- Faith & Family
In the last few months the economy appeared to be improving as have President Obama’s job approval numbers. There is a comeback in independent voters and many political experts were impressed with the improvement of the unemployment numbers. But many of the economic strategists are concerned with the unrest and turmoil in the Middle East, and they feel gas prices will rise.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics said, “Gasoline prices are likely to keep rising as the summer driving season approaches. Increasing, it’s becoming the biggest threat to the economy and there is little presidents can do to influence gasoline prices in the near term.”
I am not an economist but this is an election year and higher gas prices will be blamed on the president. The Republican candidates are lining up to criticize the president’s energy plans and explaining to the American people why their alternative energy plans will work.
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich is discussing with the media that he has a plan to help push back gasoline prices to $2.50 a gallon. Senator Rick Santorum has warned the citizens of $5-a-gallon gas and blames the high prices on the president not doing his job. The Republican challengers are full of promises —they all agree that Obama made a big mistake when he rejected a pipeline from Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. But Obama’s message is clear — there is no quick fix to rising gas prices. Gas prices are a daily reminder that there is a problem with the economy. When Americans find they cannot afford to put gas in their cars they will become very angry. Turmoil abroad could force crude oil prices to spike to $200 a barrel and gas prices will continue to rise. The U.S. is caught in the middle. Meanwhile, soaring gasoline prices threaten to hurt and undercut Obama’s reelection prospects.
Economists see the $4.25 a-gallon mark as a breaking point for the economy when it begins to suffer real pain. Many of the economists claim that every 1 cent increase in gas is roughly a $1.4 billion drain on the economy. The economy is vulnerable at this point, because the recovery is still early and things could reverse and go in the wrong direction.
Americans are looking for leadership in terms of the gas crisis. Gasoline prices impact all Americans in their bank accounts —citizens want the gas problem fixed. If the president cannot find a solution and prices hit $5.50 a gallon, it will be hard for the him to win the upcoming election.
Roger Caldwell is the CEO of On Point Media Group in Jacksonville.
By Roger Caldwell
Miami Times contributor