Dealing With Devils
Joe Biden announced yesterday that the United States is “banning all imports of Russian oil and gas and energies" into America without any plans to offset this loss with domestic production by opening up the Keystone XL pipeline or authorizing more leases on federal land for oil exploration. This action will drive gas prices up significantly for the American consumer and hurt the middle class. Biden explained this move by saying, "This is a step that we're taking to inflict further pain on Putin. But there will be cost as well here in the United States… defending freedom is going to cost, it's going to cost us as well, in the United States." When pressed further about the rising gas prices that will result from his actions against Putin, Biden shrugged, “can’t do much right now, Russia’s responsible.” But, in fact, it was Joe Biden’s energy policy that he implemented on his first day in office which has caused the United States to become dependent on Russian oil to fill our energy needs, and now he is pulling the rug out from under our feet.
Senator Elizabeth Warren tried to redirect the blame of the rising gas prices by attacking the oil and gas companies when she lashed out at them by saying, "The cause of rapidly rising energy prices for consumers and manufacturers is clear: some of the nation's largest and most profitable oil and gas companies are putting their massive profits, share prices and dividends for investors, and millions of dollars in CEO pay and bonuses ahead of the needs of American consumers and the nation’s recovery from the pandemic… these price increases are being driven by energy companies’ corporate greed and profiteering."
But ironically, it is her industry, the government, which profits off the oil and gas industry the most. The profit margin for oil and gas companies on their sale of gasoline is 6.8% which is 6.8 cents on every dollar spent on gasoline. So, when gasoline cost four dollars per gallon, the profit the oil and gas company makes from the sale of 1 gallon of gas is 27 cents. Ironically, the tax on gasoline is on average 53 cents per gallon. So, the government, which people like Elizabeth Warren represent, who are continually calling oil companies price gaugers and profiteers, makes twice as much money off the sale of gasoline than the greedy oil companies. And the government does nothing to produce the gasoline that is sold, they are solely profiting off of. And it is usually their misguided policies which are driving up the price at the pump. But Elizabeth Warren will never say any of this because it would expose the scam that she is in on.
As gas prices are averaging over $5 per gallon nationwide and are expected to climb as high as $7 or $8, the Biden Administration has considered reaching out to Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela to import their oil in an attempt to contain rising gas prices by offsetting the loss of the oil imports caused by his action against Russia. So, we are simply trading dealing with one devil to deal with three devils. We are being told that paying an extra $2-$3 more per gallon at the pump to squeeze the evil Vladimir Putin is not only the most effective course of action to end the war in Ukraine, but also the moral and patriotic thing to do because Putin is an evil dictator, and must be stopped.
Late night talk show host, Stephen Colbert said, “a clean conscience is worth a buck or two. It’s important. I’m willing to pay $4 per gallon. Hell, I’ll pay $15 per gallon because I drive a Tesla.” If I can’t afford to pay $2-$3 more at the pump, I definitely can’t afford to buy a $60,000 car. Actor George Takie told Americans, “We can endure higher prices for food and gas if it means putting the screws to Putin. Consider it a patriotic donation in the fight for freedom over tyranny.” If you’re a millionaire actor, doubling or tripling gas prices means absolutely nothing to your lifestyle.
It is strange that we are being told that it is our civic duty to pay more at the pump to go after an evil dictator, Vladimir Putin, but Donald Trump was widely criticized when he went after China’s evil dictator, President Xi with tariffs. Senator Ben Sasse tweeted about Trump’s China tariffs, “if he’s even half-serious, this is nuts… He’s threatening to light American agriculture on fire… This is the dumbest possible way to do this.” Senator Orrin Hatch said, “These tariffs… harm American manufacturers, damage our economy, hurt American consumers, and disrupt our relationship with our long-term allies.” Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer saying, “These tariffs would be particularly harmful for California, which has the country’s largest consumer electronics sector… would hurt American businesses and workers, they would also raise consumer prices.” A few years ago, it was not patriotic to pay a few more dollars for consumer goods to hurt an evil dictator, but now it is.
And is Vladimir Putin any more-evil of a human being than President Xi? They are both murderous tyrants. Putin invades a sovereign country killing innocent Ukrainian civilians, President Xi runs concentration camps where innocent Uyghurs are forced into slave labor and eventually executed. President Xi oversees a country where 9-year-old girls are forced work in sweat shops 12 hours a day for pennies. In light of all that, is President Xi a morally superior person than Vladimir Putin that he is untouchable from economic sanctions? Does anyone believe that the genocide and human rights abuses in China are any less horrific than what Russia is doing in Ukraine? It is moral to pay an extra $2-$3 more per gallon to hurt Vladimir Putin, but wrong to pay a few dollars more on imported consumer goods produced in China to hurt President Xi.
Why does President Xi and China always get a free pass? Why do we continually overlook all of the evil things he is doing, but so willing to take a hard line against Vladimir Putin? Have woke companies, like Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Starbucks, and PepsiCo stopped doing business with China in protest of their horrible human rights violations like they have done in Russia? Why is a country that commits genocide, uses slave labor, and has one of the world’s worst human rights record, our 3rd biggest trading partner and the leading importer into America, but we are unpatriotic if we do business with Russia?
Maybe because China has the second largest economy in the world, while Russia’s economy is smaller than Texas’ economy, half the size of California’s, and 1/8 the size of China’s. A study on the Chinese tariffs concluded that out “of 2,859 companies across sectors that are publicly traded on the U.S. stock market… more than half… were connected to the Chinese economy.” Cutting off trade with Russia does not substantially hurt American big businesses because Russia is not even one of our top 15 trading partners, and we only account for 3.6% of Russian Trade, so virtue signaling about Russia is very inexpensive to American companies because the average American is paying the cost of higher gas prices, while taking a moral stand against China would carry dire financial costs to corporate America because most are in bed with China.
So, our virtue and moral outrage is only reserved for countries who do not have a top ten economy; it is not based on the evil that a country does, but how big the economy of the evil country is. If doing business in Russia is financially supporting their war in Ukraine, then doing business in China is supporting China’s Uyghur concentration camps, forced labor and genocide. If it’s patriotic to cut off Russian oil into our country, then it must be equally unpatriotic to import consumer goods from China. But we willfully look the other way at the murderous regime running China because trade with China has become the life blood of our economy, but soon that genocidal regime will be running the world. So, contrary to the screeching of Elizabeth Warren, it is not the companies who produce domestic oil and gas, so we will no longer be beholden to an evil dictator for our energy needs that we should vilify, rather it is the greedy American companies who are selling us out to the genocidal Chinese Communist Party who are the biggest threats to America.
Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.