Our economy is wheel-based. From commercial trucks to construction equipment, passenger planes to freight rail, we depend on wheels.
Today, as gas prices are spiking, the cost of keeping those wheels turning is becoming harder for families and small business owners alike.
Since President Obama took office, average national gasoline prices have risen from $1.84 per gallon on Inauguration Day 2009 to about a $3.74 per gallon today. Residents in states like California, Washington, and Hawaii probably wish they were only paying the national average, as their gas prices have reached as much as $4 per gallon or more depending on where they live.
Because the effects of high gas prices are far-reaching for our economy, addressing this challenge must be a top priority for our next President.
When I see the high pricesat the pump, I think about those who are struggling to get by and need to fill their tanks in order to go to work every day and feed their families. I think of the seniors making do with less because of rising fuel prices and shrinking retirement funds due to inflation. And I think of the single parent being forced to deal with the discovery that just driving the kids to school every morning is breaking the bank.
The real tragedy is that much of the blame can be placed on bad government policies that have resulted in high inflation, high taxes, and unnecessary federal intervention in the energy sector.
The gasoline-tax rebate checks some have proposed won’t provide lasting relief. Forcing new efficiency standards on carmakers doesn’t help those who can’t afford the cost of a new car. Additional taxes on oil profits will only be passed down to the consumer.
In short, these are not serious solutions.
As a Congressman, I have proposed serious solutions, which, had they been enacted, would have avoided this mess without weakening environmental protections. If I am elected President, signing an authentic energy reform bill will be an early priority of my administration.
I will lead with a plan to lower prices, minimize government intervention, and restore a true free market.
Since the challenge is multi-faceted, an authentic solution is one that addresses several issues at once. In Congress, I have proposed the “Affordable Gas Price Act,” legislation that does just that while barely four pages in length.