John Stossel

 Despite Schumer's complaints about "catastrophe," today's gas prices aren't especially high. Even after the price increases of recent years, and after the high gas taxes imposed by our bloated government, today's price ($2.75, for regular, according to the AAA) is still lower than it was in 1981 ($2.86, adjusted for inflation). The politicians won't tell you that, and neither will most of the media. When they rant about "record" gas prices, they usually forget to adjust for inflation.

 Fox News' Bill O'Reilly last week also ridiculed the idea that competition sets gas prices. On his popular TV show, he said, "Somebody tells your local gas station owner exactly what to charge! Somebody does that!"

 Really? There's a secret price dictator?

 Why don't people trust the market? Schumer thinks congressionally appointed "experts" are the answer, but imagine how much gas would cost if the government produced it! At least $20 a gallon. Gasoline isn't easy to make.

 First, the oil has to be found, then sucked out of the ground ... sometimes from deep beneath an ocean. The drill may have to bend 90 degrees, dig sideways and bend down again, sometimes drilling through 5 miles of earth. What they finally pull out of the ground has to be delivered through unbelievably long pipelines or shipped in monstrously expensive ships, converted into three different formulas of gasoline, and then pumped into trucks that cost more than $100,000 each. Then your local gas station has to spend a fortune on safety devices to make sure you don't blow yourself up.

 Even after all that, a gallon of gasoline still sells for less than the equivalent amount of Evian.

 The price will go up and down, and we can count on the market to protect us better than politicians ever could.

John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at > To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at ©Creators Syndicate