President Biden was on the warpath today, announcing a move to end special trade status with Russia. Essentially, if Congress goes along, America will boot Russia out of the WTO and impose high tariffs on Russian imports.
Okay, thats good, but as usual Mr. Biden then went off the rails.
He is still making the case that the 8 percent inflation problem and the $110 oil problem and the $4.33 gasoline problem are all caused by Vladimir Putin.
So, its President Putins inflation.
He went on, saying that from the time of Mr. Putins troop buildup on the Ukrainian border in January, the price of gas went up 75 cents.
Right there the Pinocchios are building. Here are some factoids:
In January 2021, gasoline was $2.35. In October 2021, gasoline was $3.31. In November, which is actually when the Russian troops were first massing on the Ukraine border, gasoline was $3.41.
In January 2022, when Mr. Biden was flailing at diplomacy efforts, the gas price fell a bit, to $3.32, actually lower than November and the start of the Russian buildup. Then $3.50 in February and then it hit $4.33 today, March 11.
So the moral of the story is, yes, gasoline popped about 75 cents between February and mid-March, as the invasion unfolded, but before that gasoline prices went up about a dollar over a year, or a 40 percent gain.
Guess what: Between January 2021 and February 2022, oil prices went up $39, to $91 from $52a 75 percent gain.
Also during this time period, that is starting roughly a year before the Russian invasion and any real energy price impact, the U.S. CPI moved to 7.5 percent from 2 percent. Now, I will concede the last month for gasoline and oil prices, but it hasnt shown up yet in the CPI. Thats coming, next month.
For Mr. Biden, what about the prior 12 months, which is kind of missing from his analysis? Ah, there was no sign of the Russians. Something else must have happened.
Let me suggest, first, the deficit spending, $2 trillion a year ago March, and the money creation by the Federal Reserve, thus enabling the deficit spending. The result? A huge increase in inflation that started way before Vladimir Putins military invasion of Ukraine.
As we learned from the February CPI report, which echoes the prior many months, prices are rising for everythinggoods, services, cars, housing, rents, entertainment, leisure, commodities. Everything.
That is not a function of the bumbling Red Army in Ukraine. That is a function of too much money chasing too few goods. And theres more.
Dont forget Mr. Bidens war against fossil fuels, creating a regulatory octopus whose many tentacles have been strangling our oil and gas industry.
With crazy metrics, and left-wing climate ideological zeal, FERC, Interior, Energy, the SEC, the EPA, the Federal Reserve, and, of course, the White House have stifled the production of new oil and gas and pipelines.
Mr. Biden is wrong again on the Keystone pipeline, because industry sources say construction could be completed roughly one year from now and take 800,000 new barrels of oil from Alberta.
Now, though, were stuck with a major inflation problem and a major spending problem and with no administration solutions in sight. I fear this will end badly. The only hope: The cavalry is coming.