Gasoline prices are expected to plunge to under $3/gallon across much of the US by year's end. Since when was that considered a bargain? Since getting screwed by rich people became the new normal, that's when. Gasoline is nothing but oil refinery waste that we've been trained to think of as precious. We've always exported millions of barrels of the stuff through every period of 'shortage' at the pump.
We're really swimming in the stuff since Obama eliminated the gas guzzling incentives put in place by Bush and previous Republican administrations. Fully 30% of refined fuel is currently exported which makes that our largest 'manufactured' export. Although... that has a lot to do with us simply not making much of anything here anymore.
A report from The Head Spy, the Director of National Intelligence, estimates that we will be energy independent in 20 years, of course that has a lot to do with another big bullet point of the report. We won't be a major economic player in the world anymore with China in full ascendancy. Well hell, they will have passed us by after their next 'five year plan'. Are you old enough to remember when the Communist 'five year plan' was a big joke? That was 32 years ago, before we elected the man who made it possible for Republicans to send us down the path to third world status.
Back to the price of gas, why is it going down now? The corporate media says it's because the supply is so high. But the supply has always been high, that didn't keep them from running up the price. Gasoline prices are set by the Commodity Futures market with 90% of the trading done by Wall Street banks. That is ever since this practice was decriminalized with the creation of the Enron loophole. Remember Enron screwing us on electricity? They didn't get bailed out like Wall Street did after doing the same thing. They went to prison, but that was another time.
What we do have a large supply of is Senator Elizabeth Warren. Gasoline started down the same day it was revealed that she would be joining the Senate Banking Committee. This is unheard of for a freshman Senator, so is a real decline in the price of gasoline.
If the price of gasoline stays down, and that appears a real possibility, as the Dodd-Frank Act forces banks out of the gasoline business. If it is finally enforced we could see a real economic upturn with an additional million new jobs in 2013. This would be above the previously predicted 3 million new jobs according to Moody's. Consumer prices that have already been adjusted to allow for gasoline in excess of $4/gallon could fall sharply adding to consumer demand.
Given this rosy outlook for the economy, Obama has no reason to panic about the Fiscal Bunny Slope, and it appears that he is well aware of it. Republicans have set upon a strategy of dismantling the economy at the state level by pushing for Right to Work for Less laws. Not reported in the corporate media is that the real union killer in these laws are provisions that require Unions to provide expensive representation for non-union workers in their 'union shop'. Companies can simply nickel and dime the union local by bringing 'unjust' actions against workers that cost the union $2000-$3000 a pop to resolve. As the costs go up, the dues go up and dues paying members become scarce. Forget about striking, a lock-out is more likely as the company knows that the union can't afford a strike. This drives down wages and having a union begins to seem pointless.
Obama just appeared at a Union plant in Michigan and made it clear that these right-to-work laws are all about politics and not economics. Becoming a low wage state to compete with southern states for European car factory jobs just means even lower wages in the south. Forget about owning the modern equivalent of Ford's Model T on the wages Republicans want to pay, you can walk to work from the shanty town down by the sludge holding pond. But hey, you can have a bucket of sludge for free.