Monday, September 25, 2006

Gas price: 42% of Americans are flipping idiots.

Bidness: Most of those are Democrats.

Almost half of all Americans believe the November elections have more influence than market forces. For them, the plunge at the pump is about politics, not economics. Retired farmer Jim Mohr of Lexington, Ill., rattled off a tankful of reasons why pump prices may be falling, including the end of the summer travel season and the fact that no major hurricanes have disrupted Gulf of Mexico output. "But I think the big important reason is Republicans want to get elected," Mohr, 66, said while filling up for $2.17 a gallon. "They think getting the prices down is going to help get some more incumbents re-elected." According to a new Gallup poll, 42 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that the Bush administration "deliberately manipulated the price of gasoline so that it would decrease before this fall's elections." Fifty-three percent of those surveyed did not believe in this conspiracy theory, while 5 percent said they had no opinion. Almost two-thirds of those who suspect President Bush intervened to bring down energy prices before Election Day are registered Democrats, according to Gallup.
Tony Snow brings some logic into it.
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.
At least $25 dollars of the oil price at its high was pure speculation and at least one group got burned for it.
The plunge in prices, Halff said, is the result of growing domestic inventories of fuel, slowing economic growth and toned-down rhetoric between Iran and the United States, which has been critical of Tehran's uranium enrichment program. The selloff has been magnified, Halff said, by the recent retreat from the market by many speculative investors who got burned by the late-summer volatility. Just last week, a prominent hedge fund told investors that it lost some $6 billion due to bad bets on natural gas prices. That said, "the sky is not falling," said Halff, who believes oil prices will likely head higher again this winter and average more than $65 a barrel throughout 2007. At the start of summer, oil analysts were worried about rising demand, the threat of hurricanes and the nuclear standoff between the West and Iran, OPEC's second-largest producer. As a result, crude-oil futures soared to more than $78 a barrel in mid-July. But by summer's end, these fears had largely dissipated. On Monday, November crude futures settled at $61.45 a barrel.
But to think the government can rise or lower gas prices on a whim shows a lack of business 101. ....I take that back, you can see an drop instantly if gas taxes on the local/state/federal level was taken out. Everything else is just market forces. Update# Washington Post's Dan Froomkin
Gas Watch A new Gallup Poll finds that an astonishing 42 percent of Americans believe that the Bush administration has deliberately manipulated the price of gasoline so that it would decrease before this fall's elections. But whether this has happened or not should not be a matter of idle speculation. As a determinable fact, it should be the object of some reporting. How 'bout it, colleagues?
Seriously, Froomkin cannot be this dumb. I know as a liberal writer he has to play to the moonbats, but this is beyond ridiculous.

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