Gasoline prices are dropping almost daily in Iowa, as reports are surfacing about how plummeting oil prices are costing thousands of jobs in the U.S. petroleum industry.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the low pump prices are saving motorists a bundle, which means they’ll have more money to spend.
“Seventy percent of our economy is based upon consumer spending,” Grassley says, “so when the consumers have more money in their pockets and they spend more money, won’t there be an enhancement of the economy?”
Last week, President Obama proposed a $10 a barrel tax on oil to pay for various green infrastructure projects and transportation system reforms. Grassley says that proposal will die a quick death in Congress.
“I tweeted yesterday that it’s just like a tax on the consumer,” Grassley says. “It’s going to be passed on and it’s not going to go anyplace and it shouldn’t.” Grassley, a Republican, disagrees with what he says is the common mindset among Democrats. “Whether it’s this president or whether it’s any of the three that were running for president on the same ticket that Obama is, the answer to every problem that this country faces is higher taxes, higher spending and more regulation,” Grassley says.
Congressman Bill Flores, a Republican from Texas, says: “It’s clear in his last year in office, the president is more concerned with his radical climate policies and pleasing special interest groups than providing economic stability for hardworking American families.” Grassley says the proposed tax would only bring more government and more power for Washington D.C. He calls the nation’s capital “an island surrounded by reality.”
Grassley says, “I think the president’s trying to say through a $10 a barrel increase in imported oil, which is like a 25-cent per gallon tax on gasoline, that the government can accumulate this money and solve some of our problems, but it just isn’t so.”
Gas prices in Iowa are now averaging $1.63 a gallon, after peaking last June at $2.78. Iowa’s highest-ever gas prices came in July of 2008 at just over $4 a gallon.