Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy, Environment | Tags: Expected to Hit $4.00, Gas Prices Over $3.50
Gas prices are up. They are hovering around $3.50 nationally and over that locally (WA) and suggestions are that they will keep rising until Memorial Day and perhaps all summer. Oil prices are, of course, dependent on the world price for crude oil; but rising gas prices will be blamed on President Obama. The price of gas is up by 83% under his tenure.
The president is urging Congress to extend the payroll tax cut to counter the rise in gas taxes.He said that the price of gas is up because the economy is recovering and people are driving more. Uh huh. The recovering economy is more hope than change.
The payroll tax cut lowers the Social Security deduction in the paychecks of 160 million working Americans from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. This will reduce the funding for Social Security by $119 billion over the next year, on top of the reduction in Social Security funding last year by $105 billion. This puts the Social Security trust fund (which is a bookkeeping entry and is already in the hole) deeper in deficit territory. But the $119 billion will be replaced by IOUs from the government (which is a bookkeeping entry) which will probably be borrowed from the Chinese when it actually has to be paid out.
The Social Security board issued a report in August 2011, admitting that Social Security aid out more money in 2010 than it had in receipts. The deficit for 2010 was $49 billion and the deficit for 2011 is projected to be $46 billion.
President Obama has actively supported a rise in the price of gasoline. He believes that higher gas prices will force people to use less gas (true) and be more amenable to switching to alternative energy (not true) and be more interested in electric cars (not true) except for hybrids which garner some interest. His subsidized alternative energy projects are going bankrupt one after another. The carbon trading market is dead. Wind and Solar are dying, but the government hasn’t given up and is still pushing subsidies.
In the pursuit of saving the Earth from global warming, the president has been aggressive in eliminating access to our own oil and gas supplies. Has this affected the price of oil? Of course. Futures prices for oil depend on expectations about what the future price will be. If our government said that America is turning on the oil spigot, and America has the world’s most bountiful supply of energy — it would affect expectations. Then you have Iran threatening to close the Straits of Hormuz, cutting off oil supplies to Europe, and frequent terrorist attacks on pipelines.
More oil from offshore rigs in the Gulf could be flowing to refineries. Oil just discovered has to flow through a field of permits, regulations, Big Green objections and lawsuits, all in multiple rounds. This president has shut down oil from the Gulf, and then slowed permitting to a snail’s pace. The coastlines, except for existing drilling areas in the Gulf have been put out of reach, excuses have been manufactured to prevent offshore drilling in Alaska waters. And we have the Keystone XL debacle. There is an oil boom from the shale oil lands where drilling takes place on private lands.
Global warming is over, it’s just going to take time for governments to figure out how to get out of it without enormous embarrassment. And of course Big Green will keep insisting that the Earth is dying, and America is in decline. Watermelons.
Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.
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