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Does Obama deserve blame for high gas prices?

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For Republicans, high gas prices are the fault of Obama. For the Democrats and Obama, the problem is external issues such as Iran and traders. While Obama may not be completely at fault, it's fair to give him some of the blame because of his choice to re-nominate Ben Bernanke. The Fed's decision to roll out quantitative easing has consistently weakened the greenback each time it has started to recover. Even the hint of a new round has been enough to drop the value of the dollar. And the chaos of the latest Greek bailout and other assorted economic problems in Europe has done nothing to help improve the dollar.

So is this Obama's fault?

Well, he's the one who made the decision to keep Bernanke, so at this point he owns the problems over at the Fed to some degree. After the Fed completely missed seeing the impending crisis of 2008, Obama had an easy explanation for changing its leadership. Instead, he opted for more of the same, including hiring the NY Fed president to run his economic team.

Obama may not be completely to blame for the high oil prices, but he's not as removed from the problem as he likes to suggest. And there could be consequences to those bad decisions in some of the swing states. Bloomberg:

Voters in some U.S. swing states are feeling the pinch of rising gasoline prices more than those in states that tend to vote Democrat, posing a challenge to President Barack Obama’s re-election, according to a report.

Gasoline in Florida, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania costs more than the national average of $3.76 a gallon, Trevor Houser, a partner at the New York-based policy analysis firm Rhodium Group, said yesterday in a report. Consumers in Iowa, New Mexico and Ohio spend more on gasoline as a percentage of their personal income than the national average.

“If you look at those Midwest battleground states, those that haven’t crossed the line to $4 are pushing the limit,” Houser said in an interview. “Midwest battleground states will cross the threshold before the national average does. All things being equal, it’s bad for the incumbent.”

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