A Republican U.S. Senator is being called an “embarrassment to public service,” among other critiques, after suggesting the price of gas is so high many Americans would need to win the lottery to fill up their gas tanks – and blaming President Joe Biden instead of Big Oil and OPEC+.
“If many Americans won the lottery tomorrow, the first thing they would do is fill up their gas tank. I’m not sure that President Biden understands that,” Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana told reporters Wednesday.
AAA, which tracks the price of gas daily, says the national average for gas today is $3.514. That’s far from the highest recorded price of $4.114, which was nearly 14 years ago, in 2008.
Presidents don’t set gas prices and have little control over them.
Just like the price of tomatoes, beef, houses, clothes, and cable TV, presidents don’t control those costs in a free market capitalist democracy. Big Oil decides the price of gas, frequently claiming international political events and weather as reasons to raise it, while less dramatically lowering prices when disruptions or events return to normal.
“Increasing the global supply of crude oil would lower prices,” NPR notes. “But U.S. presidents don’t have a direct way to do this. American oil companies answer to shareholders and owners, not to the government.”
Sen. Kennedy likes to play “common man,” rarely mentioning his magna cum laude B.A. in political science, philosophy, and economics from Vanderbilt where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He rarely mentions his two law degrees – including one from Oxford. He rarely mentions his numerous published books and articles spanning topics including constitutional law and liability law. And he rarely mentions his reported $6.4 million net worth (as of 2019.)
Noted political scientist Norman Ornstein responded to Sen. Kennedy’s remarks by calling him “an embarrassment to public service.”
Some more responses:
— Bathsheba Dreams in Blue (@Inkling61) February 16, 2022
Kennedy has time to jump in front of TV cameras today but didn’t have time yesterday to vote for Fed nominees who can actually do something about inflation
And, yes, he’s on the Banking Committee https://t.co/trLtrWyC70
— Joe Sudbay (@JoeSudbay) February 16, 2022
If Senator Kennedy and his Republican colleagues actually cared about inflation they would’ve actually showed up to the vote to confirm Fed nominees yesterday whose jobs it is to combat it https://t.co/ngRrZLvHuQ https://t.co/aEixaYlEB2 pic.twitter.com/rKrWdiM1JP
— Zahir (@MZRasheed) February 16, 2022
They* will be so happy
* Oil companies pic.twitter.com/VN1LV6X6M4
— Legitimate.Political.Discourse.BOT (@Thereapper69) February 16, 2022
Since oil prices last peaked in 2014, US median income is up 25%. https://t.co/uQF0y3RtBd
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) February 16, 2022
— Ty Webb 🇺🇸 (@Ty___Webb) February 16, 2022
POTUS does not have control of prices on gas or anything else. Talk to the companies that are price gouging consumers.
— Blue Boomer🌊 ☮️2 Old 4 BS🐂💩 Boosted💉DogMom🐕 (@katspjz) February 16, 2022
He’s got to be the dumbest Senator right? https://t.co/RfKuSFwkd9
— Sir Bryan Lee (@FamousBL3) February 16, 2022
Did they cut off the part where john laid out his plan to fix the gas issue?
— The Mighty Fetta (@MightyFetta) February 16, 2022
Sen. Huckleberry Chucklefuck doesn’t seem to think anyone’s buying gas now. And he sure as hell doesn’t understand “many Americans” if he really believes this. They’d mostly get meth and humvees. https://t.co/rBQ0hwhf9L
— The Rude Pundit (@rudepundit) February 16, 2022
First thing I’d do is buy an electric vehicle!! And one for each of my children. Kennedy’s completely out of touch. https://t.co/iMshOiBinh
— Pati (@PatiKRoll11) February 16, 2022
Senator? Who sets gasoline prices?
Hint: Bone saws are expensive. https://t.co/tB2pUGoYfM
— William Schill🌊🌊🌊 (@williamjschill) February 16, 2022
I thought Huckabee was the worst at playing the country folk talt. Kennedy’s Ivy League education sure hampers his capacity for downhome folk wisdom humor. Clumsy, contrived and awkward. https://t.co/FbMTpaBt5m
— ⚖️ Stellaa (@stellaaaa) February 16, 2022
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