Rising gasoline prices have consumers reeling, some of them having to choose between fuel and food. Politically, this means the president is in “mortal peril” of losing his 2012 campaign for reelection unless prices go down, one prominent Democratic campaign consultant says.
But the president’s not worried. He has a three-pronged plan to solve the problem.
First, he is urging Americans who own gas guzzlers to think about buying new fuel efficient vehicles. “If you’re complaining about the price of gas and you’re only getting 8 miles a gallon, you know,” he said, “You might want to think about a trade-in.” Tell that to the unemployed.
Second, as Jim Lakely points out in Obama’s Answer to High Gas Prices: Tax ‘Big Oil,’ the president wants the elimination of tax breaks for “Big Oil.” Eliminating such corporate welfare may be a good thing, but it would increase, not decrease, gas prices. Also, any federal revenues gained, the president says, shouldn’t be applied toward the federal deficit, but spent on “green energy.”
Third, the president has now created a legal “working group” to investigate whether “Big Oil” is fraudulently hiking prices at the pump. The group will consist of representatives of the Departments of Justice, Treasury, and Energy, and the National Association of [state] Attorneys General. Its mission is to determine “whether there is any evidence of manipulation of oil and gas prices, collusion, fraud, or misrepresentations at the retail or wholesale levels that would violate state or federal laws,” according to Attorney General Eric Holder, who will supervise it.
But even Holder, who’s previously peddled some pretty frivolous legal positions with an absolutely straight face, gagged a little bit over this one, noting there’s no evidence yet of any illegality.
The New Yorker, hardly a bastion of anti-Obama sentiment, recently published a fascinating assessment of the evolution of Obama’s foreign policy, such as it is, particularly as to the Mideast. Obama’s policy is called “leading from behind,” according to an unnamed “senior official.”
Maybe that’s why gas prices are “skyrocketing.”