Tom Kovach
October 20, 2006
Gasoline: high prices, low politics
Democrats conveniently ignore the facts
By Tom Kovach

This column was inspired by a recent Letter to the Editor in the Nashville area's Left-leaning, Gannett-owned, major daily, The Tennessean often nicknamed "Pravda on the Cumberland." The letter writer extolled readers to toss out all Republicans, because it is allegedly their fault that gasoline prices are high. (By the way, at the time of the letter's publication, gasoline prices in this area had fallen about 50 cents per gallon in the past month.) Instead of posting my reply in the newspaper's online forum, I decided to publish this as a column, because these principles apply nationwide. I grew up in south Texas, where people paid attention to fluctuations in gasoline prices back when those fluctuations were only a penny or two. (Of course, when I was an adolescent, two pennies equaled almost ten percent of the price of a gallon!)

So ... the Democrats will keep gasoline prices down, huh?

When the Democrats were in total control of Congress, and a Republican (Gerald Ford) was president, our country went into an "energy crisis." Gasoline prices went up from 27 cents per gallon to 42 cents per gallon.

People were so outraged that they voted Ford out, and Jimmy Carter in.

Then, when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, plus the White House (as the Republicans do now), gasoline prices almost tripled from 42 cents to $1.14 per gallon. But, if you remember that the Democrats also controlled both houses of Congress, and the White House, in the mid-1960s when gasoline was at 25 cents, then the gasoline price actually went up almost five times its original price.

Now, let's do the math. Gasoline was $1.14 per gallon when Ronald Reagan became president. It went up slightly, to about $1.25 per gallon. It remained stable until President Bill Clinton (Democrat) got bogged down in Somalia (which borders the Gulf of Aden, where American-bound tankers travel between the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea), and started dropping bombs in the Balkans. Then, gasoline went up to about $1.55. (Has anyone ever heard of the oil fields of Ploesti? One of the largest refining regions in Europe has pipelines radiating out from it, and Clinton was bombing the Balkans. Gasoline prices went up.) Then, gasoline prices remained stable until President G. W. Bush took offices. Then, gasoline prices went down. When I moved to Nashville in early August of 2001, I paid 99 cents per gallon for gasoline for a couple weeks, during a "gas war" (at the Golden Gallon on Haywood Lane). The price stabilized at about $1.29 per gallon.

After the "9-11" attacks, and the subsequent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, gasoline prices jumped dramatically. Given that much of the world's oil flows through the Persian Gulf, which was then put in an unstable position by the war (started by terrorists ... hello, Democrats!), the price of gasoline began to rise dramatically. For those in the media that were victims of Outcome Based Education, it costs the oil companies and the shipping lines a lot of extra money to protect the oil during a war.

In summary, during a war, gasoline went from $1.29 per gallon to about $2.99 per gallon. That's an increase of about 115 percent under the Republicans. In comparison, during peacetime (the energy crisis began after the US withdrawal from Vietnam had begun), gasoline went from 27 cents per gallon to $1.55 per gallon. (Gasoline prices remained fairly stable during the presidencies of both Reagan and "Bush 1," when Democrats controlled the House. Gasoline prices rose sharply under Clinton, when the House changed hands from Democrats to Republicans. Therefore, the long-haul changes balance each other out from 1974 to 2000. Thus, the Democrats must take the blame for the overall increases, because they controlled most of the power most of the time.)

Liberals have such short memories when it comes to facts.

They try to sing the right song with the wrong lyrics. Hopefully, the voting "audience" here in Music City and across this great nation will catch the error, and dismiss the Democrats' siren song of class envy. Elected officials do not vote on gasoline prices! However, elected officials do vote on environmental laws that tie the hands of American oil companies. Those laws, which prevent us from refining the oil beneath our own feet (or beneath the waves in American territorial waters), were ushered in mostly by Democrats.

To borrow an analogy from attorney and talk-radio giant G. Gordon Liddy, that is like killing one's parents, and then throwing one's self upon the mercy of the court on the grounds of being an orphan! The Democrats routinely blame Republicans for high petroleum prices, in an attempt to win elections. (But, if the Democrats lose an election, they simply turn around and claim that the Republicans used their political connections to bring the prices down just before the election. It's the old, "damned if you do, and damned if you don't.") It seems that high prices produce low politics.

© Tom Kovach

 

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Tom Kovach

Tom Kovach lives near Nashville, is a former USAF Blue Beret, and has written for several online publications... (more)

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