So, all right, folks, hot off the presses, this is the big deal -- controversial debt ceiling increase.
Now Sen. Mitch McConnell calls it a manufactured crisis, and he wants to set it aside for a couple of months in order to focus on, frankly, what I think is the main issue. And that's the reckless $5 trillion spending and taxing bill that polls show Americans increasingly do not want.
So actually, I agree with Sen. McConnell at this stage. I mean, the debt thing in many ways is a distraction. And the GOP has really given up nothing because the long-term debt ceiling issue will still have to be resolved through a budget reconciliation package. And to me, that's the main chance. Save America and kill that bill.
Now there's a temporary stopgap budget resolution through Dec. 3, and now you'll have a matched book with a temporary debt limit increase.
Now, I understand some conservatives don't want to do it. And those Republican senators are going to vote against it. As of this moment, the GOP leadership is facing defections. They're whipping for 10 votes that would stop the filibuster. Maybe they get it. Maybe they don't. I'm just not that excited about it. I don't know.
The stock market was up over 500 points at one point during the day as news of the debt deal came out. It did pull back slightly at the close. You know, getting the short-term debt ceiling out of the way will at least stop all this jabber walking about debt defaults and Social Security payments and the world as we know it will come to an end if the US Treasury can sell a couple more T-bills. I don't know. I just don't think it's that important. It always gets worked out.
What's far more important is to stop the $5 trillion bill. Americans don't want it. They don't want to spend. They don't want to tax. They don't want to inflate. They don't want to regulate fossil fuels out of existence. They don't want a European-style entitlement state, and they don't want Joe Biden, either. That's what the numbers are showing.
Now, Washington insiders tell me there's a decent chance, maybe as much as 40% now, that both the budget and the infrastructure bills which are now tied together will be defeated. And my purpose, as you know, is to keep talking about the terrible, woke, big government socialism transformation of America that these left-wing Democrats want.
Our coalition to save America is succeeding. Folks agree we don't need more entitlements, but we do need workfare requirements and education requirements. We do not need welfare dependency. Borrowing from western Europe's socialist welfare state is not the path to making America greater. Raising taxes on businesses and investment will shrink the GDP. It will reduce blue-collar wages and it will destroy several million jobs.
Only left-wing ideologues such as now populate the White House and the Congress would opt for a fiscal policy which is anti-growth, anti-jobs, anti-prosperity. There's really no common sense here. And again, polls show that Americans get that.
Now, one last point in all of this. The price of oil is just under $80 bucks. That's for West Texas crude. Just under gasoline at the pump is at 2021 high at $3.21. Natural gas prices until recently were booming. They're still pretty high. Now all this is a big middle-class tax hike.
Now here's what you don't do. You don't go to the Middle East with hat in hand on your knees and beg the Saudis to produce more oil. You don't tell Russia it's OK to finish the Nord Stream 2 pipeline for natural gas going from Russia to Germany in Europe.
What you should do is somebody should tell the president we actually have a lot of oil and gas right here at home, and he should sponsor its production and investment instead of blocking it.
You should OK the Keystone Pipeline, you should OK oil leases on federal land, you should OK ANWR oil and gas development. The US pre-pandemic was pumping out about 13.5 million barrels of oil per day. Now, with the Biden throwing a wet blanket over the whole industry, they are not resuming major production and investment. We have been hovering at only 11 million barrels a day. That's a big differential.
The rig count has increased only minimally despite huge economic demands. And instead of exporting energy, we are now back to importing energy. Given the power back to the Saudis to OPEC and Russia, so this is another reason to save America and kill the bill. In fact, kill all the bills.