DANIEL VAUGHAN: Gas hits $5 nationwide as Biden flounders

It’s news no one wants to hear after watching prices for everything climb over the last year and a half. GasBuddy reports that the national average for gas prices in the United States has gone above $5.00 a gallon for the first time. Never has gasoline been more expensive in America, and never has our political leadership cared less.

GasBuddy’s data, submitted by users across the nation, showed that the national average went above $5.00 a gallon on Thursday, June 9. Their analysts had previously predicted prices would hit $5.00 a gallon sometime between June 10-17, 2022. Americans got that gift a day early.

The hard climb.

Along with the surge, GasBuddy’s data showed that prices had surged an average of sixty-six centers over the past month alone. A stunning rise in a single commodity relied upon by Americans at all levels. In terms of inflation, it’s the equivalent of a tax on the poor. Making transportation costlier hurts the poor, making it harder for them to drive to their jobs.

What are the causes? GasBuddy sees a few:

Gas prices have surged in recent weeks as U.S. gasoline inventories have fallen over 25 million barrels, or over one billion gallons, since the start of March amidst a global decline in refining capacity due to the Covid-19 pandemic and accelerated demand going into the summer. The price of oil has also jumped due to escalations stemming from the Russian war on Ukraine, as countries choke off Russian oil supply via sanctions, pushing supply down at a time of rising demand. In addition, U.S. refining capacity has fallen by some 1 million barrels per day over the last three years.

You’ll notice a lack of the phrase “Putin Price Hikes” in their analysis. They see a variety of contributing factors.

Gas prices will continue to rise.

One last point from GasBuddy, they provide a timeline of how we got here.

Gas price records set in 2022:

  • March 5: National average price of gas breaks $4/gal for the first time since 2008
  • March 7: National average price of gas breaks previous record; $4.10/gal
  • March 10: Average price of gasoline peaks at $4.35/gal
  • April 29: Average diesel prices reach new all-time high; $5.16/gal
  • May 5: March record broken; prices rise above $4.35/gal

The problem is that rising costs won’t stop; we don’t know how far gas can go. The investment bank J.P. Morgan warned earlier this spring that gas prices could surge above $6.00 a gallon nationwide by the end of the summer. Apart from the above factors, another issue was China reopening after lockdowns, providing a new source of oil demand.

Other analysts looking at that prediction saw pain ahead for the average consumer.

The Motley Fool shared “new research [revealing] that if gas hits $6 a gallon, households earning less than $40,000 a year will end up spending up to 28% of their post-tax income just to fuel their vehicles. By contrast, households earning more than $150,000 will spend up to 4.9% of their income on gas should its cost rise to $6 a gallon.”

Let them drive EVs.

Skyrocketing gasoline prices are the most regressive tax possible. The poor are paying the most for Joe Biden’s energy policies, which don’t care for the average consumer.

We got to witness the disconnect here firsthand in the Senate. Democratic Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow boasted about ignoring gas prices while driving her electric car to Washington DC.

She boasted, “I drove it from Michigan to here this last weekend and went by every single gas station and it didn’t matter how high it was,” she said. “Electric vehicles go for more than $56,000 on average — while everyday Americans struggle to pay record-high gas prices.”

Let’s do some simple math here: if you’re poor or lower-middle-class, and a gas bill eats up 28% of your income, you will not be able to afford a $56,000.00 electric vehicle. This point doesn’t even include whether or not you’d be able to buy a car right now, just the affordability. Every car lot in America is struggling with supply, so even if you won the lottery, purchasing an electric vehicle would be a miracle.

Her comments are reminiscent of Marie Antoinette’s infamous line, “let them eat cake.” Except Democrats saying, “Let them drive Teslas.” Its remarkable tone-deafness at a time with real Americans struggling with everyday purchases.

Gas is only one part of the increasing costs, too. The real estate site Redfin reported that the national average for rent hit $2,000.00 for the first time in history. Prices are increasing across all grocery store categories. And interest rate hikes are making mortgage payments impossible for new buyers.

It seems like every week we set a new price record in new categories. It shouldn’t be any surprise to the White House why their poll numbers are sinking fast. But they continue to claim shock and surprise at everything.