Archived Story

Gas prices shouldn’t be about politics

Published 12:00am Sunday, March 18, 2012

Paying more at the pump is certainly causing more pain in our wallets.

Gasoline prices continue to rise, hovering a bit below the $4 per gallon mark here in the Tri-State, but topping that in more than a half dozen states.

This has been a pretty continuous cycle over the past three or four years.

Instability in the Middle East and a variety of other factors cause gasoline prices to reach these levels. Then, things calm down and the prices dip a bit.

Anyone who thinks that high gas prices are good for the economy is completely out of his or her mind.

Of course, being that we are in an election year, this has become a hot button political issue, with both Democrats and Republicans trying to spin it to their advantage.

But it should not be viewed as a partisan issue but instead one that directly impacts the quality of life for Americans.

It also directly stymies economic growth. It doesn’t take a Harvard economics degree to tell you that.

If the average American is spending $10 or $15 more on every tank fill up, that is money that is not being spent elsewhere, greatly reducing cash flow injected into our local businesses.

And, although gas prices look to be starting a slow descent to below $3.50 per gallon, how long until the next spike? How long until prices exceed the $4 per gallon barrier and stay there for awhile?

Perhaps the biggest question is: When will our nation develop a clear energy plan?

The Democrats and the Republicans have to be willing to come down off of their ideological high horses to find a middle ground — a move that probably means the most for the middle class.

Petroleum-powered vehicles are not going away anytime soon. Turmoil in the Middle East has been going on for centuries and likely will for centuries to come.

We cannot continue to just talk about solutions or hope for changes that may never happen.

Our country needs a comprehensive strategy developed by Republicans and Democrats alike. We need to secure the oil supplies to run our country, as well as develop a plan to utilize alternative energy solutions for motor vehicles and beyond.

Now is a great time for changes. Our politicians need to look at the big picture. They can start making people’s lives better. That’s what we elected them to do.

 

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCaldwell_IT.

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