President Obama war on gas prices is running on empty

Discussion in 'Economics' started by olias, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. olias


    By Steve Stromberg

    Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 3:00 a.m.
    Last Modified: Monday, April 25, 2011 at 4:02 p.m.

    Nothing brings out the shamelessness of Washington politicians like rising gas prices, and President Barack Obama is the latest case. His Justice Department on Thursday announced a task force to investigate oil industry prices and practices for fraud. But if there is fraud here, it is that the president and Republicans in Congress continue to fuel the myth that the federal government might, with an investigation here or plans to drill there, affect the short-term world-market price of a commodity America doesn't and never will control.

    If Obama's new investigation sounds familiar, that's because it's the sort of thing President George W. Bush and the GOP Congress did in 2005 and 2006. Their probes were a waste of money. Not only did investigators conclude that there was no widespread price fixing, they had a tough time even finding credible complaints of price manipulation.

    Does Obama really think that his administration will find anything fundamentally different about the sorts of factors that are pushing up gas prices now? Republicans are cynically encouraging this nonsense.

    National Journal reports that GOP lawmakers are passing bills and holding hearings that won't result in actual laws but will allow them to bash Democrats on gas prices, which they plan to make a major theme heading into the 2012 elections.

    Among other things, they are preparing to hit Democrats for not supporting a trio of bills from the House Natural Resources Committee that would expand offshore drilling. More offshore drilling isn't a bad idea in the long term, but it would do nothing to lower current gas prices.

    The Republicans' gas-price campaign should also be familiar. Liberals tried something similar during the previous administration, when they blamed higher gas prices on Bush's foreign policy.

    Rising gas prices simply aren't Obama's fault. Just as they weren't Bush's fault. Americans need to get used to factors affecting gas prices that aren't in America's control, particularly that the developing world will demand more oil as the economies of nations such as China and India grow.

    That's not ideology; it's supply and demand.

    Steve Stromberg is an editorial writer for the Washington WC1>Post. This is an excerpt from the Post's opinion blog, updated daily at
  2. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    once again, most of the article is dead on right - but at the end misses the whole wrap up by blaming rising oil prices on emerging markets rather than a crashing dollar and the fed's monetary policy.

    the white house and most savvy politicians know where the problem lies. they just want the dog and pony show to distract joe six pack from the truth (the Fed) because that's their bread and butter.

    the problem is that more and more sheeple awake from their coma every day to the truth.
  3. Gas Prices Up Because of LEGAL Speculation; Not Manipulation,

    Goldman Sachs released a note to clients that put a number on the impact speculators were having on the price of crude oil. The report indicated that, at the time, the speculation premium was $27 per barrel of crude oil, which hit $113.46 during early trading that same day.
  4. kipster


    im going to go buy a bike.
    its' ridiculous where i am.
    horrible public transport.
    everyone drives...and now
    its too expensive to drive. -__-''
  5. The blogosphere has been a thorn in the side of blatant political propoganda for a few years now. Prior to the events of 2008, half of the shit that has transpired would have been considered the spectre of "moonbats and tinfoil hatters" as the knobs around here would label it.

    Now even the straight shooter, true believer types have had their boats rocked enough to question their tenuous grasp on "how things really work".
  6. Bob111


    +1. but the fed actions have direct relationship with inaction in DC. all obama have to do,if he really want to find the cause of high gas prices is to look in the fucking mirror and check the value of his country's currency. and ask himself,why it's in such deep shit. i guess that's too hard..
  7. TGregg


    What other choice does he have? Bush & the gang fooled poeple several times along these lines and got away with it even when they found nothing. Here in Charlotte we have anti-price gouging laws, even after we freaken' ran out of gas a couple years ago (I kid you not). Some people were topping off their tanks at every opportunity, creating a very inefficient market. Any cries for free market principles offering huge incentives for anybody with a tanker to drive on over? Not a peep.

    People would rather suffer the gas shortage than see somebody make a lot of money.

    Same thing here. Class warfare still sells very well in this country. Evil speculators, Big Oil, fat cat bankers, The Rich, etc. Trot out the usual suspects and point the usual fingers and the usual sheep will fall in line.

    So there's one path to "success" that is sure to work. Oh it runs off a cliff alright, but maybe not `til next term. Maybe they can keep stringing this along for a couple more administrations.

    What's the alternative? Massive spending cuts, higher taxes, paying the bill for these decades of keynesgrowth? Look at the political fallout from that, holy cow. We're talking violence in the streets if they tried that. The problem is now too big and whomever fails to kick the can further down the road is in for a world of hurt.

    So those are the choices they face in DC. Do "the right thing" and get slaughtered immediately or push it down the road, maybe until you are no longer in DC. The choice is pretty obvious, at least to the sort of people who have the required determination to make it to Congress.

    Fortunately the best and brightest know WTF is going down and will do well. Sucks to be Joe Sixpack though - but that's fair since he's the moron who keeps this all in play.
  8. +1.

    Also, continued Middle East adventurism + anti-drilling policies aren't helping either. Maybe Oh-Bomb-Ya should investigate himself.
  9. Bob111


    +1. fortunately we live in capitalistic enough world,where one can do something for himself,rather just sit and wait for his gvt to come.
    all i'm trying to says that one should not expect anything from the government and must take an active position to protect his wealth(if any) and buying power. i have to admit- i'm day trader and dunno shit about long term investments,commodities etc and having a hard time taking direct position without clear goal or objective.i saw it's coming, but have no balls to put my money where my mouth is.. have to come back to the books and educate myself to became more confident and come up with the plan...but i believe that's the only way out-every man for himself. and in meanwhile it's no gonna hurt to rant a little bit about those in DC :p
  10. olias


    I'm sure there is some element of truth in that, but I don't think the fed's monetary policy is largely to blame here. If it was fed policy (in other words 'inflation') you see inflation everywhere, right?

    And, even if fed policy is a large culprit here, I still don't blame them for taking steps to fight unemployment and and slow economy.

    Yes, we've been round and round this before, but it bears repeating.
    #10     Apr 26, 2011