If we read President Obama right, he's telling us to get used to $4 gas unless we want a replay of the Great Recession. As his running mate might put it, that's pure malarkey.
It took a lot of back and forth and a follow-up by moderator Candy Crowley, but the president finally did respond in Tuesday's debate to the question of whether his administration gives a hoot about the price of gasoline.
Basically, the answer was no.
Here's the key part of the transcript:
Crowley: Mr. President, could you address, because we did finally get to gas prices here, could you address what the governor said, which is if your energy policy was working, the price of gasoline would not be $4 a gallon here. Is that true?
Obama: Well, think about what the governor — think about what the governor just said. He said when I took office, the price of gasoline was $1.80, $1.86. Why is that? Because the economy was on the verge of collapse, because we were about to go through the worst recession since the Great Depression, as a consequence of some of the same policies that Governor Romney's now promoting.
Notice what Obama asks us to assume — that the only way to get back to prices seen when he took office is to re-create the dismal economy of early 2009.
As our chart here shows, he's simply wrong. There's no discernible link between prosperity and costly gas, or between cheap gas and slumps.