Myth #1: Presidents have major power over gas prices
“Gasoline prices have more than doubled on Obama’s watch, from $1.89 on Inauguration Day in 2009 to last week’s $3.93. That’s an increase of 107 percent. But guess what? Gas prices skyrocketed 387 percent between 2002 and 2008, when the average price of regular went from $1.06 to $4.11, before dropping again before Obama took office.
So if you blame Obama for gas prices doubling, then who do you blame for gas prices nearly quadrupling in the six years before our Democratic president was sworn in? And why was gas, at $1.89, so cheap when he took office, anyway? Credit (or blame) the crippling recession of 2007 to 2009, which saw millions thrown out of work and demand for gasoline crater. It’s the same reason gas was just $1.06 back in 2002, following another downturn. Of course, a nasty recession and near economic collapse is not the way we want to lower gas prices. But that’s what happened.
When gas prices exploded from 2002 to 2008, Democrats — including then-Sen. Obama — were wrong to blame George W. Bush, just as Republicans are wrong to blame Obama for the 107 percent jump since 2009. So who can we blame? The “blame,” if that’s the word, lies largely with the ever-changing market cycles of supply and demand — not just in the U.S., but around the world. I know, I know. It would be so much simpler if you could just blame one person for the rise in global commodity prices. But that’s not how it works. Sorry.”
-Paul Brandus: Why you’re wrong about gas prices and politics