Gas Prices – Bush vs. Obama

Posted on Apr 10 2010 - 5:00am by Harrison

You compare for yourself.

Current gasoline prices are only 10% below their all time high:

The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States has moved closer to $4, jumping more than 19 cents since mid-March to a level less than 10 percent below its all-time high, a widely followed survey said on Sunday.

The Lundberg Survey said the national average price of self-serve, regular unleaded gas was $3.765 on Friday, up from $3.573 on March 18, and up 91.3 cents from $2.852 a year ago.

A recent headline on the Drudge Report says it all:

Gasoline Prices Spike; May Hit $4 Gallon...

The story says:

The growing pain at the pump kind of snuck up on many Chicago drivers, but now they’re really feeling the bite.

“I just paid $3.54 for gas,” said Michelle as she filled up at a Chicago gas station. “It’s just outrageous.”

Just a month ago, according to AAA Chicago, unleaded regular averaged $2.86 a gallon in the Chicago area.

Last week, it was $3.02.

Now, it’s $3.08 and many predict it’s heading higher; much higher.

Daniel Flynn, energy trader at PFG Best Research, was asked just how high the gas prices might go.

“That’s the good question,” said Flynn. “I’ve heard as high as $4 a gallon. Some analysts are saying $4.”

Edging closer.

Let’s flash back to when we had a different president in the White House:

On March 5, 2003, Senator Carl Levin, the Ranking Minority Member of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, released a report prepared by the minority staff that reveals why gasoline prices soared under the Bush administration. It has to do with the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) and some odd decisions by the Department of Energy (DOE) after consulting with White House officials.

Whatever the motivation, this much is clear: American citizens had to pay and are still paying a hefty price for gasoline and home heating oil. In the end, regardless of the lip service Mr. Bush may offer to the American people on how he is benefiting all citizens, the facts show he benefits those corporations who made large contributions to his campaigns.

Another story contrasts Bush’s answers about rising gasoline prices (up to $4 per gallon) and the building of his library:

During his press conference today, a reporter asked President Bush what his “advice” would be to the “average American” who is “facing the prospect of $4 a gallon gasoline.” Bush replied, “That’s interesting, I hadn’t heard that.” Yet a few minutes later, Bush wouldn’t answer a question regarding donations for his presidential library because, he claimed, “I, frankly, have been focused elsewhere, like on gasoline prices.”

One of the commenters (Fan of Man) made this remark just below the story:

yeah, focused on how he can help his oil buddies get it up to $5.00 a gallon…. it used to cost me $15.00 to fill up my 95 saturn…. now it costs over $40.00.

impeach this assclown already.

I wonder… will we be hearing similar comments about President Obama?

I paid $3.69 per gallon of 91 Octane the other day at a San Francisco Chevron station.

To read how the Obama administration and his party have damaged our economy with their silly energy policies read Energy Production in America – Our Achilles’ Heal.

77 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. vulcanhammer April 10, 2010 at 8:52 AM -

    You know that Slick is going to get a pass by the MSM on this one. Besides, there are more convenient targets that liberal love to hate like Wall Street, speculators, oil companies, capitalism, Sarah Palin, etc.
    .-= vulcanhammer´s last blog ..Around The Horn…Newsworthy Links And Posts! =-.

    • Harrison April 11, 2010 at 9:44 AM -

      Now that a Texan is not in the White House who profits?

  2. askcherlock April 11, 2010 at 12:56 PM -

    Until we become more self-reliant as a nation for fuel, it does not matter who is holding office. We are hostage to whatever those outside this country with large oil reserves want to charge us. And let’s not forget those taxes.

    • Harrison April 11, 2010 at 4:56 PM -

      Good points but not the topic of the article.

    • Joe Markowitz June 15, 2011 at 7:17 PM -

      Domestic suppliers don’t charge us any less than foreign suppliers. So increasing domestic supplies would not affect the price. It would just affect where the money goes. And taxes on gasoline are much lower percentage wise than they used to be.

      • Harrison June 15, 2011 at 7:20 PM -

        Less oil on the market = higher prices. Supply and demand, basic Econ 101 Joe.

  3. THE LIBERTY PEN April 12, 2010 at 11:00 AM -

    As a side not, Obama could care less if gas hits well above 4 dollars. As long as it is ideologically palatable to him, the suffering of the American family means little to him.
    .-= THE LIBERTY PEN´s last blog ..The San Francisco Board of Supervisor Sophie Maxwell Urges Meatless Mondays =-.

    • Harrison April 12, 2010 at 11:07 AM -

      I agree however will the press be fair and hammer Obama as hard as they hammered Bush?

      • THE LIBERTY PEN April 12, 2010 at 12:27 PM -

        Asked and answered – No (at least the MSM).
        .-= THE LIBERTY PEN´s last blog ..The San Francisco Board of Supervisor Sophie Maxwell Urges Meatless Mondays =-.

      • Flair March 26, 2011 at 2:37 PM -

        That’s great except you’re only talking about the first several months. If you take the endpoints of the Bush Administration, it doesn’t look that bad for Bush either. Because in the last two months (after the Obama election), the nation’s average gasoline price dropped from $3.70 to $1.70 per gallon. So Bush only had 25% increase in gas prices but we didn’t buy gas in any month except the first few and the last few.

        Oil companies didn’t fleece us in between with $4 a gallon gas, did they?

        Short memories. SELECTIVELY short memories.

        • Harrison March 26, 2011 at 2:59 PM -

          Thanks for your comments. I think you forget the point of the article, however:

          “I wonder… will we be hearing similar comments about President Obama?”

          The answer is… no.

          And Coca Cola makes a higher profit per gallon of soda than any oil company makes per gallon of gasoline.

        • Joe September 8, 2012 at 2:54 AM -

          Just before the 2008 Elections Former President Bush suspended purchases for the strategic reserve greatly reducing demand. But he restarted them before he left office. Since then the war in Afghanistan picked up and we have to supply troops with fuel. That leaves the dip in prices at the end of the Bush term an artifical low.

          • Harrison September 8, 2012 at 7:07 AM -

            What Bush did was simply smart economics. Why pay top dollar to top off a reserve when you can wait until prices drop?

            That is a far cry from releasing oil in a cynical political move to lower prices.

  4. Cracked World April 12, 2010 at 6:24 PM -

    I have heard very little about this topic by the Lame Stream Media. So yes Obama will get a pass on this.

    I remember the outrage of oil companies making $36 Billion in one quarter or some ridiculous amount like that. This was nothing but a testament to how much gasoline America consumes. Exxon Mobiles SEC filings showed a profit margin of something in the neighborhood of 11%. You can bet if Walmart only made 11% heads would be rolling around the board room.

    I shutter at the thought of operation expenses of Big Oil. Shipping their black gold half way around the globe can’t be cheap. What are their insurance premiums like considering the volatility of what they are transporting?

    The only thing to blame is the price we pay for foreign oil against the ever falling dollar. Domestic oil wouldn’t render that same disadvantage.
    .-= Cracked World´s last blog ..Tea Party Traitors and Racism =-.

  5. Layfield April 24, 2010 at 11:46 AM -

    Truth be told now!! Obama cares nothing about the everyday average American. When does he ever have to worry about stopping at a gas pump? When does he ever have to decide which to buy…gas or groceries? The man DOES NOT CARE. We the people mean NOTHING to him. By the way…Bush is not our president now, so everyone can stop blaming him, and place the blame where it belongs for the very SAD state of our nation. Our president’s wife gets more press coverage for her sad little fashion choice than the fact that people in this country are going under in droves, and her husband DOES NOT CARE! He’s living in the lap of luxury now, and that’s what it’s all about.

  6. J April 23, 2011 at 9:10 AM -

    How one-sided can you get? Comparing gas prices to what they were 10 years ago? Trying to make it look like a flat line until Obama took office?

    I’m not Obama’s biggest fan, but why don’t you compare them to when Bush was in office in 2007? Oh, right… because that wouldn’t make him look bad. Doesn’t anyone remember that Dick Cheney let the oil company executives (literally) write our energy policy anymore. No joke, Ken Lay, of Enron fame helped write the Bush plan.

    Don’t forget, the “10% higher” all time cost was under Bush.

  7. Joe Markowitz June 15, 2011 at 7:14 PM -

    It’s no great trick to cause gas prices to go down. Just cause the economy to start sliding and unemployment to rise. Demand for gasoline will drop, and prices too. Rising gas prices are a sign of economic growth. Which means that if gas prices are going up during his term, Obama must have been doing something right.

    Same with housing prices and lots of other prices. You probably think it would be a good sign for the economy if housing prices started picking up. And if stores didn’t have to run so many sales. And if car prices started heading up also. And of course those prices go up and down based on the same supply and demand factors that affect gasoline.

    Besides gas prices really are not that high right now. About the same per gallon as a grande latte. Try living in Europe, where they really know how to tax the heck out of gasoline.

    • Joe Sander February 24, 2012 at 2:30 PM -

      Actually Joe, according to a USA today study, Americans are driving LESS miles now than we have in years. So it can’t be just demand….

      • Wil the hunter February 29, 2012 at 6:58 AM -

        But that is one of many aspects of our oil use. Besides, is that ambiguous fact about average miles per American or total miles driven? Are we doing more city driving rather than highway? Are there more drivers/automobiles or less? What is the confidence interval of that stat?

  8. Nate June 24, 2011 at 6:36 PM -

    Well when you step back and look at the whole picture you have to ask yourself why is this going up? Well I would say it all starts with taxes. This country was built for a nobody to create Capital Gains, business are in business to make money. If that nobody creates a Corporation making billions of dollars instead of being a role model they instead get demonized by the Left. When you got a Marxist like white house passing laws to tax the hell out of anyone grossing more than 250k, they got to prepare right? Lets charge our consumers higher they say. Also they don’t secure the borders properly, you’ll have people coming in visiting the hospitals not paying the bills and more state welfare for non-citizens (directly or indirectly). It all connects together. People need jobs and the “Rich” business owners need to be able to make a profit in order to hire. The only thing that will help is action, minus the political correct crowd.

    • Joe September 8, 2012 at 3:19 AM -

      Taxes on the wealthy are at there lowest point since a manditory graduated Income Tax was put in place. When our country started producing millionaires The top rates were around 90% in the highest bracket and that started around $100,000. Realized Capital gains used to be taxed as ordinary income. Now Capital gains are taxed at 15% and the top bracket on other income is less than 40%. With more deductions available to the wealthy than anytime in history. The middle class deductions were drasticcally reduced with the elimination of credit card interest as a deduction and a 10% of income before medical costs can be deducted. What short memories we have. I also suggest you take a good look at wealth distribution while your at it. The wealthy control a much higher percentage of assests in this nation than anytime in history. We need a strong majority middle class in this country for our capital system to remain functioning. Otherwise with the income becoming poor vs. rich there are few who can afford a new home these days.

      • Harrison September 8, 2012 at 7:08 AM -

        I don’t think growing the size of Government is the way to do that.

  9. Nate June 24, 2011 at 6:37 PM -

    Yea they were high, but I don’t agree with tapping into the Emergency Reserve just to drop the prices, and thats what happened. Emergency Reserve is for War, Emergencies, the Unknown. This is a convenient move by the slimy Socialists before election time isnt it. Gas in Powell Ohio is 3.22/Gal

    • Harrison June 26, 2011 at 9:37 PM -

      Yes, the reserve is not an ATM to get votes.

  10. Jeff July 5, 2011 at 9:45 PM -

    It kinda looks to me like the all-time record average of $4.12 per gallon was set during the Bush presidency.

    The overall average price for the Bush term would likely he significantly higher than for the Obama term to date, had Bush not crashed the economy and knocked the bottom out of demand toward the end of 2008–and that’s not even adjusting to current-year dollars to compensate for Bush years inflation.

  11. Luke July 25, 2011 at 1:36 PM -

    Still much cheaper than EU. Here in Italy we need to pay 1,45 euro per Liter !
    Luke recently posted..Why get a degree

  12. Blogging Patriot March 2, 2012 at 6:15 AM -

    Oil production in the United States has hit its highest level in eight years, more rigs are operating in the U.S. than in the rest of the world combined, more than 400 drilling permits have been granted since the massive BP oil spill, and that for the first time in 13 years, oil imports account for less than half of all U.S. oil consumption.

    • Harrison March 2, 2012 at 7:38 AM -

      Your name is a misnomer.

      • Blogging Patriot March 2, 2012 at 1:57 PM -

        Fact: oil prices have nothing to do with supply and demand. This is from:

        The head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission

        Goldman Sachs

        Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson

        Delta and the Air Transport Association

        Sean Cota, treasurer of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America

        Fact: oil prices were stable before the passage of the CFMA.

        Drilling isn’t going to fix prices.

        As for “plenty of oil” Shale requires water. Most of the shale is in the west in area’s that are already straining current water supplies. As an example, using the median estimate of 3.5 barrels, if 1 million barrels per day could be extracted (equivalent to what Canada took out of its Alberta tar sands in 2006), that would require 3.5 million barrels of water per day. 3.5 million barrels per day is around 1.25 billion barrels per year, over 50 billion gallons, or 153,000 acre-feet, which is the usual unit used for Western water consumption. That’s enough water to supply 300,000 households in Las Vegas for a year. Since Las Vegas has 600,000 people, with an average of 2.6 people per household, that means producing 1 million barrels of oil a day from oil shale would be the equivalent of adding one-and-a third Las Vegases in terms of water usage—to a West that is already struggling to hydrate the Las Vegas it has.

        So, it is reasonable to fear that there may not be enough water, based on current supplies, to support extensive oil shale exploitation. We can get at 3%. The rest will require technology (or magic) that doesn’t exist yet. Try running your car off a piece of shale.

        • Harrison March 2, 2012 at 3:12 PM -

          “Fact: oil prices have nothing to do with supply and demand.”


          Everything predicted below has happened. You are pushing a fallacious argument.

          From a 1987 U.S. Government report on oil titled “U.S. Oil Production: The Effect of Low Oil Prices.”

          1. Past successes in exploration provided the Middle East
          with known oil reserves, both developed and undeveloped,
          well beyond the immediate needs of this region given their
          current rate of production, Outside of the Middle East, on
          the other hand, there is little excess production capacity
          and far less undeveloped reserves. This imbalance in both
          present and future production capacity, coupled with the
          worldwide slowdown in exploration and development
          caused by current low prices, and with the dominance of
          the Middle East in undiscovered resources, will lead
          inexorably to a resumption of OPEC market control and,
          subsequently, to higher prices.

          2. Oil demand is bound to increase during a period of low
          prices, planting the seed of future market tightening.
          the demand increase will not mirror the decrease
          caused by high prices, any expectations that our interest
          in energy efficiency and other energy savings is “locked
          into” the energy system are as incorrect as were past
          expectations that high levels of growth in oil demand would
          continue despite high prices.

          3. Low prices have already begun to stifle oil production in
          high cost areas; failure to continue intensive exploration
          will result in substantial losses in worldwide producing capacity
          within a few years.

          4. An increase in demand for OPEC oil of only about 5 mmbd
          caused by demand growth and loss in non-OPEC production
          capacity (or drop in production in cooperation with
          OPEC) would restore OPEC’s leverage in its efforts to influence
          world oil prices.

          5. Expectations that the availability of natural gas as a
          substitute boiler fuel will provide a buffer to oil price
          increases ignore the likely declines in gas production
          capacities as a result of the overall slump in drilling, especially
          in the United States,
          and, elsewhere, the difficulty—
          and great expense—of building the gas transmission infrastructure
          needed to allow effective competition with oil.

          6. The incentive for OPEC nations to manipulate production—
          i.e., the potential to maximize revenues over time because
          price increases can be balanced against lower sales volumes—
          is sufficiently high, and sufficiently well understood,
          to eventually lead to a higher level of cohesion and
          cooperation within OPEC.

          • Blogging Patriot March 2, 2012 at 3:23 PM -

            I should have been more specific. Oil prices have nothing to do with supply and demand now. My discussion was surrounding prices after CFMA passed in 1999.

            We don’t have a supply or demand problem right now. Speculation is keeping prices high.

            From a 1987 U.S. Government report on oil titled “U.S. Oil Production: The Effect of Low Oil Prices.” – isn’t within the timeframe of my comments. CFMA passed in 1999. Try to stay on topic. If we return to the pricing graph then in 1987, when supply and demand dictated prices, those prices were steady. Since 1999 the prices have been all over the place.

            Pretty much everyone but you agrees it is due to speculation. Drilling won’t fix a speculation problem.

            You seem to bounce all over the place.

            • Harrison March 2, 2012 at 4:43 PM -

              Hardly. You parrot the Think Progress line on virtually every one of your “points” in order to blame speculators to give Obama political cover. Fortunately the American people are smart enough to see around this. Liberals blamed G.W. Bush for rising oil prices, the line only switched to speculators when Obama took over.

              You are nothing if not consistently dishonest.

              Any rube can see that with China having gone from a net oil exporter to a net importer and India massively stepping up its oil and gas useage while Democrats have killed domestic oil production in the this country prices have rising.

              The only one believing the Think Progress line are Crunchers and Obama apologists.

              We’re done here.

            • Blogging Patriot March 2, 2012 at 5:24 PM -

              I don’t parrot anything. I quote notable sources, none of them think progress.

              If you can shut off your fox brainwarping long enough to actually think, this country might progress.

              You attack me. You don’t attack the facts that a diverse group believes as I do that speculation is causing high prices.

              I don’t care who liberals blamed. The truth is speculation was the problem under GW Bush as well with regard to prices.

              Back to the magic 1999 date and passage of CFMA. That is to blame. And it isn’t dishonest to quote reputatble sources.

              Do you believe Sean Cota, treasurer of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America is a liberal? Or Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson? Don’t you think the Petroleum Marketers association would be preaching nothing but drilling? Yet they aren’t. Their own data suggest specutlation is the cause of high oil prices.


              Sean Cota of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America said “it’s unbridled investment money that is dominating the market, to the point where supply and demand doesn’t matter anymore.”

              Cota says hedge funds have been pouring into the oil market, and bidding up the price.

              “The total world energy supply is bought and sold everyday about eight times,” Cota added.

              Cota explained that $1.50 a gallon is going to Wall Street. “Our economy can not support this economic cost and balance of payments outside of the country.”

              Drilling isn’t going to solve this problem. Nor is calling out people who are only interested in seeing prices decline by intelligently examining their cause.

              Goldman Sachs economist, Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson, Delta and the Air Transport Association and Sean Cota are not undercover Thinkprogress agents.

              That’s just crazy. Almost as crazy as ignoring their opinions.

            • Harrison March 2, 2012 at 6:00 PM -

              You think me an idiot? Of course Cota is a Liberal. He donated $2,500.00 to the Democratic National Committee on 07/19/2010. He also donated $250.00 to the Vermont Democratic Party on 08/25/2010. Cota was nominated by Vermont Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy (who also opposes domestic drilling) to sit on the Commodity Futures Trading Commision (a political position). Look it up on the Huffington Post. The article says that Gensler, whom you tried to pass off as impartial earlier, and Cota “hold many of the same positions.”

              You expect me to believe you are not parroting the Think Progress article which came out 10 days ago titled “Blame Oil Speculators, Not Obama, For Rising Oil Prices.”


              And I cited several sources… none of them Fox News.

              To even state that increased supply would do nothing to lower prices is absolutely absurd.

              You cite Democratic political appointees as your references?

              What a joke… so easy to uncover the lies.

            • Blogging Patriot March 2, 2012 at 6:38 PM -

              Actually, nothing I quoted was from the ThinkProgress article. Not one word. Though I share the articles sentiment.

              “Drill baby Drill” isn’t the answer. Again, I think you have shut down all thought process and must lable every argument Liberal or Conservative.

              Those of us in the middle are tired of such idiotic antics.

              Everything that doesn’t fit your rhetoric is not “LIBERAL.” It is not a conspiracy to try to think our way out of the nations problems.

              What a tool.

            • Harrison March 2, 2012 at 6:43 PM -

              Everyone you cite is a partisan hack. You parrot Huff Po and Think Progress and call me a tool.

              You are a hack (and a poor one at that).

      • Blogging Patriot March 3, 2012 at 8:31 AM -

        I call you a tool because in spite of diverse sources you accuse me of LYING. Simply because you don’t trust one source doesn’t negate all the other sources that hold the same position. The basic tenet of your argument is that if it comes from anything connected to liberal or democrats it is a lie. And that anyone perpetuating that argument must also then be lying.

        This country is made up of a diverse people. Roughly 45% Democrat and 45% Republican. Then there are the rest of us caught up in this lunacy of ideology.

        Newsflash, conservatives are not always right and they are not always truthful. I spend a lot of time at great lenghts researching my post and don’t take kindly to being called a liar because one side doesn’t like one source – and therefore throws out the whole argument.

        Obama, Democrats and the Republicans have all played a role in this nonsense.

        And those of us in the middle are tired of it, tired of being called “liars” by both sides when we attempt to look at a problem objectively (I have been following the gas price issue since 2008 and many believe speculation is the problem) but fail to reach their ideological conclusions.

        Those that take a hard line, that believe only one half of the country have a voice and a right to govern are not Patriots. Because the foundation of this countrys republic is that everyone has a voice.

        Why do you think the founding fathers made us a republic and not a democracy? Because they didn’t believe in absolute majority rule. They believed that majority and minority must work side by side. Or Congress would have no minority party in either house. It was brilliant. It was uniquely American. Take that away by running government from one party and we lose our soul.

        This country has never had as successful one party leadership as they do with two.

        • Harrison March 3, 2012 at 9:41 AM -

          I called you disingenuous because you will cite somebody, like Gensler or Cota, and their title and present whatever they said as being definitive proof that the situation must be as they describe. To the average, trusting person it would appear as though things are as you say.

          This is how organizations like the New York Times, ABC News, etc… will present a story.

          However upon further digging (a few searches) it is learned that Gensler is actually a politically appointed Obama stooge or Cota has donated $2,750.00 to the Democratic Party and was appointed for his political views.

          These sources are not impartial by any degree and thus citing them as impartial makes you disingenuous. I assume you are an intelligent person, hence I’d expect you to know better so you must be doing that intentionally. If you are a dullard then you are not being disingenuous you have simply been duped.

          You ignore the 10,000 pound elephant in the room… that the Democratic Party has, for the past 30 years (or more, perhaps), had a staunch policy of not drilling for oil. They have worked steadfastly to shut down any attempt to expand domestic production. And to also ignore the basic economic fact of increased supply is absurd as well.

          You ignore the statement, made in 2008 by the current Sec. of Energy Steven Chu that he wanted “European levels” for gas prices… about $8 per gallon or that he said, last week, that working to lower the price of gas was not a priority. You ignore the fact that Obama said his only problem with high gas prices is how fast they have happened. You also either ignore or do not understand that an oil speculator, knowing production is decreasing as useage is increasing and knowing that the Obama admin. wants much higher prices will buy an oil futures contract because he or she knows the price of oil will rise.

          And your citing, without link, of 400 new drilling permits is completely false as well:

          In a fact-filled statement following Mr. Obama’s college-level lecture, Karen A. Harbert, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, spelled out just what those “just say no” policies were. Among them:

          – The Obama administration “has issued 50.7 percent fewer annual [oil drilling] leases on public lands than President Clinton did.”
          – “Gulf of Mexico energy production is down 16 percent since 2009 and is projected to decrease even further in 2012.”
          – Mr. Obama “also has banned new offshore areas from oil and gas exploration, and recently his administration took 1 million acres of onshore land rich with oil shale off the table.”

          You are either unwilling or incapable of looking below the surface. That makes you either disingenuous or a dupe. And as I said earlier, I don’t have time to educate you or, if you are being disingenuous, the time to re-collect the lies and refute them one by one.

          • Blogging Patriot March 3, 2012 at 10:20 AM -

            I don’t have your level of paranoia apparently. I don’t believe everyone in government is a stooge.

            You are either unwilling or incapable of looking below the surface yourself.

            You can’t dispute that since 2000, oil prices have shown fluctuation that is impossible to relate to supply and demand.

            You can’t dispute that Exxon CEO, who isn’t a stooge, believes it is speculation.

            You can’t dispute that Delta and over 98 other trade groups cite speculation as the issue with gas prices.

            If I, reach below the surface, I find that in fact supply and demand have not corresponded to price since about the year 2000 and that this dicrepancy increased at a rate not seen in the history of oil traded as a commodity.

            There is no doubt, spare production capacity is razor thin. Production in the non-OPEC countries has been hugely disappointing. The United States shale deposits are overhyped. And we haven’t even talked about potential supply disruptions in Iran and Iraq.

            But as yet NONE of these factors have influenced supply as of yet.

            To dismiss the role of speculators in oil pricing with so much compelling evidence that they are, at the least, compounding the problem is reckless.

            I don’t have time to educate you either. You have chosen to be ignorant and a tool of the right by looking at this issue with such a narrow light.

            And stop pretending to be the “expert” who can “educate” another on this issue. Your arguments, though valid, are not the only ones on the table. To ignore the other players is to be a rube.

            Now I think we are done here. You are dismissed.

            • Harrison March 3, 2012 at 5:08 PM -

              “I don’t have your level of paranoia apparently. I don’t believe everyone in government is a stooge.”

              Again, you put words in my mouth. I did not say that everyone in Government is a stooge I said that Gensler is a “politically appointed Obama stooge.”

              Do I have paranoia? No… I doubt the motives of politically-appointed donors who land cushy jobs heading commissions and making “press statements.” If you do not feel the same way you are being duped.

              Is the CEO of Exxon a stooge? Most likely not but he is also not politically stupid, either. The best place to put the blame is on a third party whom he cannot control… “speculators.”

              I think what eludes you is that speculators are performing a healthy function in the market… testing what the true market price is. When George W. Bush ended the offshore drilling moratorium (as I said earlier) the price of oil immediately dropped by $9 per gallon. So if speculators knew for a fact that every square inch of the United States was open to immediate drilling the price of oil would instantly fall.

              As I have said over and over if the supply was increased speculators would know that as more oil flooded onto the market the near-monopoly power of OPEC would be broken and price levels could not be maintained and thus the price levels would decrease.

              Let me summarize it for you:


              You appear to be ignorant as to the role speculators play in a Capitalistic country and how supply fits into that puzzle.

              And to trust any elected official (or appointed one) is your other error.

  13. Blogging Patriot March 2, 2012 at 7:59 AM -

    Brilliant retort. That’s the type of intelligence that will move the country nowhere.

    • Harrison March 2, 2012 at 8:05 AM -

      When I have time later today I will expose the lie you posted.

      You are no “patriot” however… that was the first lie.

      • Blogging Patriot March 2, 2012 at 8:12 AM -

        The head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission says his agency will take action “to guard against the burdens of excessive speculation” after new data revealed that 90% of oil traders are short-term speculators whose bets are driving up prices.

        Day-trading and trading around expiration of futures contracts are likewise boosting grains and other commodities. Data released by CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler suggest that “huge inflows of speculative money are driving up (oil) commodity prices.”

        Saying that “net speculative positions are four times as high as in June 2008,” investment banker Goldman Sachs “issued a warning that the price of oil has grown out of control due to excessive speculation.”

        Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson noted in testimony before the Senate Finance Committee that this year’s oil prices don’t make economic sense. He said current fundamentals and production costs would dictate oil around $60 to $70 a barrel. That’s $43 cheaper than this year’s highs of $113 a barrel reached on April 29 and May 2.

        Delta and the Air Transport Association, the lobby for airlines, have been out in front among 98 companies and trade groups that banded together to create the Stop Oil Speculation Now coalition. During peacetime, Delta is the world’s largest consumer of jet fuel, edging out the Department of Defense.

        And the GOP will still rant “Supply and Demand.” Brilliant.

        • Harrison March 2, 2012 at 8:29 AM -

          Gary Gensler is a political officer appointed by Barracks Obama and since you don’t cite a source I assume this is who you mean. You try and present him as a neutral source but he is not you lie. Of course he is not going to indict his boss. No refineries have been built here for more than 30 years yet demand has skyrocketed you omit this fact. You are not a trustworthy source of information.

          • Blogging Patriot March 2, 2012 at 8:39 AM -

            Again, you fail to refute any of the facts provided.

            Throw out Gensler’s testimony. His conclusion is widely supported. Is Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson a neutral source? Is Goldman Sachs as a company a neutral source? Is Delta a neutral source?

            Basically your saying all of these sources are lying. Delta has nothing better to do than rally against speculation. 98 companies and trade groups that banded together have nothing better to do than rally against speculation.

            And I am the one lying. At some point the number of people concurring is in itself evidence of the problem. LOL

            • Harrison March 2, 2012 at 9:34 AM -

              Don’t attempt to put words in my mouth by lying. Gensler cannot be trusted based upon his interests.

              You obviously do not understand how the oil market works. It’s basic economics and all rotates around supply and demand. A person is going to buy an oil futures contract because they believe prices will rise.

              You also have a weakened, deflated dollar.

              And the show trials held by the Democrat controlled Senate is going to produce any truth?

              One day it is Bush’s fault or then it’s oil speculators. You ignore facts which are not politically motivated such as soaring demand over the past 30 years when the last refinery was built. You ignore the fact that the offshore oil rigs that were in the Gulf of Mexico have left and gone to South America. You ignore the fact that the Secretary of Energy has said he wants to see European level gas prices and he seeing gas prices decrease is not a priority. You ignore an entire host of facts on the ground and instead attempt to push politically given testimony while not appearing to understand what you are talking about.

            • Blogging Patriot March 2, 2012 at 9:45 AM -

              It’s basic economics and all rotates around supply and demand? No it is not. Apparently you haven’t taken an economics course. The financial market for oil is 15 times greater than the amount of actual oil being traded.

              As for rigs leaving the United States, more than 400 drilling permits have been granted since the BP oil spill. Further for the first time in 13 years, oil imports account for less than half of all U.S. oil consumption. These are empirical facts.

              If the government stepped in and regulated oil trading so that only investors with a genuine interest in the physical product, such as airlines and heating oil companies, could buy and sell oil futures, then the price of oil would fall by an estimated 50% overnight. The original intent of commodity markets was to be used almost exclusively as hedging tools. The price currently has nothing to do with supply and demand.

              Simple solution, zero tolerance of gratuitous speculation. If the bidder can not physically store, transport or process (refine) the commodity then he can’t buy it. Enforce this and watch the price of oil plumment.

              Maybe the rigs that are leaving are doing so because it is dangerous to operate in the US. U.S. offshore drilling compares unfavorably, in terms of deaths and serious accidents, to other major oil-producing countries. From 2005 to 2010, an offshore oil worker in the U.S. was more than four times as likely to be killed than a worker in European waters, and 23% more likely to sustain an injury.

            • Harrison March 2, 2012 at 10:19 AM -

              I do not have the time nor the inclination to educate you. I expect if you come to the table you will already know your stuff.

              It is a fact that oil rigs have left and are leaving he Gulf of Mexico. What you disingenuously post is all these new permits. Firstly you do not cite a source for “400 permits.” To quote Forbes magazine:

              On Monday, the Interior Department announced it had approved an exploration plan for Shell, also describing it as new:

              This is the first new deepwater exploration plan approved since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting oil spill.”

              But later in the same press release we learn:

              The plan is a supplemental exploration plan that proposes activities that were not included in an original exploration plan for the same lease – located in Shell’s Auger field – which was approved in 1985.”

              A plan, too, is a long way from a permit. It describes proposed activities, and once the plan is approved, the applicant can apply for permits to carry out those activities, a process that can take, according to Milito, another decade.

              Who’s wearing the black hats in this scene—and who’s wearing the white hats—depends on whether the beholder is green. Either way, for all of the chatter about new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, little has changed.


              You fail to address the facts stated earlier that there has not been a single new oil refinery built in the United States in over 30 years while demand has soared. You fail to respond to the facts that oil “speculators” are simply placing bets that in the future when the contracts they have bought come due that oil prices will be higher. They will be higher because demand outstrips supply.

              You ignore the fact that the Secretary of Energy seeks European price levels for gas and that he stated in a hearing that lowering the price of oil is not a priority.

              You have Democrats like Chuck Schumer saying Saudi Arabia needs to increase production and yet actual domestic production is stifled.

              You cite oil imports being down but fail to acknowledge that Americans are relying more on Natural Gas rather than oil and gasoline.

              You blame speculators but fail to reflect upon the simple fact that the oil futures market has not changed in its basic nature since it began and yet we did not see these types of “problems” 10, 20, 30, or 40 years ago. Why..? The common sense point either eludes you or you ignore it: supply cannot keep up with demand and countries like China and India draw more and more oil off the market and U.S. production falls.

              Come back when you know your facts and we’ll play again but my time is too valuable to spend trying to re-collect your disinformation in order to refute it in a coherent manner.

          • CDA March 12, 2012 at 3:51 PM -

            refineries have not been built or expanded because oil corps want public subsidies to do so. Evidently, they are no longer capitalists.

            • Harrison March 12, 2012 at 4:16 PM -

              Please show me evidence showing ill companies don’t want to build or expand refineries.

      • Blogging Patriot March 2, 2012 at 11:33 AM -

        I agree that we haven’t had a refinery built in 30 years. So then I suspect your AGAINST the Keystone pipeline because it would reduce our capacity as the oil refined is for export only.
        If we don’t have enough refineries for US production how can we possibly refine for another country? Where is the sense in that.

        Then there is the “fail to reflect upon the simple fact that the oil futures market has not changed in its basic nature since it began and yet we did not see these types of “problems” 10, 20, 30, or 40 years ago.” Which isn’t true.

        In the early 1900’s, gaming establishments existed called “bucket shops,” where people could place wagers on whether the price of stocks would go up or down without actually buying them. This speculation contributed to the panic and stock market crash of 1907, and state laws all over the country were enacted to ban them. 100 years later in 2000, Republicans rolled them all back with the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the Commodities Futures Modernization Act which was slipped in as a rider to the Omnibus Spending bill. The CFMA previously couldn’t get out of committee.

        In 1999, the Commodities Futures Modernization Act not only removed derivatives, oil speculation and credit default swaps from the purview of federal oversight, Congress pre-empted the states from enforcing existing gambling and bucket shop laws against Wall Street.

        “It is abundantly clear that large-scale, institutional investors speculating in the energy markets continue to act as the driving force behind energy prices.” – Sean Cota, treasurer of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America.

        The CFTC is the federal agency charged with preventing fraud, manipulation, and excessive speculation in U.S. commodity markets. Under the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, large oil and gas traders may trade energy commodities in “over-the-counter” (OTC) electronic markets without any ongoing oversight by the CFTC. Additionally, oil and gas traders in these markets do not have to file any large trader reports with the CFTC. Large trader reports are the cornerstone of CFTC oversight of commodity markets to detect, prevent, and prosecute manipulation and to analyze the effects of speculation. Traders in these electronic markets were also exempt from the limits imposed by the CFTC on speculative trading that are designed to prevent excessive speculation.

        If you follow oil prices they remain pretty steady, with slight fluctuations over the last 50 years (spikes the hedge funds were created to address). Since the CFMA passed the prices are all over the place.

      • Blogging Patriot March 2, 2012 at 11:42 AM -

        BTW – I don’t disagree with you in refineries. Another infrastructure project we need.

        You also don’t understand that the 400 permits issued were NOT for deep sea drilling. We have had one deep sea drilling permit issued. There are a lot of places to drill that are not deep sea. So your rant is moot.

        So far you have brought nothing to the table but to dispute facts that are empirical. I think the only thing you have to teach is a narrow mind bent on rhetoric and ideology.

        I believe in capitalism. I believe in Supply and Demand. But when markets are manipulated we should not just use it as a talking point for more drilling. That’s not how we solve the problem. Either you’re for free markets and capitalsim or you’re for the very form of gambling that caused the recession.

        It is not regulation to return a hedge fund to it’s main purpose. Just as it is not deregulation to alter a hedge fund so that it operates AGAINST it’s purpose. It’s just dumb.

        • Harrison March 2, 2012 at 1:49 PM -

          I will post from Investor’s Business Daily:

          Energy: The White House billed President Obama’s energy policy speech as a response to mounting criticism of record high gas prices. What he delivered was a grab bag of excuses and outright falsehoods.

          Obama’s main message to struggling motorists was: It’s not my fault, so stop whining. The speech only got worse from there, recycling excuses and myths that Obama’s peddled for years. But there were some standout whoppers that deserve debunking. The five biggest:

          “We’re focused on production.”

          Fact: While production is up under Obama, this has nothing to do with his policies, but is the result of permits and private industry efforts that began long before Obama occupied the White House.

          Obama has chosen almost always to limit production. He canceled leases on federal lands in Utah, suspended them in Montana, delayed them in Colorado and Utah, and canceled lease sales off the Virginia coast.

          His administration also has been slow-walking permits in the Gulf of Mexico, approving far fewer while stretching out review times, according to the Greater New Orleans Gulf Permit Index. The Energy Dept. says Gulf oil output will be down 17% by the end of 2013, compared with the start of 2011. Swift Energy President Bruce Vincent is right to say Obama has “done nothing but restrict access and delay permitting.”

          “The U.S. consumes more than a fifth of the world’s oil. But we only have 2% of the world’s oil reserves.”

          Fact: Obama constantly refers to this statistic to buttress his claim that “we can’t drill our way to lower gas prices.” The argument goes that since the U.S. supply is limited, it won’t ever make a difference to world prices.
          mp3Subscribe to the IBD Editorials Podcast

          It’s bogus. New exploration and drilling technologies have uncovered vast amounts of recoverable oil.

          In fact, the U.S. has a mind-boggling 1.4 trillion barrels of oil, enough to “fuel the present needs in the U.S. for around 250 years,” according to the Institute for Energy Research. The problem is the government has put most of this supply off limits.

          “Because of the investments we’ve made, the use of clean, renewable energy in this country has nearly doubled.”

          Fact: Production of renewable energy — biomass, wind, solar and the like — climbed just 12% between 2008 and 2011, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.

          “We need to double-down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising.”

          Fact: Renewable energy simply won’t play an important role in the country’s energy picture anytime soon, accounting for just 13% of U.S. energy production by 2035, according to the EIA.

          “There are no short-term silver bullets when it comes to gas prices.”

          Fact: Obama could drive down oil prices right now simply by announcing a more aggressive effort to boost domestic supplies. When President Bush lifted a moratorium in 2008, oil prices immediately fell $9 a barrel.

          Obama said in his speech that Americans aren’t stupid. He’s right about that, which is why most are giving his energy policy a thumbs down.

  14. Face in the Crowd March 2, 2012 at 8:42 AM -

    Obama can’t control oil prices, no President can. Demand is going up around the world, one example being China’s economy is on the rise.

    Our cost of living is on par enough to pay gas as it is, people need to learn to stop living outside of their means. As one of the more developed countries in the world, we still pay one of the lowest gas prices.

  15. Rujack March 13, 2012 at 4:05 PM -

    As long as we’re all doing the blame game, let’s not forget to blame Obama for all the other issues that may be just a bit more important than gas prices….which actually were over $4 per gallon in 08 and spiked upwards of $3 per gallon several times during Bush’s second term. Let’s blame Obama for a 2.6% rise in our economy last quarter. Let’s blame him for 24 straight months of job growth. Let’s blame him for the lowest unemployment rate in the last 3 yrs! Let’s blame him for auto makers on the brink of bankruptcy recovering and once again being the #1 auto maker in the world. Let’s blame him for banks recovering and paying back bail out monies. Oh, and he certainly is to blame for taking out not only the #1 terrorist in the world, a campaign issue the last 4 presidents ran on but failed to deliver, but also his #2 in command and an extensive list of al-Qaeda operatives. Then there’s all the mortgage recovery programs, college loan recovery programs and universal healthcare, a platform the last 5 presidents ran on but failed to deliver. Let’s not forget to blame him for ending the war in Iraq too…..I mean, while we’re blaming him for the negative, let’s blame him for the positive. And since you seem to go into fits when Bush is blamed for anything negative, I’ll just skip that part because we’re living it everyday, and ask… there anything positive we can blame Bush for?

    • Harrison March 13, 2012 at 4:16 PM -

      Thanks for visiting. Certainly sounds like you have a handle on the blame game.

      Your post reminds me of those doctors who kill their patients then try and revive them in order to gain praise for their successes.

      • Blogging Patriot March 13, 2012 at 4:32 PM -

        Actually, Republicans killed the patient/economy. Obama is the good samaritan that tries to help.

        Since the second quarter of 2009, GDP has increased for seven consecutive quarters. By the fourth quarter of 2010, GDP surpassed its pre-recession level in the fourth quarter of 2007. By the second quarter of 2011, after-tax corporate earnings were 12 percent higher than when the recession began and the highest percent of GDP since tracking began in 1947.

        Measured in growth, the American economy outperformed those of Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan – every Group of 7 developed nation except Canada. Corporate profits are at their highest since 1960 with corporations sitting on the largest stockpile of cash in US history.

        By the first quarter of 2011, unemployment had the steepest drop over a three-month span since 1983. By the end of 2011 it was down to 8.3% from it’s peak of 10.1 in Oct 2009.

        Manufacturing activity has reached the highest reading since May 2004 with expansion for 19 straight months – the employment index topped 60 for only the third time in a decade with jobs created at the highest rate in 38 years – the highest reading since January 2004.

        Total tax revenues of states returned to pre-recession levels in the 2011 third quarter. This is the legacy of Obama’s economic policy.

        More jobs were lost in the recession of 2007-09 than in the previous four recessions combined. That is the legacy of conservative policy we will all remember.

        • Harrison March 13, 2012 at 5:04 PM -

          I thought I was dismissed? No?

          I checked for you:

          is available!

          • Blogging Patriot March 14, 2012 at 8:12 AM -

            I also remember why the recovery took so long. Republican obstructionist.

            Using the filibuster to delay or block legislative action has a long history. The term filibuster — from a Dutch word meaning “pirate” — became popular in the 1850s, when it was applied to efforts to hold the Senate floor in order to prevent a vote on a bill. In 1917, senators adopted a rule (Rule 22), at the urging of President Woodrow Wilson, that allowed the Senate to end a debate with a two-thirds majority vote, a device known as “cloture.”

            When Democrats reclaimed the Senate majority in the 2006 midterm elections, cloture filings shot up from 68 in 2005-2006 to a record 139 in 2007-2008. The filibusters were GOP filibusters of Democrat Senate majority legislation. In the 111th Congress, there were 137 cloture motions filed and 63 cloture votes. This year there were 48 motions and 19 cloture votes because most legislation didn’t make it out of committee.

            The Republicans in the last three years were responsible for 25% of all cloture votes recorded in the past 90 years.

            Before President Obama even took office, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader, had a strategy for his party: use his extensive knowledge of Senate procedure to slow things down and deny Democrats any Republican support.

            Their plan during a near depression of their own creating was to halt government.



            Obama / Democratic Congress

            2009-2010 cloture motions 136
            2007-2008 motions 139


            1989-1990 motions 38
            1987-1988 motions 54
            1985-1986 motions 41
            1983-1984 motions 41
            1981-1982 motions 31


            1945-1946 motions 6
            1943-1944 motions 1
            1941-1942 motions 1
            1939-1940 motions 0
            1937-1938 motions 2
            1935-1936 motions 0

            Based on what I remember, every member of congress should be thrown out for new blood. I pin my hopes on them all dying out like the dinosaur.

  16. Rujack March 13, 2012 at 5:21 PM -

    So I guess the 8 million jobs lost under Bush’s policies were killed by Obama? (Jobs lost the last 6 months of Bush’s 2nd term and the 1st 6 months of Obama’s term until his policies took affect) And the 8 solid years of our spiraling downward were Obama’s fault? Bush inherited a surplus when Clinton left office, we were at our highest this country had been in 28 yrs and Bush spiraled us downward to our worst since the great depression. You really want to sound so uninformed and ignorant as to blame the economy when Obama entered office on him….and not Bush? A president who took us to war based on a lie, costing us countless billions. Making a tax cut to the rich costing us $714 billion annually to make jobs…..boy, that one really backfired, didn’t it? You sound bitter. Bitter that Obama is succeeding after the last administration was an epic fail. You comment with insult and criticism since you can’t dispute or discredit Obama for one issue I credited him for. That’s what desperate people do when they have no relevant facts, they insult and criticize. I’m an independent who voted republican last election but am happy that dimwit Palin wasn’t unleashed on us. Based on the last 20 yrs it’s just a fact that the democrats run this country much better and I certainly don’t want to go back to a pre-Obama administration anytime soon. I’ve read Blogging Patriot’s posts. He seems mannerly and respectful, realistic and informed where as, you, Harrison, sound like a bitter, narrow minded, party loyal, unrealistic right fighter, who is more often wrong because you are bias, blind by hate and only consider one side. I’m an unbiased independent who will not limit my options at the voting booth letting others make my choices for me. I don’t care if you’re republican, democrat or whatever, if you’re doing a good job you’ve got my vote and Obama is doing an extremely good job considering the nightmare he inherited from the past administration which was an epic failure and took us from our highest when Clinton left office to our lowest. Unless you’re a millionaire, voting for anyone other than Obama is voting against your own economic stability. And as one radio announcer said, “to vote republican at this time….would simply mean you’re stupid”. Obama is intelligent, well spoken, well educated, honest and fighting hard for the middle class, something the last guy sorely lacked.

    • Harrison March 13, 2012 at 5:37 PM -

      Genius, which party controlled Congress for 6 of the 8 years Clinton was in the White House?

      Do you understand how bills become laws?

      Do you remember how a majority of the Senate authorized the Iraqi war resolution?

      Do you know which political party gained control of the House in 2006 when the economy began to stumble and gummed up the works?

      Do you remember which party controlled Congress until the last elections?

      Do you know anything?

      Apparently not.

      I have no “hate” only amusement at your statements and sadness at how illogical and partisan you are.

      And your ignorance of history.

      Carry on my wayward son. They’ll be peace when you are done. Lay your weary head to rest. Don’t you cry no more.

      And, lastly, are you aware that Obama has not signed a budget to in over 1,000 days?

      That’s leadership?


      • Blogging Patriot March 14, 2012 at 8:08 AM -

        I remember how Phil Gramm(R) stuffed the Commodities Futures Modernization Act into the omnibus spending bill in 1999 to get it authorized (in the late of the christmas eve night – when it otherwise couldn’t make it out of committee) and ushered in Enron, Worldcom, high gas prices and the collapse of the housing market.

        I remember Bush lying to congress and calling it a failure of intelligence to get the vote on the Iraq war. I know that we were told Iraqi Oil would pay for reconstruction.

        I remember Democrats taking the house in 2006 and everyone finally getting healthcare, that relief for those hurt by the crash other than wall street finally got some assistance.

        Do you remember that when the economy stumbled, Republicans had owned congress for 12 YEARS, had run every branch of government for 6 YEARS and that stumble was closer to a depression. Still waiting for them to take responsibility for that one.

        I remember in 2002 Cheney had summoned the Bush administration’s economic team to his office to discuss another round of tax cuts. Then Treasury Secretary Paul H. O’Neill pleaded that the government – already running a $158 billion deficit – was careering toward a fiscal crisis. Cheney silenced him by invoking Reagan’s legacy.

        O’Neill, fired in a shakeup of Bush’s economic team in December 2002, raised objections to a new round of tax cuts and said the president balked at his more aggressive plan to combat corporate crime after a string of accounting scandals because of opposition from “the corporate crowd,” a key constituency.

        O’Neill said he tried to warn Vice President Dick Cheney that growing budget deficits-expected to top $500 billion in 2002 – posed a threat to the economy. Cheney cut him off. “You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don’t matter,” he said. Cheney continued: “We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due.” A month later, Cheney told the Treasury secretary he was fired.

        “The lesson we should have learned [from the Reagan years] is that deficits have little or no economic impacts,” said William A. Niskanen, a member of Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers. “Liberals argued it was going to be Armageddon. We were going to ruin the economy. Interest rates were going to go through the roof. And none of these things happened.”

        You constantly talk about educating me…and others who have valid positions. When really it isn’t education you propose, it is indoctrination. We get it. You hate Obama.

        Guess what brainiac, every problem in the world isn’t his fault.

        • Harrison March 14, 2012 at 8:52 AM -

          I suppose adding more debt to this nation in 3 years than was added during its entire existence is not Obama’s fault?

          • Blogging Patriot March 14, 2012 at 9:11 AM -

            The debt is two factored. One is the Bush tax cuts.

            If your budget is balanced and you cut taxes without offsets tax cuts are spending. Tax cuts are not spending in a neutral budget environment. Maybe when the projections changed (due to two wars, a prescription drug plan that was unfunded and begin to “unbalance” the budget to the tune of what the CBO estimated was 8 Trillion in shortfalls over 10 years when the last president left office), we shouldn’t cut taxes creating a shortfall of $300 per US Household.

            Moody’s reported in December 2010 that the agreement to extend the Bush tax cuts for two years could raise the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio in 2012.

            In a conversation with Moody’s Steven Hess, Senior Credit Officer covering sovereigns, Moody’s gave the point blank warning that a permanent extension in the Bush tax cuts may lead to a downgrade of the US debt. This year we had that downgrade.

            Apparently the rating agencies look at “tax cuts” as “spending” as well.

            The CBO estimates national debt would soar to 87 percent of gross domestic product by 2020 and exceed its historical peak of 109 percent by 2025 if the tax cuts are made permanent.

            The second is spending. The Tax Foundation, Washington Post and supported by the CBO. Bush spending started the spike. Obama has contributed his share. Republicans spent like crazy and Obama spends like Republicans handed him a balanced budget.

            I guess my bigger issue is what we spent the money on. Republicans ran up huge deficits with nothing to show for it.

            We need to cut spending but that means cutting wasteful programs of which there are plenty. So far, Republicans have focused on programs they consider “liberal” – not those considered “wasteful.” I have an issue with that.


            Links to sources included in the publication.

            • Harrison March 14, 2012 at 10:44 AM -

              So you think that the $4.2 trillion of debt added by Obama in 3.5 years is a positive development for the United States and its people?

              And that it’s not his fault, either?

              A “yes” or “no” will suffice.

          • Blogging Patriot March 14, 2012 at 10:50 AM -

            I think everyone is spending too much. But your figure is inaccurate.

            Conservatives seem to think a president’s spending policies magically stop having any budget impact when they leave office.

            Before I hear the Reid and Pelosi are responsible for the deficit let me just say that Congress does not write the federal budget. The President and Executive are responsible for the federal budget. Which is why the Treasury Department lists budgets by President and not by Congress. Congress approves the spending request with a historic average of about 2% change in total dollars.

            Congress does pass it’s own spending bills or approve additional spending bills as requested by the Executive.

            But if we ignore Congressional authorization and just go by total dollars REQUESTED by Bush in each of his budgets before Congress began the authorization process and add the missing wars, we still come up with a deficit of 11 Trillion by the time Obama took office. Bush requested the debt ceiling raised 7 times (the final vote was to $11.315 trillion).

            So the argument is moot on 2 counts. If Pelosi and Reid are guilty of anything it is giving Bush the money he requested.

            If we look at changes to the budget request in earmarks things are even more interesting. Congress required earmarks in the annual spending bills to be publicly listed for the first time in 2008. There were 11,234 worth $14.8 billion that year. Let’s compare that to the last year the Republicans controlled Congress, 16,000 earmarks, unprecedented, the highest in the history of the country, $64 billion dollars in earmarks.

            In billions:
            Republican Congress earmarks 2006 – $64
            Democratic Congress earmarks 2008 – $14.8
            Democratic Congress earmarks 2009 – $14.3
            Democratic Congress earmarks 2010 – $10.2

            Both parties spend too much. We both know that. The question is how to purge wasteful programs and not ideological ones. But to say Obama raised the deficit exclusive of Bush’s impact is deceitful.

            • Harrison March 14, 2012 at 1:01 PM -

              Firstly, it is not my figure it is the figure from the United States Treasury Department.

              Secondly, how is the figure inaccurate aside from the fact that it’s increased?

              Thirdly do you think this amount of debt is good for the country?

              Fourthly, how is this not Obama’s fault?

              Fifthly, how do you reconcile this fact with what Obama said when he campaigned for president:

              “The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents – #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.”

              So using Obama’s own logic, he is unpatriotic, correct?

          • Blogging Patriot March 14, 2012 at 1:36 PM -

            Congress has acted 78 times to raise, extend or revise the debt limit. The red ink has risen 49 times under Republican presidents, 29 times under Democrats. It’s gone up 10 times since 2001. A little number crunching shows that under Bush the Republicans provided, on average, 39 of the 50 votes that were generally needed to raise the debt ceiling. But under Obama, the Republicans have provided only 1 vote on average.

            In 1982, under Reagan, we hit the $1 Trillion mark.

            1995 4,973,982,900,709.39
            1996 5,224,810,939,135.73
            1997 5,413,146,011,397.34
            1998 5,526,193,008,897.62
            1999 5,656,270,901,615.43
            2000 5,674,178,209,886.86
            2001 5,807,463,412,200.06
            2002 6,228,235,965,597.16
            2003 6,783,231,062,743.62
            2004 7,379,052,696,330.32
            2005 7,932,709,661,723.50
            2006 8,506,973,899,215.23
            2007 9,007,653,372,262.48
            2008 10,024,724,896,912.49
            2009 11,909,829,003,511.75

            From 1995 to 2006 Republicans were in the majority of the House. In that time they almost doubled the national debt. From 2000 to 2009, the last Bush budget, the national debt also doubled. So either by President or by Congress, Republicans have historically doubled the debt.

            Composition of Congress

            Historical Debt Outstanding


            In January 2004, Bush vowed to “cut the deficit in half over the next five years” as a percentage of GDP.

            I guess that didn’t happen either.

            In January 2009, just before President Obama took office, the CBO projected a $1.2 trillion deficit for 2009 and deficits of 8 trillion over 10 years based on continuing Bush’s policies. Obama’s policies, including the stimulus package, added to the deficits in those years but are one time cost. Debt links from the US Treasury are listed below.

            Changes in federal law during the Bush administration are responsible for a majority of the fiscal problem (Bush Policy 40%, Economic Downturn 20%, Obama Policy 16%, Bush Bailouts 12%, other 12%).

            (replace the 5 to go backwards)



            • Harrison March 14, 2012 at 3:53 PM -

              Okay thanks for continually dodging the question. I’ll take that as a refusal to deny what I wrote.

              Cheers to you!

  17. Susan March 14, 2012 at 7:29 PM -

    Perhaps if you spread 2.5 years of the Obama gas price data out by the same parameters you used for the 4 year Bush gas price data the “spike” would not be so pronounced. You have 18 points marked during Bush’s administration but only 12 during Obama’s. Maybe using a consistent time block on the y-axis would show the data more accurately. Not that you are trying to make a point or anything…just saying.

    • Harrison March 16, 2012 at 12:10 AM -

      Thanks for your comment. At some point the chart will be updated.