Biden’s Vague Claims On Jobs, Gasoline went too far Thursday in taking credit for job creation since taking office, waxing lyrical that government policies can make a difference in shoring up the economy.
Further, he made the shaky claim that increasing gasoline prices result from malfeasance, which his administration will strive to fix. However, analysts assert that there is minimal evidence that this is the scenario.
An assessment of his claims and fact check reveals the following:
Biden claimed that when he was sworn in as President, the country was in the grip of the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression. Job growth was dismal in the three months preceding his inauguration, with just over 60,000 new jobs added each month.
After that, his administration immediately went to work. In March, the United States Congress passed the American Rescue Plan. It worked, and it continues to work. Biden claims that the US has added an average of 750,000 jobs each month during the last three months.
Biden’s Vague Claims On Jobs, Gasoline, and the US Economy
Since his inauguration, the robust hiring has chiefly reflected the US economy’s reopening following a massive winter surge of coronavirus infections that peaked in January. Widespread vaccinations, which exceeded three million per day in the spring, were critical in reopening and resuming hiring in restaurants, bars, and entertainment facilities. Airlines and hotels were both booked to capacity.
Biden’s $1.9 trillion financial bailout package, which Congress approved in March, was critical. By extending the third wave of stimulus checks and extending an enhanced jobless compensation program until the first week of September, Biden’s plan boosted spending and the economy by putting additional money in Americans’ pockets.
However, hiring slowed significantly in August, to a gain of just 235,000 jobs, as the delta variant increased case counts, highlighting the virus’s continued effect on the economy.
FACT CHECK: Biden is unduly taking more credit for his plan than it deserves.
Biden’s Vague Claims On Jobs, Gasoline Prices
Further, BIDEN claims that he will pursue bad actors and pandemic profiteers within the US economy. And there is solid evidence that gas prices should be falling but have not, and as a consequence, his administration is closely monitoring the situation.
Indeed, gasoline prices often decline around Labor Day, following the summer driving season’s peak. While that has not yet occurred this year, analysts believe that other factors besides malfeasance are at play.
For example, gasoline and oil prices in the United States have been impacted by a hurricane that shut down most Gulf of Mexico oil production, large refineries, and a critical fuel pipeline to the East Coast.
According to the car club AAA, the national average price of a gallon of gasoline is $3.19. This is unchanged from a month ago but is up a dollar from a year ago at this time.
Gasoline prices are typically correlated with oil prices, and the price of benchmark US crude is back near its early-July highs after a decline in August.
FACT CHECK: As Biden implies, there is limited evidence that something sinister is driving up gasoline prices.
Experts in the Energy Industry
Phil Flynn, an energy expert at the Price Futures Group and a critic of Biden’s energy policy, said prices reflect stronger-than-expected demand following the pandemic and weaker US oil production, exacerbated by events such as the hurricane.
“I see no instances of profiteering or bad actors,” Flynn stated.
Jeffery Born, an energy markets specialist at Northeastern University, said current gasoline prices are partly a result of Hurricane Ida’s destruction of production and refining capacity, as well as other factors – including a driver shortage.
“In a nutshell, I believe we are seeing supply chain issues,” Born explained. “I’m sure Joe — and you and I — want prices to drop. Plus, I’d like to lose twenty pounds tomorrow.”
Tom Kloza, a chief analyst for the research firm Oil Price Information Service, said Hurricane Ida’s aftereffects on production and refining are causing summer-like prices to “linger longer,” particularly east of the Rockies. He predicted that pump prices would eventually fall in Western, Southwest, and Rocky Mountain states.
According to energy expert Philip Verleger, gasoline prices are being propped up[ by the United States’ independent producers and OPEC members restricting their oil production, the cost of blending ethanol into gasoline, and reduced gasoline stocks.
There are already hints that retail gasoline prices have peaked, with the Energy Information Administration indicating last week that prices will likely fall in the coming months. It predicted that prices would average $3.14 a gallon in September before falling to $2.91 in the final three months of the year, as driving declines in the winter and refining operations reopen following hurricane damage.
Biden joins a long line of presidents who have expressed their dissatisfaction with skyrocketing gasoline prices. In 2019, then-President Donald Trump took a swipe at OPEC, the cartel of oil producers led by Saudi Arabia.
Trump tweeted, “Oil prices are becoming far too high.” “OPEC, please relax and take it easy. The world cannot take a price hike-fragile! “
Biden took a similar stance last month, urging OPEC members to boost oil output when fear was growing that increased energy prices might hamper the US economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Production cuts taken during the pandemic should be restored as the global economy recovers to bring down consumer prices,” Biden stated at the time.