In 1974 when Vice President Gerald Ford succeeded to the presidency after Richard Nixon resigned, the country was in a bad economic crisis. The Arab oil shocks of 1973 led to a 300% increase in the price of oil, which translated into inflation of more than 12%.
President Ford was presented with a plan that looked great on paper — at least politically. “Whip Inflation Now,” or the WIN program, was some GOP PR guy’s idea of how to address high prices. WIN encouraged personal savings and disciplined spending habits in combination with public measures, like raising interest rates.
In about a month, it became a Washington joke — the most spectacularly unsuccessful PR plan in White House history.
Ford failed because of his attempt to frame inflation as a public relations problem rather than a complex interconnected problem of economics and psychology. It was easy to mock some of the suggestions that were sent in after Ford asked for input from the general public — carpooling, starting vegetable gardens, etc.
Now, Joe Biden wants to begin another PR experiment when he claims tonight that fighting climate change will lower the inflation rate and, as an extra added bonus, put $500 in the pockets of middle-class American families.
President Joe Biden will call on Congress to revive stalled climate legislation in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, pitching a package of tax credits and climate spending as a way to battle inflation and save the average American family $500 per year.
The renewed push comes as Biden’s approval ratings have dropped precipitously, with voters increasingly frustrated by soaring inflation, driven in part by higher energy prices.
Biden is not expected to explicitly lay out an alternative legislative vision, according a senior administration official who requested anonymity to discuss the preparations. Instead, he’ll describe fighting climate change as integral to boosting middle class finances.
Allahpundit was kind enough to supply the knockout punch to this bit of nonsense.
Let’s walk through that logic, shall we? The climate-change package will cost trillions of dollars in off-budget spending, requiring more expansion of the monetary supply to cover both the principal and the interest that will stretch into perpetuity. It will also mean that Biden will keep his restrictions on oil leases and opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, which will continue to force prices upward in the US and abroad. Not only does that help Vladimir Putin and Ali Khameini fund their military/terror aggressions, it means inflation will continue to tick up in the US too.
Consumers know that Biden could choose to incentivize more oil production in the US and make better use of Canada’s surplus. He’s choosing instead to double down on the progressive agenda, even when that enriches our geopolitical foes and impoverishes working-class Americans. To the extent anyone pays attention to the speech tonight, Biden’s choice will come through loud and clear.
Joe Biden oftentimes looks uncomfortable in his job as woke chief executive. He’s not the brightest bulb in the room, but he’s smart enough to know that climate change legislation isn’t going to enrich anyone and that it’s only going to lead to higher prices. Biden was a young senator during the Whip Inflation Now campaign and knows the perils of framing an issue like inflation as something that it isn’t.
But with the Democratic agenda stuck in neutral and all the energy drained out of the party, Biden’s only move will be to play to the rabid, frothing fanatics in the Democratic Party base. Perhaps if he can reenergize the radicals, it will be enough to avoid an electoral slaughter in November.