Gas-price politics

Published September 6, 2012 11:40 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

One of Carol Ann Lee's complaints about President Barack Obama is that gas prices have doubled since he became president ("Elect Romney," Forum, Aug. 24). Former Gov. Mitt Romney made the same assertion in his speech accepting the GOP nomination for president.

The statistic is accurate. At the end of 2008, the average price for gasoline was $1.61, and the AAA average price over the 2012 Labor Day weekend was $3.83.

There are two things wrong with using this statistic against Obama. First, as has been well-documented, presidents have almost no say about gas prices, which are set by the free market, something businessman extraordinaire Romney should know.

Second, gas prices, along with the economy, tanked in the fall of 2008. The preceding July gas was $4.12. That prices recovered from their deflating crash shows a recovering economy, not a failed one. Regardless, picking the nadir of the Bush crash for comparison rigs the statistic.

Lee may twist statistics to falsely prove her point — that's her American right. Romney has the same right to deceit. But I hold him, as a major party candidate, to a higher standard. Imagine my disappointment.

Michael Travis

Park City