There's much discussion out there on the Internets about the suspicious rise and fall of gas prices this year. In fact, a recent Gallup poll shows that 42% of Americans think George Bush and Republicans are deliberately manipulating prices to influence the November elections. Imagine that! Four out of every ten people in America think George Bush is a lying cheat.
As a person with only a smattering of economic training, I confess to being puzzled myself by the wild fluctuations in the oil markets. Could it possibly be that the conspiracy theorists are correct? Could nefarious manipulation be taking place right under our noses?
White House spokesman Tony Snow addressed the issue Monday, telling reporters that “the one thing I have been amused by is the attempt by some people to say that the president has been rigging gas prices, which would give him the kind of magisterial clout unknown to any other human being.”
“It also raises the question, if we’re dropping gas prices now, why on earth did we raise them to $3.50 before?” Snow said.
Hmmmm. As a diarist at Daily Kos says, it would seem that Mr. Snow has answered his own question rather nicely. And as to the issue of magisterial clout, well, the record speaks for itself. King George has lied so often that We the People can no longer tall the difference between truth and fiction. From torture and secret prisons to WMDs and manipulation of the media, it's clear that the Resident will stop at nothing to retain power ... and he is no doubt scared shitless by the prospect of losing control of one house in Congress.
You may recall that Vice President Cheney unilaterally developed America's energy policy after meeting in a secret session with the heads of all the major oil companies. Who's to say that price manipulation wasn't on their clandestine agenda? Maybe Little George can't control gas prices all by himself, but in collusison with Big Oil? That's a whore of a different color.
Republican's are great at taking credit for things they don't do ... and for not taking credit for their many, many screw-ups. I say we give the Republican Congress FULL CREDIT for driving gas prices down just in time for the midterm elections.
PS Before all the grown-ups start whining that I'm losing it, please remember: This is not about the price of oil. It is about the price of gasoline, a price over which producers have great latitude. On the heels of record-breaking billions in recent profits, it makes perfect sense to me that Big Oil might be scaling back their greed to keep their enablers secure in Congress. Just sayin'.