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CNN gets slammed for calling drop in gas prices a 'tax break,' monthly 'raise' in your income

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David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

CNN was mocked online Friday over analysis that characterized falling gas prices as a “tax break” or monthly “raise."

After hitting a record high of $5.01 per gallon in mid-June, gas prices have fallen to $3.91 per gallon, according to AAA.

What did the CNN analysis say?

The glowing article, which reads like it was produced directly by the Biden administration, called the drop in gas prices "an unexpected form of economic stimulus."

"Next time you stop at a gas station, think of it as a $100-a-month tax cut. Or a maybe $100-a-month raise," the analysis said.

The article claimed "the impact of the extra cash could be a substantial boost to an economy," suggesting the extra cash could "revive spending" on "nonessential" items like clothing and electronics

While it is indisputable the drop in gas prices translates to real savings for Americans financially strapped by the inflation crisis, to suggest it is a "tax break" or a "raise" in disposable income neglects the fact that gas prices remain significantly higher than when Biden took office.

While Americans are benefiting from a drop in prices at the pump, those prices remain more than 160% higher today than when Biden was inaugurated in January 2021.

What was the response?

CNN was panned for the biased analysis; many critics pointed out that gas prices are significantly higher under Biden, which means the recent drop is still a net-increase.

  • "[O]r a $36.50/mo pay cut from a year ago, when prices were 73 cents lower...," Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis, said.
  • "Gas was $2.39 a gallon when @POTUS took office. It is $3.92 now. Next on @CNN arsonist gets medal for helping fight fire he started," Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) reacted.
  • "Weird that over the last year and a half CNN has never once suggested that we consider rising prices a tax hike. But gas prices drop a tiny bit and suddenly we get this…" Eddie Zipperer pointed out.
  • "You think we're dumb, huh? Wow," radio host Joe Pagliarulo reacted.
  • "CNN straight up adopting White House talking points and they are detached from reality If someone took $200 from you, and then gave back $100, did you actually come out ahead? This 'new CNN' sure cheerleads for Biden just like the old one," Tim Murtaugh reacted.
  • "This would make Stalin blush," Washington Free Beacon reporter Drew Holden charged.
  • "This is North Korean level nonsense. It’s like getting a huge pay cut, then getting a slight pay bump (but still well under what you were making before) and being told to be grateful," Republican strategist Matt Whitlock reacted.
  • "This is some next level gaslighting," Manhattan Institute fellow Brian Reidl pointed out.
  • "This is like a thief stealing $500 from your pocket, gives you $100 of your own money back, and then their girlfriend steps in and demands you call them a hero," another person said.

Interestingly, the White House used CNN's article to heap praise on President Joe Biden, the Washington Examiner reported.

"President Biden has taken decisive action to lower prices at the pump, and the current drop in gas prices is the fastest decline in over a decade," the White House said in an email, linking to the CNN story. "Thanks to that decline, Americans are collectively spending around $400 million less each day than they would if gas prices had stayed at their peak."

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