Democrats seem to be embracing a bold new strategy for the next couple of elections.
They want to expand their base beyond voters who don’t think they’re paying enough for gasoline to those who think the interest rates on their credit cards are too low.
To most people, politics is an annoyance and politicians are like mosquitos. Usually you can ignore it and them, and that works well until you can’t. We have our lives to live, families to raise, jobs to do, lawns to mow and vacations to take.
The latest political debacle tends to merge with the last, and endless accusations and recriminations become just background noise.
Yes, it is our obligation in a democracy to pay attention, just as it is our responsibility to get to the dentist a couple of times a year. But as with that extra visit to the dentist that you didn’t schedule, there are limits to what civic virtue requires. The win for many is sufficient political participation, without unduly encouraging the mosquitos.
Until the price of gas doubles. Then doubles again. And that 70’s Show seems to be underway. And that will change things. It certainly did in 1979-80.
Sure, we’ve had price spikes since then, but this will be different. This won’t be the result of market forces, supply and demand. Many in our government think the best thing for us is to pay more for gasoline. Some have spoken, indiscreetly, about the need to break our will to drive cars.
Locally, our governor, who was initially elected in 2014 at least in part on a platform of stopping automatic gasoline taxes, is now planning his own series of automatic gasoline tax increases, without a vote by either the legislature or the people.
Many of us are opposed to this, to state the obvious. It will cost us billions of dollars, which in all likelihood will be spent foolishly, and it will have zero impact on “global warming,” or whatever the climate cultists are calling their obsession this season.
When the Red Sox need more pitching, the thing to do is to get more pitching. If they needed more pitching but raised ticket prices, they would still need more, and better, pitchers. When the thing to do is fight climate change, then the thing to do is fight climate change.
Instead, the politicians just want to raise gasoline prices, which would leave fighting climate change still to do.
Higher gas prices will help those who have nostalgia for the 1970’s, particularly the misery index and the stagflation that the rest of us don’t miss.
May you live in interesting times is an ancient curse, as will be superabundant inflation. We live in such times. And they will feature those running the government ramping up both gas prices and inflation, then running on their economic record.
It’s a bold strategy. Let’s see if it pays off for ‘em. It didn’t for James Earl Carter, Jr.