Americans can fondly recall the booming economy that was. With President Donald Trump back on the campaign trail in states like Michigan, it seems quite long ago now.
Under President Biden, the people of Michigan — my home state — are being left behind. With prices increasing across the board, Michigan drivers still pay around $4 per gallon on average for regular unleaded gasoline. Heating oil is even more expensive. From food to household goods, the COVID-19 economy is destroying everyday purchasing power in states like Michigan, where inflation easily surpasses 5 percent.
You know what doesn’t help? The fact that Michigan’s gas tax comes out to 27 cents per gallon (excise), in addition to a 6 percent sales tax. Throw in the 18-cent federal tax on gasoline, and prices become even more inflated for the wrong reasons.
Nor does it help that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continues to veto any form of tax relief — from an income tax cut to a gas tax suspension. In an election year, Whitmer seems more interested in currying favor with her base than serving the vast majority of Michiganders, who are desperate to return to pre-pandemic levels of purchasing power.
Alas, Democrats like Whitmer are only following in the footsteps of America’s gaffe-prone president, their bumbling party leader. In recent months, Biden’s handling of the U.S. economy has become so utterly inept that the polls are incomprehensibly one-sided — they are unprecedented. And they’re not on the Democratic Party’s side.
As of April, nearly two-thirds of Americans disapprove of Biden’s economic performance. This includes many Democrats, many of whom abandoned Biden-nomics and now see the light. Almost 70 percent of Americans are worried about gas prices, yet there is little hope that prices will return to normal under Biden’s watch.
A whopping 94 percent of Americans claim the cost of food, gas and housing has gone up in the past year. Inflation is by far the top concern for most Americans, not the war in Ukraine. Nearly 70 percent of Americans believe inflation reduction should be Biden’s priority, rather than foreign policy.
Yet, thus far, the administration seems unwilling to or incapable of prioritizing the economy at all. Biden officials routinely downplay the inflation crisis, describing it as “temporary” despite many months of evidence to the contrary. Of course, they’re not the only culprits: The mainstream media similarly downplays the inflation problem, devoting disproportionate amounts of time to Ukraine and COVID-19 when they are less concerning to most Americans. As polling expert Nate Silver recently pointed out, news outlets ignore “cost-of-living” stories more often than they should, presumably to cover for the Democrat in office.
When even California liberals are complaining about sky-high gas prices, you know that Democrats are in trouble. (Defying logic yet again, however, California Democrats have actually proposed a new tax on gas suppliers, which will inevitably be passed down to consumers.)
If you read the tea leaves, 2022 and 2024 will not bode well for Biden, Whitmer and other Democrats. Pocketbook issues always matter most to American voters, and they’ve never mattered more than now, as we exit a pandemic and cope with its long-term economic repercussions.
Inflation. Gas prices. Taxes. Cost of living affects us all, and Democrats will be punished for failing to lower that cost across the country. They have failed for years now, and public opinion tells us only one thing: Americans are fed up.
The electoral backlash to come will be strictly economic. Get ready for it. But, until then, let’s brace for even higher prices and more pain at the pump.