I am a firm believer in the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle. One “simple” way to stimulate the economy is to lower gas prices down towards the $2 per gallon mark they were at in the 1990’s when the economy was booming. This would put more expendable cash in consumers’ pockets on a weekly basis. This would not be a one time refund that may or may not be used to make a purchase, but it would be an on-going thing. It would also help businesses by keeping fuel and transportation costs down. Consumer confidence would improve because it would feel lest stressful “trying to make ends meet” and promote the feeling that the economy is back to a better place. Lowering gas prices would be one way to focus efforts to improve the economy.
OK, I realize that it is not that simple to lower gas prices. But, let’s face it, the cost to process a barrel of oil does not increase or decrease based on the cost of oil. I am sure that, if the government worked with the oil companies, there would be a way, through tax reductions, incentives and regulation to get the price of gas and diesel down. The key will be to keep very clear, straight forward goals, namely 1) Lower gas prices to $2 per gallon 2) Provide conditions for the oil to be profitable
I hesitated to include this addition, because it is really a separate issue. But I fear that without mentioning fuel economy, critics will dismiss the idea. To continue the move to more fuel efficient vehicles, the auto companies could be engaged in a discussion. Again, the auto companies just want to make money. With the right arrangements between the auto companies and the government, the average fuel economy of new vehicles can be improved, while the auto companies are provided an opportunity to be profitable.
Location: Tampa, FL