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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why No President Can Bring Us $2 Gasoline

It’s Presidents’ Day as I write this, so if you were lucky enough to have the day off, give some thanks to Washington, Lincoln and all the other chief executives — even stinkers like James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson. Of course in modern American politics, every day is really Presidents’ Day — so central is the occupant of the White House to the perceived state of the nation. Good news or bad news, foreign or domestic, the President gets the credit — and he gets the blame, whether he actually deserves either.

That goes for one of the most importantly economic indicators — psychologically at least — that’s out there: gas prices. A gallon of gas now costs an average of $3.53, already up 25¢ from the beginning of the year, and the highest price it’s even been at this time of the year. (Gas prices are usually lower in the winter, when the cold weather and lack of holidays curtails some driving.) With the U.S. economy strengthening — driving up demand for gasoline, and price as well — and the situation in Iran and the rest of the oil-producing Middle East looking uncertain, analysts believes gas could be well over $4 a gallon by the prime driving months of the summer.

You can bet that gas prices will be a major campaign issue during the 2012 presidential election, just as they were in 2008 — better known as the summer of “drill, baby, drill.” Republican candidate Newt Gingrich — who wants to “drill here, drill now” — has been promising that he could bring gasoline to $2.50 a gallon or less if he takes office, while the other candidates are concentrating their fire at President Obama, blaming his policies for the pain at the pump. But does a President really have that much control over how much it costs for you to fill your car?



Anonymous said...

Surprised there are no comments on this...and higher gas prices are because of the exploding US economy...right. Mostly investors drive the futures market and if they feel that there will be an increase in future supplies it WILL bring prices down. After all, oil, like any other commodity, is only worth what people are willing to pay for it. Maybe the gov't should just take over the oil companies, like in Venezuela.

Anonymous said...

Remember the media blaming Bush for high gas prices ? Where are they now?

Anonymous said...

There is less demand for oil here because the economy is down so the oil companies are selling it to India and China for more than they can sell it for here.Refineries are closing here and just selling crude for a big profit.

Anonymous said...

There is also less demand because of the warmer winter that we are having. So if we are using less why is the price still going up up up?

Anonymous said...

910-In 1990, there were 1 million privately owned cars/trucks in China. Today, it is the worlds largest auto market. Quite simple if you look at it.

Anonymous said...

Some of us DO STILL blame Bush for the high gas prices.
Unrest in the Middle East, brought on largely from Bush's wars!
The other side of it is the speculators. They "speculate" to make THEMSELVES more money, plain and simple.
Iran cutting oil off from other countries should have NO effect on us. We don't get oil from Iran!