Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are fiddling while Rome burns. Neither one of them seem to be all that concerned about the real problem in this country: The price of oil and the impoverishing inflation it brings. One of the reasons Romney may be so tone deaf is he is failing to connect to those of us who must spend a heck of a lot of money on gas. We live in small rural towns. He’s not connecting.
Is Newt the only candidate who has a grasp of fiscal reality of the real world?
“...”I’m just asking the president who belongs to the Flat Earth Sierra Club Society, to consider that in fact if we had the same level of drilling for oil, ask the president why is Saudi oil good and American oil bad? Why is Saudi drilling good and American drilling bad. This is utter intellectual nonsense,” Gingrich said.
“I think his policy is total nonsense and I think the American people will recognize it as total nonsense,” Gingrich said.
Earlier Thursday, Obama compared Republican opposition to biofuels and alternative energy to ‘flat earth’ conspiracy theorists around the time of Christopher Columbus. “If some of these folks were around when Columbus set sail, they probably must have been founding members of the flat earth society. They would not believe that the world was round,” he said during remarks in Maryland.
And while Obama did not refer to Gingrich by name, he called out the former House Speaker’s plan to bring gas prices down to $2.50.
“Every time prices start to go up – especially in an election year – politicians dust off their three-point plans for $2 gasoline. I guess this year they decided we’re going to make it $2.50 … why not $2.40? Why not $2.10?” Obama said.
The spate between the White House and Gingrich began when press secretary Jay Carney said that any politician promising $2.50 gas was “lying” — comments he later walked back a bit saying that he did not mean to guess at a politican’s motivations….”
The Pink Flamingo read something the other day that our economy has recently had a tremendous cash influx – due to people spending more on gas. When people spend more on gas, they become IMPOVERISHED. Or, as this pathetic explanation shows us, our standard of living goes down.
“...In other periods of economic growth, however, inflation has risen rapidly. In 1976, consumer prices rose 4.9 percent, according to the Labor Department. In the next three years, they went up 6.7 percent, 9 percent and 13.3 percent. It then took three years and a bruising recession, engineered by the Federal Reserve to contain inflation, to bring them down to 3.8 percent.
— Stockpile the items you care about most. It’s the most basic of home economics that if you find your favorite brand of soup or toothpaste on sale, you should buy a bunch. Not so much that you eventually appear on the TV show “hoarders,” but enough so that your bottom line is helped by this habit.
— Act as the Labor Department expects you to act. There’s another measure of prices called the “Chained CPI” that reduces the overall inflation rate because it considers the way consumers act when prices go up. According to this measure, for example, if meat prices rise, consumers buy less meat and more beans. If gas prices price, people economize by eating out less or buying fewer treats. So act that way. If you spent 11 percent more on gasoline and heat in February than you did in January, skip some other expense. And eat more beans; they are good for you anyway.
— Economize on big things. It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which energy prices decline and stay low. So efficient cars, less driving, storm windows and the like may be ways to hedge rising prices. Preventive care and a solid flexible spending account (or health savings account) may help you hedge rising health care costs….”
“...Leaders of some of the world’s largest oil-producing nations Wednesday pinned current high oil prices primarily on market speculators, just as consuming nations warned that the current increased output levels are being more than offset by supply problems.
Brent crude oil prices are up around 17% this year, and in early March hit highs last seen in July 2008. Fears over a loss of Iranian oil supplies amid rising tension with the West over its nuclear program, in addition to supply losses from South Sudan, Yemen, Syria and the North Sea, have fueled concerns over whether tightened global oil supply can meet demand.
Addressing the International Energy Forum of major oil producers and consumers here, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said growing interest in energy commodities as an asset class had increased market speculation, which was based on guesswork that oil supply would be constrained in the future. He blamed speculators’ focus on oil futures, without taking delivery of physical oil, for causing volatile price distortions.
Mr. Naimi said the physical oil market is “generally balanced, and there is ample production and refining capacity.”
“Saudi Arabia and others remain poised to make good any shortfalls—perceived or real—in crude oil supply,” Mr. Naimi said, according to a copy of his remarks, which he made outside the presence of reporters….”
“...Energy prices are a concern. They rose in February after falling in the two previous months. Wholesale gas costs jumped 4.3 percent, the biggest rise in five months.
Oil and gas prices have surged since the beginning of the year. The average retail price for a gallon of gas was $3.81 on Wednesday, according to AAA. That’s 50 cents higher than a month ago.
The Fed highlighted the increase in gas prices on Tuesday after its one-day policy meeting. Policymakers said they expect rising energy prices to temporarily raise inflation. But longer-term inflation should remain stable — repeating a view expressed by Chairman Ben Bernanke earlier this month.
The Fed also repeated its plan to keep its benchmark interest rate near zero until at least 2014, a sign that it is not concerned about out-of-control inflation.
Wholesale inflation peaked last year and has moderated steadily in recent months. Prices of many agricultural commodities, such as cotton and corn, spiked early last year but have since fallen.
Dairy goods dropped 2.8 percent in February. Vegetables and meat prices also fell.
Pharmaceutical costs rose 0.6 percent. Medical devices, soaps and detergents, and aircraft also posted big price increases.
A small amount of inflation can be good for the economy. It encourages businesses and consumers to spend and invest money sooner rather than later, before inflation erodes its value.
Lower price growth also leaves more money in consumers’ pockets, boosting their buying power and supporting economic growth. Some economists worry that rising gas prices could drag on growth….”
“...In 1981 that $1.35 would be the equivalent of $3.37 in inflation adjusted terms for January 2012 dollars.
Compare that to the price increase from 1998 where the average price was $1.02 and by July 2008 it had increased to $4.02 and you have a 294% increase in 10 years even greater than the 1981 spike.
Amazingly the average inflation adjusted gasoline prices for the following peak years were; 1918 was $3.75, 1938 was $3.22, 2008 was $3.39, and the average for all of 2011 was $3.48. All very close when adjusted for inflation.
Interestingly, the average price of a gallon of gas from 1918 to the present is $2.49 in January 2012 inflation adjusted dollars. So it is safe to say that anytime during that period that the price of gas was above $2.49 in inflation adjusted terms it was expensive and whenever it was below that price it was cheap. So obviously when it reached $4.00 a gallon in July 2008 it was expensive. And with the average for 2011 at $3.51 we are once again expensive….”
“…In other words, adjusted for inflation, today’s gas prices – in March! — are worse than during every preceding gas price spike, except the peak of summer in 2008. So what will the peak price be this summer?
In March 2008, the national average was $3.20 per gallon. By June it was $4.08.
The usually great Phil Klein says, “gas prices are highly volatile and it’s often hard to differentiate short-term fluctuations from long-term trends.” True enough, but there are a couple of factors driving up the price that aren’t likely to be alleviated between now and November: global demand, tensions with Iran, a weak dollar, industry fears that the administration is eager to impose new costs upon them, regulatory obstacles to expanding refinery capacity, etc. Then throw in the traditional increase in demand as summer approaches (which will slide as autumn arrives), and we’ll be enduring, at the very least, a long hot summer of high gas prices, even if autumn isn’t quite so bad…”
Why are Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum ignoring oil/gas? Just look at their twitter feed the past few days, verses Newt.