Jobs Numbers Are Out. It’s Who You Believe That Determines How Good They Are

The Lone Cactus

The good news for the economy is that there were 428,000 “new” jobs added to the economy in the month of April. The “experts” said it would be about 300,000, so the good news is, the economy added more jobs than was predicted. The jobless rate held steady at 3.6%, which is still 0.1% above where it was before the whole COVID thing hit back in February/March of 2020.

The thing that you won’t hear Joe Biden or the administration or the talking heads on the snowflake news channels say is, there were 4 MILLION Americans that have quit their jobs this year without going to a new job.

My question is why?

Obviously, when you add jobs to the economy it’s good because people are earning money, they’ve gotten off the couch, they’re contributing to society. That’s good for the country, regardless what side of the political spectrum you’re…

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Grid operators warn of electricity shortage amid switch to renewables: Report

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

www.foxnews.com

Michael Lee

Electric-grid operators from across the country are warning of the potential for blackouts as companies attempt to transition to green energy sources.

“I am concerned about it,” MISO Chief Executive John Bear told the Wall Street Journal in a report Sunday. “As we move forward, we need to know that when you put a solar panel or a wind turbine up, it’s not the same as a thermal resource.”

AS GAS PRICES SOAR, EVS OUT OF REACH

Extreme heat and wildfires over the summer could lead to a shortage of energy in California, the state’s grid operator told WSJ. The Midwest could face similar issues with MISO warning of capacity shortages that could lead to outages.

The issue is on the rise throughout the country as many traditional and nuclear power plants are being retired to make way for renewable sources of energy, but the plants are going offline faster than renewable energy and battery storage can keep up.

Wind turbines in Palm Springs, California.

Wind turbines in Palm Springs, California. (2013 Getty Images)

Wind and solar farms are among the most popular forms of renewable power generation, but their lack of ability to generate power 24/7 means they have to store some of their energy in batteries for later use. But the development of better battery storage is underway, operators fear it isn’t happening fast enough to replace the retiring plants.

The risk of outages is heightened this summer, with supply chain issues and inflation slowing the pace developers can get the components needed to build renewable energy farms.

 Space Coast Next Generation Solar Center, in Merritt Island, Fla.

 Space Coast Next Generation Solar Center, in Merritt Island, Fla. (AP)

“Every market around the world is trying to deal with the same issue,” Brad Jones, the interim chief executive of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, told WSJ. “We’re all trying to find ways to utilize as much of our renewable resources as possible…and at the same time make sure that we have enough dispatchable generation to manage reliability.”

But others have argued for slowing the pace of taking traditional plants offline.

“We need to make sure that we have sufficient new resources in place and operational before we let some of these retirements go,” Mark Rothleder, the chief operating officer of the California Independent System Operator, told WSJ. “Otherwise, we are putting ourselves potentially at risk of having insufficient capacity.”

https://www.foxnews.com/us/grid-operators-warn-electricity-shortage-renewables

Price of diesel hits all-time high, straining the trucking industry

www.foxbusiness.com

Paul Best

The price of diesel hit an all-time high in the United States this week as energy markets around the world cope with ongoing disruptions amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

The average price of a gallon of diesel was $5.296 on Sunday, up about 4.3% from one week ago and nearly twice as much as one year ago. 

Gas prices are also elevated, standing at $4.187 a gallon on Sunday, down slightly from the all-time high of $4.331 on March 11, according to AAA. 

diesel

Although gasoline prices have dropped recently, the price of diesel fuel is still high, as the sign at this Flying J Truck Stop advertises in Pearl, Miss., Wednesday, April 20, 2022.  (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis / AP Newsroom)

While average Americans are feeling the pain at the pump with high gas prices, the trucking industry has been hit hard by the diesel surge. 

“The prices are skyrocketing, and we still don’t get good prices for the loads,” Michal Agboire, who works for Maitland Trucking, told WNCN. “If it goes any higher than this, and the price of the load not coming up, then maybe we just call it quits.” 

US CRUDE OIL ON TRACK FOR FIVE STRAIGHT MONTHS OF GAINS

The high cost of diesel is being partially passed on to consumers for everything from electronics to groceries. 

Gas Prices

Gas prices are displayed at a gas station in Long Beach, Calif., Wednesday, March 9, 2022. The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. hit a record $4.17 on Tuesday as the country prepares to ban Russian oil imports. (AP Photo/Ashley Landi (AP Photo/Ashley Landis / AP Newsroom)

“To cover the increased cost of diesel, truckers must increase the rates charged to haul freight. These increased rates are then passed on to consumers via higher costs at the retail level,” Ron Faulkner, the president of Faulkner Trucking and 2022 president of the California Trucking Association, wrote in an op-ed at the Sacramento Bee this week. 

“So, you are paying for high prices of fuel both at the pump and at the grocery checkout line.” 

Overall inflation hit a four-decade high in March, as the consumer price index, which measures a broad basket of goods, jumped 8.5% over March 2021. 

https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/price-of-diesel-hits-all-time-high-straining-the-trucking-industry

“Expert sounds alarm over Biden’s ‘bizarre’ Ukraine aid request”

“Tucker Carlson Exposes Strange Series of Explosions At American Food Processing Plants”

“Expert warns of next market ‘bloodbath'”

“Oil Exec POINTS OUT The Real Reason Oil Prices Aren’t Going Down”

“Nothing says ‘Happy Tax Day’ like a bloated and abusive government”

Tax Day is already bad, and Biden wants to make it worse

www.foxbusiness.com

Grover Norquist

Tax Day is a particularly dreary and unpleasant “holiday” this year. Americans who trudge down to the post office to drop off their returns or simply push a button to file electronically are aware that the IRS itself confesses that is it behind in processing those returns it already has by roughly 22 million.

Taxpayers are to hurry up (or be fined) and get in a long line. If you have last-minute questions about the tax form it is not cheerful to read that the IRS admits it is answering no more than 20 percent of the calls for help it receives.

4 REASONS WHY YOU NEVER GET A TAX REFUND

A person fills out their taxes. (iStock)

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/6293535509001

And this is not likely to get better. 53 percent of all IRS employees are working from home full time. Others spend “some” time in the office.

The culture of the IRS does not suggest improvement anytime soon. IRS agents are “protected” by civil service laws. It is almost impossible to fire them. On top of that they have one of the most aggressive unions making the agency difficult to reform in even baby steps. One sign of the culture is that 97 percent of all the IRS union’ campaign contributions flow directly to Democrat candidates.

A one-party, unionized, bureaucratized agency.

Perhaps new technology can fix things? Sadly, the IRS has been saying this for decades. Send cash and we will make our computers work. Failure has followed failure.

But now Joe Biden is convinced that if taxpayers ante up another $80 billion and hire 87,000 IRS agents, things will change. While Biden says these new agents will focus on “the rich” the IRS itself brags they will increase audits of small and independent businesses by 50 percent.

But taxpayers are also consumers and have jobs. President Biden and the Democrat congress are threatening to impose a series of new and larger taxes that will increase prices, depress wages, and make America less competitive in the world.

Biden’s new budget has 36 tax hikes and 11 new taxes on energy. Biden’s new tax ideas will increase the cost of home heating oil, electricity, and gasoline. Inflation has already hit American families and businesses hard – prices have increased by 8.5 percent over the past year. Tax increases will only make this worse.

One of Biden’s new taxes would be a new tax on “unrealized capital gains” which means you get taxed on money you don’t have. If the value of your business, your 401k, life savings or land increase in a year—the government would force you to pay income taxes on the increase.

You don’t have any more money than last year. You did not receive any income. How are you going to pay taxes on income you might never see? Stock prices go down as well as up.

Biden promises this will only be on rich people. But most new taxes are first visited on “the rich” and then they “trickle down” to hit the middle class. The federal income tax was introduced with a top rate of seven percent on those earning more than $13 million in today’s dollars. Now the lowest rate is 10 percent on those earning more than $10,275 in taxable income.

When Biden was vice president the American corporate income tax was 35 percent. Investment and jobs were flowing out of America. During the Biden/Obama years the U.S. had its weakest economic recovery since World War II.

The burden of the corporate income tax hits workers in the form of lower wages and everyone in the form of higher prices for goods and services.

Thanks to congressional Republicans and President Trump, the U.S. federal corporate rate was reduced to 21 percent. But now Biden wants to increase the rate to 28 percent. And you have to add state corporate income taxes as well.

Biden’s tax increase would put the U.S. at a tax disadvantage versus China, which has a 25 percent rate, and Europe, which has an average rate of 19 percent.

Biden and the Democrat party’s call for higher corporate rate on American businesses than is imposed by China or Europe will make American projects less competitive in the world. Biden will have us compete by having lower wages.

America should compete in the world with the lowest energy costs, the lowest cost of regulations and taxes. And we should strive for the highest wages, not the lowest.

Biden is also now trying to yoke the U.S. to a global tax cartel dictated by Paris-based bureaucrats whose goal is to extract money from Americans.

Democrats also want to have the IRS create a new, government tax preparation system. This will not streamline tax filing, as the Left claims, but will give federal bureaucrats more power to intrude in the lives of everyday Americans. It would create a conflict of interest as the IRS would tell you how much you owe and if you contest it, you have to deal with an unresponsive agency that doesn’t pick up the phone or answer letters in a timely manner.

Government as tax collector and tax preparer would give the IRS an incentive to overcharge or withhold information from taxpayers. It would empower the agency to collect even more personal information at a time that the IRS has proven unable or unwilling to protect personal data.

Grover Norquist is President of Americans for Tax Reform.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM GROVER NORQUIST

https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/tax-day-biden-taxes-jobs-china-grover-norquist

“Biden’s approval rating drop amid inflation increase”

Collected unemployment in 2021? You could be in for a large tax bill

www.foxbusiness.com

Motley Fool

When the COVID-19 outbreak first erupted in early 2020, many people lost their jobs as non-essential businesses were forced to shutter. And many people spent much of 2021 out of work as well.

In March of 2021, the American Rescue Plan was signed into law, and that bill made a lot of aid available to the public. Not only did it send a third round of stimulus checks into Americans’ bank accounts, but it also boosted the Child Tax Credit, whose monthly payments during the second part of 2021 served as a lifeline for many families.

IRS CHIEF WARNS OF TAX REFUND DELAYS DUE TO WORKER SHORTAGES, RETURN BACKLOGS

Another thing the American Rescue Plan did was exempt up to $10,200 of unemployment benefits from taxes for the 2020 tax year. That, too, saved jobless workers a fair amount of money.

But while workers were entitled to tax-free unemployment income in 2020, that wasn’t the case in 2021. And now, a lot of people who collected jobless benefits last year could be in for an unpleasant surprise when they file their tax returns.

WAITING ON A TAX REFUND FROM LAST YEAR? HERE’S SOME GOOD NEWS

You may owe the IRS money

Unemployment is a taxable income source. Those who collect it get the choice to have federal taxes withheld from their weekly benefits upfront, or collect their benefits in full but pay that tax later on.

Recipients who went the former route in 2021 may not owe much or any money on their taxes now as a result. But those who didn’t have tax withheld from their jobless benefits may now have a tax debt on their hands.

About 60% of all unemployment benefits paid in 2021 were not subject to upfront taxes, reports Andrew Stettner to CNBC. Stettner is an unemployment expert at progressive think tank The Century Foundation who analyzed U.S. Department of the Treasury data to come up with that percentage. Because most unemployment recipients opted not to have tax withheld, now’s the time they’re on the hook for that money.

Now this doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll owe the IRS money if you collected unemployment benefits last year but didn’t pay taxes on them. You may have enough tax credits and deductions to offset that liability, in which case you won’t have to send the IRS a check. But if you’re left with a deficit after accounting for your various tax breaks, then you may end up having to pay the IRS some amount of money.

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What to do if you can’t pay your tax bill

If you collected unemployment in 2021 and didn’t have your benefits taxed, you may now owe the IRS a lump sum. But don’t panic if you can’t pay it at once.

If you’re unable to pay the IRS the full amount you owe by April 18, which is this year’s tax-filing deadline, pay as much as you can immediately to avoid accruing interest and penalties. Then, contact the IRS to get on an installment agreement to pay off the rest of your tax bill.

The IRS commonly works with filers who are unable to pay their tax debts in full. And as long as you stick to the terms of your installment plan, you shouldn’t face any harsh consequences, like having your wages garnished.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.Maurie Backman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Progressive. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/collected-unemployment-2021-large-tax-bill

“Consumer inflation at highest level since 1981 | REACTION”

‘Attention, Kmart shoppers’… Just 3 Kmarts left in US after store closes

local21news.com

DAVID PORTER | The Associated Press

AVENEL, N.J. (AP) — The familiar sights and sounds are still there: the scuffed and faded floor tiles, the relentless beige-on-beige color scheme, the toddlers’ clothes and refrigerators and pretty much everything in between.

There’s even a canned recording that begins, “Attention, Kmart shoppers” — except it’s to remind folks about COVID-19 precautions, not to alert them to a flash sale over in ladies’ lingerie-like days of old.

Many of the shelves are bare, though, at the Kmart in Avenel, New Jersey, picked over by bargain hunters as the store prepares to close its doors for good April 16.

While many shelves are empty, furniture and fixtures are on still on sale at the Kmart in Avenel, N.J., Monday, April 4, 2022. When the Kmart in Avenel closes its doors on April 16, it will leave only three remaining U.S. locations for the former retail powerhouse. It’s a far cry from the chain’s heyday in the 1980s and ‘90s when it had more than 2,000 stores and sold product lines endorsed by Martha Stewart and former “Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Once it shutters, the number of Kmarts in the U.S. — once well over 2,000 — will be down to three in the continental U.S. and a handful of stores elsewhere, according to multiple reports, in a retail world now dominated by Walmart, Target and Amazon.

The demise of the store in the middle-class suburb, 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of New York City, is the tale of the death of the discount department store writ small.

You’re always thinking about it because stores are closing all over, but it’s still sad,” said cashier Michelle Yavorsky, who said she has worked at the Avenel store for 2 1/2 years. “I’ll miss the place. A lot of people shopped here.”

People shop the half-empty shelves of the Kmart in Avenel, N.J., Monday, April 4, 2022. When the store closes its doors on April 16, it will leave only three remaining U.S. locations for the former retail powerhouse. It’s a far cry from the chain’s heyday in the 1980s and ‘90s when it had more than 2,000 stores and sold product lines endorsed by Martha Stewart and former “Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

In its heyday, Kmart sold product lines endorsed by celebrities Martha Stewart and Jaclyn Smith, sponsored NASCAR auto races and was mentioned in movies including “Rain Man” and “Beetlejuice.” It was name-dropped in songs by artists from Eminem to the Beastie Boys to Hall & Oates; in 2003, Eminem bought a 29-room, suburban Detroit mansion once owned by former Kmart chairman Chuck Conaway.

The chain cemented a place in American culture with its Blue Light Specials, a flashing blue orb affixed to a pole that would beckon shoppers to a flash sale in progress. Part of its success was due to its early adoption of layaway programs, which allowed customers who lacked credit to reserve items and pay for them in installments.

For a time, Kmart had a little bit of everything: You could shop for your kids’ back-to-school supplies, get your car tuned up and grab a meal without leaving the premises.

Kmart was part of America,” said Michael Lisicky, a Baltimore-based author who has written several books on U.S. retail history. “Everybody went to Kmart, whether you liked it or not. They had everything. You had toys. You had sporting goods. You had candy. You had stationery. It was something for everybody. This was almost as much of a social visit as it was a shopping visit. You could spend hours here. And these just dotted the American landscape over the years.”

Kmart’s decline has been slow but steady, brought about by years of falling sales, changes in shopping habits and the looming shadow of Walmart, which coincidentally began its life within months of Kmart’s founding in 1962.

Struggling to compete with Walmart’s low prices and Target’s trendier offerings, Kmart filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early 2002 — becoming the largest U.S. retailer to take that step — and announced it would close more than 250 stores.

People walk into a Kmart in Avenel, N.J., Monday, April 4, 2022. When the New Jersey store closes its doors on April 16, it will leave only three remaining U.S. locations for the former retail powerhouse. It’s a far cry from the chain’s heyday in the 1980s and ‘90s when it had more than 2,000 stores and sold product lines endorsed by Martha Stewart and former “Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

A few years later, hedge fund executive Edward Lampert combined Sears and Kmart and pledged to return them to their former greatness, but the recession and the rising dominance of Amazon contributed in derailing those goals. Sears filed for Chapter 11 in 2018 and currently has a handful of stores left in the U.S. where it once had thousands.

Kmarts continue to operate in Westwood, New Jersey; Bridgehampton, on New York’s Long Island, and Miami.

It didn’t have to end this way, according to Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia University in New York and former CEO of Sears Canada. Trying to compete with Walmart on price was a foolish strategy, he said, and Lampert was criticized for not having a retail background and appearing more interested in stripping off the assets of the two chains for their cash value.

It’s a study in greed, avarice and incompetence,” Cohen said. “Sears should have never gone away; Kmart was in worse shape, but not fatally so. And now they’re both gone. Retailers fall by the wayside sometimes because they’re selling things people don’t want to buy. In the case of Kmart, everything they used to sell, people are buying but they’re buying it from Walmart and Target.”

Mannequins are among the display items and fixtures for sale at the Kmart in Avenel, N.J., Monday, April 4, 2022. When the New Jersey store closes its doors on April 16, it will leave only three remaining U.S. locations for the former retail powerhouse. It’s a far cry from the chain’s heyday in the 1980s and ‘90s when it had more than 2,000 stores and sold product lines endorsed by Martha Stewart and former “Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Transformco, which owns Kmart and Sears, did not respond to an email seeking comment and a phone number listed for the company was not taking messages.

Nationwide, some former Kmarts remain vacant while others have been replaced by other big-box stores, fitness centers, self-storage facilities, even churches. One former site in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is now a popular dine-in movie theater.

Employees at the Kmart in Avenel found out last month that the store would close.

Unlike 20 years ago, when news of impending Kmart closures around the country prompted an outpouring of support from loyal shoppers and a Detroit radio station even mounted a campaign to try and save a local store, the closing of the Avenel location was met mostly with an air of resignation.

“It’s maybe a little nostalgic because I’ve lived my whole life in this area, but it’s just another retail store closing,” said Jim Schaber, a resident of nearby Iselin who said his brother worked in the shoe department at Kmart for years. “It’s just another sign of people doing online shopping and not going out to the retail stores.”

The closing packed a little more of an emotional punch for Mike Jerdonek, a truck driver who recalled shopping at Kmart in Brooklyn and Queens in his younger days.

“It’s like history passing right in front of our eyes,” he said as he sat in his car outside the Avenel store. “When I was younger I didn’t have any money, so it was a good place to shop because the prices were cheap. And to see it gone right now, it’s kind of sad.”

https://local21news.com/news/nation-world/attention-kmart-shoppers-just-3-kmarts-left-in-us-after-store-closes-big-box-store-bankruptcy-circuit-city-blockbuster-walmart-target-amazon-avenel-new-jersey-store-closing

“GOP Senator Attacks Biden Oil Policy As ‘Incompetent'”

“Rep. Steve Scalise slams Biden, Pelosi for shutting down oil production”

“THREE Words Used At The World Government Summit That Should ALARM Everyone”

Biden: Buy an Electric Car, Save $80 Per Month — It’ll Take 63 Years for the Savings to Pay for the Car

truthpress.news

ByTruth Press Published 15 hours ago

On Thursday, President Joe Biden told Americans he was going to be “honest” with us and assured us that we would save $80 a month if only we bought a new electric car.

Oddly, he somehow forgot to mention how long it would take to pay off that car to get to the point where that “savings” would finally kick in.

Speaking from the South Court Auditorium at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., Biden gushed about the technology of the “next generation of electric vehicles” and claimed that they would be a boon for Americans.

Under his “plan,” Biden crowed,”a typical driver will save about $80 a month from not having to pay gas at the pump.”

What a wonderful savings. That is a whole $960 a year. But there is a big problem with realizing this fantastic savings Biden has “planned” for us.

One has to buy and pay off a new car before any “savings” it might offer can be realized.

According to NBC News, the average purchase price of an electric vehicle in February of this year was $60,054.

But, according to the New York Post, it was even higher.

Citing Kelly Blue Book, the Post reported that “the average price of a new electric vehicle in February was $64,685.” (NBC cited data from “Edmonds,” but we think they meant Edmunds.)

That is a huge hike over the average prices that everyday Americans are paying for cars today, the Post said, adding that the cost of an electric car is “nearly 2.5 times the average price of a new compact car ($26,196), almost twice the average cost of a new compact SUV ($33,732), and 52% more expensive than the average sports car ($42,555).”

Also, just going by Biden’s “savings,” if you spent at least $60,000 on your electric car, your $960 annual savings would take 62 years, six months, and two weeks to get to the break-even point on the price of that car.

The inconvenience of charging an electric vehicle was also ignored Biden’s “savings” calculation. A depleted battery will leave you searching for a charging stations that are not only much fewer in number than gas stations, but also leave you at the mercy of charging speeds that could mean hours of waiting until you are back on the road.

Then we have to figure in the geopolitical costs. EVs are manufactured using many of the rare earth elements that come from China. Greater manufacturing and use of EVs necessarily enriches China, the most oppressive nation on earth.

There is also the dirty secret that neither Biden, nor any other greenie Democrat wants to talk about: Pervasive use of EVs means not only higher taxes, but brand new taxes imposed on many of us.

Drivers pay a per-gallon gasoline tax to pay for the roads. If fewer people are buying gas and paying that tax, government will look for new revenue sources.

One proposal has that revenue coming from a mileage tax. And with a tax like that, we are giving the government a brand new way to tax us — not to mention track us with the government-owned devices installed in our cars to tally the miles we drive.

Finally, it will also be a blow to the used car market.

The EV industry says that EV battery packs — which cost between $5,000 and $20,000 to replace — last between five and 20 years. Who would want to spend $15,000 to $20,000 on a used EV only to expect to have a $20,000 battery replacement repair bill looming over your head?

It just wouldn’t be worth buying a used EV, and that is yet another stealth cost on American consumers who will be forced to keep buying new cars instead of paying one-third the cost for a reliable used car.

No wonder GM has committed to phasing out gas-powered cars and going to exclusively zero-emissions vehicles by 2035.

With all these factors added into the reckoning of buying an electric vehicle, Joe Biden’s $80 monthly savings easily gets lost in the shuffle — like most things do over the course of 63 years.

https://truthpress.news/news/biden-buy-an-electric-car-save-80-per-month-itll-take-63-years-for-the-savings-to-pay-for-the-car/

There’s an oil supply ‘100 times bigger’ than US reserve: Oil exec

“Biden’s Goons Took BILLIONS From Border Wall and Spent It On THIS Instead!”

“Americans aren’t buying Biden’s ‘BS,’ GOP lawmakers slam president”

“‘Just A Band-Aid On A Bullet Hole’: Barrasso Hammers Dems Who Proposes Federal Gas Tax Holiday”

Not Good….

“Marjorie Taylor Greene Gets Up And HUMILIATES AOC, Gets A Standing Ovation”

“West Virginia files lawsuit against Biden Administration and EPA | Attorney General Patrick Morrisey”

“Police give warning about gas thieves as oil prices rise l GMA”

Biden’s gas tax gaslighting

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Biden’s gas tax gaslighting

March 16, 2022 07:00 AM

By Charlie Sauer

When gas prices climbed rapidly, the Biden administration blamed the oil companies and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

What the administration and Democrats in Congress cannot admit, at least not without pain at election time, is that it was their explicit intent to reduce domestic oil and gas production, and record-high gasoline prices have not altered that strategy. Democrats believe that higher gas prices will nudge people to buy electric cars and solar panels for their houses and drive less, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Some of that has indeed happened, but those who cannot afford a Tesla or rooftop solar panels are stuck paying more.

One part of the administration’s plan to make oil and gas more scarce has been to put a moratorium on oil leases in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, which the courts recently ruled was illegal. Drilling permits on public lands in the rest of the country have plunged in recent months, and in January, the Bureau of Land Management approved just 95 new permits, over 50% lower than a year ago.

The administration is boxed in on its energy agenda to some degree, as it remains beholden to a liberal Democratic Congress to pass legislation. The last congressional hearing dealing with energy prices and domestic exploration culminated in high-ranking Democrats asking U.S. energy companies to pledge to lower oil production.

The white-hot economy has come roaring back from the COVID-19-induced recession, and inflation has crept into the system. High gasoline prices are just one manifestation of this inflation, and it has responded by blaming businesses for price gouging, oil companies for deliberately underproducing, and Putin for creating the geopolitical crisis that accelerated the rise in oil prices.

While it’s true that the U.S. embargo on Russian oil raised prices, the reflexive antipathy toward private businesses is well off the mark. For starters, oil prices are set in a global market, and no producer has any ability to affect prices. Accusing them of price gouging is a rhetorical dog whistle for the party’s collectivist core.

What’s more, the White House’s accusations that oil producers don’t want to produce and that there are leased lands not being developed are nonsensical. The proportion of leases that are active is approaching all-time highs, which makes sense given current prices. Then there’s the tired leased land talking point — it takes time to explore land, conduct an environmental analysis, determine if it has oil and where it is, procure scarce equipment, workers, and resources needed to start production, and determine whether the project will be profitable for shareholders. There also happens to be thousands of existing leases frozen in litigation. None of the administration’s proposals solve the problem of high gas prices, but they do make the problem harder to solve.

The administration’s response to the oil shortage, begging OPEC and Venezuela to produce more and taking steps to allow Iran to rejoin the world economy, comes with significant long-term geopolitical commitments with entities that aren’t exactly our friends and may lead to larger problems down the road.

We need to support our domestic energy sector. There’s no reason we can’t simultaneously encourage research in ways to improve renewable energy and fuel efficiency as well as methods to produce and transport oil in a more sustainable way.

Charles Sauer ( @CharlesSauer ) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. He is the president of the Market Institute and previously worked on Capitol Hill, for a governor, and for an academic think tank.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/restoring-america/faith-freedom-self-reliance/bidens-gas-tax-gaslighting

Climate Change Is Not An ‘Existential Threat’

www.washingtonexaminer.com

Washington Examiner

David Simon

The Biden administration’s climate change policies have sharply increased oil prices, damaging the domestic economy and increasing the cost of nearly everything consumers buy. By increasing revenues for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime, they also made Russia stronger and more dangerous at a critical time, thus damaging national security. It is worth noting that Russia’s invasions of Georgia in 2008, Ukraine in 2014, and Ukraine again this year each happened after an oil price spike.

But worst of all, the Biden administration’s basis for these policies, the claim that global warming presents an “existential threat,” is fraudulent. It is not based on any scientific consensus, and in fact, it ignores evidence of environmental benefits of global warming that offset its harm.

Gas prices soar as US crude rises to highest levels since 2008

Studies published in May 2015, July 2021, and August 2021 analyzed millions of deaths in numerous countries over recent decades and found that cooler temperatures kill several times more people than warmer temperatures. “Global warming,” environmental statistician Bjørn Lomborg wrote in September 2021, “now prevents more than 166,000 temperature-related fatalities annually.”

Matt Ridley’s February 2022 essay explained that global warming has increased both agricultural yields and growth of forests, grasslands, and tree leaves.

The facts regarding natural disasters also do not support the “existential threat” claim. The number of hurricanes per year, a 2021 EPA report shows, has not increased since the late 19th century. Moreover, although you wouldn’t know it from the panicky, sensationalized news coverage, the total acreage burnt by forest fires annually has decreased, and most rivers flood less today than they used to.

Since 1920, Earth’s average temperature has risen by 1.12 degrees and the world population has quadrupled from less than two billion to almost eight billion. Even so, the number of people killed each year by natural disasters has declined by about 90%. That statistic, more than any other, puts the lie to claims of an existential crisis due to climate.

There is also the global air pollution death rate, which has declined by about 45% over the last three decades. Again, no “existential threat” here.

Climate change comes with trade-offs — this is not a new idea. 

A group of eminent scientists, including Richard Lindzen of MIT and William Happer of Princeton, wrote in 2017 that “observations [over the last] 25 years, show that warming from increased atmospheric CO2 will be benign.”

Biden administration climate change policies are sensationalizing the threats while ignoring all the benefits. They rely on speculative “models” that supposedly project global temperatures and predict disasters. But these models are highly unreliable. In Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters, Obama Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science Steven Koonin shows that these models are unable even to reproduce the temperature changes of the 20th century.

The Biden administration’s campaign against U.S. oil production and pipelines is not just harmful — it is an environmental fraud. Now more than ever, with both a hot war in Europe and spiking energy prices wreaking economic havoc, it is vital to change our attitude and our policies toward this issue.

David M. Simon is a senior fellow at the Committee to Unleash Prosperity and a lawyer in Chicago.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/climate-change-is-not-an-existential-threat

Former Obama economic adviser predicts stagflation, ‘major’ recession if Fed continues current policies

Brandon Gillespie

Former Obama economic adviser Larry Summers offered a grim outlook for the U.S. economy this week, predicting stagflation and a “major” recession if the Federal Reserve continues on its current policy trajectory. 

In a Tuesday op-ed for The Washington Post, Summers argued the Fed was operating within an “inappropriate and dangerous framework” when it came to addressing the inflation crisis and needed to take stronger action to address it lest the economy face far greater hurdles over the next few years.

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“I believe the Fed has not internalized the magnitude of its errors over the past year, is operating with an inappropriate and dangerous framework, and needs to take far stronger action to support price stability than appears likely,” Summers wrote.

“The Fed’s current policy trajectory is likely to lead to stagflation, with average unemployment and inflation both averaging over 5 percent over the next few years — and ultimately to a major recession,” he added.

Summers argued, citing research he conducted with a colleague at Harvard University, that overheating conditions of high inflation and low unemployment, both currently facing the U.S., are usually followed by a recession. 

He noted various errors he felt the Fed had made over the past year when addressing inflation, including predicting it would remain in the 2 percent range and be transitory, and continuing to buy mortgage-backed securities despite house prices increasing more than 20 percent. 

“No explanation has been offered for these rather momentous errors. Nor is there any suggestion that the Fed forecasting procedures or the personnel that produced them will change,” Summers wrote. “Indeed, the most important change in the March Monetary Policy Report to Congress was in the wrong direction — the removal of the discussion of the various monetary policy rules that had suggested policy was dangerously loose.”

“So there is little basis for confidence in the Fed’s assessment of inflation risks,” he added.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 24:  Former Treasury Secretary and White House Economic Advisor Larry Summers is interviewed by FOX News' Maria Bartiromo at FOX Studios on May 24, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 24:  Former Treasury Secretary and White House Economic Advisor Larry Summers is interviewed by FOX News’ Maria Bartiromo at FOX Studios on May 24, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

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Summers noted that the country was now facing new inflationary pressures in the form of high energy prices, the ongoing war in Ukraine, and potential supply-chain disruptions due to coronavirus lockdowns in China

“It would not be surprising if these factors added three percentage points to inflation in 2022. And with price increases outstripping wage increases, a wage-price spiral is a major risk,” he wrote. 

Summers called on the Fed to return to its framework of addressing inflation before it materializes and emphasized that price stability is “essential for sustained maximum employment.”

He argued that substantial increases in interest rates and temporary increases in unemployment were the only reliable ways to make progress against inflation increases.  

“Central to success in fighting inflation is establishing credibility that a new paradigm is in place. Recognizing failed strategies, and then abandoning them, is the first step,” Summers wrote. 

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 22:  The Federal Reserve building is seen January 22, 2008 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – JANUARY 22:  The Federal Reserve building is seen January 22, 2008 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“I hope the Fed will make clear that inflation reduction is its principal objective, and that it will wind down efforts to promote worthy but nonmonetary goals such as social justice and environmental protection,” he added. 

“To avoid stagflation and the associated loss of public confidence in our country now, the Fed has to do more than merely to adjust its policy dials — it will have to head in a dramatically different direction,” he wrote.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/former-obama-economic-advisor-stagflation-major-recession-fed-current-policies#

“Sen. Daines slams Democrats’ dangerous following of climate ‘wokeness’ amid US energy crisis”

Joe did that… Not Putin