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Your Take: Do You Blame Presidents for Gas Prices?

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Politics is a funny game. Every time gas prices go up, the party that’s out of power blames the part that’s in power for the increase. President Obama’s a Democrat and so the Republicans blame him for higher gas prices. When President Bush was in office, Democrats blamed Bush for higher gas prices. When prices go down, one party will take credit and the other will try to argue that President’s can’t affect gas prices. In reality, only one thing is true – Presidents can do very little to affect the short term price of gasoline. It’s just the reality of the global marketplace, foreign exchange, and a litany of other factors that one person, let alone one country, cannot change.

But how many people actually believe the rhetoric? It’s like soccer players falling after being barely touched and crying foul – almost everyone knows it’s just a ploy (especially once they get up and continue playing like nothing happened).

Do you think a President can affect gas prices and if so, why?

{ 80 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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80 Responses to “Your Take: Do You Blame Presidents for Gas Prices?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    In a word ‘NO’!
    Big OiL is friends with Bush not Obama.
    George opened up the price gorge on his watch as he helped them set a precedent that changed the way Americans think of oil/gas prices forever.
    Obama inherited a problem that neither he nor any presidents after Bush will not be able to put Pandora) back in the box.

  2. RIK says:

    Short term I think the pipeline from Canada would help. However,long term we need to replace our need for gas by
    continuing to develop alternate fuels
    and propulsion methods.

    • simon says:

      i thought that the pipeline would help our economy but in reality the pipeline has no stop until it reaches the gulf of mexico in Texas and from there it will be stored and shipped off to other countries not helping the gas prices in the USA at all

  3. rlaw100 says:

    Through legislation the President can probably have a small impact on gas prices, (increased domestic drilling/alternative energy), but the effects would be both marginal and not take time to fall into effect. People who complain want immediate change and that’s probably not possible.

  4. timparker says:

    Last time the SPR was tapped it only had a short term effect on prices. We have to get serious about natural gas.

  5. Squeezer says:

    I think that presidents usually do not have a short term influence, but do influence prices over the long term such as banning the keystone development or closing lands from drilling.

  6. Rochelle Sealey says:

    No I don’t blame the President. Im so sick of both parties blaming each other when something goes wrong. The problem is the United State don’t take care of the United States Family they are always helping outsider before taking care of home first There shouldn’t be no American homeless or going without food. It just makes me sick I work so hard for my family it just sicking me. That people from other county come here and get all the help in the world. Something is wrong with this picture. Our congress and higher up can talk alot of mess to get in office but when they get there they don’t do a dam thing.

  7. Diane says:

    Good lord, no.

    Election year politics at its worst. No President – regardless of party – can control gas prices. Nor should they. I say let the market float.

  8. Dave says:

    Wait, so what I’m getting from this whole comment thread is that I can’t blame Obama for having to spend $100 every 3 days to fill up my gas guzzler? Wait, then it must be Bush’s fault. Not Bush’s fault? Then its definitely China – they’re probably manipulating the currency markets so that oil costs more in the US. Oh, wait – I got it! It’s the car maker’s fault! They are in cahoots with the oil companies and won’t make good electric cars or develop water powered cars, and are forcing us to buy more oil…

  9. eric says:

    Nothing like politics to bring out all the lurkers to comment! ;)

  10. The impact of the Obama energy policies have yet to be felt in the marketplace (boy do I feel sorry for whoever comes after him; they will have one hell of a mess to straighten out).

    The oil and natural gas boom on private lands in the US is the only thing keeping the situation from getting much worse. The policy in Washington today is to raise gas prices slow enough that the public will adjust to the new status quo. We are just frittering away time and money now tilting at windmills (not to mention lining the pockets of cronies and political contributors with taxpayer money). The Stephen Chu hedge fund needs to be shut down.

    • simon says:

      the energy policies weren’t put their to hurt the price of oil they were put their to make sure that oil companies follow regulations and do not destroy the environment, because we all know that if the oil companies had their way with regulations they would make this world a safer and cleaner place right?(sarcasm)

  11. Surprised no one has commented on the Fed’s weak dollar policy as being a major contributor to the rise in gas along with the malallocation of energy investments by the geniuses in DC.

  12. Matt says:

    I do blame Obama for this. He should be doing everything possible to get us out of this crisis, such as expanding offshore drilling and the Keystone Pipeline. I know that won’t solve the problem but it will sure help.

    • NateUVM says:

      The “backup” of oil that the Keystone pipeline is supposed to aleviate by letting it flow freely to the gulf for export is actually keeping gas prices in the Midwest supressed. All that excess crude is being kept closer to refineries that service that area of the country.

      And while exporting these barrels may make some oil comanies richer, it won’t have nearly the same positive effect on the rest of the country vis-a-vis dropping world prices as the negative impact it would have on the Midwest.

      http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/22/news/economy/keystone-pipeline/index.htm

  13. Miiockm says:

    I think speculators would be more to blame than anyone.

  14. William Welch says:

    Yes i think he can effect the gas prices, Obama keeps saying it takes 5 years to get oil if we started right now, well isn’t he in his fifth year as president? IF wes started back then we would be geting oil now. It’s all a political game to keep Saudi, Iran ,Irak, country’s from operating.
    What about all the oil in Canada, that Obama squashed that pipe line.
    Every time the oil prices go up Congress brings the big oil companie in to explain why the prics were so high and their profits where so high you never hear about it, what was done? nothing!!! Record profits. they claim it cost them more to refine but they still had record profits????
    It a joke, there no reason for the increases it just what those countries feel like charging
    I just saw on tv that one of theprinces in Saudi had 22 palaces and 2000 cars!!!! yet their people live on dirt floors….

  15. Tim says:

    Presidents’ policies can have important long-term (8 years or more) influence on how much Americans spend on gas and a moderate long-term (again, (8 years or more) influence on gas prices, and virtually no influence on gas prices in the short term (except by, say, influencing speculators by getting into a mideast war, for example).

    The best way that Americans can spend less on gas it to use less gas. In a country where a truck (the Ford F-150) is the most popular vehicle, people look pretty stupid complaining about gas prices. Cutting consumption will rediuce demand, and that will held reduce prices, but only a little. Consuming less DOES mean you spend less, of course. Rapidly growing demand from the growing Chinese and Indian economies will swamp out anything Americans can do with either domestic production or consumption.

  16. Kind of ridiculous to blame any president. We have to pay the middle east for oil, they can do whatever they want with the prices.

  17. eddydemise says:

    So it’s ok for the two faced democrat to have BASHED Bush to deth over high gasoline cost but not ok attack Obama.. Listen to this video in the democrats own words.. Talk about a bunch of two faced idiots… Thats a democrat for you..

  18. DonC says:

    I say we should drill more here at home. Will it change the price of oil. No. Why? Let’s assume we have a president willing to mkae the tough decision and stand up to the special interest groups and allow more drilling here in the US. Now fast forward 5-10 years where we now have more US companies producing oil. Where are they going sell their oil? Here is in the US where Americans want $2 a gallon? Or anywhere else in the world were they’re willing to pay $6-$9 a gallon. Obviously they’ll export to make the profits. I say drill here, drill now so we can be join in on the lucrative industry. Think of the new jobs and waelth this could create. Problem is, Obama will never make that decision to move forward with this.

  19. JJ says:

    Of course I blame the president for gas prices.

    I also blame the president for improving unemployment, improving GDP, the slow housing recovery, fracking, drilling in the arctic, Trayvon Martin’s killer being prosecuted and/or not being prosecuted, the stock market rally, troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, the outcome in Libya, etc.

    The buck stops with the President. He is probably the ONLY person in the country that can influence literally everything that goes on in the here. He gets the credit and the blame for everything.

    In the end, if I give him more credit than blame, I’ll vote for him again. Especially if I think those running against him are disingenuous maroons.


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