Trump was in office.
But now that President Biden has embarked on a war against North American extraction industries — and continued Obama’s massive arbitrary subsidies of Big Wind (not Eric Swalwell’s nickname), things have necessarily changed quickly. “Sustainable” green energy can’t compete with oil, coal, and natural gas on a level playing field in a free market, yet the U.S. government has dictated that it must — and spent billions of dollars to make that happen. That is a “windfall.” Entirely unearned. For green energy.
There is a good reason why “I did this” stickers featuring President Biden’s likeness are showing up on gas pumps and on grocery store shelves around the country. He did do this to us, knowingly or not.
We were energy independent less than two years ago. In that context, the Ukraine War wouldn’t have mattered to us. (The humanitarian cost is another matter. We can all agree: Russia bad.) Yet now we are relying on countries with Most Heinous Nation status to provide for our energy needs. We are prostrating ourselves, needlessly.
Democrats have no idea how the real world works because they typically have no experience outside government. This is why no one should be eligible to serve in Congress unless he has run a business or has significant other experience in the private sector.
The more there is of something, the less it is worth or will cost. The less there is of something, the more it is worth or will cost. The law of supply and demand can’t be repealed — even by our elites and would-be tyrants.