Gas prices have risen for the 24th straight day because:
a. Supply and demand
b. Fears of war in Iran or generic oil-producing nation
c. President Obama’s energy policy
d. None of the above
Answer – d. none of the above
Yeah, I didn’t give you a chance to answer. Sorry.
Since the middle of G.W. Bush’s last term, the economy hasn’t been very good. That means we can unfairly blame the Republicans. However, in the past few months, the economy has shown signs of recovering. The GOP doesn’t like that. Big Oil doesn’t like that. It might help Obama get re-elected. What to do? Raise gas prices. That allows the GOP to blame Obama. It gives them something to yell about in all these boring primary debates. It gives the GOP voters a flag to rally around. It energizes the base. It gets people out to register. They need a target for their anger. Gas prices may create one.
But wait. Oil isn’t the only industry that owns the GOP. Why don’t other companies raise their prices to make Obama look bad? Easy. Because other products are actually controlled by supply and demand. And other companies pay taxes, usually. They can’t risk losing money if they lose customers. If Tropicana raises their orange juice prices, there are too many competitors to turn to. There aren’t very many oil companies, and the granddaddy of them all is Exxon-Mobil. They’re so big, they’re a merger of two companies and the biggest company in the world when it comes to both employees and revenue, according to Wikipedia. They rake in over $40 billion a year – tax free. You have to be very special, or very powerful, to make that much and pay zero taxes in America.
Wal-Mart is the second biggest company in the world. They pay about 33 cents in taxes for every dollar they make. Last year they made about $24 billion and paid about $8 billion in taxes. But they don’t control the Republicans. Exxon-Mobil made about $40 billion last year and kept every penny. So, GOP, who’s your daddy?