Do Americans Suddenly Want to Pay More for Gas? | National Review

Do Americans Suddenly Want to Pay More for Gas? | National Review


Current gas prices are shown as they continue to rise in Carlsbad, Calif., March 7, 2022.
(Mike Blake/Reuters)

The Biden administration is telling itself a comforting story that Americans suddenly want to pay higher gasoline prices. I hear America responding in Bugs Bunny’s voice: He don’t know me very well, do he?

Yes, there is a poll suggesting that Americans are in line with Stephen Colbert, who wants to pay $15 a gallon for gasoline to punish Vladimir Putin. But the same poll also says America wants to start World War III. As always, polling continues to be of limited utility when deciding complex questions that require actual knowledge of, and proper weighing of, the implied costs and benefits.

Some 74 percent of Americans said they supported the idea of the U.S. working with NATO to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine. Putin has said this would be an act of war, Joe Biden has said this would be an act of war, and it would be an act of war. We would be at war. With Russia. Americans would start coming home in body bags. As Reuters dryly put it:

It was not clear if respondents who supported a no-fly zone were fully aware of the risk of conflict, and majorities opposed the idea of sending American troops to Ukraine or conducting air strikes to support the Ukrainian army.

Indeed. Polls continue to reveal that people want things that are not possible. You can’t establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine without getting into the war, just as you can’t have both more spending (yay services!) and less spending (boo taxes!)

As for the indication in the poll suggesting that 62 percent of Americans are willing to pay more for gas because it’s now a sort of patriotic duty to punish Putin by ending Russian fuel imports, it must have been warmly received in the White House. By cutting off imports from Russia, it becomes possible for Jen Psaki to pin a year of spiking gas prices on an enemy dictator. But once Americans realize that cutting off Russian oil imports is not going to deter Putin, they’ll get annoyed with gasoline prices again soon enough. They’ll also remember that Biden did many things to cut back on domestic fuel production, and that prices rose accordingly.





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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.