Your trips to
work the unemployment office just keep getting more expensive as gas prices have hit a new record high for February. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s awfully hard to have a thriving economy when energy prices are skyrocketing.
From CNS News:
Consumers are taking another huge hit in 2013. First, the two percent Social Security tax hike began the year. Now, gas prices are soaring ever closer to $4 a gallon and have jumped 51 cents a gallon since Dec. 20.
According to the Oil Price Information Service, the national average for a gallon of unleaded was $3.21.9 on Dec. 20, 2012. Today, that price is $3.73.0. While there has been a steady increase, prices shot almost 9 cents just over the weekend.
This President’s Day also marked a full month of rising gas prices every single business day, following a very small early year drop. Gas prices began rising Jan. 18, from $3.29.3-a-gallon, and have soared since. If this increase continues, gas prices could threaten or even top the all-time high price of $4.11, set in 2008.
February 2013 saw record high gas prices for the time of year according to news reports. CNBC noted the national average was the highest ever for the time of year on Feb. 1. As of Feb. 11, The Los Angeles Times reported that the national average that day ($3.587) was also a record, "7.8 cents higher than the record for Feb. 11, set last year." Today’s price is now 17.6 cents higher than 2012.
There are all sorts of reasons for rising energy prices (scarcity, demand, the economy in general, weather, etc.) so I don’t want to just blame the president or any other elected official for the price of anything. Furthermore, even the factors that are seemingly within his control, legally aren’t. He’s not a king, he’s a president. And, constitutionally, the president can’t set economic or energy policies that effect anyone and, therefore, shouldn’t be held responsible for the price of anything. But what if he breaks the restraints that the Constitution puts on him (like virtually every other president for the last 150 years)? What if he abuses his office by placing onerous regulations on those that bring us energy? What if he raises taxes (or threatens to raise taxes) on these companies? What if he refuses to issue drilling permits to companies who would bring about a much greater oil supply and lower prices if they were allowed to drill? What if he refuses to allow pipes to be built that would drastically raise American oil supply and lower the price of gas? What if he feels the same way about oil as he does electricity—that the price should necessarily skyrocket?
Well, if these things are true, and they all are, then he should get some of the blame, right?