After Touting “Tax Cut” Through Lower Gas Prices, Trump Announces Cut In Oil Production That Could Raise Prices Significantly

Is Trump telling us our taxes are going up in the middle of a pandemic?


618
618 points

There are times when Donald Trump paints himself into a corner with his very own words — the way he’ll describe a situation automatically creates an opposite description for an opposite situation, and he can’t stand it when his own words come back to haunt him.

For example, at numerous press briefings and in public statements now, the President has described the escalating price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia as being good for Americans, in that it would benefit us in gas prices at the pump. The more oil each country produces, the more the market is flooded, and the lower the price of a barrel of oil goes. Lower oil prices mean lower gas prices.

Trump has continuously described this as a “tax cut” for Americans. It’s a silly semantic thing to do, but Republicans have been all about phrasing for 40 years, so it should come as no surprise. They paint taxes as evil, and tax cuts as a thing everyone should want all the time for everyone who should get one. That, of course, would starve American revenue, but that factor is almost beside the point, since lower prices on a commodity aren’t actually a tax cut.

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The problem is, he’s already framed it as one.

Today, Trump tweeted that he had spoken to his “friend” Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia (you know, the guy who murdered a Washington Post journalist in a Turkish embassy a while back), who had subsequently spoken to Vladimir Putin of Russia, indicating that he expected them to come to an agreement:

The all-caps and the exclamation point indicate to the reader that they’re supposed to be happy about this — but the messaging fails on two points.

Number one, why would Americans care about the economic health of the oil & gas industry? We can’t pay our rent and the government is sending us almost nothing that we won’t get for months anyway, and we’re worried about groceries, paying for health care (since anyone with insurance through their jobs is pretty much screwed with 10 million unemployment claims in two weeks), and struggling to homeschool our kids.

Frankly, most couldn’t care less about the oil & gas industry, but Trump followed that one up with a second all-caps, “I promise you’re happy about this” tweet.

This brings us to the next point: Lower production of oil is the opposite of what Trump said was leading to a “tax cut” for Americans. It will lead to higher prices, which, under Trump’s logic, is a tax increase:

Trump really should get his messaging straight.

Featured image via screen capture

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618 points

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