Idaho GOP Sen. Larry Craig stood on the Senate floor last week to utter an amazing statement. He said that "…a premature withdrawal from Iraq could have dire consequences with our economy and energy supply…."
Craig's Democratic challenger Larry LaRocco had something to say about this new-found Republican honesty in an interview with NewWest.net. Craig "has confirmed that [the war in Iraq is] no longer about security, it’s no longer about squashing terrorists-he’s putting the lives of our great men and women at risk for oil…."
So, it all about oil, folks. Meantime, the consumer is about to get screwed at the pump worse than you have ever experienced, due to oil refineries experiencing a record number of fires, power failures, leaks, spills and breakdowns, which results in less gas at higher prices.
It isn't just the refinery problems – real or imaginary-that are going to hit you in the wallet. Crude oil prices hover at near-record levels, and the cost of everything is going up to cover that larger expense. What can do you do about these higher costs? You can eat them!
Groceries haven't risen this much in so short a time since 1990, when they rose 6.5%. It was far worse during the oil crises in 1973 (16.4%) and 1974 (14.9%). But don't worry! Those "experts" who predicted that stealing Saddam's oil would be a cakewalk now predict that these higher oil prices are only temporary.
Meanwhile, a report on future oil prices released by CIBC World Markets suggests that "a growing appetite for oil in the developing world and a seemingly unquenchable thirst for it in most developed countries will push prices to $80 US a barrel this year, and to $100 US by the end of 2008."
Here's a final fact of economic life even neo-confidence Savants can't deny. If consumers don't have enough money to keep buying all those cheaply-made man-child toys arriving daily from Asia, our economy will collapse faster than you can say "Impeach Clinton!" What will happen to your lovely record-level Dow then?