Letters to the Editor

Gas prices

April 5, 2012

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To the editor:

Much is being made about President Obama being responsible for the spike in gas prices. People are blaming him for doubling of the cost of gas. They are correct in stating that the price of gas was $1.84 in January 2009, when Obama took office. They fail to mention that the average cost of gas for the previous year was over $3 per gallon and peaked over $4.

Speculators have found a way to artificially inflate gas prices in the oil futures market. According to Saudi Arabia there is no shortage of oil. Here in the U.S., our stocks of oil reserves are high and our consumption is down. So where is the change in the supply/demand that is causing the price to spike? There is none. These spikes are caused by oil futures speculation. We “might” go to war with Iran so they are manipulating the market to boost their profits on those fears. Speculators (not oil companies) now hold more than 60 percent of the oil futures market and they are being allowed to run up the prices.

We can curb this. Democrats have offered bills in Congress to stop this manipulation, but the Republican majority in the House will not have any part of it. Neither will they allow the stopping of the $30 billion-per-year oil subsidy giveaway. If you want to blame someone for our high gas prices look no further than your Republican congressmen fed by the oil lobbyists’ cash.

Comments

its_just_math 3 years, 3 months ago

Stephen you little rascal you! I went to Lawrence the other day to pick up some Kool-Aid. Did you go out shopping recently? Get real man. The $30 billion/yr subsidy you speak of is not at all offset by the billions the fed rakes in on gas taxes, is it?

The US burns up about 140 billion gallons of gas every year. The gov't taxes every gallon of gas at about 14%----currently about .50 cents a gallon. You have a good calculator? Do some math....it's just math.

parrothead8 3 years, 3 months ago

The federal government taxes gas at 18.4 cents per gallon----currently about 4.7% of the total cost of a gallon of gas, assuming gas stays at the current $3.90/gallon. (The rest of the gas tax comes at the hands of the state, which isn't the entity providing the subsidy Mr. Crockett speaks about, so your 14% figure isn't useful for the calculations you propose he do.)

Now, 140 billion gallons of gas at $3.90/gallon comes to $546 billion. What's 4.7% of $546 billion? I don't even need a good calculator to tell you it's under $30 billion. (It's a little over $25 billion, by the way. I didn't want you have to dig out your abacus.)

Now, can you give me a good reason why the oil industry needs $30B in subsidies while they're making record profits? That should be easy for you, right? It's just math.

woodscolt 3 years, 3 months ago

because faux news tells him so and thats all he knows

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

All these numbers are cute, but they're not really the numbers that matter because they don't take into account how much money is invested in order to get those profits.
If, say, company "A" makes a profit of a million dollars, one might say, "Wow, what a good company". However, if they invested a billion dollars to get that million in profits, a return of .1%, that's not very good. Now if that same company invested a trillion dollars and had the same rate of return in profits (.1%), it might be a record profit for them, but it's still a meager return based on their investment. All this talk of subsidies and how many cents per gallon is just part of the question. Once you know what their rate of return is, and then compare that to other multibillion dollar multinational corporations, we won't know if their profits are excessive or not.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

I think that's not really the way profits are calculated.

Aren't they the result of revenues-expenses? And, aren't any investments considered expenses? So, profits would include those in the debit column.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm sure there are many ways to calculate profits, some of them very creative. The point is that just throwing out a number may or may not indicate if the the profit was excessive, (whatever that is).

Mike Ford 3 years, 3 months ago

math is just like the middle eastern family drinking oil in the Incubus music video megalomanic except he drinks the gop and koch brothers oil kool aid. what's in the kool aid from linwood anyway tom?

MarcoPogo 3 years, 3 months ago

Jeez, and you dared to call Math out for bringing up mediocre music in one of his posts.

John Hamm 3 years, 3 months ago

Nothing's ever Obama's fault, it's always Bush's fault......... "Dream on, dream on ......."

grammaddy 3 years, 3 months ago

Then you stand to make a pretty big profit, huh?

Ken Lassman 3 years, 3 months ago

The huge drop in prices during Obama's inauguration period WAS a Bush legacy, too, but perhaps not in the way they'd like us to think about. The worldwide economic collapse that was still unfolding at the time shut down oil consumption before production was scaled back, meaning that there was a tremendous oil glut that developed. This dropped the price per barrel way down from its peak from just a short time earlier, which translated to cheap gas at the pump.

So one surefire way to get cheap gas is to trigger an economic collapse, which drops consumption, which drops gas prices. So how relevant are those cheap 2009 gas prices to our future? Do we really want to go there again?

Ken Lassman 3 years, 3 months ago

Did you actually check out Kreutzer's "analysis?" It's ludicrous: look at it yourself: http://blog.heritage.org/2012/02/28/wind-subsidies-vs-oil-subsidies/

His "1000 percent" assertion is based on the comparison of per-kwh subsidies to wind vs. direct subsidies on a barrel of oil. That's kind of like complaining about the percentage of proceeds going to a charity at a yard sale when compared to the percentage of skimming in a casino that goes to organized crime. Yes, the percentage that goes to the charity is much higher than the percentage skimmed by the mob, but the net returns on that percentage is what makes one a drop in the bucket and the other a real threat.

For someone who says "it's just math," you need to sort your apples and oranges first before counting.

Ken Lassman 3 years, 3 months ago

You can blame China's heavy duty subsidies to the renewables they produce for that--once again, you need to check the math. China is artifically driving down the price of solar panels in an attempt to dominate the industry and drive out competitors. The US is considering tariffs on the Chinese products, but in the meantime subsidies to preserve a struggling industry in the US that is being threatened by overseas subsidies is a very appropriate response if we intend to be in the game down the road.

Ken Lassman 3 years, 3 months ago

It's called trade wars, math, plain and simple, which is something any president has to deal with in the global economic marketplace. If Obama didn't respond in some way to the Chinese dumping solar panels on the market, you'd blame him letting our jobs go overseas?

The blame game is a stupid way to look at trade wars between countries, don't you think? The choices are to respond to protect your own industries by putting tariffs on the country who is dumping the product into the market, complaining to the WTO about dumping practices in hopes that they'll do something, subsidize your own industry to that it can better compete in light of the other country's subsidies, or working on a treaty with that country that will lead to better trade practices.

So stop dumbing down the issue with your blame game and get in touch with reality yourself.

jonas_opines 3 years, 3 months ago

Except that "properly" apportioning blame (read: give it all to democrats and liberals) is all that he cares about.

progressive_thinker 3 years, 3 months ago

Math also fails to recognize that any preference in subsidies to alternative energy sources is relatively recent [beginning under that old green socialist GWB], and that the subsidies given to alternative energy production either have already expired or will expire soon. In short, the numbers relied on by Heritage are an anomaly. The subsidies and preferences given to the fossil fuel industry continue.

More importantly, In the underlying CBO report relied on by Heritage, the CBO acknowledged that fossil fuels have an underlying competitive advantage because "... consumers and businesses do not have to pay for the environmental damage or other costs to the nation from the use of fossil fuels..." This, in and of itself is sufficient reason to discontinue subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

progressive_thinker 3 years, 3 months ago

Uh, comparing an EPA official to a Supreme Court justice??????

That is rich.

livinginlawrence 3 years, 3 months ago

Wait...are you talking about yourself or Obama?

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes, that's right.

He didn't let the EPA do it's job of protecting the environment - instead he sent back reports he didn't like and told them to re-write them.

Great!

gudpoynt 3 years, 3 months ago

"consumers and businesses do not have to pay for the environmental damage or other costs to the nation from the use of fossil fuels"

Ding! Ding! It's called a negative externality: "a cost or benefit not transmitted through prices that is incurred by a party who did not agree to the action causing the cost" (Wikipedia).

Free market zealots prefer not to think about them. They think that if the government would just get out of the way, then educated consumers will recognize all of the negative externalities associated with every purchase they make, and market prices would accurately reflect those consideration, more or less. But that's a laughable pipe dream in my opinion.

progressive_thinker 3 years, 3 months ago

It is the Achilles heel of purist Libertarian thought. The thinking flaw is that consumers in the market place will take account for a cost that they do not have to pay, and which is likely not even visible at the moment of a financial transaction. That cost, if not paid at the time of the transaction, has been passed along to some unnamed person who is somewhere in the future.

progressive_thinker 3 years, 3 months ago

"The Democrats flaw is the "sky is falling attitude" and trying to cover every outcome before moving forward which leaves them impotent."

Not supported by history, but nice try

3 years, 3 months ago

I wonder what the price of gas would be if the oil companies did not make profits? Or maybe have the govt. bureaucrats own and run the companies? After all we know how efficient govt. runs, just watch congress.. (congress is oppsite of progress)

Armstrong 3 years, 3 months ago

The price of oil is based on how much oil is available in the world market.

Less oil equals higher prices

Who put the brakes on drilling ?

Armstrong 3 years, 3 months ago

Seriously ??? what version of reality are you living in ? We have more rigs running now but world wide energy consumption has quadrupled since 1980. We can't keep up with demand . Your hero is hurting the entire country. Wake up.

Ken Lassman 3 years, 3 months ago

You just answered the question--there are more rigs than ever, but consumption is up. Translation: all the easy-to reach oil has been tapped. Horizontal oil drilling, deep sea wells and tertiary oil recovery isn't cheap, so from here on out the price is not going to go down unless, of course there is an economic collapse like in 2008-9 when the result was a temporary glut in supplies and a drop in prices. See how long that took to bounce back up.

North slope oil, Baaken oil, tar sands oil; the return on investment is a fraction of what it was back when the US had the largest reserves and was a net exporter, and that's true regardless of what president is in office. After the Deep Horizon oil fiasco, I don't see much support for making the EPA the boogeyman either.

Armstrong 3 years, 3 months ago

Except for the fact we are not doing anything in the gulf, or Keystone or.....

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

"Who put the brakes on drilling?" "We have more rigs running now."

Ken Lassman 3 years, 3 months ago

So you're saying the regulators should have continued to sleep with the oil lobbyists (literally) and look the other way to resume drilling and pumping in the Gulf after Deep Horizon? If BP is so hot to resume drilling and pumping, why are they, Halliburton and Transocean pointing fingers at each other, tying things up in court so the issues can't be resolved?

And do you really think that opening up Keystone will lower prices around here? Where are you from, anyway? The only reason we've got lower prices in this part of the country is because of the oil glut in this region caused by the fact that there aren't enough pipelines to ship it out of the region, so if they finish it to the Gulf, the prices around here will definitely go up--mark my word.

gudpoynt 3 years, 3 months ago

How exactly is the gov't encouraging speculators to flock to oil futures?

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

From what I've heard, we refine plenty of oil - we just sell it to other countries instead of using it ourselves.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

You and the current regime are like two peas in a pod.

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 3 months ago

It is obvious to me that we have seen the Eronization of the Oil Industry and speculators, among others, have been pushing up the costs of oil. The oil industry has the slickest and highest paid lobbyists in the world and they are a literal army.

Trying to reform the oil industry which has owned and controlled governments for the last 100 years is probably a pipe dream and there was certainly no interest in doing so when Cheney and Bush were in office.

I am just as disappointed as a lot of people that Obama has not been able to make changes quickly enough but I put the blame squarely on the Republican Party.

They are truly the do-nothing-but-complain party and lap dogs of the privileged elite in this country. They do nothing to convince me any differently even though I have tried very hard to have an open mind.

In the coming election, for the first time in my life, if nothing changes, I will be voting Democratic, although there are a couple of Republicans that I will remember for trying to do the right thing and I will not let them down.

ponce0084 3 years, 3 months ago

Obama and the Dems had control of the House and Senate for 2 years and still blamed the Republicans for not passing bills. Why? Think? Maybe it's because they didn't want to pass certain bills? Everything that they wanted done, they got done. Don't just beleive one side of the government, actually don't believe either! They're all fat cat lifers!

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Unless they had a "filibuster proof" majority, they couldn't pass bills without any Republican support.

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 3 months ago

I think when you leave your ultra-conservative associations and step out into the light of day, you look back and wonder how intelligent people can allow their brains to stop functioning and how it could happen to you.

Unfortunately, most of the people living in this land of the free and home of the brave underestimate the power of indoctrination. Sometimes freedom is only in your imagination.

In order to achieve our ideals, we will need to re-examine how we can develop positive research and dialogue that leads to solutions and that would be the antithesis of the politics we are observing today.

ponce0084 3 years, 3 months ago

Aren't you being a little hipocritical? What your saying is if we don't believe what you beleive then we're wrong and narrow minded? Oh yeah, and brain-washed. Since when did the Government know how to run my life better than me? That's not conservative or liberal, it's common sence. Maybe you need to take a step back.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

Let us all buy Chevy Volts and stick it to the man! Only some of us will die in blazing explosions...

progressive_thinker 3 years, 3 months ago

Actually, it is doubtful that there was ever a problem in the first place. The fires that occurred during crash testing were largely the result of flawed testing procedures,

What is sad is that the right wing in our country have decided to spread a great deal of misinformation and whip this up into a political issue.

The fact is that the Volt was never any less safe than similar conventional vehicles.

It would also be a good thing for folks to remember that the Volt was the 2011 Motor Trend car of the year, as well as the European car of the year.

It is shameful that some of our politicians are so disrespectful of the American auto industry as to spread the sort of misinformation that is being generated.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

The global oil market, not the domestic industry, determines gas prices. Reducing subsidies isn't going to lower prices, though I think 4 billion in cuts isn't too much to ask. Good luck on stopping speculation though, too many making casino money there.

grammaddy 3 years, 3 months ago

I want him re-elected to a second term.

ponce0084 3 years, 3 months ago

I think instead of arguing over politics you should realize that the problem stems with the oil futures people, government, oil companies, and people. Market fluctuation and bad economy with greed and the fact that people in the masses are just inherently lazy and don't want to stop it are just as much to blame. The only reason any of you are mad is because your not the ones getting rich.

tbaker 3 years, 3 months ago

"So where is the change in the supply/demand that is causing the price to spike? There is none. These spikes are caused by oil futures speculation."

You seem like a lucid, intelligent man Mr. Crockett, so I wonder why you would leave out the other factors that influence the price of crude oil on the world market?

The market is worried about the effect the coming sanctions on Iran may have. All they have to do is shoot at one oil tanker in the Persian Gulf and the price will soar because there will be concern over how much supply can be brought to market in a given time. If speculators have manipulated the price as you claim, then there would be clear evidence of this. Futures prices would be substantially higher than spot prices. Is this the case today? Did you bother to check and see? You should.

Speculators are necessary to allow trade. If I want to make a transaction, I need somebody on the other side prepared to take a financial risk. I need somebody interested in making money off of the transaction. Speculators add liquidity to the commodity market in this way. They make the commodity actually worth something. What value would something be to you if you couldn’t sell it and someone else couldn’t buy it?

Oil has hit a bubble. Mark my words, if Iran behaves, crude oil prices will start dropping. There is a large supply surplus right now, at least 10% higher than the supply normally on the market at this time of year. (thanks in part to a lot of new North American production) This will push prices down in the next few months.

Wise up and do your homework Mr. Crockett.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Speculators are not necessary.

If I want to sell something, and you want to buy it, we can do that without speculators.

Commodities are inherently worth something, to those who want and use them.

Speculation distorts prices, and masks the inherent worth of things.

tbaker 3 years, 3 months ago

You are being naïve Jafs.

Crude oil trades on a world market. Demand for crude oil rises with the growth of China, India, and other developing countries. When poor people get richer, they buy things that consume crude oil to make and deliver. World demand is rising. Rising demand increases prices.

Libya, which accounts for about 2 percent of world oil production, is in the middle of a civil war. A reduction in supply increases prices, even 2%. Iran is poised to cause serious trouble in the world oil market. Fear of a disruption in future supplies of oil causes the future price of oil to rise. Why does that matter? Airlines, big trucking companies, chemical manufacturers, buy petroleum products on the future’s market. They have to. They buy a quantity of petroleum product for future delivery at a price set today. Tell me; how is that form of speculation different from the evil commodity markets oil futures speculators? Would you prefer a system where companies like this would be forced to wait and buy only the product they could take delivery of at the market price on that particular day? What effect on prices do you think that would have?

The evil oil-speculator theory doesn’t begin to compete with the Federal Reserve's inflationary policies (QE2) and the other factors like historic deficit spending that have continued the dollar's slide against foreign currencies - to a three-year low. Oil is traded in dollars. The Fed has printed hundreds of billions of dollars out of thin air. This causes the dollar to lose value; therefore it takes more of those dollars to buy the same barrel of oil. Did you consider that?

This oil bubble is maintained by fear right now. There is considerable surplus capacity right now. The first “real” indication the markets get that says Iran is not going threaten the tanker traffic in the Persian Gulf will see the price fall significantly. Given the coming election, seeing this happen is in Mr. Obama’s interest, so I would also predict we will see the President expend a lot of diplomatic effort towards calming the fears associated with Iran. If gas is under $3 a gallon come November, that will bode very well for him at the ballot box.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

I maintain my point - speculators aren't necessary.

A large consumer who buys a product at a set price for delivery on a future date isn't a speculator, they're a consumer who wants to lock in a price.

Commodities (and everything else, for that matter) are worth something inherently to those who use them - that's all that's necessary for trade to occur.

In fact, when that's all we have, then the market can work correctly - prices get set by supply and demand, without the interference of speculators.

tbaker 3 years, 3 months ago

"A large consumer who buys a product at a set price for delivery on a future date isn't a speculator, they're a consumer who wants to lock in a price."

You are wrong. You have defined "speculator" here Jafs. No one would buy at X price today for the future delvery of a product if they were not expecting the price of X product to be the same or LOWER at the data of delivery. This expectation is called "speculation."

This is what makes the market liquid. Trading futures contracts is how the market settles on the price something is worth. Commodities have to be liquid or they are worthless. If you can't buy and sell something when you want to, it is by definition worthless. If there were no trading of commodity futures, there would be no commodity market.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

the author opines: Democrats have offered bills in Congress to stop this manipulation, but the Republican majority in the House will not have any part of it.

Just exactly what is proposed. The speculators are mostly not under our control. It is a world market!

Theres_DOH_Place_Like_Kansas 3 years, 3 months ago

High gas prices, blame The Obama!!! ....... screams Fox "news".......the Pravada of American journalism. Fox- Pravada "news"......Comrade Lenin would have been proud

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

And what exactly are consumers doing about it? They expect shareholding politicians to make the decisions for them when in fact measures can be taken on the home front.

The surge and speculators are in bed together. Consumers are there to guarantee the speculators make bundles more. All the while increasing our own cost of living.

Can't place all of the blame on speculators.

What to do? Examine how many ways can we get around without buying our usual number of gallons of gasoline.

Encourage DOT money for establishing commuter train service throughout the country. Then use additional public transportation from those points.

Serious restraint by consumers is the most powerful tool. It should be worth the sacrifice which in reality is the benefit to consumers.

Everyday restraint is the key to success for it is not the responsibility of consumers to make people wealthy. Our first responsibility is to our communities and our bank accounts.

Consumers should step back and realize the powerful stakeholders that we are.

Carpool,walk,bike etc etc etc etc.

Unfortunately those who use vehicles as part of the "job" may be forced to increase their fees. Yucko!

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Mr.. Crockett, what has been proposed by the Democrats that will stop speculation?

Anybody?

Am accusation has been made and not supported.

progressive_thinker 3 years, 3 months ago

The president does not have the power to "control Wall Street." Regulation of economic activity must be passed by congress, so good luck with that.

You believe that the president can control the value of the US currency?

If so, then remember that the weakening of the dollar against the Euro largely occurred 2002-2008, when it took almost 1.60 USD to buy a Euro. The dollar has actually strengthened since then, and it is now about 1.31 to buy a Euro. As well, the dollar index [that is, the dollar against a basket of common currencies] is now similarly stronger than it was in 08, With the exception of short term fluctuations, the dollar has generally improved since it hit bottom in early March, 2009

progressive_thinker 3 years, 3 months ago

Your previous statement was "The presidents has the power to control both..."

I merely pointed out the inaccuracy of your statement.

"To believe the president has no influence on these factors is incorrect. "

Where did anyone mention that the president has "zero influence"? You are just making stuff up.

The federal deficit is the result of many factors, primarily two wars, and tax giveaways to the wealthy which did nothing to stimulate the economy.

Trade imbalances with China are largely to do with the actions of the Chinese government dumping heavily subsidized manufactured goods [direct subsidies and abysmal wages] on the US market. I agree that strong sanctions are in order on this front. However, not nearly as easy to achieve as one might think.

progressive_thinker 3 years, 3 months ago

He got the authority by virtue of the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act. It is a federal law, enacted by Congress.

progressive_thinker 3 years, 3 months ago

Where do you read an assessment of fault? You asked a question, and I gave a full and correct answer. You are just making stuff up.

By the way, the sanctions were imposed by Congress. The President only had the power to grant waivers, under limited circumstances.

progressive_thinker 3 years, 3 months ago

So he is political posturing, just like every other politician. The fact is that the sanctions were enacted by congress.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Actually quantitative easing by the fed has effected the value of the dollar and contributed to the price increase. Mr. Obama does not control the fed.

progressive_thinker 3 years, 3 months ago

QE has had a modest impact on the value of the dollar. Bigger picture is that the dollar was eroded by deficits run based on Bush administration policies including two wars, tax breaks to the wealthy, and unfunded medicare part D.

Here is a chart of the trade weighted dollar,. It demonstrates that the majority of the erosion of the dollar occurred prior to any quantitative easing.

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/TWEXB

The dollar bottomed out in March 2009, and enjoyed a bounce after the stimulus, and has been struggling to recover since,.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

PT

According to the fed the number of dollars in circulation has increased about 33% during the last several years. Since oil trades in dollars it seems possible that traders want more dollars per gallon now that there are more of them.

Not sure your analysis is fair.

progressive_thinker 3 years, 3 months ago

Could you provide your source for this? Some more details of the time frame that you are speaking of?

The price of gasoline is related to a number of factors, including the cost of oil production and speculation. [Speculation is not all bad, but that is another discussion.] While I agree that the erosion of the dollar has had some impact on the price of gasoline, I do not believe it to be the sole cause, nor the major cause. The facts are clear that the dollar primarily eroded between 2002 and 2008, and in late 2008, we had low gas prices. The prices again skyrocketed even though the dollar improved 20% against the Euro since hitting its low in early 2009, and has improved against other currencies in general as noted by observing the trade weighted dollar.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

I am not arguing that it is the primary cause - just one of many. The data came from the St Louis Fed showing dollars in circulation over time. There has been steady growth that accelerated significantly with the attempt to recover the economy (2008).

We have been lucky that while we have been printing money so has most everybody else. If the economy was in full swing this kind of money growth would lead to inflation (not that it hasn’t – just not as measured by our normal indicators). Of course if the economy was humming we would not have needed to print so much money.

Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama have been running deficits for years. It is a fact, however, that the annual deficits since Mr. Obama’s election have been much larger (maybe 5 times). At least initially Mr. Obama was justified in doing that to try to recover the economy.

Continuing to do that using additional printed dollars to finance it is probably not a good idea. However we digress. Printing more of the basic currency paying for oil worldwide is bound to raise the price. If demand was high the price would have responded even higher.

There is little we can do now to quickly affect the cost of gas. There are alternate policy choices toward the future that can help reduce it. Those policy changes are politically loaded and all arguments must be suspect ($2.50 a gallon gas for example).

Blaming Bush is a bit disingenuous. This mess is strongly bi-partisan.

progressive_thinker 3 years, 3 months ago

The currency in circulation chart and monetary base charts are a bit misleading. The more important measure is M3, a statistic that has not been kept by the federal reserve since 2006. M3 is a much more broad classification of money than the fed reports regularly. Data available at the below link demonstrates the total broad market money supply [M3] is still well below the 2008 high. Typically the critics of quantitative easing dismiss the significance of the fact that some 8 trillion dollars disappeared from our economy, and without somehow replacing a portion of that money, the mess would have been far worse.

http://www.shadowstats.com/charts/monetary-base-money-supply

As to assigning the "blame" if it is to be assigned, yes, both parties bear responsibility. However, the three policies that I mentioned continue to drive a significant portion of our annual deficits.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Where did the $8 trillion go exactly? It can't just disappear, can it?

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

PT comments " ...Bush administration policies including two wars, tax breaks to the wealthy, and unfunded medicare part D. Moderate Responds Two wars. Mr. Bush did one clearly. Mr. Obama greatly expanded a whack a mole war in Afghanistan - think both are party to those costs and they are significant in past history but small in current and projected costs.

Tax breaks on the wealthy - yes but a small contribution maybe $70 Billion per year. We are out of balance by about 1.3 Trillion per year. At the end of Mr. Bush's term the imbalance was about $250Billion per year.

Medicare Part D - drugs. If you look at Congressional passage of that package you will find it truly was bi-partisan.

As I said the blame goes around and around and points to both parties and many of us.

Oh by the way if M3 is the key why is it not reported – cannot comment on what is not there. Money in circulation is a good measure of pressure. Some growth is important over time. Big jumps can cause problems.

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