It’s not the first time that Joe Biden’s Cabinet officials have offered the Marie Antoinette response to Americans facing five straight quarters of buying-power erosion. Almost precisely a month earlier, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg answered challenges to the doubling of gas prices under Biden by expressing his shock that people hadn’t ditched their gas-powered cars for the subsidized electric vehicles with still-higher sticker prices. Buttigieg pronounced himself “astonished” that consumers whose buying power has massively eroded over the past year hadn’t ponied up for the pricier EVs.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm expanded the “let them eat cake” message to solar panels and “weatherizing” on yesterday’s Fox News Sunday. Host John Roberts pressed Granholm on the disconnect between Democrats’ green-tech subsidies for high-priced upgrades and families that are having to downscale on groceries and other basic items, thanks to the inflation levels of the past 16 months.
Think of the great discounts you’ll get on five-figure solar installations and four-figure weatherizing, Granholm responds:
Biden Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm: “If you are low-income, you can get your home entirely weatherized” to help deal with 40-year high inflation.
“You can get 30% off the price of solar panels.” pic.twitter.com/qUM7JGvdYN
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 21, 2022
Does anyone else get a sense of déjà vu from this argument? Democrats offered the same kinds of subsidies in 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, nicknamed Porkulus for its political payoffs. Supposedly these subsidies were also supposed to save Americans money by driving them further into debt for expensive upgrades, and therefore bring about the renewable revolution. That also included subsidies for EVs as well as tax credits for weatherizing and solar installations.
It didn’t work then, mainly because most people still couldn’t afford those choices. That’s especially true right now, when real disposable personal income has eroded for five straight and compounding quarters. And yet, Granholm and Buttigieg keep offering the same Marie Antoinette-esque insistence that the great unwashed should use money they don’t have to buy massively expensive systems they don’t really need in order to deal with high prices that won’t change even if those families follow their advice.
One has to wonder why Biden and his team keep using this condescending and elitist attitude to people who have become much more likely to see their lives as miserable under their leadership. After all, it’s not working. One point I failed to note in the NBC poll this morning is just how little confidence Americans have in Democrats’ claims on the economy, and in their approach to inflation:
NBC POLL: 71% of Americans believe the “Inflation Reduction Act” will either make things worse or not make a difference at all pic.twitter.com/JkwEULzcMM
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) August 21, 2022
Only 26% think that the Inflation Reduction Act will actually reduce inflation, which means that 74% of Americans are paying attention. The CBO and Penn Wharton both agree that the IRA won’t do diddly-squat on inflation, but that it does what the ARRA did in 2009 — pay off Democrat donors and progressive activists.
Either they’re not listening, they don’t care, or they don’t have any other arguments to offer. I’d guess (d) — All of the Above.