Truckers Aren’t Buying the “Putin Price Hike”

Steve Collender /

As you well know, inflation is on the rise, and so are gas and oil prices. Democratic President Joe Biden claims that it’s all the fault of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his decision to invade American ally Ukraine and start a war, something he’s taken to calling the “Putin price hike.”

But it would seem that most Americans aren’t buying it. Or at least not the ones Mike Rowe is talking to.

If you didn’t know it, Rowe is the host of a number of television shows, including How America Works and Dirty Jobs. He’s also the narrator for shows like Deadliest Catch. You’ll note that all three of these mentioned shows focus on hard-working everyday Americans’ daily routines and struggles.

And this has given Rowe a rather unique look at just what this inflation and skyrocketing fuel prices are doing to not only the economy but the lives of American workers.

He explained on a recent appearance on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” that he often gets videos and messages from people he’s met during his time hosting shows. And lots of them more recently are of how much they are paying at the pump.

He said, “They are just sending me videos of them at the gas pump. Some of them are filling up, you know, 18-wheelers. And I’m not kidding you – $1,110, $1,200” for a fillup.

When asked if Rowe thinks they believe those high prices are Putin’s fault, he answered no.

Instead, he says that most people view it in “relative terms.”

He explains that for people like farmers, truck drivers, and even your average office worker, the cost of fuel “touches every single thing that matters in this country, from food production to transportation, obviously, all of it.”

And he’s not wrong.

I mean, let’s think about it for a minute. While not used in most American cars, diesel fuel is used for just about every other form of transportation, from crab boats, trains, farm equipment, 18-wheelers, and more. Hell, even airplanes use a type of diesel engine; it’s just been altered to use a more refined fuel.

And diesel fuel has nearly doubled in the last year. Then, according to AAA, the average price per gallon of diesel was $3.087. Now, it’s at a record $5.37 and rising. In fact, it was five cents less just last week.

This means that every single thing that hitches a ride on any one of these transportation types, from the shoes on your feet, food in your belly, or shampoo in the shower, is also seeing a price hike.

And for the people Rowe’s been talking to, that can’t be explained just because “a dictator declares war and commits genocide a half a world away,” as Biden says. This is particularly true since Putin’s war on Ukraine hasn’t been going on for over a year like the price hikes have been.

As the US Energy Information Administration reported, a gallon of regular unleaded fuel cost on average $2.379 in January of 2021. By February of this year, and before Putin invaded Ukraine, that price had already risen to $3.53.

The rise in diesel during that time isn’t much different.

So no, most farmers, truckers, etc., likely don’t believe this is all Putin’s fault. They’ve been seeing the proof for over a year now every time they fill up.

As Rowe said he heard from a man the other day, “‘It’s like falling down the stairs in slow motion, you know.’ We know it’s coming. We’re watching it happen. It’s happening in real time.”

Biden can talk about how this is Putin’s fault till he’s blue in the face if he wants. But none of that will matter. Hell, at this point, where it came from doesn’t even matter.

The only thing that does is how we are going to fix it. And if Biden is determined to keep pointing fingers and not actually doing anything but making it worse, then more and more Americans will be less likely to put him and his ilk back in office come November or 2024.