Thursday, August 18, 2011

Michele Bachmann is an idiot

To some of you, the headline of this post is obvious; to others, it's probably inflammatory. But it's not a statement of political ideology, it's a statement of fact. Because Michele Bachmann's latest political stunt is at best indicative of a poor understanding of global markets, at worst flagrantly and disarmingly misleading (which, incidentally, would probably make her a perfect President based on recent standards, but I digress). Either way, it's idiotic.
President Michele Bachmann has a promise: $2 gas.
"Under President Bachmann you will see gasoline come down below $2 a gallon again," Bachmann told a crowd Tuesday in South Carolina. "That will happen."...
It's certainly true that prices -- now about $3.50 a gallon on average -- have risen since President Obama took office.
"The day that the president became president gasoline was $1.79 a gallon," Bachmann said.
"Look what it is today."
Oh, for crying out loud...

The CNN article does go on to provide a counter-point to Bachmann, and it's a good thing--for those of you who have read me for a while, you'll know that this is ground that I've already covered once before. Have gas prices soared since President Obama took office in January 2009? Yes, they certainly have. But so too have stock prices, bond prices, corn prices, gold prices, and frankly prices of just about anything that happens to be denominated in dollars. But Bachmann doesn't want to tell you all of that--it would lessen the value of her sound bite.

The rising prices everywhere are indicative of loose monetary policy--something that the President has almost no control over--and an economic recovery (albeit a very weak one) that has brought prices of all goods back up from recessionary lows. You can't blame Obama for high gas prices unless you also credit him for rising stock prices (okay, not lately, but I digress), and I don't see folks lining up on the campaign trail to do that.

The fact is, Bachmann should be careful what she wishes for. Barring a sudden unforeseen shift in dollar policy, OPEC behavior, or consumer preferences for energy-efficient vehicles (all of which would be out of any President's direct control), the only thing that could bring us back to $2 gas is a dramatic collapse in global demand, say due to a(nother) economic recession. If gas gets back down to 2 bucks, it likely means that nobody can afford to buy gas any more at any price, and that they're selling their cars for scrap metal at the junkyard because they don't have jobs or money.

Michele Bachmann, you are a bold-faced liar. I'll never vote for you in a million years, and that's only in part because I think you're batshit nuts and that you probably hoard cats in your basement. I hope Ron Paul (more on him later) tears you a new one during campaign season--it shouldn't be hard.

[CNNMoney]
(h/t The Red Cowboy)

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