It's the Gas Prices, Stupid
The Republican strategy to warn voters about the impending coal crisis has been largely neutralized by Obama’s clever delay on fracking regulations (sure to magically reappear after the first of the year). Mitt Romney and the rest of the GOP candidates need to get out of the weeds of the “war on coal.” It's time to stop wandering off into the details of retrofitting coal plants and quit arguing about global warming — there’s no time for that at this point in the campaign. Republicans need a simple message that will resonate with every voter in every precinct in every state.
In short: It’s the gas prices, stupid.
The average American family burns through 1,100 gallons of gasoline a year, so the $2.00+ increase in the price of a gallon of gas since Obama has been in office now costs a family more than $2,000 every year. According to the Brookings Institution, the skyrocketing gas prices disproportionately hurt low- and moderate-income families because for those families, gas isn’t a luxury item they can cut from their budgets. They must instead cut other family expenses:
Since low- and moderate-income families spend most of their income on average, in the very short run they can only choose between spending less on other items and going further into debt.
In addition to the direct costs consumers pay at the pump, the prices of nearly everything that relies on the supply chain have been affected. Mike Jarrett is president of Jarrett Logistics Systems in Orrville, Ohio. His company specializes in transportation management services for manufacturing companies, wholesalers, and distributors. He explained the relationship between fuel prices and consumer goods.
We are contracting with carriers that are on a fuel schedule with us, so when there’s an increase in fuel, that in turn increases the fuel surcharge to us, which is obviously passed on. So it does affect the total landed cost to the customer. The higher the fuel, the higher the landed cost.