Dig beyond ‘alternative facts’

In the Nov. 16 issue of the Sun letters section, John Texeira makes some salient points about how the national debt and the costs of inflation are impacting us all (“Bidenomics led to inflation, increased costs for consumers”). 

Unfortunately, he misread some of the factors leading to these problems. The national debt is indeed an issue, but if one looks back at its history (feel free to check) we find that the times it has risen the most have been under the Republican administrations of Reagan, Bush, and Trump. It makes sense; when you institute huge tax cuts, have less money coming in, and spending cuts don’t match the lost revenue, then debt will increase. Contrastingly under the Clinton and Obama administrations, the debt increases were far less. So far, the Biden administration seems to be echoing that trend.

John also echos the popular, but false, right-wing talking point that the Biden administration is waging a “war on fossil fuels,” increasing the cost of gasoline at the pump. If that’s so, then explain to me why fossil fuel production in the U.S. is nearing, if not already at, an all-time high. American oil production in the first week of October hit 13.2 million barrels per day, passing the previous record set in 2020 by 100,000 barrels (feel free to check). 

Not only that, the administration just greenlit the Willow project in Alaska, which could produce up to 180,000 barrels of oil a day at its peak. If that’s a “war on fossil fuels” they’re doing a pretty lousy job. Maybe Chevron and ExxonMobil’s record profits they reported earlier this year (and what they did with them) might tell us more about the prices at the pump.

I admire the concerns that John, and others like him, have for the people affected by the rising costs of living, but we should all dig a little deeper into the causes instead of falling into the trap of trusting those sources or politicians spouting “alternative facts” that stroke our own confirmation biases. 

Dean Thompson

Los Osos

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