Finley: Biden plan: If you can't fix inflation, exploit it
Joe Biden's ridiculous tweet stating the cure for inflation lies in raising corporate taxes got a rise out of Jeff Bezos and others for its outlandishness.
Bezos, founder of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, responded that the president ought to be called on the carpet by his own ministry of truth for his preposterous claim.
But this was not just another Biden gaffe. It wasn't more disjointed ramblings from an oft-befuddled president.
It was an accurate expression of his administration's inflation strategy: Don't fix it, exploit it.
Biden last week declared, "I want every American to know that I’m taking inflation very seriously and it’s my top domestic priority.”
Then what did he do? Cancel the oil and gas leases on one million acres in Alaska, and others in the Gulf of Mexico, a move that will guarantee long-term higher gasoline prices, which is one of the major drivers of inflation.
"In the kind of price environment that we're seeing, there are negative consequences to shutting off oil and gas development, both politically and practically," says Frank Macchiarola of the American Petroleum Institute.
Biden still doesn't get that until oil and gas prices fall, the cost of everything from food to auto parts will continue to soar. Fuel costs factor into the cost of almost everything.
His decision belies the declaration that inflation is his top priority. His only interest in inflation is the hope that he can sell distressed and suffering Americans on his disingenuous claim that even more federal spending and tax hikes are the answer to rising prices.
As Bezos pointed out, corporate taxes and inflation are distinct issues, except that raising taxes increases the cost of goods and services, and that gets passed on to consumers.
In demonizing corporations for dodging taxes and price gouging — another canard that denies the reality of rising labor costs and material shortages — Biden isn't attacking inflation. He's laying the groundwork for the big tax hikes he wants on higher earners and businesses.
That money will allow him to claim his huge Build Back Better plan is paid for — another piece of work for his truth ministry.
The president is trying to convince Americans that shoveling more money at them to help them cope with inflation's impact is the same as putting in place effective polices to slow rising prices.
Biden is blaming everything but his own policies for the inflation crisis. He's throwing in "MAGA Republicans" now for cheering on the frustration of voters at the "pace of progress." Progress? Gasoline prices hit new all-time highs in recent days. That's not progress.
Massive government spending in Biden's first year may not be the sole cause of inflation — certainly the president is right that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a major contributor. But excessive federal spending and government giveaways that encourage workers to sit on the sidelines are absolutely a cause.
Even more deficit spending will make it a bigger cause.
Biden says, "I know that families all across America are hurting because of inflation. I understand what it feels like.”
But he clearly doesn't know how to fix it. And that makes his empathy worthless.
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