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Jared Dillian

Presidents Don’t Move Prices. So Why All the Tweets?

For Biden it’s gasoline; for Trump it was stocks. Taking credit on social media for market swings will always backfire eventually.

Asking for trouble.

Asking for trouble.

Photographer: Rod Lamkey/CNP/Bloomberg 

President Joe Biden, or his designated representative, is having a good time tweeting about gasoline prices lately. Just about every time that the national average goes down by a penny, the White House is tweeting about it. We reached peak panic about gas prices about a month ago, Biden pledged to bring them down, and they fell. For sure, the White House wants to take credit. That’s just politics.

Now, the drop is due to a confluence of factors, including weakening demand, falling crude prices and the continued release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. At some point the SPR will run out and have to be refilled — potentially at higher prices. Biden also tried some moral suasion over gas station owners, but most in the business community laughed at that — the profit margins on gasoline are tiny, and gas stations practically sell it at cost already. This represents a policy victory of sorts, though it may be short-lived.