Opinion: ‘Bach’ in the USSR

Anthony Russo

Anthony Russo

Anthony Russo is a Ph.D. student and graduate assistant in the Department of Political Science. Contact him at [email protected].

Hello, readers. I’m Anthony Russo, and I’m starting my journey toward a Ph.D. in political science with a specialization in policy analysis and administration. I have my bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Toledo.

That being said, I’ll jump right in and express my deep displeasure for the field of GOP candidates seeking nomination for the presidency. Never mind Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul — the real peach of the whole bunch is Michele Bachmann.

People can easily bash Bachmann for her religious beliefs. Wow, secular folks on the left really had to dig deep for that one. The thing is, though, there are a lot of people who want their candidate to wear their faith on their sleeve. She’s pandering to those folks, I get it. Maybe it’s not your cup of tea, but don’t pretend you don’t understand why she’s doing it.

Looking beyond her strong desire to out-Christian the other candidates, she’s said some really dumb things. Some of them could just be slips of the tongue, like this comment from a radio interview on Aug. 18. When asked what Americans are concerned about, Bachmann replied,“What people recognize is that there’s a fear that the United States is in an unstoppable decline. They see the rise of China, the rise of India, the rise of the Soviet Union and our loss militarily going forward.”

I haven’t spent too many nights lying awake worried about the USSR, because it doesn’t exist. Sure, we had the whole Cold War thing, but didn’t that end, I don’t know, some 20 years ago?

Then there is the whole $2 gas comment. A couple of weeks ago, Bachmann promised us a return to underpriced gasoline. From TheOilDrum.com:

“Under President Bachmann you will see gasoline come down below $2 a gallon again,” Bachmann told a crowd Tuesday in South Carolina. “That will happen.” No, it will not, Bachmann. Unless you plan on weakening the economy, which would destroy oil demand to where its equilibrium price per barrel is much lower.

Robert Rapier shares my sentiment in his post for TheOilDrum.com, and I could not say the following more efficiently:

“…The places in the world where gasoline is under $2/gallon tend to be oil-exporting countries that subsidize the price of gasoline for consumers. Given that the U.S. imports more oil than any other country, subsidizing consumers is out of the question. Further, the fact that we do import so much oil means that Bachmann would either have to put a stop to that while keeping domestic prices low (more domestic production), or would have to somehow cause world oil prices to fall to under $50 (per barrel)…”

What Bachmann doesn’t acknowledge is that production projects that wouldn’t pay off at $4 per barrel aren’t going to pay off at $2 per barrel, so they’re not going to happen — remember how markets work? Then there’s the whole issue of negative externalities from fossil fuels. Regardless of what oil trades at, gasoline is still underpriced, not overpriced. But that’s a whole other column.