Larry Kudlow: Biden has chosen a radical climate agenda, rather than national energy security

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“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” You probably thought that was coined by President Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, but actually, it was first uttered by Winston Churchill. Churchill was referring to originating the U.N., which seemed like a good idea at the time, but not so much anymore. 

Emanuel was referring to a left-wing, big government agenda, which was a bad idea at the time and continues to be a bad idea today. 

In the midst of this energy crisis, with sky-rocketing oil and gasoline prices and just about every other energy price, Joe Biden has decided to choose a radical climate agenda, rather than national energy security. 

President Biden said yesterday, “My dear mother used to have an expression, ‘inside everything lousy, something good will happen if you look hard enough.’ We have a chance to make a fundamental turn toward renewable energy, electric vehicles… across the board.” 

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President Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 relief package in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, March 15, 2021, in Washington.  ((AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) / AP Images)

This sentiment has been echoed by several others in his administration. We have an inflation crisis, we have a recession crisis, we’re also financing Russia’s war machine, but the Bidens are determined to implement a crazy Green New Deal strategy that will never happen and while Americans are suffering enormous economic and financial pain with more to come, the Bidens are still clinging to an ideological obsession. 

 I wonder if you find this as incredible as I do because they will do anything not to turn on the fossil fuel spigots. They’re already blowing up our strategic petroleum reserve, which is a national security measure, not a political price fixing one. 

They’ve even flirted with some kind of debit card gas payment scheme and now the latest is a temporary suspension of the 18.4 cents federal gasoline tax, which, of course, is a gimmick, as even Barack Obama labeled it during his term, and would be set to expire after the midterm election for vote-buying purposes, but, even worse, there’s a strong chance that if they push this idea through, it will be coupled with an excess profits tax on oil companies. Shades of Jimmy Carter. 

Remember, the federal gas tax funds the highway trust fund, which is already near bankruptcy. So, if they suspend the federal gas tax, they’ll defund roads and highways and undermine their precious infrastructure legislation. 

An excess profits tax would be very bad news. You’ll get less oil and gas production, much less. 

Ron Wyden wants a 21% tax. That would be on top of the existing 21% corporate tax, which would make a 42% marginal tax rate on fossil companies. 

If you tax something, you get less of it, but then again, that’s exactly what these radical climate people want——less oil and gas? 

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They don’t care about high prices, middle class hardships, truckers who can’t afford to fill ‘er up. They care about electric vehicles and battery chargers even though, by the way, the manufacturing of electric vehicles and battery chargers would require substantial mining and processing that in itself would release plenty of carbon emissions into the air. 

That’s one of the things that’s so absurd about this whole Biden climate story. In fact, the construction of wind and solar farms will release plenty of carbon into the air, but I digress. 

“Never let a crisis go to waste.” An excess profits tax is, in fact, big government socialism and there may be more. The president has threatened to use the Defense Production Act to somehow force more oil and refining, or limit exports —more big government socialism. 

The president is working with Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer for $500 billion in renewable tax credits and perhaps other spending from the Build Back Smaller playbook that would be coupled with a massive tax increase, perhaps over a trillion dollars. 

That would surely slam the economy into a deep recession. A bill like that would be a perfect couple with the $2 trillion spending bill of 18 months ago. Democrats would have a perfect record. They cast the votes for inflation and now they can cast the votes for recession. 

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Kind of a tragedy, don’t you think, since they were handed a fundamentally strong economy from Mr. Trump, with high growth and low inflation? 

Last thing I want to do is insult Joe Biden’s dear mother, believe me, but I think other dear mothers might say, “Joe, where’s your common sense?” Some dear mothers out on the Western Range might even say, “Joe, don’t you have any horse sense?” and I’ll just say: apparently not. That’s my riff. 

This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow’s opening commentary on the June 21, 2022, edition of “Kudlow.”