Biden Administration Has Gone Bipolar Over Gasoline Prices
The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend is My Enemy
Gasoline prices are way up these days, among those of everything else, of course. The US Consumer Price Index continues to climb and is running at 8.2% year over year.1 Gasoline prices are a particular thorn in the side of the Biden campaign. Many of us have come across stickers at the gas pump that show Biden pointing to the price, quoted as saying, “I DID THAT!”
Those stickers are certainly not good for “business,” if you know what I mean. They make a mockery of the administration. And it’s not only the stickers. The sentiment is pervasive. The masses may be asses, but many are starting to connect the dots between the government’s reckless monetary and fiscal policies and the effect on prices. Inflation is on everyone’s mind.
When gasoline prices took a dip off their highs in July, the Biden administration seized the moment and took the credit.2 But when the prices went back up, well, the administration pleaded the Shaggy3 defense: “It wasn’t me!”
Just last week, Fox News’ White House correspondent Peter Doocy called the administration out on their nonsense with a snarky question:
Doocy: “You said the President was responsible for gas prices coming down. Is the president responsible for gas prices going up?”
Jeanne-Pierre: “So, it’s a lot more nuanced than that. Right, um, Peter? You know this. …”
Peter Doocy is like the class clown that helped us all get through that cartoonish high school government class.
So, it should be no surprise that the Biden administration and his Democratic Party want the high price of gasoline to subside, at least until after the midterm elections. Biden’s approval rating is in the turd bucket.
This brings us to Saudi Arabia.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Quid Pro Quo
President Biden flew over to Saudi Arabia in July in an attempt to get the Kingdom to pump more oil. Ironic, I know. Biden has undermined US oil and gas production at every step of the way (e.g., cancelling Keystone, limiting federal lease permits, etc.). Biden has even vowed to end fossil fuels entirely!4
“I guarantee you. We’re going to end fossil fuels” - Biden at a campaign event in New Hampshire, September 6, 2019
But a true politician only acts in the interest of winning favor in the short term. And Biden is a true politician. His policies and views vary with the wind. We need fossil fuels now because, well, votes, you see.
Well, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia seemingly claims Biden attempted to coerce them to postpone oil cuts until after the midterms.5 But, on October 5th, OPEC+ (which includes Russia and Saudi Arabia) announced that it would cut oil output by 2 million barrels per day.6 That decision certainly isn’t going to help gasoline prices. Nor is it going to help weaken Russia in US' proxy war in Ukraine.
So, the Biden administration threw a fit when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia acted in their own self-interest. Biden accused them of “aligning with Russia.”7
The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to the accusation (my emphasis in bold).8
“… the Government of the Kingdom clarified through its continuous consultation with the US Administration that all economic analyses indicate that postponing the OPEC+ decision for a month, according to what has been suggested, would have had negative economic consequences. … The Kingdom stresses that while it strives to preserve the strength of its relations with all friendly countries, it affirms its rejection of any dictates, actions, or efforts to distort its noble objectives to protect the global economy from oil market volatility.”
It looks like the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman channeled Homie D. Clown and denied Biden’s quid pro quo. Homie don’t play dat!
The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend is My Enemy
Biden — as if he was suffering from bipolar disorder — set out to make the Kingdom a pariah of human rights violations on one hand9, while continuing US weapons support to Saudi in the Yemen genocide on the other hand10. And then he groveled at the prince’s feet to boost oil production. When the Kingdom denied the quid pro quo, Biden lashed out with threats!11
“I’m not going to get into what I’d consider and what I have in mind. But there will be — there will be consequences.”
Of course, the Saudi government is playing politics, too. To think this spat is purely about Saudi’s economic decisions or "noble objectives" is naive. Mohammed bin Salman is very aware of the US government’s erratic policy and is seemingly banking political capital on Biden’s current state of desperation. Biden’s actions will only push Saudi Arabia further into an alignment with Russia. It’s a backfire move. It only escalates the madmen’s current path towards all out nuclear war with Russia and does nothing but put further upward pressure on gasoline prices.
All the while, not a peep is heard about the root cause of price inflation: monetary policy.