Schumer’s Gas Tirade Discloses Democrats <br>Are Plumb Out of Ideas
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
Remember, as Ira Stoll pointed out in his column this week, that’s the deal that Mr. Schumer voted against.
Hypocrisy from Mr. Schumer in and of itself wouldn’t be new or newsworthy. The latest from the Senate minority leader, though, is a window into the coming campaign.
Take it as a warning. The Democrats will wilt away on foreign policy, even if only for political advantage at home, and, bereft of pro-growth ideas, will use government to strong-arm the markets.
It’s what they do. On gas prices, Mr. Schumer roped in three other Senate Democrats, Maria Cantwell of Washington, Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Robert Menendez of New Jersey.
These Four Horsemen of Hypocrisy showed up just before the Memorial Day weekend at a gas station. Mr. Schumer opened by blaming Mr. Trump’s “reckless decision to pull out of the Iran deal.”
That, he suggested, has led to higher gasoline prices. Then he launched into one of the Democrats’ patented diatribes against corporations and rich people.
Mr. Menendez, former chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, chimed in about geopolitical instability and the Trump administration’s “chaotic approach.” Similar points were made by Ms. Cantwell and Mr. Markey.
As for the alleged chaos, none of them laid even a particle of responsibility at the feet of the Iranian ayatollahs. Mr. Trump may be America First. The Democrats are Blame America First.
The idea of blaming rising oil prices on Mr. Trump’s pullout from the Iran deal is undermined by a letter the four senators sent May 23 to Mr. Trump himself. It doesn’t even mention Iran.
It does note that oil prices had been trending upward — 75 percent in the past year — since long before Mr. Trump this month announced the end of the Democrats’ policy of Iran appeasement.
The Democrats’ letter asked Mr. Trump personally to plead with the Saudi crown prince and to send Energy Secretary Rick Perry to whinge to OPEC. They want to launch litigation at the World Trade Organization.
And regulate our economy more. Ira Stoll, who edits the Web site FutureOfCapitalism.com and nailed this story in his column this week, is particularly devastating on the hypocrisy of the regulatory angle. The Democrats, Mr. Stoll notes, are widely resisting not only increased offshore drilling but also new pipelines here in America.
In the case of Ms. Cantwell and Mr. Markey, it gets even more ridiculous. Both have introduced legislation whose very purpose was, as Mr. Stoll puts it, “to raise the price of fossil fuel energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.”
Mr. Cantwell’s contraption would involve the government selling permits for the importing or use of fossil fuel. That would drive up energy costs. She would redistribute the lucre to non-rich Americans.
Mr. Markey was a backer in 2009 of what became known as the Waxman-Markey Energy and Security Act, which would have set government prices on the “right” to burn oil, coal or natural gas. The Wall Street Journal warned it could be the “biggest tax in American history.”
It went nowhere.
Which brings us back to the current campaign. The Schumer-Menendez-Markey-Cantwell complaints show nothing so much as that the Democrats are running on an empty policy tank.
They’re going to go into the fall campaign with an energy policy that consists of more regulation, less drilling and sending Rick Perry, whom Democrats once mocked, to talk to our suppliers.
The Republicans will be running on the fact that — as Stephen Moore pointed out this week in the Post — by the end of June we could be up to an average growth rate of 3%: Boom territory.
President Trump has already started taking this to the voters. He did so at a rally this week in Tennessee, where after introducing his guests he launched right into the numbers. New jobs created since the election are now at 3.3 million, he boasted.
Unemployment (it’s below 4%) is at the lowest level since the turn of the century. Minority unemployment is at record lows. And, Mr. Trump said, the forgotten men and women are no longer forgotten.
How is Mr. Schumer going to be able to blame that on pulling out of the Iran deal?
The column first appeared in the New York Post.