Fuel to the Fire: Why Gas Stimulus Checks and Cancelling Pipelines are Bad Ideas

Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, has proposed that every person in the state who owns a car be given a $400 gas stimulus in the form of a state-issued debit card. The recipient of these funds would not be qualified on the basis of paying taxes or being employed; owning a vehicle would be the only requirement. As the New York Post reports, “[t]he package would also provide $750 million in grants for transit agencies to give free rides for at least three months. Newsom’s proposal also includes $600 million to pay for a “pause” of part of the state’s sales tax on diesel fuel for one year, and another $523 million to stop another inflation adjustment in the state’s gas tax scheduled this summer…Transportation projects that promote biking and walking would get for $500 million under the Democratic governor’s plan.” These payments could roll out as soon as July if the legislature approves of the governor’s plan.

Just think about how bad of an idea that is. This is basically California’s leaders saying, “To fix our failing economy, we’re going to dump additional $2.373 billion in taxpayer dollars into the economy!” (I say taxpayer dollars because state and federal governments really do not make money. Their income is from taxes which they take from their citizens, which they then spend on usually useless things that include everything we did not elect them to spend money on.) Just let that sink in.

Now think about the amount of fraud we saw during the COVID relief/stimulus craze. For reference, an estimate of $9.8 billion in relief funds was defrauded from the government just in the state of California.

Got that dismal picture in your head?

Now add the current, record-breaking 7.9% inflation to the mix and you should be wondering if California has anybody left in government who can do math.

In what world does pumping loads of money into the economy help solve the problem of sky-rocketing prices and inflation? Especially when the problem started when we pumped loads of money into the economy just two years ago!

According to the DMV of California, there are more than 35.8 million registered vehicles in California. If just half of the registered vehicles in that estimate are eligible for the rebates, that would be $7.16 billion in stimulus in addition the 2.373 billion dollars of government programs also proposed by Newsom. That’s nearly $10 billion being dumped into California’s economy, with inflation already causing historical price hikes in the state and across the country.

Can anyone tell me how this is a good idea?

Yes, “the current average price in the state [of California] is $5.88 per gallon for regular unleaded. In Los Angeles, the average price for a gallon of gas is $6.03,” per the Daily Wire. That stinks. But part of this issue is inflation — inflation that would be made so much worse by this proposed flood of money.

What makes this such a horrible idea is that there are other solutions. Gas taxes could be suspended, as some states are attempting to do. Also, the federal government could stop trying to destroy the “fossil fuel” industry through ridiculous regulatory measures and allow these companies to drill for more oil on American soil, thereby decreasing the supply problem and our dependency on foreign nations for energy at the same time.

For example: The Keystone Pipeline was cancelled by the Biden administration on January 20, 2021, Joe Biden’s first day in office. Reportedly, “[i]f completed, the Keystone XL would have added 510,000 barrels (81,000 m3) [of oil] per day increasing the total capacity up to 1.1 million barrels (170,000 m3) per day.”[1] The construction of the pipeline was halted due to “environmental” and “climate change” concerns — concerns that have only been brought up by protestors who have nothing else to do and overpaid professors with a string of letters behind their names and not an ounce of common sense in their bodies.

No amount of “climate change” activism has ever helped the average working man who pays taxes and works forty or more hours a week. It’s easy to whine about carbon emissions if you’re bored or living on student loans in college and are not among the people who are trying to get to work every morning. Killing the oil and gas industry in America may pacify the activists who tweet daily (from their Iphone made in slave- and coal-powered China) about climate change, but it has never been beneficial to the people who actually make the economy work.

The current problem is simply one example of this fact. Stephen Colbert is not affected by the surging gas prices because he drives a Tesla. The average American, meanwhile, is finding it harder to fill up his vehicle’s gas tank when the same amount of fuel costs twice as much as it did a year ago (or more). Life is changing, in many ways drastically, for the lower income earners while the elites get away unscathed.[2]

GasBuddy graph chart -- one year change in prices
Average Retail Gas Price Fluctuation (2021-2022)

It’s become very popular for the elites and government officials to call for less drilling and the end of fossil fuels. And the promise of “free money” from the government has long been a way to earn political points. But neither billions more in stimulus money or a push toward independence from fossil fuels will solve the current problem. The average American cannot drop $60,000 on a new electric vehicle overnight when they really need relief every week at the pump. The average American family also cannot afford to keep paying more for less as inflation grows exponentially, in many ways due to the fiscally irresponsible habits of the government.

Americans in general and Californians in particular do not need the government to hand out rebates or “fuel stamps”. They do not need the government to regulate the life out of oil and gas companies and shrink supply in the process. They need economic freedom, responsible leaders, and a financially stable government. If we don’t start pushing for these three things, we’re going to keep exacerbating the problem instead of fixing it.

[1] Wikipedia

[2] We saw this during the COVID-19 scare as well, and I hope Americans are sick of it.

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