How do we solve the current problem of high gas prices? Who solves the problem of high gas prices? Are taxes a part of the problem? Is the President to blame?
Several years ago, 1999 or 2000, when gas prices were topping $1.60 a gallon, then presidential candidate, Texas Governor George Bush said the president “must jawbone OPEC members into lowering prices.”
How’d that work out?
Admittedly, I criticized President Bush on that statement, and the resulting huge increase in gas prices ($4 per gallon) that curiously increased between elections, and dropped at election time. So is the President to blame? Was George Bush to blame? Is Barack Obama to blame now? George Bush deserved criticism for his statements and lack of knowledge about gas prices, if you recall, he didn’t even know the price of gas was almost $4 a gallon when a reporter asked him about it at one point during his presidency, but the president wasn’t and isn’t specifically to blame per se.
I’m sure I could find blame, and I guess if we had another president like Teddy Roosevelt who took on corporate crooks, the president could be a solution, but the problem is Wall Street investors buying oil futures as a short-term investment, not the president.
Can you name one product that drives our economy as much as the cost of gas? Not only do prices of products rise with the price of gas, but if I spend $40 more dollars on gas each month, with profits going to a foreign company, that is $40 less I am spending at local businesses that create jobs. That means I’m not buying a pizza at Casa Nostra in Lakeville or taking my wife on a date to go see a movie at the Lakeville Movie Theater. It means I’m not buying as much fresh locally grown produce at the grocery store, or splurging on a steak at Kowalski’s. It means I wear my shoes longer and let me hair grow out a little more between cuts.
Should a resource that dictates the economic success or failure of small businesses, and our country in general, as much as oil and gas do, really be an item that makes Wall Street investors rich? When Wall Street traders think oil prices will increase, they bid more, increasing the price of oil. So as we pay more and more, oil companies, many of them foreign, who have no significant additional costs to produce a barrel of oil, make more and more money.
I guess there are two solutions. Drilling more won’t work, first it won’t stop speculation, and second we already have a glut of oil. OPEC is slowing down drilling because they can’t sell it all. So, we can work to either eliminate the use of oil and gas, or we can begin regulating investment in oil futures to some degree. I don’t know whether either would work. I doubt we would see a big decline in gas prices, after all, how often do we see gas prices go down 20 cents in a day like they go up? It’s business, and it is not likely. But regulation on oil speculation that limits gambling on oil would at least make our gas prices dependent on supply and demand rather than based on Wall Street profits. Well, that is until radical governments take over the entire Middle East and cut us off completely…