Socialist Sanders’ Hot Air on Gas

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The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.72. This is more than double what Americans paid for it on Barack Obama’s inauguration day.

Exploding fuel prices, along with unemployment stubbornly hovering above 8 percent for the last three years and the national debt increasing by more than $5 trillion during that same period, is one of those metrics that inevitably shapes the public’s opinion of the president. Being an election year, the president’s supporters naturally seek to deflect charges that he has anything to do with the escalating prices at the pump.

“What’s the cause?” Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders asks in a op-ed. “Forget what you may have read about the laws of supply and demand. Oil and gas prices have almost nothing to do with economic fundamentals.” Instead, the socialist solon indicts a familiar villain. “The culprit is Wall Street. Speculators are raking in profits by gambling in the loosely regulated commodity markets for gas and oil.”

Sanders blames the deficit on Wall Street. Sanders blames the struggling economy on Wall Street. So Sanders charging Wall Street with inflating gas prices is no shock. But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson, and House Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Xavier Becerra—Democrats, not capital “S” Socialists—have parroted Sanders’ line in recent days. So, too, have members of the Fourth Estate. Brian Williams, for instance, told viewers of NBC Nightly News last week that the issue isn’t about supply or demand, but “the problem is gas prices are largely set by commodities traders, also known these days as speculators.”

In other words, don’t blame the Obama Administration jettisoning the Keystone XL pipeline or its harebrained algae biofuel initiative for energy woes. Blame the rich white guys on Wall Street, i.e., the Republicans. Of course, socialists have been attributing the ills of the world to capitalism long before Bernie Sanders arrived on the political scene. Whether the anonymous scapegoats are “economic royalists,” “unscrupulous businessmen,” or “greedy speculators,” the indictment is always one against capitalism.

Contra Senator Sanders, the laws of supply and demand have everything to do with gasoline prices. Asking people to forget them is an invitation to indulge in a group fantasy. But the laws of supply and demand don’t just concern the petrol half of the equation. A transaction at your local Exxon or Sunoco involves gasoline going into your car, and your money going into the service station’s cash register. Overlooked is this currency half of the exchange. Supply and demand affects price at both ends of the trade, oil and money.

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  • pierce

    I used to live in Vermont, so I know a fair amount about Socialist Senator Sanders,, but I do not buy his point of view. The man is a millionaire and a hypocrite, and unfortunately for Vermonters, does not represent the real world, but because a lot of Vermonters are naive, and/or blind, believe he is the end all. Well he is not, but he thinks he is, at least to this reader. Who is worse Sanders or Obama, take your pick.

  • kongMing

    Exactly. First time I've heard this mentioned in the media. Wheat, silver, and industrial chemicals have risen far more than oil due to the President's big spending.

    Also consider before the White House will address the $300 billion in waste shown by the GAO, they want to raise our taxes immediately while setting the baseline cuts in waste and fraud in the future so they never materialize.

    They spend the money passing it around to other local and state governments, who just limit their borrowing. Obama and his political backers take money off the top, and take loans so other can lessen their's.

    As better technologies for commodity processing emerge, and more efficient manufacturing lowers demand, one day commodities will drop. The radicals who prevent drilling and mining will end up costing the US about $300 trillion.

  • BS77

    Why not let Solyndra manage the gasoline supply?

  • mrbean

    It seems that the socialist Sanders and Bill O'Reilly think alike. Mr. O’Reilly in his economic ignorance is demonizing the industry that produces oil and this is extremely dangerous. The gross mischaracterization of petroleum companies creates an environment where government leaders feel free to make decisions that run counter to the interests of the American public. Remember Carter and the so-called widn-fall profits tax. Right now Dennis Kucinich is proposing legislation for a new “windfall profits tax” on oil companies. Representative Maxine Waters (a basket case when it comes to basic intelligence) wants to nationalize the oil and gas industry. Oreilly was told by Krauthammer and a commodities expert how off-base he was and he can't learn that supply and demand globally (and excise taxes) dictate the price of a gallon of gas. All he can do is demand that the government tax them more. Stupis is as stupid does Nill.

  • StephenD

    But there will be some other straw man issue to distract American's from the real problem of the policies of this Administration. So far, they've held aloft Birth Control, The "Millionaires and Billionaires" not paying their "fair share," the “Arab Spring” (which has to turned into an Arab Winter) and our role in it (which should be non-existent), the “success” of the Auto bailout (we shant mention the failure of the Solar bailout), the withdrawal and “success” of our troops mission in Afghanistan and Iraq, the “talks” with Iran and now North Korea; all these and many more issues that only serve to take our attention away from their vast failures to serve the American Public just until he can secure his re-election. G_d help us if this happens.

  • joe

    from the once rupublican now socialist republic of vermont new york suburb

  • WilliamJamesWard

    I buy gas, check the mileage and get 20mpg, not good, next time 28mpg, OK, nest time 19mpg, what
    the gassahol is going on, I will keep a record and talk with the station owner. As far as Sanders goes,
    it is about time for him to turn up his toes, who will be the next leftist Vermont will barf up to help keep
    America on a down hill ride to Socialist utopia?…………………..William

  • ebonystone

    If Bernie wants to blame someone for high gas prices, he need look no further than the Saudis and the other OPEC jihad sponsors. Crude priced at $100/bbl means that about $2.40/gal is going straight to them. Then add federal and state gas taxes ranging from $.30/gal to $.70/ gal. That leaves at most $1.00/gal to pay for the transportation and refining, the wages of all the employees, and all the other taxes involved.

  • badofdirt

    How can they blame Wall Street for speculating? They themselves are speculating (with 100% certainty) the market while they oversee from their special committees and have made millions.

    We now know why this administration brings the economy down to it's knees, because they don't even know Econ101!