Maybe there is some good news out of the federal government shutdown. At least, that’s my take on a report I read late last week. (Who knows? But, by the time you read this the crisis may have been averted.)
All we have seemingly heard in recent days is doom and gloom or politicians shouting back and forth blaming the other party for the country’s supposed woes when we all know there is enough blame to go around from President Obama to the Senate and on to the House of Representatives. Sequestration, shutdowns, and the so-called fiscal cliff are nothing more than a politicians’ playground for getting reelected. It signals the populace that rhetoric is fixin’ to flow freely when in the end we should all realize the powers that be aren’t going to let the big stuff hit the fan.
On one thing we can all agree; the United States doesn’t need to default on its loans (that’s probably one of only a few scenarios on which the majority of Americans agree with elected leaders). I hope we all concur that living beyond our means isn’t a wise decision either. If we can’t pay as we go so be it.
There must be a permanent solution to the debt crisis and continually raising the bar on what the country can borrow. It can’t continue that way forever. There has to be some reasonable way to adequately fund government without the continual need to borrow. Obviously that means cutting waste and in some cases programs. The situation also begs for revisions in an antiquated tax system. But, that’s another story.
At this point, and especially after reading a report from GasBuddy.com, I’m not sure a government shutdown, or at least that threat, is all that bad. As I read the report, which made no reference to the shutdown or a potential relationship between the 15 facts outlined and the crisis, I smiled. It dawned on me; a fall in gas prices might correlate directly with the government shutdown.
Is it ironic or just mere coincidence? Am I reading something into it? Possibly. But, GasBuddy’s report did make me think that there might be some, at least minor, correlation even though it was nothing more than fun and fascinating facts on the price Americans pay for fuel at the pump.
Here are a few:
• The average national price had fallen 34 days in a row leading up to the shutdown
• The most common price, “$3.40 per gallon, is 10 cents higher than a week ago
• The price at the pump is 41 cents lower than the same period a year ago
• The median price is down in every state compared to last month and last year
• The price per gallon in nearly 5 percent of the country is under $3 per gallon (sign me up for a couple of thousand gallons)
To add fuel to the fire of skepticism, on the very day Democrats and Republicans began talking the end might be in sight to solve the impasse and avert the fiscal cliff (Oct. 10), GasBuddy indicated the price trend was likely to start back up as wholesale price rose almost 12 cents per gallon from Oct. 4-10.