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Gas prices, recessions, and predictions
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

Some of us woke up the day after Easter to have our morning coffee, contemplate the events of the previous day and hope all the hidden Easter eggs were located, lest they lay to rot in their hiding places until some unsuspecting soul would stumble into their foul odor, but content in the fact that hopefully we wouldn’t have to contend with that task for a couple of days or so.

That was our collective hope, however as we opened the morning paper to the “Your Views” section of today’s paper, the unmistakable stench of a rotten egg permeated throughout the kitchen and beyond. My wife, watching Regis in the other room, holding her nose, called out as if to warm everyone within earshot, “McComas!” she shouted. “McComas!” shouted Regis, holding his nose and pointing to the camera, a clear warning to everyone watching. Of course it was too late, there in bold type read “$6-plus gas by third quarter of 2011?” by Scott McComas.

Six dollar-plus gas! That would surely get our attention, however we would have to wade through more predictable stench to get there. Listen to the same dull one-string banjo, Democrats bad, Republicans good! Over and over again, like a bad song without a hook, a rap without a flow, a tale full of sound and fury signifying nothing -  ‘Macbeth’, the tale part, not the banjo-flow part.

Skipping through the insignificant part, we get to what caught our attention, the $6-$7 dollar gas part, but first we must throw around a few percentages to get McComas to put down his calculator. One can only speculate at the vision of McComas responding to any mention of percentages, some comical, some disturbing.

The following percentages were reported today and should make the GOP in California squirm a bit more than usual, for everyone living in the current century must realize the GOP is in dire straits and has more or less painted itself into a ideological corner. The report today states registered Democrats in this state on the rise: 7.7 million, 44.6 percent, up from 42.8 percent in September 2005. Registered Republicans: 5.3 million, 31.1 percent, down from 34.8 percent in 2005. Those who declined to state: 3.4 million, 20 percent up from 18 percent. I can understand the rise in numbers for Democrats but how would McComas explain the drop for Republicans? Did they move to Arizona or Alaska? Get sucked into a black hole and are now trapped in the 4th Dimension? Well there are at least two local guys who can show them how to escape from time to time, of course once you become a resident of that dimension, no one will ever take you serious again. Right?

Now the gas thing, it wasn’t that long ago, during the Bush Administration, that McComas defended Big Oil and their price gouging ways by predicting less than one dollar gas, which of course never happened. Brushing aside the unsubstantiated claim by McComas that gas did indeed get under a dollar, albeit on the Spot Market, not the gas pump where we in the present Dimension, all go get our gas. He also tied the price of gas to the price of oil, which we all have seen was more blowing smoke, with oil prices going down, we’ve seen gas prices going up. Supply and Demand, we were told, never mind that Big Oil controlled the supply. When the economy tanked and gas prices went down, McComas was quick to point all that out to us but not until he was forced to admit we were in an official recession. When gas prices were at their peak, McComas claimed the economy was sound, now he predicts gas to rise even higher but this time it will be because of high inflation. I have to agree that gas prices will continue to rise as the economy gets better. Does this mean that McComas agrees? As McComas himself would say, “They didn’t say otherwise so they must agree”.  That’s 4th Dimension logic, at its best.

One has to wonder how much his prediction was influenced by the fact that this time we have a Democratic Administration and a Democratic Congress. Remember that one string banjo, can you hear it warming up? Sadly, you will...

Larry Baca
April 13, 2009