What about the $200 pay cut that preceded it? Earlier today, I noted the fact that Joe Biden’s energy policy increased gas prices 108% in the first sixteen months of his presidency. Prices have fallen since, but the average EIA gas price per gallon is still 65% above its level the week of Biden’s inauguration and his famous “Day One” Executive Order 13990 imposing new red tape and costs on production of domestic oil, natural gas, and gasoline refining.
Nevertheless, CNN’s Chris Isidore wants us to celebrate the $100 per month “raise” we’re all getting at the pump, courtesy of The Most Beneficent Majesty of Joe Biden:
Next time you stop at a gas station, think of it as a $100-a-month tax cut. Or a maybe $100-a-month raise.
The steady drop in gas prices over the last few months has turned into an unexpected form of economic stimulus, coming at a time when the Federal Reserve is trying to cool the economy and battle rising prices with higher interest rates.
Since hitting a record of $5.02 a gallon on June 14, the national average price for regular gas is down $1.10, or 22%, to $3.92, according to AAA. That average has now fallen for 67 consecutive days.
Since the typical US household uses about 90 gallons of gas a month, the $1.10 drop in prices equals a savings of $98.82.
This doesn’t even count as spin. This is flat-out propaganda for the governing clique. Even the DNC might have been embarrassed to toss this line out in defense of Joe Biden, even as shameless as Democrats have become of late on inflation in general.
In the first place, the change in gas prices didn’t just start in late June, and didn’t go down over most of Biden’s presidency. The EIA average price per gallon — the official government measurement rather than AAA’s unofficial projections — stood at $2.464 the week of Biden’s inauguration. It peaked at $5.107 in June in an almost interrupted escalation, until finally bending downward in July:
So this prompts the obvious question: if Americans got a $100-a-month raise over the last couple of months, what does CNN have to say about the pay cut that preceded it? Let’s do math! If the typical US household uses 90 gallons of gas a month and the price increased from $2.464 at Biden’s inauguration to $5.107 in mid-June, that pay cut amounted to a whopping $216.65 a month.
And of course, the argument is even more absurd when we look at the overall arc. Even with the recent drop in price, gas is still 65% higher than when Biden took office, $2.464 to this week’s $4.051. The net effect of Biden’s policies on gasoline has been to cost American households $142.83 more a month on gasoline, using CNN’s formula in its ridiculous butt-kissing of the Biden administration.
Furthermore, the price didn’t drop because the Biden administration brought massive new supplies into the market. The prices dropped due to a fall in demand for gasoline as it got too expensive for American consumers to use on vacations and other non-essential travel. That indicates an economic contraction on the way, not a pay raise.
This argument gets almost obscene when we consider what’s happened to Americans’ disposable income over the Biden presidency and the inflationary wave Biden created. For five straight quarters, real disposable personal income — adjusted for inflation — has fallen in a compounding series of buying-power setbacks for Americans. As I wrote the week before last:
In fact, with the exception of the massive sugar high of Biden’s American Rescue Plan stimulus, real disposable personal income — which is adjusted for inflation — has been in negative territory throughout Biden’s presidency. Those numbers are comparisons to the previous quarter, too, which means that this has a compounding effect. The most recent read of -0.5% on real disposable income is not from a baseline but shows a decline from the previous quarter’s -7.8%, which was a decline from the previous quarter, and so on.
In other words, Q2’s -0.5% wasn’t an improvement. It merely showed that the rate of decline slowed, but that real disposable personal income was still declining.
That’s what CNN has the cojones to describe as a pay “raise” in its economic “analysis.” It’s breathtaking in its intellectual dishonesty.