Are these lies, or is it ignorance?
It never ceases to amaze me how my non-representative, Tim Walberg, and his Republican cronies continue to show their complete ignorance of basic economics. Either that or they are blatant liars.
Either option is definitely a possibility. Just look at Walberg’s newsletters, Facebook page or Twitter account in which he constantly whines about the Democrat's policies regarding the economy without offering any solutions of his own. Gas prices? “Biden’s fault!” Grocery prices? “Biden’s fault!” Inflation? Oh, most certainly “Biden’s fault!” Ignorance? Lies? Who knows? What we do know is that what the Republicans are telling us is certainly not accurate.
Here are the facts.
Yes, gasoline prices are high, although they have come down since their peak. If high gas prices are due to something Biden has or has not done then how do we explain the prices in other countries? As of Oct. 24, 2022, the average price of gasoline in the United States was $4.021 according to GlobalPetrolPrices.com. But look at the prices in other countries. Japan: $4.217, Mexico: $4.568, Canada: $5.169, Austria, $6.656, United Kingdom, $7.151, Norway, $8.153. All Biden’s fault? Not likely. More likely it’s OPEC+ (which includes Russia) that recently cut back the output of crude which reduced the supply. And crude oil prices comprise 54% of the cost of a gallon of gasoline. The cost of refining makes up around 14% of the price paid at the pump, and due to storms, accidents at refineries, and the fact that the US hasn’t built a full-scale refinery since 1977 means the supply of gasoline is much less than the demand. High school economics: High demand and low supply increase prices, not Biden. Republican ignorance or lies?
Yes, my grocery bills are high. According to a recent report from InsideHook, they, on average, have increased 11.4% since August 2021, and farmed goods, such as eggs, poultry, beef and produce, are predicted to get even more expensive. Why? One big reason is anhydrous ammonia, a necessary ingredient in commercial fertilizer, which has doubled in price because of the global supply chain disruption and the war in Ukraine which disrupted the supply of nitrogen needed to make anhydrous ammonia. Also, the demand for fertilizer is at a five-year high as more people are cooking at home and need fresh ingredients. Supply and demand. In addition, farmed goods as well as packaged processed food need to get to the stores. They rely on trucks that use the expensive fuel mentioned previously. I’m sorry, but Biden doesn’t control any of the aforementioned causes. Republican ignorance or lies?
But what about overall inflation? Walberg and other Republicans have wasted no words blaming Biden and the Democrats, but their ignorance and lies are evident again. The Republicans try to blame inflation on government spending, especially the COVID-19 stimulus checks (the last of which went out 1 ½ years ago), stating that spending the money led to an increased demand for goods and services which drove up prices. I find it amusing that in this instance they claim to understand supply and demand. But what they ignore is the fact that inflation is a worldwide phenomenon. According to a recent report in Trading Economics, although the U.S had an inflation rate of 8.2 on Sept. 22, rates in other Western countries are higher: Iceland — 9.4, Denmark — 10.0, United Kingdom — 10.1, Germany — 10.4, Italy — 11.9, Belgium — 12.3, and Netherlands — 14.5. It is total ignorance or a lie for Republicans to blame inflation on Biden and the Democrats.
It is hard for me to believe that Walberg or other Republican politicians are that ignorant, so they must be lying to us, and their lying to us makes me angry. The fact that they think that we are stupid enough to believe them is insulting. That’s why for this and future elections, I will be voting for Democrats. I hope that you do, too.
Hank Cetola is a professor emeritus at Adrian College and the founder of Lenawee Indivisible. He can be reached at email@example.com.