The politics of gas prices

The ongoing saga over gas and oil prices is becoming a political hot button topic. As we sit less than 8 months from the mid-term election, we’re watching as politicians from both sides of the aisle navigate this issue.

The ongoing saga over gas and oil prices is becoming a political hot button topic. As we sit less than 8 months from the mid-term election, we’re watching as politicians from both sides of the aisle navigate this issue.

One area where politicians are working on this issue of gas prices is gas taxes. In the State Capitol, House and Senate negotiators agreed Wednesday night to use $200 million in federal stimulus money to give Gov. Ron DeSantis part of his request for a gas tax break. This, as they wrapped up a budget that will send the annual legislative session into overtime. The gas tax break, if passed would occur in October. That’s just weeks before the November mid-term election where Governor Ron DeSantis will be up for re-election.

News4JAX spoke with Dr. Michael Binder political pollster from the University of North Florida. Binder said for any tax break to really help voters it would have to go into effect well before October. “I certainly think if there was real concern about consumers and immediately relieving some of the burdens of the cost of gas you might want to make that kick in a little sooner,” said Binder.

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Binder points out gas tax removals only do so much good. He said if you add up all local, state and federal taxes it only adds up to roughly 60 cents per gallon.

News4jax also spoke with voters who said the price of gas will be a major issue in November.

“Yeah, well it’s a pocket book issue,” said voter Bill Mitchell.

But others question whether any political party should be blamed for the price of gas which as of now is well over $4 a gallon nationally for regular unleaded. “No, because we went through some Republicans when gas prices was up and we went through Democrats. It’s just a part of life you have to deal with,” said voter Ricky Butler.

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News4JAX also asked Binder about what will happen politically if the price of gas fall again. He said it really comes down to the reason why it falls. If it’s because Russia withdraws from Ukraine and the global order is restored that’s politically beneficial to President Biden and Democrats. But if the price comes down due to deals made with countries like Venezuela and Iran, that continues to be an issue for Republicans to attack Democrats.


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Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.