Although George Takei is best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu on the popular 1960s television series “Star Trek,” he’s also a political activist and author who has remained highly engaged with the Democratic Party.
In a recent Twitter post, Takei told Americans: “We can endure higher prices for food and gas if it means putting the screws to Putin. Consider it a patriotic donation in the fight for freedom over tyranny.”
Americans: We can endure higher prices for food and gas if it means putting the screws to Putin. Consider it a patriotic donation in the fight for freedom over tyranny.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) March 4, 2022
There were two serious issues with Takei’s comment, and the well-deserved backlash came quickly and severely.
The first is obvious: Takei has earned millions over the course of his decades-long acting career. For those of us mere mortals, the higher prices of food and gas are problematic.
The definition of trading your humanity for patriotism. George will be fine with higher food and gas prices, he’s worth $14 million. The poor and lower working-class in both countries want no part in wars, especially if it’s gonna add to the financial stress they already feel.
— K o b i (No Justice ✊ = No Peace ☮️) (@ProPeace97) March 5, 2022
I mean I’m making $360 a month right now in spite of applying for everything I can, so, not really
— i bless the rains down in castamere (@Chinchillazllla) March 5, 2022
Hey rich guy, you can endure this, but us working class people, this is crushing us. But what do you car looking down your nose at the people who make your world run … pic.twitter.com/fswIEOpqMX
— Britt Griffith (@britttgriffith) March 5, 2022
The second problem with Takei’s remark is that he has bought into the Democrats’ latest spin that Putin is solely to blame for higher U.S. food and gas prices. Party leaders have begun to call it the “Putin Price Hike.” This canard is simply a last-ditch effort from a party that knows they’re going to be shellacked in the November midterms.
On Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the February Consumer Price Index which showed a year-over-year gain of 7.9 percent. The December CPI was 7.5 percent and that belongs entirely to Biden. The remaining 0.4 percent and anything beyond can be attributed to Russia’s invasion, but Biden owns the first 7.5 percent.
(Note: The February CPI does not include the meteoric rise in the price of oil that occurred in early March, which will be reflected in the number reported in April.)
The New York Post reported last week that inflation is costing the average U.S. household $296 per month. That’s $3,600 per year, an amount that many families will find hard to look at as a “patriotic donation in the fight for freedom over tyranny.”
Last month CNBC featured a PYMNTS/Lending Club poll which found that in December 2021, 61 percent of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck. In May 2021, the number had been 54 percent. This is what happens when inflation rises by 7 percent in one year.
A separate CNBC report looked at inflation’s impact upon workers’ wages. On Thursday, the Labor Department announced that although employers increased workers’ average hourly earnings in 2021, “‘real’ hourly earnings (wage growth minus inflation) fell by 1.7% from January 2021 to January 2022.”
This means, even with their pay increases, consumers were able to buy 1.7 percent fewer goods and services in 2021 than in the previous year.
Biden is correct that the price of gasoline increased as Putin began his troop buildup at the Ukrainian border and skyrocketed when his invasion began. What he fails to mention is the “Biden price hike” that preceded the “Putin price hike.”
According to U.S. Energy Information Administration data, the average retail price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. (all grades, all formulations) in January 2021 was $2.42. By December, the price had soared to $3.41, nearly $1 per gallon more or an increase of 41 percent. This represents the “Biden price hike.”
On March 10, the EIA estimated the average retail price of a gallon of regular gas in the U.S. to be $4.33, a gain of 92 cents per gallon, or 27 percent from year-end 2021. This represents the “Putin price hike.”
Biden: “I’m sick of this stuff … the American people think the reason for inflation is government spending more money. Simply not true!”
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 11, 2022
Frankly, after all of the economic carnage the Biden administration has inflicted upon the U.S. over the past 14 months, I’m surprised that George Takei continues to shill for them.
Then again, Takei is a liberal Hollywood elite; about as insulated from real heartland America as you can get. This is obvious in his political views, but is confirmed by his basic lack of understanding that not everyone can afford price spikes across the board.
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