GOP claims on gas prices, economy running on empty | Ray E. Landis
A recent trip to visit my family took me to some of our neighboring states that either have primary elections coming up or have recently held them. Scattered along the roads were billboards for Republican candidates with a common theme – our economy is a wreck, and it’s all the fault of President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party.
Similar outdoor posts can be found in central Pennsylvania. Drive from York to Harrisburg and you’ll see an ad that says “Biden Economics – Six Dollars a Gallon of Gas and Empty Shelves” which then asks you to get off at the next exit and visit Maple Donuts, although it doesn’t mention how much the donuts cost or if the pastry trays are full.
Pennsylvania hasn’t seen gasoline prices at $6 a gallon, the selection in our retail stores looks gluttonous to many around the world, and unemployment remains at historic lows, but Republicans are determined to blame pandemic-induced inflation and supply shortages on the Biden administration’s policies in the GOP’s quest to take power in the midterm elections this fall.
Republicans certainly give Biden’s policies a lot of credit. Their claim is that in less than 18 months, the changes instituted by the new administration are solely responsible for dramatic changes in the US economy and society at large.
But those who try to blame Joe Biden for the price hike are ignoring a fundamental fact. It takes a lot longer to fix something than to break it in the first place. And the Biden administration took office after four years of the former occupant of the President’s Oval Office smashing everything he got his hands on.
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Much of the recent news about former President Donald Trump has focused on hearings held by the House of Representatives Jan. 6 committee on his desperate attempts to stage a coup against American democracy. While essential to establishing Trump’s criminal culpability, these hearings do not discuss how his administration’s policies have left the United States in a very difficult mess to clean up.
Fox “News” viewers may have forgotten that by the end of 2020, a pandemic had swept across the United States that would eventually kill over a million Americans and has yet to fully wane. The pandemic, which nearly claimed Trump himself, was initially dismissed by Republicans, who then spent months undermining attempts to bring it under control.
As the economy finally began to recover from the impact of the pandemic, Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, shaking up global energy markets. Why would Putin commit such a brutal act of aggression? It seems that the war in Ukraine was Russia’s plan B. Plan A ended with Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election, as a new president meant that the United States would no longer be on track to sabotage its allies in Western Europe and ultimately end the alliance of NATO.
The combination of the continued impact of the pandemic and Putin’s war crimes has resulted in an economic downturn not just in the United States, but around the world. Trump and his apologists, who unleashed this double whammy, say they have solutions.
But their “solutions” consist of little more than brutalizing the environment, making the rich richer, and appeasing a brutal dictator.
Meanwhile, Trump recently said the United States is “going to hell” and has become “a very dangerous place.” The crime facts don’t support that, but Trump might be onto something with that claim.
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Aggression and hostility seem to be more prevalent in the United States than ever before. Road rage and the use of firearms to threaten and intimidate others are common occurrences. Officials lie without batting an eyelid, and when confronted with evidence that they have lied, double down and lie again. Any type of apology is increasingly seen by many as a weakness of character.
When Trump talks about the country ‘going to hell’, there should be a big video screen with his image staring at him, because that’s the closest he can get to looking in the mirror to find the cause of his complaints. . His public persona encourages bad behavior and his followers answered his call, not only on January 6, 2021, but in their daily lives.
The United States must be a forward-looking country. But we must also learn from history. As we move forward and continue our recovery from 2017-21, we must remember the embarrassment and shame the nation has experienced in those four years and swear and vote that it won’t happen again.