The Cost of Gas as a Percentage of Median Income

6 Jul

I probably had better things to do tonight, but I decided to start pulling statistics from several sources, including the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the Census Bureau, the Senate website, and the House website, and here is what I came up with.

In May 1981, the price of a gallon of gasoline was the equivalent of .0072% of annual median income.  By the end of the Reagan presidency that percentage had dropped to .0036%, with a slight up-tick to .0040 by May of 1989.  From that time until 2003, the percentage hovered around .0036, sometimes up by .001, and sometimes down by a lesser margin.  In 2003, when we “went to war for oil,” the percentage started going up, and today is at .0074% of annual median income.

Two points: If we went to war for oil, one would think that the percentage would drop with the benefit of the US now getting all that oil from Iraq.  Fact is, that wasn’t the reason, it that isn’t the result.  Second, is that really the issue?  We can parse the data to show which party had control of the White House, the Senate, or the House, but in the end, none of that matters either.  What really matters is that we are not keeping fuel prices down by increasing oil supplies, which will best be done right here in the US.  If we pull ourselves off the world market and start producing our own oil from the 1.5 trillion barrels of oil shale in CO, UT, and WY, we gain energy independence, and we put 22 million barrels of oil a day back on the world market for the world to consume.  Prices go down, employment goes up, national security is enhanced, energy independence is realized, and we are a better country for it.

So, for those of you who prefer to sit around whining about the price of a gallon of gas, I ask you to do one of two things:  Shut up, or do something about it.  If you are not going to step up to the plate and make a difference by making your voice heard to the people who can make a difference, your house of representatives, then please stop whining and be content with the high prices.  On the other hand, if you are a person of character, open your mouth and start talking to your representatives.  Write letters, sign petitions, heck, buy a t-shirt so I can afford to keep sending them to your reps for free.  Just do something!!!!

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