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Surging gas prices could fuel backlash against Trump

Public Policy

President Donald Trump is hoping a wave of tax-cut-fueled economic euphoria will boost his approval ratings and his party’s political fortunes this fall. A sharp spike in gas prices could slam the brakes on all of that.

As Americans head out for traditional Memorial Day weekend road trips, they’ll confront gas prices of nearly $3 a gallon, the highest since 2014 and a 25 percent spike since last year.

The increased cost of fuel is already wiping out a big chunk of the benefit Americans received from the GOP tax cuts. And things could get worse as summer approaches following the administration’s standoff with Iran and a move by oil-producing nations to tighten supplies.

The result: The economic and political benefits Trump and the GOP hoped to reap from cutting tax rates could be swamped by higher pump prices that Americans face every time they hit the road.

“If you look at the benefits of what households are getting from lower rates, roughly one-third of that is wiped out if these higher gas prices are sustained,” said Ellen Zentner, chief U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley. “And when we drive down the street, every block we see glaring signs about how much gas costs that day and it’s all over the media. The tax cuts were a one-off. It’s a one-time level shift in your paycheck that you are not reminded of every day.”

The economic impact of higher gas prices is already stark.

Morgan Stanley estimated that if prices remain at current levels, they would cost U.S. households an additional $38 billion this year. Using Joint Committee on Taxation data, it estimated the tax-cut bill would reduce individual taxes by about $128 billion in 2018. And it gets even worse for Trump.

The increase in gas prices is felt most heavily by lower-income Americans — especially in the South where people drive the most — who received the smallest share of the tax-cut benefits. So the increase could hit Trump’s blue-collar Southern base the hardest while potentially eroding confidence in the economy and tamping down consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic output.

So far, consumer spending remains fairly strong as higher wages and lower taxes encourage people to open their wallets. But the first clear impact of higher gas prices emerged in the latest retail sales figures, which showed a 0.3 percent decline in spending at restaurants and bars. Typically, the first area households cut back when feeling pinched is going out to eat. Spending on travel, tourism and apparel, among other categories, could also wind up declining if fuel prices keep rising.

“Gas prices will reduce the benefits of the tax cut by at least one-third, but I think the impact may actually be much larger than that because the bulk of the tax cuts go to high-income households who aren’t going to spend much of it,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “Gas prices mean less today than they did 20 years ago, but they still mean a lot, especially to those folks living on the margins in lower and lower-middle income groups.”

Higher gas prices can trickle out to nearly every sector of the economy.

When prices fell in 2014 and 2015, they hit the profits of oil giants but left everyone else with more money to spend, helping lift everything from dining out to home sales — and contributing to a boost in overall gross domestic product.

The reverse may now also be true. Higher gas prices will lead to stronger profits for oil and gas companies, but less spending on everything else and potentially higher inflation.

If prices continue to rise, consumers will feel the pinch not just at the pump but in what they pay to heat their homes and for virtually any product that is delivered to their home or the store in cars and trucks.

“The price of oil and inflation are positively — and highly — correlated,” wrote Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West, in a recent note to clients. “In other words, as oil prices increase or decrease, inflation moves in the same direction.”

A spike in inflation could push the Federal Reserve to add another interest rate hike this year, further pushing up the cost of borrowing on everything from credit cards to home purchases. Mortgage rates are already rising, and a further increase could reduce home purchases and all the household formation spending that goes along with them.

None of the negative impacts from higher gas prices are guaranteed.

Many analysts view the price spikes as temporary, noting that a decline in political uncertainty in the Middle East could push prices lower. The U.S. is also far less dependent on imported oil than it was during the oil shock of the late 1970s. And Americans spend less now on gas given alternative energy sources and more efficient cars.

But such a sharp spike in prices still has real economic and psychological impacts that could easily blow away any benefits from a tax-cut bill Americans already have mixed feelings about.

A study released this week by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed that only 37 percent of households believe they will be better off a year from now because of the tax cuts, while 47 percent expect no change and 16 percent think they will be worse off.

Higher gas prices, meanwhile, act as an immediate tax on consumers and make people feel poorer.

“There’s still a positive impact from the tax cut, but it tells a little different story when the tax cuts are seen against the backdrop of higher gas prices,” Zentner said. “It changes the narrative a little bit.”



39 Comments on "Surging gas prices could fuel backlash against Trump"

  1. dave thompson on Sat, 26th May 2018 12:20 pm 

    When gas prices go up blame the president.

  2. DerHundistlos on Sat, 26th May 2018 5:27 pm 

    When this president bragged about his ability to keep gas prices low and the stock market at ever higher levels, then we should “blame the president” when prices move in the opposite direction.

  3. MASTERMIND on Sat, 26th May 2018 5:48 pm 

    Remember what happened last time we elected a RepubliCon…Nuff said..

  4. MASTERMIND on Sat, 26th May 2018 7:08 pm 

    Italy is at risk of becoming rated in junk status..LOL this is what happens when you elect scum fuck far right populist..You scare away all of your countries investors..Because they know these morons will make huge mistakes..

  5. DerHundistlos on Sat, 26th May 2018 9:00 pm 

    The last time the American people so foolishly handed control of all branches of government to the Republicans was in 1928 and just 18 months later the country was thrust into The Great Depression. It took FDR “The New Deal” and a Democratic congress to return prosperity to America.

  6. Go Speed Racer on Sat, 26th May 2018 11:01 pm 

    I know what ya mean, Der Honda’s Toast,

    Every single time the Repub’s get into
    power, they make a quick economic
    “sugar high” filled with giveaways to
    the rich and budget deficits, and then
    it all crashes and goes to hell and a
    great recession takes place.

    Why talk only about FDR and New Deal,
    little rich drunken fraternity boy, Bush Jr,
    did EXACTLY the same thing, the great
    housing boom/bust of 2003 – 2007.

    Weirdest thing is, that was scarcely 9 years
    ago, and absolutely nobody even knows or
    remembers it happened.

    I do… came so damn close to losing home
    and landing in the street. Worked 18 hours
    a day and kept 2 houses. Nobody else even
    knows anything ever happen, nowadays they
    all busy throwing parties on their yachts,
    and snorting cocaine off a hooker’s tits.

  7. Go Speed Racer on Sat, 26th May 2018 11:12 pm 

    Hey everybody
    look at the nastiest
    stupidest most evil
    most ignorant pieces
    of shithead rich
    limousine liberal pieces
    of trash, on the entire
    and their Circus of THE HOMELESS!!

    So the shit-eating liberals of Seattle
    have now glorified the meth-addicted
    homeless con-artist druggies and criminals,
    AND that homeless camp ???

    That’s smack dab in the middle of some of
    the most expensive real estate on the West
    Coast, South Lake Union, with Amazon.Com

    The reason Jeff Bezos is vomiting into his
    golden toilet, this very minute, is the
    shit-eating yogurt-eating hairy-armpitted
    ugly-dyke communist liberal bitches from
    the furnaces of hell, are surrounding his
    Amazon business workplaces with homeless

    Do the world a favor, go and find yourself
    a yogurt-eating liberal,
    and beat the shit out of him smash his
    teeth all over hte sidewalk.

    Teach them a lesson about ‘compassion’.

    Seattle is now FILLED with druggies in tents
    throwing AIDS-encrusted needles into the
    grass at the city parks to stab 4 year olds
    in the butt.

    And who is responsible? THESE shit-eating
    liberals of the Seattle City Council !!

    Scumbag, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi
    loving liberal fairy-faced leftie fuckheads.

    What’s the antidote? Give $800 a month
    to the TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020 fund!

    Meanwhile Jeff Bezos is PACKING UP
    where they don’t have shit-eating
    meth-head loving, homeless hugging,
    fucked in the head, HIllary voting liberals.

    Fuck Seattle, Fuck Seattle City Council

    Stinking fucking LIBERALS!




    Just dare ya, DRIVE THRU Seattle,
    Look at more goddam homeless tents
    than you will see on the entire west
    coast. The homeless pieces of meth-cooking
    shit are pitching their tents right in the
    middle of I-5, cooking rats over
    pallet fires while city buses drive past.

  8. Go Speed Racer on Sat, 26th May 2018 11:18 pm 

    OOOPS !!!

    Forgot a link !
    Along with your RECURRING $800 a month
    donation to the TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT fund,


    THATS what you show to the homeless to
    give them LOTS AND LOTS of

    Just compassionately drive thru their
    homeless camps in your handy-dandy
    D9 Caterpillar BULLDOZER and dont stop
    keep going,
    when you finally get the brick walll !!!!

    Give them a nice big SQUISH of compasssion
    and watch all the urine, drugs, alcohool
    and blood SQUEEEEEZE out of the mishy mashy
    mess of t heir 2×4 encampents and their tents.


    ONLY $155.85 per share !!


  9. MASTERMIND on Sat, 26th May 2018 11:23 pm 


    Does the psych ward know you smuggled in a mobile phone?

  10. MASTERMIND on Sat, 26th May 2018 11:23 pm 

    US tries to bully the world into attacking Iran

    Great article showing how western media spreads fake news to manufacture the consent for endless wars.

  11. MASTERMIND on Sat, 26th May 2018 11:50 pm 

    The people like clogg who are agitating for this civil war to happen, when the dust settles are going to wish they never agitated.

  12. Go Speed Racer on Sat, 26th May 2018 11:57 pm 

    Awww c’mon Mastered Mind,

    Dont tell me U are living in the
    goddam homeless camp too, with the rest of
    the leftie-commie “3 types of bathrooms”
    yogurt-eating liberals.

    The beauty of the homeless camps, is we
    have something to drive our Caterpillar
    dozers thru.

    Just like Israelis and Palestinians.
    Drive thru the Palestinian camps with
    military bulldozers.

    Fun for the whole family.

  13. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 27th May 2018 12:01 am 

    did U actually watch that stupid
    assinine video?
    In the original link?

    Stupid liberal bitch says
    “I believe that every human being
    has the right to food and shelter”.

    WRONG!! They have the right to
    fucking goddam WORK. If they dont
    want to do any work, they have the
    right to get my waffle-stomper
    boot shoved up their ass.

    Low life liberal commie homeless pieces
    of shit. Trump for President!
    Send the homeless back to Crapistan!
    No more terrorists no more moozlims
    kick out anybody who doesn’t have a job!

  14. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 27th May 2018 12:06 am 

    Yo Mastered Mind,
    Hell ya!

    Let’s Blow Up Iran!

    Don’t wait until tomorrow, thats
    too far off. Blow Up Iran, NOW
    NOW NOW! WAIT. Send all the
    Seattle homeless to Iran first,

    Put a quarter into the jukebox.
    Push F-16, and ENJOY:

  15. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 27th May 2018 12:19 am 

    everybody sing along

    Bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran
    bomb bomb Iran
    Just like Japan
    Wont it be grand
    Well turn the rocks into pebbles
    the pebbles into sand
    Let’s bomb Iran

    I’m here at the dance
    trying to advance
    nothing else is working
    so thought I’d take a chance
    and Bomb Iran
    bomb bomb Iran
    just like Japan

    Well turn the rocks into pebbles
    the pebbles into sand
    Let’s bomb Iran
    bomb bomb
    bomb bomb Iran

    Legal Amnesty is thru
    Finally wouldn’t do
    running out of money
    So I’m trying something new
    let’s bomb Iran
    bomb bomb Iran
    Just like Japan
    bomb bomb Iran
    Well turn the rocks into pebbles
    the pebbles into sand
    bomb bomb Iran

    Let’s bomb bomb bomb Iran
    bomb bomb bomb
    bomb bomb Iran!!

    ANYTHING to keep US having plenty of
    Leaded 92 Octane, 57 Chevy’s,
    hamburgers fries ketchup and milkshakes,
    at THE DRIVE IN!

  16. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 27th May 2018 12:21 am 

    Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton,
    are fighting back for lefty homeless
    socialism! Again at the jukebox,
    with “Every Cent You Make”

  17. Davy on Sun, 27th May 2018 6:38 am 

    This might not be good for midterm election, lefties. It is poetic justice that the US gets a taste of its own medicine in regards to regime change and election meddling. I doubt we will learn from this but we should considering this is the biggest and worst political scandal in the history of the US and it rests at the feet of the Democrats and neocon Republicans. I wonder when this dirt will get too the fake Nobel Prize winning last president. Notice how quiet the dumbass is lately. What a farce he was.

    “For your eyes only: A short history of Democrat-spy collusion”

    “How highly placed members of one administration mobilized the intelligence services to undermine their successors…The real fons et origo is John Brennan, Director of the CIA under Obama. As Trump’s victories in the primaries piled up, Brennan convened a “working group” at CIA headquarters that included Peter Strzok, the disgraced FBI agent, and James Clapper, then Director of National Intelligence, in order to stymie Trump’s campaign. So much of this story still dwells in the tenebrous realm of redaction. But little by little the truth is emerging, a mosaic whose story is gradually taking shape as one piece after the next completes now this face, now another. There are details yet to come, but here is the bottom line, the irreducible minimum…A cabal of CIA and FBI operatives, including the Director of the CIA, John Brennan, along with other members of the intelligence “community,” prominently including James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, and various members of the Obama administration, colluded to undermine Donald Trump’s campaign. Like almost everyone else, they assumed that Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in, so they were careless about covering their tracks. If Hillary had won, the department of Justice would have been her Department of Justice, John Brennan would still be head of the CIA, and the public would never have known about the spies, the set-ups, the skulduggery. But Hillary did not win. For the last 16 months, we’ve watched as that exiled cabal shifted its efforts from stopping Trump from winning to a desperate effort to destroy his Presidency. Thanks to the patient work of Devin Nunes, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and a handful of GOP Senators, that effort is now disintegrating. What is being exposed is the biggest political scandal in the history of the United States: the effort by highly placed – exactly how highly placed we still do not know – members of one administration to mobilise the intelligence services and police power of the state to spy upon and destroy first the candidacy and then, when that didn’t work, the administration of a political rival. It is banana republic behaviour, but it looks now as if those responsible for this effort to undermine American democracy and repeal the results of a free, open, and democratic election will be exposed. Let’s hope that they are also held to account.”

  18. MASTERMIND on Sun, 27th May 2018 7:10 am 


    Stop spamming fake news..the spectator..geez you are going off the rails worse than clogg.. you would never make it through college now of days..You are going full tin foil hat now..Sad..and cringe..

  19. Davy on Sun, 27th May 2018 7:24 am 

    Mm, let’s see who else with credentials jumps on my comment because you are illegitimate. You are the leading board blind lying liberal noise maker. Can you give any sources that refute what I posted? You are the board dumbass that posts empty links without accompanying content that always whines about sources but then never can enunciate those sources. Any dumbass can throw links out and say “here look at this”. When I criticize this uneducated behavior you twist the criticism around by saying you don’t understand the question. You are a stupid young kid that has polluted this forum with junk and noise. You have a horrible personality and you are intellectually “lite”. I see you as a unemployed millennial school dropout. You can’t hold a job because you have a horrible attitude. You would rather hang out in mom’s basement and act stupid making grunting noises.

  20. MASTERMIND on Sun, 27th May 2018 7:27 am 


    The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists..

    — Hannah Arendt

  21. Davy on Sun, 27th May 2018 7:38 am 

    You described yourself perfectly and reinforce my assertion you are unable to elaborate on your comments. You just put others words out or links. You are intellectually “lite” and little more than noise to an otherwise sophisticated adult forum. Go find another forum more your age/speed, better yet, start one. The amount of time you put in here would allow you to do that.

  22. MASTERMIND on Sun, 27th May 2018 7:40 am 


    I have worked since I was 13..I won the state championship in Chess in the state of Indiana when I was in high school..I went to college at Michigan while working part time..And earned a PhD in quantum chemistry..I then went on to work for AT&T a fortune ten company.Where I was the top salesperson in my state for two full years..I went on two all expense paid vacations I won..Called the AT&T Summit..And now I work as a research scientist at a local university..I am the exact oppisite of you..I never even got an allowance growing up..I started working at 13 and bought my first car when I turned 16..I never got free handouts from my wealthy parents like you..

    Now that being said…All of that has nothing to do with my criticism of your lack of critical thinking and posting fake news..I don’t have to refute something that is fake..Just like i don’t have to refute someone who says the earth is flat..

  23. MASTERMIND on Sun, 27th May 2018 7:46 am 


    No offense..But you are a grown man who is scared of science links..That just shows how soft you become when you get free handouts from your parents and don’t have to work hard in life..

  24. Cloggie on Sun, 27th May 2018 8:16 am 

    “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists..”

    New Facebook policy:

    – white supremacy is not allowed (hardly exists anyway)
    – white nationalism/white seperatism IS allowed

    FB intends to hire 20,000 moderators (!)

  25. Twocats on Sun, 27th May 2018 8:22 am 

    “Patient work of David Nunes”

    Hahahaha oh man that’s good. Keep em coming.

    I mean they’re all monsters and clapper has lied under oath and admitted it. But the Republican party djt wing is incomparable.

  26. Davy on Sun, 27th May 2018 8:49 am 

    Two cats, not going to argue that but are you dismissing the article? I want to get you on the record as this unfolds.

  27. Davy on Sun, 27th May 2018 8:53 am 

    Mm, lets say your narcissistic glowing praise of your dumbass is true why are you so immature, juvenile, and loud mouth here? What you said about yourself is completely different from the reality of your disgusting self here. You are a butt stain as far as I am concerned.

  28. twocats on Sun, 27th May 2018 9:24 am 

    I’m on the record – Trump is a two-bit oafish con-man and even half-looks at his ventures before his candidacy showed they were rife with criminality. So when he launches a serious run for the presidency its not hard to believe the FBI would be a little worried that his candidacy might be compromised.

    on the other end – the republican “spy-gate” thing (used twice already actually) is about as credible as benghazi-gate or hillary-email-gate.

    i will give republicans credit for one thing in all these gates – their ability to completely mesmerize their following.

    sorry davy – we part ways here. and nope – not a democrat. hate those guys – just for different reasons.

  29. Davy on Sun, 27th May 2018 9:51 am 

    “I’m on the record – Trump is a two-bit oafish con-man and even half-looks at his ventures before his candidacy showed they were rife with criminality.”
    Extreme view because what about Clintons and now the Obamas and all the other scum bags in Washington. Not much difference and if you think there is man you are bamboozled.

    “So when he launches a serious run for the presidency its not hard to believe the FBI would be a little worried that his candidacy might be compromised.”
    Buddy, please, that is one friggen messed up statement. These people you mention as concerned are worse criminals then Trump’s normal bunch of criminals. Get the blinders off man.

    “on the other end – the republican “spy-gate” thing (used twice already actually) is about as credible as benghazi-gate or hillary-email-gate.”
    So, I guess all the dirt coming out is being dismissed by you? I am saving this in my notes and we can revisit it later after this unfolds. We are talking conspiracies and corruption in the highest places and likely the worst in US history. It is not only Democrats but also the likes of McCain and others.

    “i will give republicans credit for one thing in all these gates – their ability to completely mesmerize their following. sorry davy – we part ways here. and nope – not a democrat. hate those guys – just for different reasons.”

    I am not Republican or Democrats. I voted for both over the last 2 decades but what is happening now has you mesmerized so it appears you are a closet Democrat defender.

  30. DerHundistlos on Sun, 27th May 2018 6:15 pm 


    My brother from a different mother….

  31. DerHundistlos on Sun, 27th May 2018 6:28 pm 


    Man, how can you continue to deny the obvious? While you claim to be politically neutral, you have spent at least the last couple of years (since I have been reading this forum) trotting out one Republican “Democraticgate” conspiracy theory after another (ex. PizzaGate, Seth Rich, etc.).

    Yes, I’ll add your latest Republican generated conspiracy theory to the ever-expanding list. Statistically, you should get one conspiracy, if tangentially, right sooner or later- throw enough shit against the wall and something should stick.

  32. Davy on Sun, 27th May 2018 6:46 pm 

    Der hund, please give me a reference that refutes the points made in my comment then let’s talk. Your stupid blather doesn’t cut it. You are the big kahuna blind lying liberal so it is to be expected for you to spout off unsupported claims.

  33. Manila1 on Sun, 27th May 2018 7:12 pm 

    Davy is a (maybe) from a 1%er family that hides him in the Ozarks because they are ashamed of him. He thinks he is important but he is just a goat herd with a potty mouth and immature mind to match. A 1%er wannabee that never will. A pretender like MM. Worthless to society and his family.

  34. Davy on Sun, 27th May 2018 7:34 pm 

    “Davy is a (maybe) from a 1%er family that hides him in the Ozarks because they are ashamed of him.”

    3rd world, I was a success in life and now I am enjoying my life doing what I want to do. You are a failure and this is why you ran off to a 3rd world country. My family loves to visit the farm and I love to maintain it for them. I care about family but you obviously don’t.

  35. DerHundistlos on Mon, 28th May 2018 7:35 pm 


    I have given you plenty of references, which you conveniently ignore (ex. the accuracy of Kunt prognostications), then you continue with excuse making and pricking. This is your modus operandi. Stop fooling yourself since nobody else believes your BS.

  36. Davy on Mon, 28th May 2018 8:11 pm 

    der hund, can’t you be a little more original with your attacks. Is your mind that empty? Stupid old man, stay away from the car keys.

  37. Manila1 on Mon, 28th May 2018 8:13 pm 

    Davy, your delusions are obvious to everyone here. You keep proving just the opposite of what you portray yourself to be. You are obviously lying to yourself about just about everything. Isn’t the internet wonderful. Even you can be someone important, if only in your eyes.

  38. MASTERMIND on Mon, 28th May 2018 8:42 pm 


    That take down of Davy was brutal AF!

  39. MASTERMIND on Mon, 28th May 2018 8:44 pm 


    Police filmed punching woman in New Jersey beach arrest

    This is what a police state looks like! Shooting unarmed citizens..Now punching young woman on the beach for drinking a freaking beer on a holiday weekend?

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