Rep. Tom Cole—Don’t buy the lie

The Buck Stops Here" Desk sign | Harry S. Truman


When it comes to inflation and the high prices reflected at the gas pumps, Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole says don’t believe the “The Buck Stops Here” sign on President Biden’s desk. He says it’s a lie pushed by the President an his administration.

Rep. Cole wrote about the impact of high gasoline prices in a weekly column:

Famously displayed on the desk of former President Harry S. Truman and often used by President Joe Biden both in office and on the campaign trail is the motto “The Buck Stops Here,” meant to exemplify one of the most important attributes that leaders at all levels need to possess: accountability.

Nowhere is this more important, and currently lacking, than in the Office of the President of the United States as President Biden refuses to accept any responsibility for the ongoing 40-year high inflation, including the dramatic increase in prices at the gas pump.

Indeed, since Democrats took control of the presidency and both chambers of Congress at the beginning of last year, Americans have felt the tight grip of inflation that has decreased their take-home pay and increased the cost of food, energy and many other essential items. However, I urge you not to buy into the lie that the primary causes of inflation are Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine or due to the pandemic.

While the coronavirus pandemic and Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine certainly factor in, there are unexplored avenues that the Administration could immediately take to ease the economic distress Americans currently face. Remember, not long after assuming office, President Biden signed into law a nearly $2 trillion liberal wish list masked as a coronavirus relief. This costly bill included irresponsible spending such as a federal bailout of certain pension funds and bloated contributions to Democrat-run state and local governments. There is no question that this legislation greatly damaged our economy and spurred on inflation.

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Rather than encouraging Americans to get back to work and advancing policies to get our economy back on track, President Biden and Democrats have supported keeping polices in place that incentivize workers to stay home on unemployment. Meanwhile, they also support increasing taxes on U.S. businesses and corporations, which would force even more of them to move jobs overseas and eliminate those opportunities for American workers.

The Biden Administration unfortunately believes that the remedy for inflation is federal spending and increased regulation. Furthermore, they have done nothing to address the major issue of American energy policy, namely our current dependence on foreign oil. On day one of his presidency, President Biden eliminated thousands of American jobs and severed our energy independence by cancelling the North American Keystone XL pipeline and declaring a moratorium on oil, gas and coal leasing on federal lands and waters. This energy dependence on foreign nations has caused prices at the pump and heating and cooling homes to skyrocket and leaves us at the mercy of tyrants and state sponsors of terrorism. Furthermore, our inability to supply our partners and allies with as much oil as we should be able to is having a direct impact on our national economy and world affairs.

While I am all for pursuing an all-of-the-above energy policy that is innovative and environmentally responsible, the world cannot run today without petroleum products. The good news is America has the capacity to produce some of the cleanest energy in the world. The bad news is the Biden Administration refuses to unleash that capacity and has instead dangerously increased America’s reliance on adversarial foreign producers, which included Russia until the president finally gave into pressures to ban U.S. import of oil funding Putin’s war machine. 

Indeed, the true strategic deterrence and associated economic boost will only come from increasing domestic oil production. Our private sector deserves predictable, sustained policy that supports American jobs and growth to increase our capacity, and the global economy will benefit when we do.

Although the president is not an omnipotent ruler and cannot control everything under his purview, the assertions by the Biden Administration that the sky-high inflation, rising consumer prices and all-time high prices of gasoline are a result of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and a pandemic (one nearly under control) are misleading and an abdication of responsibility. The truth is, instead of taking responsibility for his disastrous policies from day one that have fueled the ongoing inflationary crisis, President Biden has chosen to point fingers and play the blame game. Instead of acting immediately to ease the inflationary burden on the American people, President Biden is sticking to his anti-American energy, out-of-control spending and overregulation model that he initiated when he took office. And that has nothing to do with Russia.