Ok, that was just to get your attention, but let's look at the numbers.
The national average for regular unleaded gasoline, according to the Lundberg Survey stood at $3.88 a gallon on April 22, up about eleven-and-a-half cents per gallon from April 8.
According to Reuters that "price was still below the July 11, 2008 all-time high of $4.11" but AAA Mid-Atlantic is warning drivers that a national average of $4 per gallon gasoline by Memorial Day weekend is still a very real possibility. Spokesman John Townsend said, "Easter weekend is here and Memorial Day weekend is just five weeks away, which has motorists wondering just how high will gas prices climb before the unofficial start of summer arrives."
In Alexandria, VA it looks like prices range from about $3.99 to $4.19 per gallon for regular.
Keep in mind, this spike in gasoline prices is occurring while unemployment remains stubbornly close to nine percent, and estimates for the first quarter GDP growth (due to be released on Thursday morning) are for a barely above-water 1.7 percent.
That should put the brakes on gasoline price increases because more people will be concerned about their economic futures and so will drive fewer miles and buy less gasoline.
President Obama's poll numbers from normally friendly polls in the NY Times and Washington Post show his approval for handling the economy sinking. The Post poll (taken in conjunction with ABC News) shows only 42 percent approve, while 57 percent disapprove.
Up in New York City, the Times (which teams up with CBS News for these polls) is even worse with a 38-57 deficit on his handling of the economy.
GDP, Balance-of-Trade, and the strength of the dollar versus the yuan are not the stuff of Monday chatter around the coffee pot in most businesses. The price of gasoline is.
So, if Obama's numbers are gas-tanking, the political/policy czars in the White House need to find someone to blame, and fast.
The President has announced the formation of yet another task force, this one in the Department of Justice to look for fraud and illegal manipulation of gasoline prices.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, "The Oil and Gas Fraud Working Group is being organized as an arm of the President's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force."
I'm not certain why we need a task force to enforce financial fraud, but that's may be why we're having so much trouble getting our arms around federal spending.
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