Who decided it’s all about gas?

When did everyone decide that it’s high gas prices that are hurting Obama? Seems crazy to me. He’s losing two out of three wars, the economy is flagging, and his signature domestic achievement is unpopular.  So it must be the gas! … P.S.: It’s not surprising that in polls people who say they “are feeling serious hardship as a result of gas prices” disproportionately say they “will not vote for Obama in 2012.” Or, rather, it’s not surprising that people who are so economically pressured that they are feeling serious hardship as a result of gas prices say they will not vote for Obama. That doesn’t mean the problem is gas prices. The problem might be the economic pressure. If employment and wages were growing rapidly, would high gas prices even be a factor? … P.P.S.: Also, if gas prices are seen as a harbinger of a coming burst of general inflation, that’s a different story. But the gist of the gas price CW is that the price of this one commodity = angry drivers = presidential unpopularity. …

  • Pingback: High gas prices cut into driving habits — and Obama’s approval rating » UrbanGrounds

  • vanderleun

    Sorry, Mickey, but I’ll have to call “faux incredulity” and loss of down on this one.

    Unless, of course, you’re the kind of worker that slams on a keyboard from home, modems it in, has no commute, and whose social schedule is such that he buys about one tank a month….

    Otherwise, unless you slept through the last few decades, you’d know to a certainty that the tradition is for the presidency to eat the news about gas prices good or bad.

    As for inflation, if you were a meat eater and steak griller the run up in beef prices alone would not have escaped your notice in the last few months.

  • PerryM

    If George Bush were in office that’s all you would see on TV – folks pulling pennies out of their pocket to pay for Big Oil’s huge profits at their expense. They would show starving Americans trying to decide to buy a gallon of gas or a gallon of milk for the family.

    But with Dear Leader Obama in office the Lame-Stream press just ignores the prices hoping that Americans are too stupid to figure out the Obama is a total disaster at whatever he touches…..

  • mfdesquire

    I think many people use gas prices as a rough proxy for inflation. They are very visible and are a primary factor in the rise of other prices (e.g., food). Of course, gas prices are primarily determined by oil futures markets, but they are a quick and dirty inflation guide nonetheless. This is particularly true when there is no external shock (e.g., a 70s-style oil embargo) involved.

    Yes, the principal causes for this are the weak dollar and (inter-related) the Fed’s quantitavie easing. But our energy policy is also to blame. We aren’t sufficiently exploring for new oil sources; we aren’t extracting enough of what we know exists now (especially in shallow waters); we aren’t going far enough in developing cheaper methods to extract oil from shale and from deep waters; and we haven’t built a new refinery in 30 years (even if we had more oil, we couldn’t refine it). As a result, the futures markets put a higher price on oil. If we would ramp up our exploration/production and build new refineries, you would see the price of oil come down somewhat on the futures markets, which would lower prices at the pump a bit pretty quickly.


  • tom kinney

    No man, it his gas that makes The Big Zero unpopular, not the gas prices; you read the bulletin wrong.

    File this under the laws of unintended consequences. Zero has made one stupid energy statement and/or policy after another, thus setting himself up for this; this being a huge gas price increase. He has made himself the Czar of Alternative Energy and the Bane of Traditional Energy, and everyone knows it. He has no one else to blame for his gaseous unpopularity.

    When Zero says “alternative energy,” it’s like he thinks that, A. we have ready alternative energy sources at our disposal–we don’t, not even close, and B. that even if we did, we could start using it tomorrow. That we would still be years away from reconfiguring our energy grids and master the markets to optimize their use, apparently hasn’t occurred to Genius Boy. Therefore, if we started now–which we haven’t–at least we’d be on our way–but we aren’t.

    Some of these issues that drag out forever in full public view via the 24/7/365 news cycle these days make one wonder if America still has the right stuff to overcome the many obstacles we have willingly, even knowlingly, thrown in our way.

    And if there is a crisis so compelling that we will ever come to our senses.