In March 2012, on the floor of the United States Senate, Mike Lee (R-UT) predicted that if Obama was reelected gas would cost $5.45 per gallon by the start 2015. Lee said that gas prices would rise 5 cents for every month Obama was in office, ultimately reaching $6.60 per gallon.
Raising the price of petrol is a long-term liberal dream, for a variety of reasons. Doing so would carry out a number of their goals: making mass transit more attractive, making suburban sprawl less attractive, reducing carbon emissions. European petrol prices are largely there because of high taxation. But the left has been stymied in getting this done in the U.S., so they’ve resorted to other means, including impeding exploration and development of fossil fuels of all types, blocking the Keystone pipeline, etc. The EPA’s “carbon dioxide as pollutant” initiative is the next phase of this effort.
Unfortunately the confluence of two events has set back this strategy. The first is the development of fracking and the opening up of previously unavailable oil and natural gas reserves, which is making the U.S. energy self-sufficient for the first time in many years. The second is the Saudis’ “go ahead, make my day” flooding of the market with oil, aimed primarily at the Iranians and secondarily at the Russians.
For the left, the drop in petrol prices is a classic case of “defeat snatched out of the jaws of victory”.
And there’s another prediction that needs some clarification, at least:
In September 2012, Mitt Romney predicted that if Obama is reelected “you’re going to see chronic high unemployment continue four years or longer.” At the time, the unemployment rate was 8.1% and had been between 8.1% and 8.3% for the entire year.
The only reason why we don’t have high unemployment rates these days is that, in the U.S., unemployment rates don’t take into consideration workers who have basically left the workforce. Workforce participation is at its lowest since the late 1970’s; if people who have left the workforce were factored in, we’d have higher unemployment rates. The high exit from the workforce has been facilitated by current “loose” policies on allowing people to go on disability and Obamacare’s indirect promotion of Medicaid.
Southern Republicans in particular need to go light on this issue. With constituencies which are, to a large extent, descendants of people who didn’t come here to do the work or have been influenced by these people, both of these expansions have been popular down here. We’ve already seen some pushback on the Medicaid issue in Louisiana; expect it elsewhere.
As far as the other two predictions are concerned, never underestimate the ability of the 1% to hold their deal together when the situation calls for it.