In a Republican ad during Ronald Reagan’s 1980 run for president, a Tip O’Neill lookalike was driving alongwhile oblivious to the fact that his car was running out of gas. The Republicans’ intended meaning was that the Democrats were not paying attention to the mess the country was in, a mess that they helped create. But what I took out of it was more literal: the idea that the Democrats’ energy policy, one of the worst parts of Jimmy Carter’s four years, was a disaster that the Democrats refused to admit. (Previous presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford had actually started the bad policies, but that’s another story.)

I have the same reaction now as I look at energy policy in Europe. Except that this time, one of the advocates of a destructive energy policy, Britain’s Liz Truss, is claiming the mantle of free market advocate and former prime minister Margaret Thatcher. In setting out her policy, she ignores some very basic economics. And the European Union is making similar mistakes.

This is from David R. Henderson, “Europe’s Destructive Energy Policy,” Defining Ideas, September 22, 2022.

And Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission:

In making her proposal to tax producers more heavily, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated, “In these times it is wrong to receive extraordinary record profits benefiting from war and on the back of consumers.” She added, “Profits must be shared and channeled to those who need it the most.” Karl Marx could not be reached for a comment.

Read the whole thing.

Update: I made a major error above and in the original article, as is pointed out in the first comment below. I’ve now corrected the article. For that reason, I deleted from this post the incorrect passage about the Truss plan.