Sunday, February 5, 2023

Tucker: This is the single-most damaging thing any American president has ever done

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You wonder if looking backward many years from right now, historians will notice the remarkable coincidence in timing. Have you noticed? Here it is. At exactly the moment when the emergency powers they awarded to themselves to fight COVID started to wane, our leaders began pushing for conflict with Russia, and then, on the basis of that conflict, they assumed historic war powers. 

Without even pausing, the Biden administration declared total economic war on a sovereign country. No American had been killed. The United States had not been invaded or attacked and yet, with no meaningful public debate or congressional authorization, the Biden administration destroyed that country’s currency, then removed it from the international banking system that impoverished its population.  

Then the administration began seizing the property of people affiliated with that country without a trial or due process of any kind, without even bothering to explain exactly what crime they had committed. No American government had ever done anything like that before. If there was one thing the U.S. government long stood for, it was the rule of law. The integrity of the system was always the most important thing, but not anymore.  


U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to members at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, March 10, 2022.
(Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

That turned out to be an era, and that era is gone. Because the target is Russia, very few Americans have noticed any of this. They support it. Virtually no one has paused to ask him or herself where this might be going. How long until our leaders do something similar to their domestic enemies here in the United States? How long before they accuse you of collusion or disloyalty or some other hard-to-define crime, declare you an enemy of the state and then confiscate your bank account?  

Something very much like that just happened in Canada. We don’t imagine it could happen here. Mostly, we just don’t think about it. What we think about is Ukraine and that’s the other thing that’s changed. The tech monopolies now exert a level of control over American public opinion that has no precedent in all of history, eliminating Section 230 or whatever piddling reform Congress is talking about at the moment. It all seems like a joke at this point. It’s too late. The medieval church had less command over society’s emotions than Facebook and Google and Twitter now do.  

For the past two years, you have watched these companies, above all, define who you, as an American, must hate. Depending upon their directive of the day, our citizens dutifully change their social media avatars from BLM signs, to mask-up slogans, to now Ukrainian flags. Each is a crisis and each new crisis is carefully stage-managed from Silicon Valley at the direction of the White House. How does the human brain compete with this? How does it understand it? Well, it doesn’t. Clarity and perspective become impossible. In the hysteria, even the recent past just evaporates.  

The morning that Russia invaded Ukraine, you may have been talking about a lot of different things — COVID, or crime, or the southern border. Not anymore. Much to relief for the White House, all of those topics have been forgotten, maybe forever. No population has ever been more skillfully manipulated than our population is being manipulated right now, but even with the tech monopolies on the case full-time, there are limits, some topics cannot be hidden, and inflation is one of them.  

Google can delete all the search results it wants, but you still know what hamburgers and gasoline cost because you go to the store. You know exactly how bad inflation is, and it’s bad. In fact, inflation is so high right now that even affluent people are worried about it, and not worried in some abstract sense, like about the long-term health of the country. Though, that too. People who make 250 grand a year are worried they will not be able to continue living as they do now. You may or may not feel sorry for them, but let’s put it in perspective. Imagine if you made 50 grand a year or 30 grand a year, as many Americans do, you would be terrified in the face of this inflation, and maybe you are.  

So, what’s causing it? What is the root of the inflation? If you want to know the answer to that question, the fastest way to get it is to check to see what politicians are denying. Whatever they claim is not the cause of inflation almost certainly is the cause of inflation, and with that in mind, here’s Joe Biden telling you that government spending has nothing to do with it.  


President Joe Biden announces a ban on Russian oil imports, toughening the toll on Russia's economy in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine, Tuesday, March 8, 2022, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington. 

President Joe Biden announces a ban on Russian oil imports, toughening the toll on Russia’s economy in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine, Tuesday, March 8, 2022, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington. 
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: We’re on track right now. I’m on track to be the first president in history to lower the deficit by over 1 trillion dollars in one year. So, I’m sick of this stuff. We have to talk about it, because the American people think the reason for inflation is government spending more money. Simply not true. 

Now you can say, “Well, that’s just Joe Biden. Joe Biden has never had a real job, even before he became senile, he was reputed to be a dim-bulb and he was.” Don’t kid yourself. In the clip you just saw, Joe Biden knows perfectly well he’s lying. “It’s simply not true,” he squeaks. Really, Joe Biden? How is it simply not true?  

Notice he doesn’t tell you how it’s simply not true because, in fact, it is emphatically, unequivocally true. Inflation is a function of money supply. The more money you have in circulation, the less that money is worth. Even Joe Biden understands that. The month after Biden became president, the supply of U.S. dollars in circulation increased more than it ever had before in a single month, and then it kept going higher month, after month, after month as the administration and the Congress kept the money taps open, and that’s why we have historic inflation now, because they printed too much money. It’s not complicated, but it’s not the whole story. It did not start with Joe Biden, to be fair.  

In the months after the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve assumed emergency powers to respond to the financial collapse. Now, if you’re noticing a theme here, the people in charge giving themselves emergency powers in the face of a crisis they created, you may be on to something. But in any case, after 2008, the Fed dropped interest rates to near-zero and then began printing money. This was supposed to save our economy, and maybe it would have saved the economy if it had ended at some point, but it did not end. It went on to the present day. That’s nearly 14 years and in the process, what was designed to save our economy destroyed our economy. 

Several times over the years, wiser heads at the Fed talked about dropping the emergency measures and reintroducing reality into the American economy, reintroducing market forces. Remember those? But each time they contemplated this, Wall Street revolted in very public ways. Wage growth and the productive economy had stalled, but the market for private jets was booming. So, asset inflation became the basis of wealth for many people at the top end. Buy things, then sell them for more. Make nothing.  

Now, no society can continue like that for very long because it’s not inherently productive. It’s a shell game, but ours did for more than 14 years, and in the process, this country became more lopsided economically than it’s ever been. Fewer people owning more of everything. The Fed was fully aware of this. They’re not stupid. They knew they were causing these trends and that most of these trends were dangerous and bad for America, but the truth is, nobody could stop it.  


U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen waits for the beginning of a hearing before Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill November 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. 

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen waits for the beginning of a hearing before Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill November 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. 
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Fed governors understood that markets would tank if they tried to pull back. So, it was really a classic Ponzi. It was criminal mismanagement of our economy, but nobody could stop doing it for fear the whole thing would collapse, and now we’re at the end stage. The Fed is out of tricks. The problem with inflation — and some economists want limited inflation at certain periods, some people in Davos have been calling for it for years — but the problem with inflation levels like this is there is no simple way to pull them back.  

The Fed can not painlessly massage its way out of $7-a-gallon gas prices. So, when you reach a state as we are now, you really have only two options. You can pretend it’s not happening, or you can blame someone else for it, and the White House is trying both. Here’s Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen trying the first.  

TREASURY SECRETARY JANET YELLEN: We really protected most Americans from severe financial crisis consequences of the pandemic so that they’re, by and large, in good financial shape, poised to spend enough to continue propelling solid growth in the U.S. economy, and we’re seeing that in the labor market.  

Now, you wonder as you stare into the camera and say something like that, if you imagine, if you can convince yourself there’s a single human being who believes you. Things are great. You should be grateful for our wise stewardship of your economy. Keep in mind, the woman you just heard, Janet Yellen, was the chair of the Federal Reserve for four years, so not to be technical about it, but if anyone is culpable for the disaster we’re living through now, it would be Janet Yellen.

So, she knows she’s lying, and she’s not even lying very effectively, because once again, Americans understand the state of the economy because they live within it. They pay for things. So, if you’re going to lie about its cause, you’re going to have to do better than just pretending it’s not going on. You’re going to have to blame somebody else, and so the White House enlisted Joe Biden’s publicist to make a video about Vladimir Putin. Watch this.  

PRESS SECRETARY JEN PSAKI: You may have noticed this week that your gas prices have gone up. I want to talk to you a little bit about why. A lot of it has to do with Vladimir Putin, and there’s opportunities to produce more from here, but part of this is on the oil companies. Right now, there are 9,000 approved, unused permits that oil and gas companies could tap into now to ramp up production. That’s why the president has been so focused on investing in clean energy technologies so that we can rely on that and not President Putin to set the price of gas.  


White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Friday, March 4, 2022. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Friday, March 4, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

I want to talk to you a little bit about why that’s happening. What, do you work at NPR now? You don’t know anything. You are a publicist. Please, stay in your lane. But she’s telling us that actually oil companies, which we assume were very greedy and that was the problem with them, in fact, don’t want to make money. That’s their real secret, and that’s why they’re not drilling for oil anymore, because they just don’t want the oil, because they’re oil companies and their altruistic or something.  

She must have learned that in gender studies class at Oberlin. Now she’s telling the rest of us. But really, Jen Psaki said, it’s about Vladimir Putin. It’s Vladimir Putin’s fault that you’re paying more for gas. Now, the truth is, Vladimir Putin did invade Ukraine. That’s true. That’s bad, but that’s not why you can’t afford to fill your tank.  

It was the White House, and we should say the Congress’ reaction to the invasion, that is roiling our economy. That’s true. So among many other things, the White House just banned Russian oil imports, for example. Oil prices immediately rose. That’s what happens when you shake up a market like that. Americans immediately suffered. We were told, many people told us, it’s worth it because this is a moral victory against Putin, and some people took solace in this, but you have to wonder, how exactly is this a moral victory against Putin? Think about it for a minute.  

Russia is a major oil producer. Jen Psaki said that in her interminable video a moment ago. That would mean that higher oil prices help Putin. They make Putin, and the Saudis, and the Venezuelans, and Iran much, much richer. Why? Because Russia can still sell its oil in global markets because the world has not joined our boycott. What does this tell you? It tells you that the loser in this policy is not Vladimir Putin. He’s the winner. It’s the United States, and it’s not just oil.  

Thanks to the Biden administration’s mismanagement, commodities across the board are up dramatically — potash, fertilizers, wheat — huge. Nickel went up 250 percent in two days. Who’s going to pay for all this? You are. This is the biggest tax increase of your life, and, by the way, it could very easily get worse. Why? Because oil is traded in U.S. dollars. Ever hear the term petrodollars?  

Why would the rest of the world continue to trade oil in U.S. dollars, a fact that greatly benefits us, when there’s uncertainty imposed by political forces on oil markets? There would be a huge incentive to trade oil in another currency. Maybe the Chinese currency? Maybe the euro? Maybe crypto? Who knows? But there will be new and competing markets in which oil is traded in something other than U.S. dollars, and that’s a massive loss for us.  

Here’s the bigger truth: Our global financial systems benefit us. That may not be fair, but it’s true, and they’re the basis of our wealth. So, if you destroy them in an effort to get Putin, who are you really destroying? You’re destroying the United States, and that’s exactly what they’ve done. When you attack and destabilize the global financial systems, to restate, you are attacking and destabilizing the United States, not Putin.  


You can’t see this right now, because there’s so much hysteria being ginned up by the media, particularly on social media, but when that hysteria lifts, when the cloud finally evaporates, it will be obvious that the Biden administration’s response to the invasion of Ukraine is the single-most damaging thing any American president has ever done to this country and to the world — not to Putin — to us and to a lot of small countries that didn’t deserve it.  

It’s hard to see that now. All you’re seeing are Ukrainian flag emojis on Twitter, but someday we will assess this moment with clear heads, and when we do, we will be horrified. 

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