Monday, October 14, 2013

Republicans To Blame For Gas Prices Under $3

TAMPA, Florida -- Gas prices have fallen under $3 in several cities across the U.S, including Florida, according to  So far, gas prices under $3 can mostly be found in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Mississippi, and South Carolina.  In Florida, gas prices under $3 are clustering around Tampa at $2.99 per gallon.

Most economists cite market reaction to the federal government shutdown caused by the impasse between Republicans and Democrats in Congress as the reason for the short-term drop in gas prices as hundreds of thousands of federal government employees no longer need to fill their gas tanks for their weekly commute to work.

While several anecdotal news stories in recent weeks highlight frustrated tourists unable to visit National Parks and Monuments and First Lady Michelle Obama's White House Garden is left untended, the immediate impact of the U.S. government shutdown affecting the largest number of American households has been pocketbook relief at the pump.   

The average price of regular gasoline in the U.S. has dropped 18 cents from $3.55 per gallon a month ago to $3.37.  Likewise, Florida gas prices have dropped to $3.279 per gallon from $3.461 just a month ago.  

Although politicians on both sides of the aisle are pointing fingers at the other party over the government shutdown, neither party is laying blame on (or giving credit to) the other for the resulting lower gas prices.   

According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, Americans blame Republicans more than Democrats for the U.S. government shutdown with 74% of Americans disapproving of the way Republicans are handling the negotiations versus a 63% disapproval of Democrats.

But motorists should fill up their tanks soon.  That's because the extra disposable income gained from lower gas prices, which tends to benefit the working poor and middle class the most, could be short lived if Congress strikes a budget deal later this week.