George Will on “Low” Gasoline Prices

Having watched the various pundits on Sunday morning’s talk shows, I wanted to pass along a couple of the items I learned from the rightwing masters of spin as well as provide a graph. Alas, I’m not sure how to graph Fitzmas so that will have to await until tomorrow, but I was able to find an excuse to provide a graph of retail prices for regular gasoline (my source).

My excuse was George Will’s comment on This Week yesterday that we Democrats are really dumb. His example of our stupidity was a comment a couple of weeks ago by Senator Reid that gasoline prices were quite high. Will claimed that at the time the Senator had made this speech, we had just witnessed a record decline in prices. It would seem that prices have come down since then too – but would you call them low?

Update: AB reader Eclaire makes an excellent point – my series is in nominal terms so a careful analysis would adjust for inflation. Back in August 1990, a nominal price of $1.20 translates into today’s dollar into an inflation-adjusted price of $1.65. In the spring of 2001, the nominal price was $1.70, which translates into an inflation-adjusted price of $1.87. Of course, it costs about $2.50 a gallon for regular gasoline today, which is not as bad as $3 a gallon in early September. But then the September 2005 price was about twice what we were paying in late 2003 – even inflation-adjusted. So wouldn’t one expect prices to have fallen from their September 2005 levels?