Just below, Dave Carter gives us some reasons to be optimistic about November. Although it's contrary to my nature, I thought I'd add a few.
Of course, our side is in a tricky position. Let's face it: we are hoping that the economic news stays challenging for Obama. The damage he's done to the near-term economy is nothing compared to the havoc he's wreaked on the far-term, debt-laden, American future.
So, although I'm not wishing ill on anyone, this seems like an interesting metric to follow:
Here's what the price of gas looks like, according to an excellent blog, Early Warning:
And that doesn't look good, if you're running for re-election. From the NYTimes:
Rising gasoline prices, trumpeted in foot-tall numbers on street corners across the country, are causing concern among advisers to President Obama that a budding sense of economic optimism could be undermined just as he heads into the general election.
White House officials are preparing for Republicans to use consumer angst about the cost of oil and gas to condemn his energy programs and buttress their argument that his economic policies are not working.
In a closed-door meeting last week, Speaker John A. Boehner instructed fellow Republicans to embrace the gas-pump anger they find among their constituents when they return to their districts for the Presidents’ Day recess.
“This debate is a debate we want to have,” Mr. Boehner told his conference on Wednesday, according to a Republican aide who was present. “It was reported this week that we’ll soon see $4-a-gallon gas prices. Maybe higher. Certainly, this summer will see the highest gas prices in years. Your constituents saw those reports, and they’ll be talking about it.”
Finally! A debate "we want to have."So let's have it. Gas is more expensive, even though America is getting more and more energy efficient. From Early Warning, again:
Prior to the late 1970s, the US economy used oil very inefficiently (because it had been very cheap for a long time). After the oil shocks of 1973 and particularly 1979, oil efficiency began to rise rapidly in the early 1980s. Then it slowed down after the price pressure was off, but continued to rise at a steady moderate pace from the late 1980s through the mid 2000s. In the later stages of the 2005-2008 oil shock, it rose sharply, but then appeared to be set back by the great recession. Then in 2010-2011 it has again been rising very sharply, presumably under the influence of fairly high prices.
So that's good news. We're a lot more energy efficient. But for some reason, Obama's Gas Crisis continues.