Apparently President Obama has discovered that the American people may be getting screwed at the gas pump, and has decided to use the power of his office to investigate the problem.

"We are going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of the American people for their own short-term gain," Obama said last week. Obama said he is launching a task force to "root out any cases of fraud or manipulation" in gasoline prices, including the role of traders and speculators.

What? Rich, greedy speculators driving up the cost of oil to make a profit, at the expense of us poor working slobs? Gee, do ya think that could happen? You bet your Chevron credit card!

Even with all of the turmoil going on in the Middle East, there has not been any significant interruption of oil production in the region, and oil supplies remain strong. But while we are all focused on the riots and revolutions abroad, financial speculators have been purchasing contracts for future oil delivery, driving up prices at the pump.

If you remember, back in the summer of 2008, diesel prices in some areas of the country topped out at over $5 a gallon. And then what happened?

The economy tanked, and the big money boys suddenly didn’t have the funds to keep playing their nasty little games. Oil prices dropped from a high of $147 a barrel in July, 2008 to just $32 a barrel by December! The greedy leeches that had been sucking the very lifeblood out of the economy went bust, and things got back to normal. But then what happened?

The federal government used billions of our tax dollars to bail out the banks, the rich boys suddenly had more money to play with, the rollercoaster ride started all over again, and you and I are back to taking it in the shorts! Isn’t that kind of like handing a thug your handgun so he can rob you with it?

Speculators, Mr. President? Gee, do ya think?  

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19 Comments on Gee, Do Ya Think?

  1. Michele says:

    I must admit it seems rather “fishy” when I can drive by a gas station at 8:00am on Friday and reg. unleaded is 3.81… at 12:00 it jumps to 3.99… at 2:00 it’s down to 3.93… and at 4:00 it’s back to 3.99. Or one station is at 3.81 while another 1 mile up the road is 3.99 even though they both have the same supplier. Just kinda makes you wonder. I think those electronic signs help. They might not change it so much if they still had to go out and change the price one number at a time. Now they can just punch in a number and change everything in seconds.

  2. Ken H says:

    Obama’s abyssmal ignorance of energy and energy production will eventually drive us all into the poorhouse. He continues to hang his hat on “aternative energy” such as windmills and solar, and condemn coal and oil. Neither of the alternatives would be able to survive without significant gonvernment support. And then look at the loss of usable land when the windfarms and solar arrays is added in.
    Sometimes I despair.

  3. Diana says:

    From a friend: “While we struggled with high gas prices in the USA, MSNBC said the US doesn’t get all its oil from the Middle East – the price of oil is being manipulated by wall street speculators. President Obama just set up a group to check into oil price manipulation. I thought I’d check it out and here’s what I discovered. Thought you might find it interesting. Boy are we ever being played the fools.”

  4. Dave B. says:

    Any chance for recovery will go down the tubes with the high price of gas. I heard on TV about the millions that oil co.’s paid to lobby our politicians. It averaged out to $73,000 for every congressman & senator. Each and every one of them! How can we believe that the big oil companies are not getting special treatment from our government? There is no shortage of gas and the oil companies here in the US are selling much of their oil to other countries. Where ever they can get the best price, that’s where it goes. This legal theft from all of us is unjust. Eventually their greed will bring this whole country to it’s knees. When our financial system collapses, due to oil co.’s ruining it, everyone can try to survive like they did during the depression of the 30’s.

  5. Barry Crocker says:

    We’re in ABQ, NM right now. You would think that gas and diesel is .50 a gallon considering how people drive. Slow down folks. Slow down. I do think that the President’s commission is just eye-wash. He is working on reelection now and in the campaign mode. Gotta take care of the lib’s.

  6. bucky says:

    Obimbo is setting up another usless goverment committe to find out what everyone already knows. Our so called leaders are in the pockets of the Oil Industry speculators, and they won’t do anything that stops their payoff’s… We need to get rid of all these life time robbers.

  7. If obamba had any guts he would issue an excuitive order to drop the gas back to $2.50 a gallon or pull thier business lisence

  8. Chris says:

    The rich and powerful get richer and the working middle class keep paying for it. Somethings got to give soon!

  9. Nick, some of your readers are weird!

  10. Frank Serrao says:

    Obama just doesn’t have the brains to do anything right. He has been going around telling everybody we have got to cut the deficit. Really! Then why Mr. President are you the biggest spending President in history? The politicians really have to believe that the American people are stupid otherwise they wouldnt keep getting re-elected over and over again. Now they want to raise the debt ceiling and they’re convincing the country that thats a good deal. The American people buy anything. We don’t know how to say NO. We have got to change Washington or we won’t have a country left. 2012 is our last chance to change the tide.

  11. Dave K says:

    There were money changers on the Temple steps in the time of Jesus that he delt with. But Makes us think that times are differant today. GREED still rules the world on this easter Sunday.

  12. Dale says:

    While no one is happy with what’s going on with the price of oil, the big corporations and speculators are not stopping with that. With the Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court, these big corporations can now anonymously donate as much as they want to any politician who will agree to live in their pockets. It’s beginning to look like we’re doomed to re-live history if we don’t brush up on our history. Think Triangle Shirt Factory and pre-union living conditions.

    We get very little of our oil from the Middle East but remember that speculators come from all over the world, not just our country. But until the tax base increases and the deficit is reduced, we cannot create the necessary jobs to become more independent. We cannot just be an egocentric nation. In these times all countries and their economies are tied together.

    And since some have mentioned politics – do you really think that lowering taxes on the very rich is really going to help? The politicians are fighting over items that total less than 12% of the overall budget and proposing to decrease taxes on the rich. This would add to the overall deficit as the taxes lost from taxing the rich would be far greater than the cuts being proposed. Concerned? You should be, especially if the move to do away with Medicare passes. A much greater portion of your disposable income will be spent on increasing medical costs. Less money spent on the economy, less jobs, etc., etc.

    Education is the only way out of this morass. Ignorance is very expensive.

  13. Jim says:

    To put it simply we have a Wall Street government. It began with the reversal of the Glass-Stegall act which separated commercial banking from investment banking. This happened during Reagan’s watch.

    We ended up with huge banks that were too big to fail. We bailed them out and perhaps we shouldn’t have, I don’t really know. I do believe that if we were going to do that we should have replaced the executives and had some say in bonuses that followed.

    But, the point is, for some reason that is beyond me, too many people in this country don’t believe anything much less banking should be regulated. For those that feel that way you have your wish. The Dodd-Frank bill did absolutely nothing to address the real problem. Namely, banks that are too big with too little of their own capital at risk. We now have fewer but bigger banks that may be too big to save when that time comes.

    And there is plenty of blame to go around for both republicans, democrats and the lack of oversight of the regulatory agencies that were in place at the time.

    If you want a really good look at what happened pick up a copy of the documentary Inside Job. It won this years Oscar for best documentary. One piece of info in it that you will like is that Henry Paulson who was the Sec of Treasury at the time. He took that job leaving as CEO of Goldman Sachs. When he left he cashed in his stock valued at $485 million and paid not a penny in tax.

    I agree that we need to vote most of these folks out but it will never happen because none of us appear to have the time or energy to try and figure out what is behind the headlines and so we let some talking head form our opinions for us.

    To the person that commented on the debt ceiling. Did you know that Paul Ryan’s proposed budget would increase the debt by $6 trillion over some period of time and thus the ceiling would have to be raised.

  14. Orville Schinke says:

    Who was it who banned all oil drilling off shore and won’t allow exploration anywhere else; it’s the same one who is not trying to make political hay by saying we must increase oil production to bring down prices. Whoa! Is that talking out of the both sides of the mouth?

  15. mskay says:

    Oh yeah, I agree whole heartedly! Just saying the same thing yesterday…and it’s sad it will take another “tank” to bring things back into prospective. I wish we’d have a way to do away with what the speculators think…period! It’s either good or it’s bad….in real terms…right now…today…not futures. Deal with reality for a while. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

  16. Pam says:

    I often wonder if the folks who refer to our President as obimbo, obambi, etc, realize how ignorant this makes them look. I guess they are doing the rest of us a favor by exposing their ignorance so blatantly.

    As to the topic, if President Obama ignored this problem the haters would just accuse him of being out-of-touch. The simple truth is that we all have to take a bit of personal responsibility when it comes to gas prices. I realize those are dirty words but it’s true. When gas hit $4.00 a gallon a few years ago, people started car-pooling, consolidating their errands, driving more fuel efficient vehicles and taking mass transportation when possible. Demand went down and prices went down. When prices went down, we reverted back to our old habits and the cycle continued.

    Nick, you’ve pointed out several ways we can all cut back on fuel consumption with just minor changes like checking our tire pressure and driving a bit slower. That was a great post and I should have thanked you for it at the time. If we all did those things when gas was at $2.00 it wouldn’t have hit $4.00. Sure, the speculators suck but they’re speculating based on our own gluttony. That’s a sure bet for them.

  17. T & R Martin says:

    In order to be Ruler of the World as in Head of the United Nations, we have to bring the United States DOWN, even with the other countries. A super power like the United States will not likely be leader of the U.N. THINK. How else are we going to address the people as “PEOPLE OF THE WORLD.” It is hard to recognize if a politician is being truthful or if he/she is in campaign mode—If he/she has never come out of campaign mode will we ever be able to tell the difference? The gas pump saga could be a divergence. We have the resources, but not the right people to inforce our country’s capabilities. Note: Just because a person does not agree with the current administration, we should not call them haters; but likewise we should not call our leaders derogative names either. Let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot. Momma always said: Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

  18. Barbara Kirkhart Palmer says:

    Thanks, Pam, for pointing out that people who insist upon calling the President of the United States by anything other than his correct name are just displaying their own ignorance and spite. It’s amazing to me how much spite has been spewed at the lawfully elected President. I don’t care if you agree with him or not, he is the President and the office deserves of modicum of respect. Of course, most of those people don’t know what “modicum” means. I think that Obama really thought he could change the momentum of the congress – but unfortunately, even the president can’t overcome the inordinate power that money and ignorance play in our political system. It’s all dollars for re-election and sound bytes that play to prejudices – very little critical thinking survives our electoral process. I don’t know the cure – but legislation overturning the Supreme Court’s ruling that corporations can donate as much money as they wish to political candidates would be a start! Then we’d have to address the education system, which graduates people from high school who have no knowledge or appreciation for our country’s history, and who can’t even articulate a literate sentence – oy vey.

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