June 25th, 2008
05:20 PM ET

Are gas prices changing your life?


FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The market is beginning to do what no politician can. As we head into the summer driving season, rising gasoline prices are cramping the style of many Americans.

With the average price holding steady above $4 a gallon, demand for gasoline fell 2.7% last week compared to the same week one year ago. A MasterCard report says it's also the ninth consecutive week of declines compared to 2007.

The New York Times reports rising energy costs are forcing many Americans to reconsider life in the suburbs, now that commuting as well as heating and cooling their homes is becoming more and more expensive.

In the 1950s, we began fleeing the hustle and bustle of the cities for the peace and tranquility of the suburbs. But energy costs threaten to reverse this 50-year pattern. Analysts say that in cities like Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Minneapolis, homes outside the urban center have been falling in value faster than those within it.

Economists and real estate agents believe that skyrocketing energy costs are a top reason why home prices continue to decline in the suburbs. In fact, a recent survey found that more than 75% of home buyers would rather live in a city because of fuel prices.

The bottom line is millions of Americans just can't afford to drive as much. The government found that in March, Americans drove 11 billion fewer miles than in the same month of 2007 – that's the largest one-month drop since they started keeping track of this stuff.

Here’s my question to you: How are gasoline prices changing your life?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Filed under: Gas Prices
soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. Carol c.

    Absolutely! I retired 4 years ago and could fill up my compact car on $12 if I had a quarter of a tank. It now costs $40 for the same amount of gas. We make every trip count, don't eat at some of our favorite restaurants because of distance. I wanted to do volunteer work but that is more gasoline and can't fit it into the budget.

    But I shouldn't complain–I don't have to drive back and forth to work anymore and my heart bleeds for the people who do. But maybe, Jack, this will be a wake-up call for us to quit spending beyond our means, to start saving for the "new toys" instead of charging them. I am just grateful we don't have a big SUV!

    Knoxville, TN

    June 25, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  2. Mwita (Los Angeles, CA)

    If we could just harness the power of Wolf Blitzer's beard we could do away with fossil fuels altogether.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  3. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy


    In the past, I have attended impeachment rallies as far away as Washington D.C.. From now on, I'll limit my participation to impeachment rallies in Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  4. Nancy from Florida

    It certainly has made a difference in our lifestyle. We have one small car and one truck. The small car is a four cylinder manual and the truck is a six cylinder manual. Since gas has gotten so high, we rarely drive the truck. We had planned on getting a new vehicle to replace the truck but are now waiting to see what the manufacturers come up with in the way of more fuel efficient trucks.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  5. Snapper • New Castle, IN

    It's not effecting me that much, but that shouldn't really be the point...it's effecting other people and we are all in this together. My concern is whether or not the American people, government, investors, and oil companies are going to try to join together and come up with a sensible solution to allow this country to function better.

    Here's an idea; instead of pointing fingers, why don't WE fix this issue for once. As long as we continue to blame each other we are going to continue to watch the price of gas rise. The blame game is the reason we have $4-plus gasoline.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  6. sarah, indiana

    not much really, we just made the necessary adjustments to our budget and lifestyle and deal with it. i would suggest others who spend a lot of time whining about the price of gas do the same and get over it. gas prices are NOT going down anytime soon.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  7. AndyZ Fairfax, VA

    In a modest way yes, gas prices are changing my life. And by the way I've come to enjoy eating gruel, porridge and other things I never thought I would enjoy.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  8. Caryn, Washington DC

    I fill up my tank once a month...that's it. No matter what's going on my car gets gas once a month. When that gas is gone, I'm on foot or using public transportation. Once a month.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  9. Darlene - PA

    Absolutely! We don't even consider traveling far from home any more and little runs out have been combined into one big stop. We are shopping for a car now and gas mileage will be a big factor in what we decide. We'll probably go hybrid.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  10. David, Orlando, FL

    I stay home a lot, I don’t go shopping and I am saving a fortune!

    June 25, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  11. Paulette Dallas,PA

    Just for spite I don't drive around as much. We live in the suburbs, so when I go downtown I do all the errands I need to do on that trip. No more running everyday. I'm not going to make Big Oil richer.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  12. Fox in Florida

    Rising gas prices make it easier to accept being unemployed. When I consider that half my paycheck would be used just to get me to and from work I breathe a sigh of relief knowing my car has had the same gas in it for two months.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  13. Adam, Roslyn NY

    It has affected me dearly. My friends laughed at me when I inherited my grandfather's old car as they drove around in their flashy SUV's. With such high gas prices, I find myself doing a lot of carpooling nowadays.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  14. Lester (Huntsville, Alabama)

    Gas prices have drastically affected my day to day life. No more driving to the mall or local shopping center to drop a few dollars or even renting movies from the local video store. Now, its to work and right back home and when I deviate from this set agenda its only for either the doctor's office or groceries. I will however, put aside a little gas money for this November to drive myself and anyone else who wants to go to the polls to get rid of the oil men in put big business before the average man on the street.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  15. Hope, Alabama

    My family is trying to drive less, and thankfully we live only a quarter mile from a grocery store. My mom can walk to get small groceries or my dad will ride his bike. Mom is also considering buying a scooter to ride to her work–which is also close by–to avoid having to drive her car. I'm just glad I'm going to a college where I walk to class.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  16. Stacy from Loudoun County, VA

    The high gas prices keep me at home more, but that is okay because I get to see the lovely Carol Costello, the dapper Wolf Blitzer, and ummm….you too Jack.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  17. Jed in Redding, CA

    Being a stay at home dad I feel trapped in the house at times, held prisoner by obnoxious fuel prices. Every 5 miles we drive costs one dollar. Every trip into town it costs $10 - minimum. Chores like the post office, bank, groceries, the mall and the gas station must be consolidated into one weekly trip. I have fought shopping at the local mega Wal-Mart on principal for years and now I must reluctantly accept their low, low prices and one stop shopping appeal. They make me want to take a shower when I get home but darnitall, you can't beat the prices. Somebody help me, please.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  18. Terry in Hanover County

    Yes. All trips to work, the store, and the doctors' offices are combined but it doesn't help much because the price of food, gas, electricity, etc., are increasing by leaps and bounds while our incomes stagnate. There's no fat in our budget, not even a little grissle. We're counting the days until we make one special trip - to the polls to vote the bums out of office!

    June 25, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  19. Chicago Bob from Illinois

    Yes. I rarely take my car out of the garage anymore. But then again I am unemployed because of this economy so I don't need it to go to work and I need to be more frugal than ever.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  20. Dick B

    The gas prices are getting me into better shape. I have been digging for oil in my back yard for a week or so. I thought I hit a natural gas pocket but it turned out I cracked the city sewer conduit. Still I have lost 10 pounds and am considering offering my property's oil rights to the highest bidder.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  21. Jeremy D (University of Texas)

    I just sold my premium gas only Lexus LS400 for a 2001 2-door Acura 3 hours ago and I argued the salesman to fill me up instead of just the normal half tank.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  22. George, Levittown, New York

    Hi Jack,

    Every week I buy $20 worth of gas and drive around town counting the number of local businesses that have shut down. Already this year, within a two-mile radius of my home, I count 15.

    Early last month, my company sent out $19,000. in invoices to vendors. To date, we have received $21.00 in payments. I don't think I will be buying $20 worth of gas next week, as I won't have to go to far to find the 16th business failure.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  23. Joan from Mt Pocono PA

    Yes, high gas prices has put a holes in my wallet.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  24. T (Fort Worth)

    Yes it has. I stay home and hang out on the computer more. It is too far to walk to the store so I have to limit my trips and I cannot afford Walmart so I have to hit garage sales and line them up to which one to go too. Ain't life grand?

    June 25, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  25. Rosalynd Florida

    Yes. I think a lot more about energy consumption and how I can be a part of the solution by chanaging my driving habits and recycling more.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  26. Jan Davis, Knoxville, TN

    Jack I have had to cut back on buying clothes/household goods and now spend more time at the Dollar Tree these days. Everytime I buy gas I get furious about the crooks who are running this administration! I trust Obama to make changes that will help Americans so we can buy the things we need once again!

    June 25, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  27. Independent in New Mexico

    What a Silly Question....Of course it is. The price of fuel is impacing the cost of everything from groceries to utilities and medical cost. And I'm sure my friends in the North East are thrilled with the thought of heating their homes with fuel oil this coming winter.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  28. Greg ...Cabot AR

    The money I used to spend at local business for non-necessity items (like eating out, shopping...etc.) is now going into my gas tank.

    Those small business owners are going to experience some of their own Republican "Trickle Down Effects" that they touted over the last 8 years as being sound economic principles.....lower taxes, less government regulation, or should I say ..no government regulation...

    Now that the oil companies and the speculators are the only ones
    getting rich, most of America will get a chance to experience a dose of third world poverty until the next administration turns this mess around.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  29. Bob S Philadelphia, PA


    Doesn't really mean anything right now because Obama has plenty of time to flip flop like he did on campaign financing, And I’m sure there is plenty more flip flopping to come which will make it easier for people to vote for John McCain.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  30. Patricia

    I don't own a car yet Jack, ask me in August or September when I plan to buy 1.
    Palmdale, Ca.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  31. Mac in Truro Nova Scotia

    Hi Jack: The rise in fuel prices means that I can smile when I gas up in the USA for about $2.00 a gallon less than here in Nova Scotia.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  32. Gigi in Alabama

    Gas prices mean that I have to pick and choose where I go and what I do. If I need something from the store I try to bundle that with going to church or picking up my grandchildren.
    Hopefully Congress will try to do something about speculators and the oil companies. It will take controlling both before we see lower prices at the pumps.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  33. Willow, from Iowa

    Yes. I live in a small town and everything is a fair distance to drive. Its now far cheaper to buy things more expensively in my little town at the neighborhood store than it is to drive to a discount store. It may help the Mom and Pop stores stay alive longer, or at least until the inflation hurts them too.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  34. Ken in NC

    I used to drive to my mail box but now I ride a pregnant mule so I can have a ride back to the house. On our last vacation we drove to town and back. Is that change? I has to be affecting us because there is none left in our pockets anymore.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  35. Jayne in NH

    Yes. I only drive when necessary and plan my trips carefully to avoid any backtracking. No more family road trips – what a shame.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  36. Jesse


    Hi Jack,

    I'm writing from Vancouver Canada where gas is over $6 a gallon and let me tell you what I've seen here.

    People are trying to walk, bike, take transit or do car pool more. Also a ton of people who live in the burbs are now spending less on going out and are renting movies instead of going to them... bottom line people are having to do the same with a lot less as the cost of everything took a big jump with the price of oil.

    The other thing I've noticed on both sides of the border is that many more people are talking about why the government can put the same type of effort to double fuel efficiency of vehicles as the government did when they challenged the country to go to the moon!

    We're not asking for the moon and the stars just better fuel efficiency and maybe more nuclear power too.

    Vancouver BC

    June 25, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  37. Linda in Virginia

    Gas prices are not changing my life as much as you are Jack, unemployment is having an effect of Linda in Va posting daily on Jack's Cafferty File.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  38. Jenny


    I try to combine errands and have rencently enraged my younger son becuse I would not drive to Block Busters to rent a game because it was an unnecessary trip. Our Block Busters is right beside our grocery store so it easy to combine trips.
    My seventeen year old who graduates from highschool this year has suddenly decided that instead of designing cars (something he has always wanted to do) he is going to become a bioengineer and invent an alternative fuel source for the country. His Dad and I think that is cool!

    Jenny Rome Ga

    June 25, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  39. Stacy from Farifax, Virginia

    I started to commute to work by bicycle . I am only doing it once a week now but plan to get up to 2 or 3 days this summer. It is 11 miles one way and it takes me only about 15 minutes longer than when I drive.
    If there is any good news about higher gas prices, it is that finally Americans are paying more attention to the issue and many are doing something, even in a small way, to change their behavior. Lately, I am seeing more bike commuters than ever before.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  40. Paul

    Change that is unwanted. It takes $75.00 to fill up my truck with regular and I live a state with "Cheap Gas". Regular under $4.00 a gal. but not much longer. So it has changed pleasure trips to none and has increased the cost of everything food and anything you buy.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  41. Bob S Philadelphia, PA


    The price of gas is crushing my budget , Some weeks we have to decide on how much gas we can afford and still eat and pay other bills. But it's just not the gas that is killing the American people it is the cost of everything !

    June 25, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  42. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    I don't drive very often anymore.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  43. sandy in Ohio

    Jack. As retirees, it has affected us in higher food prices and electric bills on top of higher gas prices. We don't visit our children as much and they can't come here as often. Most of them have to worry about the cost of going to work everyday. The good news is we have always lived very simply, so we haven't had to give up much.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  44. JC from Georgetown, Texas

    Sure it is, when I was growing up, gas was 11 cents per gallon, sometimes there were gas wars and we could buy it for 9 cents, and this was in the 1960's. But for us today it is not changing nearly as much as it is for those that make minimum wage or live on a true fixed income and can't work or many of the vets that have returned from Iraq who can't get a job because of all of the issues they try to deal with.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  45. Michael, Orlando, Florida

    since the Republicans have destroyed the economy, I have learned how difficult it is to be poor. The only gain from republican government is that I now walk 30 minutes everyday to work (instead of driving).

    June 25, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  46. Marie

    Yes it has change my lifestyle. I bundle my daily traveling trips and plan in the fall to buy an energy saving vehical.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  47. Linda in Florida

    As you know, there isn't much public transportation in Florida. Its 30 miles roundtrip from my home to work and back. With gas prices being what they are, I run my errands on my way home from work and try to do little to no driving on the weekends. I live in Palm Beach County and our gas prices are the highest in the state. I guess no one has figured out yet that not everyone who lives here is wealthy!

    June 25, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  48. Jenna Wade

    How are gasoline prices changing your life?

    Well, my son-in-law is a car salesman and he can't sell cars. Which means that we have to help support our daughter, grandchildren and him. His parents can't help because they can't rub two nickles together.

    As for my husband and I – I use to go out 2 to 3 times a week to look for work, now I am sticking at home looking for a job online. My husband only goes to and from work. We go shopping together only twice a week and we map out the shortest distance. If we forget anything it has to wait a couple of weeks.

    Cheap gas here is close to $5.00 a gallon.

    Roseville CA

    June 25, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  49. Radiance

    No, but I burnt ten dollar in my tank yesterday getting a job. If I work at the place I was hired at, 25% of my paycheck will burn in my tank for the energy needed to get to work.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  50. Paul, Louisiana

    Not yet, I cut back on a lot of travel a few years back. I am worried about the cascading effects of transportation services though, like freight companies. It will add cost to all goods that need to be transported across the oceans or states.

    I pretty much live within my means already, so I do not think the impact will be as rough on me. I'm not really a heavy spending consumer type person.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  51. Fish, MN

    Yes; I stay home after work most of the days.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  52. Jerry,OK

    Hopefully, higher gas prices will accomplish what common sense has failed to do. Focus attention on alternate energy sources.

    Jerry N/Tulsa

    June 25, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  53. Pablo in Arlington Texas


    Yep. You Betcha. In the immortal words of the Smothers Brothers, "Bought myself a bicycle and learned to ride it well. Ran into a telephone pole and broke it all to ..... pieces." Not really but have had a couple near misses with angry motorists.
    Still, a fellah down this way has been riding his bike to and fro for 2 years and has saved over $4000 on gas and lost 80 pounds in the bargain. Seems like a good change to make.

    Arlington, Texas

    June 25, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  54. Caycee, Pearl City Hawaii

    Food costs have gone up so much that I've had to cut out drinking coffee and soda and I've switched to drinking tap water instead of bottled water. I don't buy any more snacks either.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  55. Scott, Wichita

    I've noticed that I drive a little more safely, but that's it, Jack.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  56. Harry

    I have found new happiness is driving, Jack.

    I have slowed down to the speed limit which gets me honked at, cursed at and flipped off.

    How can that possibly make me happy?? Being somewhat sadistic, I really get their blood boiling with a big smile and a friendly wave!!


    June 25, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  57. janet in oklahoma

    I don't own a car and this make me glad I don't. The higher gas prices are causing me enough pain at the grocery store, without the loss of bucks for gasoline.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  58. George Carlin McxKinney, Texas

    No. I saw this coming years ago and planned for it. I have solar panels on my roof and drive a Hybrid that gets 58 miles to the gallon. As soon as a Hydrogen car is available at a reasonable price I will be driving it.
    Jack we were warned about this years ago. When I was in Jr. High School and on the Debate team we debated Nuclear power and the United States becoming Energy Independent. That was in the 70's. If our Government had started thinking like the Teenager's were back then we might not be in such a Jam. It is time to out grow bad habits and foolish things. Those years gone and we need to move on to bigger and better and more fuel efficient things and the sooner we all do it the better off we will all be.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  59. Greg, Hamilton Ontario

    Because everything we buy arrives on a truck the increases in fuel prices are always passed on to the people. Any increase in the price of food or clothing has to be have an effect on you.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  60. Ray Kinserlow

    It has made me more aware of conserving by doing things like eliminating unnecessary trips and shutting off the engine instead of idling for extended periods of time. Also, my next car is going to be either all electric or a hybrid.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    June 25, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  61. Keith from Irving Texas

    My leisue driving is a thing of the past. I drive ONLY when I absolutely have to now.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  62. John in San Diego

    Jack, we are finally learning what the Eoropeans have known for years – high gas prices reslult in decreased demand. I, for one, am making a point of enjoying several days a week when I don't use my car at all.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  63. Judie

    I have gone from filling my gas tank once a week and driving where ever I wanted to, to putting in 10 gallons every other week and driving where I have to. Remember the old commercial song ............................ Drive your Chevrolet through the USA ........................... now your lucky to be able to drive a mile to get groceries, but the USA is still the Greatest Land Of All.

    St. Augustine, Fl

    June 25, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  64. Cynthia

    Yes it has. I do the necessary but limit all other.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  65. Mike, Syracuse NY

    well Jack, I was planning on buying one of those gas hog SUV's. Now I'm looking for an all wheel drive moped.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  66. JT from TN

    My truck blew the engine back in Febuary. I hadn't had a job in two years because no one will hire me or their just not hiring period, so I can't afford another vehicle yet. I just sit at home while the other two I live with work and type to the best political team on tv.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  67. Jess, Ohio

    I'll drive maximum, 2 times a week and that's solely because my clinicals are close to 30 miles away. If i'm not going to the hospital, I don't drive at all. I bike or walk everywhere. I'm very fortunate that I live in the downtown area and that most of my needs are within a 10mile radius, making it accessible on foot or bike.
    Don't worry though, with the money that I 'think' I'm saving by not driving, I'm using it up trying to purchase just the essentials when it comes to groceries.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  68. Jesse Mehle

    I may loose my house because of the price of gas. I have oil heat. I don't know what I'm going to do this winter. Why isn't anybody trying to help us out. Senator Obama and McCain both have plans for this problem but it doesn't help us out now it will help us out 8 years from now. So HELP US NOW!

    Duluth MN

    June 25, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  69. Kevin in Springfield

    It's bad now and its effecting people's moods and if you don't see it your blind. In fact, my guess is we will even see spikes in robbery, violence, and even suicide based on financial pressure of high fuel and energy. We are not all Arnold and we can't plink down 6 figures to buy a Tesla. We want action on speculation, supply, AND demand and we want it now.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  70. Joe in DE

    Yes, I am eyeing a motorcycle.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  71. mitch martin arkansaw

    no,i blew up the motor in my '77 ford ltd,last december,so, i bought a '96 pontiac,with a 4-cylinder,at the beginning of the year.with the gas i'm saving,weekly,i'm 'bout breakin' even.this feeling will only last so long,tho.GET IT TOGETHER US. GOVERNMENT!NOT EVERYONE WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO OWN AN OLD GAS HOG ,LAST YEAR.thanks jack.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  72. Nora Corpus Christi Texas

    We actually are saving money. We only go out when we have to, we eat out a lot less, do almost no shopping at all. Gas is almost $4 a gallon here in Texas and the cuts we have done are working out pretty good. Just shows you what you can do when you are forced to cut back. We will not travel this summer and that will also be a huge savings. I think gas prices are going to continue to change our life for a long time to come.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  73. G from NY

    Absolutely, but I understand our Congressional representative is still using his big SUV at our expense.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  74. George

    Before the 2000 election, I was able to go out for a steak ever so often, then after 1 year I was back to Hamburger status, after 5 years of Bush it became lots of beans, and potatoes, but with the cost at the grocery store, looks like the dogs will have to at least share their dog food with me, or fend for themselves.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  75. JD North Carolina

    Definitely. I live in an area with bad traffic, few sidewalks, and muggy weather. To cope with gas costs I'm finally buying all my groceries in one trip, planning meals, and being more thrifty. Using common sense has kept me from rackinup credit card debt, but there is still no slack in the rope. I don't know what Christmas will look like if this keeps up.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  76. Phil-Wenatchee,WA

    I believe almost everyone is affected by the rise in fuel costs. The ripple effect is enormous, and as a result I see some elderly folks dying this winter because of their inability to afford heating oil or food. I hope whomever is responsible for this has a conscience and will do something about it before it's too late.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  77. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    No Jack, for as I live in close proximity to shopping and am retired, I rarely use the car. HOWEVER, the prices at the markets are a reflection of troubled times and bite me in the wallet that way!! North American dependence on fossil fuel and a shoddy MPG product have caused this 'five alarm fire'!!

    June 25, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  78. Paul, Columbia, SC

    I am excited about high energy prices because I see a long overdue revolution of green science and energy innovations to change the face of the planet. Nothing would be happened if the pressure and pain hadn't finally come. We waited for the government bumblers to do something about energy and they stared at their shoes for a generation. Forget those clowns and make it happen.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  79. Mary - California

    Jack – in Southern California, we are ranging from 4.39 to 4.91 for regular. I take care of my errands that are all in one area at the same time. I can walk to those places that are close by. I find more time to "blog" on weekends!

    June 25, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  80. Mary CT

    yup, my 2 teens are around the house more (and that's great....most days) and they are learning the value of a dollar the hard way...just like Grampa

    June 25, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  81. Herb -Texas

    As a senior citizen, trying to live on Social Security, how do you THINK it is affecting me? If they would include gas and food in the COLA increase, it might help, but they don't. They include TV's movie prices, diapers, hair products, and all the crap I had to give up a long time ago.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  82. Carol

    Our gas prices are now over four dollars which still has not doubled in cost so we are spending about twenty dollars more every other Monday on gas. So I guess we are not hurting as much as some of you. I stared cleaning out the frig. every Monday and make soup from left overs. You should try my spagetti and meat ball with corn soup its really pretty good. So Mondays has become "Soup Day" with hot biscuts or cheese toast. Sometimes there is enough for Tuesdays. Thats how are life is changing. In November I'll be voting for McCain because you know how the Democrats like to raise taxes and with the high gas prices... you gotta do what you gotta do (think and don't worry).


    June 25, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  83. mitch martin arkansaw

    yes,the local gas station wont take my checks no more.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  84. Don Baltimore

    Less driving and less high dollar food items. I worry about my children and grandchildren though. They , unlike me, were not born poor in the hills of Tennesse, and adjusting to less for them will probably be difficult.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  85. Bodo in Ann Arbor

    Gas prices will have to be doubled again before people would actually use car pools or buses, and maybe that would be a good thing.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  86. Bill in New London, CT

    Let's not forget that the prices of everything else goes up when gas prices go up. Everything needs to be shipped on trucks or planes, and that cost more and more money for businesses. The increase gets passed on to us. So, the common man is paying more for gas and EVERYTHING else as well. We won't get to go anywhere too far this summer - my first as a new teacher staying home with his family - and we can't afford much of anything else on that new teacher salary. But gas is just a symptom of an economy that's shot. We're all trying to hold on to a dream that Republicans and their rich and well-connected friends are trying to keep to themselves.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  87. don in naples, florida

    Is this a serious question?

    June 25, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  88. Annie, Atlanta

    With that kind of decrease in driving, they must be changing all our lives for the better. Less pollution.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  89. Katiec Pekin, IL

    As a retired senior citizen, buying gas does not affect me as
    much as others. I do try to combine needs that require driving,
    I also try to drive in a gas saving manner. Not only because of
    the cost, but because we need to conserve, lower our dependence
    much as possible and let our country and the world know we
    take this crisis seriously. The sacrifices we need to make
    have been ignored by all political parties. It is political business
    as usual, no demands, guidance to conserve, effort for better
    gas mileage cars, improved public transportation.
    The only solution the republicans can come up with is to
    increase drilling which is no solution at all. Except, of course,
    for big oil.
    The sales the grocery stores used to have are almost a
    thing of the past. Everyone and everything is affected by
    increased oil prices. We are in a very sour pickle.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  90. Allan Hanson Cameron Park Ca.

    YES and anybody that says they aren't is a liar. Even if you don't drive you are paying higher prices for everything you buy.
    This is a big rip off and should get a lot of people in prison. We now have more reserves than anytime in history. Even Saudi Arabia admits there is no shortage, so it is not "supply and demand", it is just a big rip off.
    Why are people not protesting in the streets? Why were we not represented in the recent talks in Saudi Arabia, just the oil robber barons?
    Wake up people.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  91. Chryssa

    Pretty much my whole schedule is arranged around using as little gas as possible. I make detailed errands lists to avoid backtracking, and sadly, I shop at Wal-Mart more often because they have everything and they're just 2 miles from my house.

    I don't see my friends or relatives in the suburbs nearly as much as I used to. In fact, I can't tell you the last time I saw my best friend. It's been weeks.

    Boise, ID

    June 25, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  92. Hassan - Toronto

    In Canada, we pay more than $5.00 per gallon while sitting on the world's second largest oil reserve. We're the leading crude oil and petroleum importer for the United States and we still pay a dollar more than you. And given that our respective dollars are practically the same, we feel your pain and more. So please stop your whining already!

    June 25, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  93. Tom

    It means time to put the Hummer away.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  94. Douglas in Minnesota

    Jack - because of gas/oil prices, I don't have much of a life anymore. I spend most of my time trying to see where I can cut costs, and still be able to afford the bare necessities of life. Entertainment?? I've nearly forgotten what that is. I used to be able to come home from work and relax - you know, chill-out for awhile. Now I can't relax, because I'm constantly thinking just how the heck we're gonna make ends meet.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  95. Bert, Iowa City, IA

    Well, let's see; A gallon of gas cost's four bucks and lasts about ten minutes. A six-pack of good beer costs six bucks and lasts two hours. I've switched to alternative fuel.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  96. Greg from PA

    We have two cars. We used to drive our roomier, more comfortable RAV4 fairly far from home to shop for "specialty" items and to take in the beautiful scenery that Pennsylvania has to offer. Now we drive the older Corolla that has the room and comfort of NASA's Mercury Capsule because it gets better mileage. No more sight-seeing. No more daily trips to the grocers. No more "name brand" items from any store. No more "buying American," unless it's the least expensive. Now we buy only to meet our basic needs. We get by, but I wonder what we'll do if the economy gets worse.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  97. dennis hunter

    It has completely changed every one's life except the rich. this should have never happen but the leadership in this country in the past thirty years has served only big business and themselves not the people we need a complete change and that will not happen until the people care and act.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  98. Efren

    I used to leave work early and head out on the town on Friday nights. Now, I stay a little later at work and go home and watch baseball to start my weekend. I may go out once a week, but its with friends, we carpool, and instead of going for dinner and drinks it may be for an appetizer and conversation.

    Mesa, AZ

    June 25, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  99. Winton from Alaska

    I am walking more than in the past. I've always preferred walking over driving whenever possible. As for other drivers, I've noticed they are staying home more, maybe because they just can't bear the thought of having to walk, ride a bike, or hitch rides with friends. The price of gasoline has made me physically healthier.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  100. Jay, Denver CO

    No, but I'm Republican. I have more money than I can spend. I don't care if gas prices go up to $50 per gallon. Deal with it peasants.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  101. William Courtland North43ºWest93º

    For the sound peace of a future retirement I have been focusing my own goals and intentions on a mass market solution to portable powerplant transportation; needed for urban sustained agriculture, all product delivery, public transportation, and mineral extraction.

    This is a task of properly working government as infrastructure on such a scale as what is needed could not be afforded or trusted to one individual.

    The future for my generation without installing a new method of transportation will be a horror.

    Intelligent Rail

    June 25, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  102. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: What kind of question is that? Does hemorrhoids effect people's lives? Now that a question.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  103. Les Young Oklahoma

    Jack I live in a rural area its 45 miles to the nearest Wal Mart this is what you call red neck. Anyway it take $30.00 worth of gasoline to get to town and back. The old pickup set in the yard at the farm now days. The only connection to outside world is TV and computer that why I write so many of these dumb blogs

    June 25, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  104. Ken

    With gas here in many places at about $4.30 a gallon I've been contemplating either getting a motorcycle to manuver thru congested traffic or moving closer to work. Either way, that's reduction in the $200 bucks that the gas pump continues to gulp from my budget.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  105. Susan in Palatka, FL

    Gas prices are definitely changing everyone's lives. Just as in the early 70s inflated gas prices are leading to higher costs for everyday goods so naturally we are all affected. But I agree with others who are glad to see Americans' consciences awakened to the need for conservation of resources. I especially welcome the advent of alternative sources of energy such as renewed interest in nuclear energy and tidal power. It will be interesting to see if the post-seventies inflation followed by prosperity is repeated. I hope so for my daughter's sake.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  106. Harold from Anchorage, AK

    Because of fuel costs,we do not get out to hunt and fish anymore; which why we moved to Alaska in the first place. So, we have to get "store bought" meat and fish instead of our own.
    I thought about giving our cars names and listing them as dependents for tax purposes.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  107. Terry from North Carolina

    I am driving less and buying less and staying home more which enables me to watch all you nuts report the latest on the presidential campaign. Oh joy !

    June 25, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  108. Nina Los Angeles

    Since I'm staying home more and avoiding my car at all costs...the battery has died...twice! I just can't bring myself to drive a lot.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  109. Edward from Cleveland, Ohio

    I have long ridiculed the Amish for their 1800's lifestyle, but at $4+ per gallon and climbing, I may try to join them.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  110. Al Bledsoe


    June 25, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  111. Ernie Hinds from Maryland

    Gas prices have not effected me as much as some people, however, since gas is more expensive I usually choose to go to places closer to me rather than driving 45 minutes. When I go to dinner with my girlfriend and other friends we choose to go somewhere closer rather than go somewhere further away even though the food and drinks are much better if we took the 45 minute trip. It also makes me less likely to consider driving anywhere that I can't get to on one tank of gas.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  112. Russ in PA

    I just bought gas for the first time since April. Gas could go to $10/gallon for all I care. I'm more concerned about diesel costs for the freight industry, and natural gas costs for heating our homes.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  113. john ................................marlton nj

    Changing my life? 12,000 miles per year at 20 miles per gallon means 600 gallons of gas. A price increase from $2.50 to $4.00 equals $900 per year or $75 a month. Last year I paid over $15,000 in social security and med taxes that I will never see... Are gas prices changing my life? NO.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  114. Teri in FL

    Those prices sure have changed our lifestyle. We live on a barrier island, and the local businesses are either closing down or raising their prices. We've turned into hermits. We used to go 'into town' every weekend. Now we just stay at home & watch tv & get on each others nerves. Pretty soon murder & divorce rates are going to go up as much as gas, food, utilities, etc.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  115. Jill


    Gas prices are actually changing my life for the better, but that may be because I'm young, in good shape and care about the environment. These gas prices should wake people up to the idea of walking, riding a bike or taking public transportation whenever possible. Our country has done a poor job of encouraging and providing decent public transportation, especially in the Midwest and on the west coast where everything is spread out, and now is the time to invest in it so that the average person of this country can take back control of their spending. Many people are scared to invest in public transportation and they're scared to use it, sometimes thinking that it lowers their standards. However, public transportation is not only extremely helpful to the environment, it also helps rid the roadways of many cars creating less traffic and helping to alleviate stress felt and caused by all drivers. Let go of your car and feel the freedom of spending less on gas, being less stressed, and using your own feet and public transportation to get around.

    Jill Sulgrove
    Moscow, Idaho

    June 25, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  116. Jamaal

    Jack it scars me to turn my car on i spend 200 dollars a week just on gas In Kansas it is gettin out of control my job is about to start 4 10 days because it cost so much

    June 25, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  117. Carolyn Pottsville PA

    I ride the buses which means I do not go out after 5PM when they stop or on Sundays when they don't run. But I cannot do anything more about the price of OIL. I put my thermostat in my 3 bedroom home as low as it could go – 55 degrees and kept it there since October. I used a space heater in my bedroom and wore a ski jacket around the rest of the house. I used over 800 dollars worth of oil just for the month of February and that price was based in the oil I bought at $3.00 a gallon. There is nothing I haven't done to conserve my heating oil. High gasoline prices don't scare me as much as heating oil. Something needs to be done before this winter, Jack. Bet it wouldn't bother Cindy McCain who earned 6 million last year.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  118. Karen from Rocklin,Ca

    It hasn't affected me as much as my friends and family. When we have them visit we give them money for gas depending on their distance. Needless to say our summer is booked but we love it.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  119. Dori in AZ

    We live rural, way out of the closest tiny town.

    A small comparison is that hay for our horses cost $13.25 a bale in November, and it now costs $15.00 a bale. People are selling horses cheap or even giving them away because they can't afford to feed them. Many of those will go to slaughter in Mexico. Others, thinking they're giving their horses a fighting chance, are releasing them into the wild where domesticated horses are not likely to survive.

    As for my horses, well, Jack. They're safe. I've started giving up human comforts and I'll keep giving up what I can for as long as I can. I owe it to them. It isn't their fault that we've had idiots in office for so long that the quality of life for humans and critters alike has deteriorated to this level!

    June 25, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  120. wally Ruehmann las Vegas nv

    yep! you should come with me when i get gas, iam the one causing long lines when iam paying . i empty my fruit jar full of pennys nickles and dimes on the counter takes quite awhile for the girl to count them. then i pump my gas ,that doesnt take very long, i get my 1/8th tank of gas,and bearly make it home. i don't think they like me there.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  121. Rodney- Stafford,VA

    Jack I wouldn't say its changing my life but just changing how many places I drive

    June 25, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  122. darlina from the Netherlands

    In western Europe we pay 9,70 dollar per gallon!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  123. Brenda of Saginaw ,Michigan

    well, everyone in my neighborhood just stands in their driveways and waves to each other.Its as if we are in the twilight zone.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  124. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    My friends only complaint these days is the price of gasoline and food. The other non-sense complaints have been put on the back burner and now I can reply, I understand what you mean.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  125. Tom in Iowa

    I live on a very limited income and the cost of gas and utilities has caused me to cut back on everything else.

    I live in a rural area and it is 24 miles round trip to the nearest town (That is about 1 gallon of gas in my car). I now only drive to town two days a week and do all my shopping and business on those two days.

    I also fuel my house with Propane, I have figured that if I fill my tank right now with the 380 gallons it would take to get it filled it would cost me over $850.00. I have no idea where I am going to come up with the money to fill up my tank for next winter. Last winter I curled up under three blankets and wore a coat every day inside the house and I still used more than 500 gallons of propane, that would be about $1,200.00 at today's price.

    If someone does not come up with a solution to this soon I may end up turning everything off, locking up and going to stay with relatives in a warmer area.

    Tom in Iowa

    June 25, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  126. Sam, North Carolina

    Its the new 'Bush' diet...can't afford to buy as much food, but wow, look at the weight I'm losing. Can't afford to drive as much, but wow, look at the time I have to stay home and play with my dogs more (they love it) and do things around the house. It has helped with decision-making too. I was debating what kind of boat to buy...that is easy now, NONE, due to the fuel and the fact there is no money to buy it.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  127. gerryLuimes

    Jack,people just are born to complain.We haven't seen anything yet.
    Just check the petrol prices in other Western countries.They are
    generally higher.$ 4.50 for gas is less than, or about one dollar/litre.
    That's still reasonable. Lets talk about being spoiled, and living in the belief that we on the American continent owe the right to be more pampered than the rest of the world.Everything depends on self discipline and personal accountability.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  128. Ralph, Long Island, NY

    Gasoline prices have affected the prices of almost everything else. It's a horrible domino effect. I suggested to my wife that we both could stand to lose a few pounds and maybe we should eat a little less and save some money. I wound up taking her out to an expensive restaurant and trying to eat with one of my arms in a cast.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  129. Nicole

    My husband and I live paycheck to paycheck. Each week we were able to put a little aside for fun things to do with our kids. Now we have maybe a few dollars left each week because of gas. We will never be able to buy a house or much else if this keeps up. These gas prices just have a domino effect on everything. We are not living anymore just surviving.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  130. Mike C. - Miami, Fl

    Well Jack, gas prices have really restircted travel for my family and I. Before all of this, we could go out whenver we wanted, where ever we wanted, but now it's no longer that way.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  131. Chris: Minneapolis, MN

    Well lets see... I have taken out a second mortgage on my home to be able to afford gasoline to get to and from work. I took away my daughters car because I cant afford to pay for her gas. My wife and I share our car to save gas, so she now uses public transportation. And to top it all off, we cannot take our usual road trip to Chicago for the 4th of July. So I must say that the high gas prices has made everyone in this household quite bitter, and we are ready to cling to our guns and religion... and I dont mean that as a joke!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  132. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    The Mad Max movies are certainly looking a bit more plausible these days, and black market fuel will be here soon if these prices continue to rise. Americans are always willing to go "bootleg" when what they want is unattainable.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  133. John St. Louis Mo

    Gas prices have affected amost all aspects of life. The cost of food, medications, and travel have made us almost a nation of "Stay at home" eat less and trying to heal our own illness. Where the blame lies for high gasoline is as clear as the mud at the bottom of the Mississippi River right now. This, to me makes it clear that we need an alternative source policy NOW rather than waiting, I have always believed that being pro-active about energy rather than reactive is necessary more now than ever before in our history.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  134. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    If you adjust for inflation, gas prices are about the same as they were 30 years ago, when everyone started driving Ford Pintos and AMC Pacers.

    It does, however, bring back a lot of bad memories. Remember when gas first hit $1.00 a gallon, and none of the gas pumps could handle three digits?

    Back then, everyone had to trade in their gas guzzling muscle cars for pregnant rollerskates (Volkswagens). Now we have to trade in our SUVs for Geo Metros and Hybrids.

    Just like the good old days!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  135. Robert Karstedt Minneapolis,MN

    This isn't changing a thing for me. I am 38 years old and though I do have a license, I have never purchased a car. My brother, 5 years my elder, got a car when he was 17 or 18 and at a young age I learned that a car is a bill that's never paid. Whether its gas, brakes, maint, etc. I have designed my life around the concept of not needing a car and only occasionally rent one, once every year or so.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  136. Toni Boutwell, Myrtle Beach SC

    I remember under Regan my parents frequently had to choose between food and medicine. The present gas prices has stopped that problem completly, now we can't afford the gas to go get either one.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  137. MBALady

    I am a struggling Graduate student, and luckily found a good internship with a large research hospital. The only problem is... it doesn't pay well and I have to drive 50 miles a day. What is even more bleak is the fact that when I finally graduate next year... the economy will be so bad I feel like I might have borrowed $40,000 in loans in vain.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  138. Kerry Diehl

    I was pushed into an early retirement by "downsizing" back in 2003. At my age, finding another position became an impossible task so I reluctantly accepted my fate of being truely retired. I still do a bit of consulting, but on my terms of not having to travel or leave home.

    Since I don't have to drive to and from work, I can now stretch one tank of gas to last for at least 4 weeks. (I used to use 1 or 2 tanks per week.)

    Without having to drive, I'm not purchasing a new car every two or three years as well. Also, my regular consumer purchases are limited and I try only to purchase American products.

    Turns out, less is more – more in my pockets and more time not spent in traffic.

    kerry diehl
    grosse ile, mi

    June 25, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  139. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Haven't changed much, Jack. Our family has always been careful to buy fuel-efficient cars & trucks. Our 20-something-kids, who are working in their fields as young professionals, take the bus, one ride his bike to the office and another lives in downtown near her office so she can walk! Its not SO hard to change one's habits if you are inclined to. We are grateful that all four of our adult children grew up being concerned about their world, and hopefully will leave the world better off than when they came of age!

    I do not drive 3 days a week. Park your cars and trucks, those of you who can! And watch the price of oil dive! It IS about consumption, "supply vs. demand"......... its really that simple.

    Please, folks, do not be fooled by McCain's pandering! Even if we drilled on all coasts, we will not see the oil at our pumps for several years. And the FACT is that oil is running out. We need to change the way we live, be smart and use some of our God-given-smarts to come up with new ideas. More oil is not the answer. Conservation and innovation is!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  140. Gabriel

    Save gas, ride a motorcycle. I ride mine everyday to and from work. Last time I filled up I got 57 miles per gallon. I don't even pay attention to gas prices anymore.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  141. Codo from Chicago

    You bet Jack! My wife and I have one small car a piece. I have parked my car in the "gee-rage" (as my father would say in a joking manner).

    Now, I ride the public transportation everywhere I go, even to the airport. One thing I have found out is that it is easier to travel round trip (120 miles) to Michigan and back to Chicago for $20 on the Metro within several hours whenever I need to shop at outlets.


    June 25, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  142. Nikki, Ridgefield, WA

    Jack, anyone who says gas prices aren't affecting their life never drive anywhere.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  143. Bill from Alabama

    Gas prices,Jack, are changing everyone's lives,whether they realize it or not. This crisis will have a trickle-down effect that will end up kicking a lot of posteriors,before it is over with. When the little man looses out,it is just a matter of time before the big man follows.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  144. MadPlato

    I’m trying not to swallow when I’m siphoning gas from my neighbors' tanks.
    Prices aren’t changing my life that much right now, but the way ALL OF US live on this planet must change, and digging more holes for more petroleum is not going to be a change for a better and cleaner world. Unless you like the weather we’ve been having and will continue to get.


    June 25, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  145. OLD EWOK, Cottonwood, Ca.

    I just drive less...The political hacks will just point fingers and make stupid comments, so we need to help our selfs and drive less...that is the only way to cut back on the cost and use of gas .

    June 25, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  146. Darren S.

    The only lives not being effected by the soaring gasoline prices are those who have chauffeur's fill their fas tanks and benefitted the most from the Bush tax cuts, like our lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  147. GJT Simpson


    The only people that are saying that high gas prices HAVEN't changed their life are the folks who voted for Bush twice and plan on voting for McCain. Enuf Said!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  148. Julie from LA

    A month ago, I answered this, "No". But since then I've realized that, "Yes, I'm cutting back on everything" because of rising prices.

    No plane trips this summer. Less recreational driving. Setting the thermostat higher. Eating out less and being more careful when marketing (prices are up on things that used to be cheap).

    My health insurance premium just went up $100 a month, which Blue Shield says is just a "general rise in prices across the board."

    And yet...my salary stays the same, and stock market prices continue to fall with the tanking economy (my portfolio has lost $5,000 in the last two weeks).

    Are rising oil prices, and their domino effects, changing my life for the worse? No question now. The answer is, "Yes."

    June 25, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  149. Rita S.

    Absolutely. Keeping it real close to home over the summer. McBush are giving answers that will not help our situation any time soon. We need change and we need alternative change at that. I would like to go back to traveling with my kids on road trips over the summer again. Let's give Obama the opportunity. Why is everyone so afraid of change, especially when the same old same old is going so badly?

    June 25, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  150. Alan, Buxton, Maine

    Gas prices are criminal but it is the cost of heating oil here in New England that has me scared. I just bought a wood stove and expect the cost will be covered by using far less oil this winter. There are many people here who will either freeze or starve to death this winter thanks to those who are interested only in their bottom line and to hell with everyone else.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  151. Gramma Faye /Idaho

    I don't go anyplace for a week at a time. Either Wed or Thurs I go to the post office and grocery shop. All of us retired Social Security old gals don't even get together to play cards once a week anymore. We live to far apart. I had 2 Dr. appointments this week so that took the gas for this week ration.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  152. Tony from Torrington

    I have to try to work from home most of the week rather than drive 38 mile round trip. Makes one wonder why we aren't drilling, huh. Well as the libs say, conserve. So I won't drive to work 5 days a week, and that will decrease my income, but what the heck, I'm conserving. Talk about windfall profits....I think Al Gore should pay windfall profits for the 100 million dollars he made so far off of the global warming scare!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  153. Mark, Oklahoma City

    Not too much, Jack....just cutting back on food, medications, driving, going to the movies, buying new clothes, eating out...etc. Nothing that would actually effect day to day living.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  154. Latte-drinking Intellectual

    Yes, it has, and you know what? I am not complaining! I am happy that people are driving less and some are driving slower. I can't afford it, but I figure if everyone else is feeling it like me, something has got to change. We as Americans will never, ever change our wasteful ways until it hurts our pocket-books. In our house we never eat out, we take our car out only when we have no choice, we turn off lights, wash dishes by hand and use a clothesline. Our air conditioner has only been on once despite the 90+ degree humid weather. We would never have made those changes if we were not forced to, but you know what? We are getting used to it and it's really not bad! Now, if only corporations acted accordingly and mandated that everyone work from home!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  155. Debra Rich, Washington, DC

    Yeah Jack, and I don't even drive. It effects public transportation as well.....now the trains and buses are packed, I don't get to sit and read anymore. Then there is the effect on the price of food, and let's face it everthing else. It seems that all products that are made in your own backyard; need transportation to get to you. I'm just glad I don't live in Alaska or Hawaii, I'd finally loose that wieght I'm trying to get rid of, because I couldn't afford to eat. Thank God clothes last a long time, I won't be able to buy any for a while either. If I loose that weight I'll really be in a fix if this keeps up.

    But guess who this won't effect......the man who made it all possible; the son of a Texas oil man, George W. Bush.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  156. Pete Denzer

    Forty-some years ago I was regarded as a daredevil - when I jump on my motorcycle now I'm regarded as a wise and frugal senior citizen. It's about time the world caught up to us bikers. Most 180 mph sportbikes get over 40 mpg in normal riding, as do big Harleys.

    Weird Pete
    Berkeley Springs, WV

    June 25, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  157. Mertis in Atlanta


    I stay at home a lot more and since I work from home that's really not healthy. The high cost of gas is affecting my ability to have basic human interaction. I'm now trying to figure out some fuel efficient ways to get out of my house and stay connected to the rest of the world.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  158. barb from Iowa

    It has been very educational for an old lady like myself. The company I drive for has set our trucks down from 70 to 65. The fuel we have saved is unbelievable. In fact I wouldn't have believed it if I wouldn't have seen it with my own eyes. My husband reminded me that we had 55 mph years ago because of the prices. Heck I thought that was because of safety reasons. How soon we forget. I have slowed down with my own car, not because of the cost but because of the fuel I am not using. I also thought it would take for ever to get to my destination,but 2300 mile trip takes about one hour longer and saves over 35 gallons of fuel. Do some calculations on that !

    June 25, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  159. Mike Nunn - Hot Springs, Ar.

    Another rather dumb question. The gas prices have not changed our driving one bit. Just pay a bit more for gas and motor on. When it hits about $7 a gallon – then perhaps I may drive a bit less. Does not bother us much – the kids will just get a little less when we die.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  160. Jacklyn in NC

    Jack, I am a visually impaired person that loves to go but I have cut down on my trips to shop, dining and leisure. However, last month I realized I was not saving any more than I had been paying out so I have resumed my normal schedule of too much shopping and leisure time.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  161. Terry in Fayetteville, NC

    I am an avid bicyclist. It is quite pleasent sharing the road with fewer rude motorists but it is no laughing matter to see the nation's addiction to cheap energy bringing us to the brink of economic collapse in a complete leadership vacuum on the issue that dates back to the Reagan administration.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  162. Kristine from Connecticut

    Very much! I only use my car for doctor appointments and the grocery store. I plan everything "mapped out" to save gas. We swim in town, no more 1 hour drives to the beach. We eat differently, less fish as the car is eating beyond it's means!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  163. Kerry


    It has made us aware of how often we just ride around and we notice it mostly in the food costs, going out to eat, and soem flight increased costs...As a matter of fact we are just realizing the way it is like the rest of the world..

    We, like everyone else in the wolrd just need to toughen up and be smart...I hate the whiners of this country...It is what it is...

    June 25, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  164. s buczak

    i am driving less. i go to the store once aweek for groceries, if i run out of milk, i do without.....i wash my clothes with only cold water and i am not using my dishwasher as much.....we are instaling a wood chip stove in a few weeks so as not to have to spend 1,500$ for oil a month this winter...and still being cold......america is really seething under the surface and our voices will be heard in november

    June 25, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  165. jimmie

    heck yea!!!!!!!!!!!! what do you think jack.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  166. Moses, GA

    The answer of this question is obvious. Everybody in the so called middle class is affected by the high gas price. I am pretty sure that even some upper class folks are getting affected in a slow but steady pace. It has a domino effect in some sense. So yes, it's changing EVERYBODY's life one way or another. For instance, the way you use to spend your money, your driving habits, even your relationship with your spouse and kids. Someone evil out there is enjoying it though. It's a global torture, and I cannot believe that 300 millions people are getting manipulated so easily without any reactions beside talking about it at the dining table and some times in the offices.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  167. Thomas, Yo.town, OH

    What?? We can afford to drive $30,000 cars, buy $400,000 houses that are really only worth half that price, pay mortgages, car loans, and credit card interest rates, buy brand name jeans and running shoes, but we can spend 4 bucks for a gallon of gas?
    Who we trying to kid? We went broke trying to buy all that other junk, and now we don't have any money to play with our toys.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  168. A Kraft Naples, FL

    of course...a retiree on fixed income with pitiful cost of living increases is hit very hard with high gas prices...food prices are going way up...and we have cut back on everything...vacation...daily trips...out to breakfast or dinner etc...we are in a recession...

    June 25, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  169. kelvin from new bern

    Jack, my girlfriend lives 45 miles away. I used to go 3 times a week to see her. Now I have to put no less than 30 dollars in the tank to see her. And to offset the cost the cost of gas, i had to get a second job. Now i see her once a week if i'm lucky.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  170. Allen from Hartwell, Georgia

    It's making me really angry about the people who don't mind burning hundreds of gallons of gas per month in their toys just because they can afford it. I'm competing for the same gallon, and my household only uses about 50 gallons per month. Makes the idea of gas-rationing more appealing every day.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  171. Gorgegirl

    I haven't heard an idea from Obama yet that would help our immediate situation but he seems to be critical of everything that John McCain suggests. If Obama is so great working across the aisle, why doesn't he put his head together with all those economists and get something going now – not next year?

    June 25, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  172. Joel Spray

    High gas prices are changing my driving patterns for sure. I do not make a casual car trip anymore without a plan to maximize its value. I make the best use of every mile and ounce of gas I put into the vehicle. As bad as the gas price situation is in the United States, Americans really can't complain when comparing to prices paid in Europe and some other industrialized countries where gas costs over $8.00 ++ per gallon. Perhaps high gas prices will finally cause Americans to conserve energy and make smart eco-friendly and energy smart decisions. In other words, Americans of all persuasions will be more inclined to 'walk their talk' on one aspect of environmental protection. That is, lowering carbon emissions.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  173. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Absolutely,,,no long drives for this years vacation.
    And in my town with inflation pushing 8%..a lot of people not only are not driving–but their cars are being reposessed.

    Public transportation throroughfares are 6 or more blocks from residential neighborhoods, no shelters from sun or rain, no place to lock/secure a bicycle, lousy public servants behind the wheel–and they want to cut routes because of limited ridership?????

    Things are a mess. And frankly, I'm not convinced either the Democrats or Republicans have the ability to fix things. The only thing they know who to do is create a gonzo idea (that they don't really understand) and throw millions of dollars (that we can ill afford to giver them) to either provide limited benefit–or make things worse.

    Washington needs an enema–and it should be the fecal material from both major political parties.

    Libertarians 2008
    Let's flush the toilet in Washington and make some real changes.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  174. Sophia

    We drive less , eat less, and listen to talking heads and politicians who argue but have no solutions.

    Louisville, Ky

    June 25, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  175. James

    Well Jack,
    Because I don't have a wonderful job in Washington as a Lobbyist or a Politician, nor am I a CEO with a ridiculous salary or severance package; of course it's changing my life! I just hope that the OIL companies will at least kiss me later! I think this is one of the more silly questions you've ever asked.

    James from Cookeville TN

    June 25, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  176. Gene, Florida

    Gas prices are tied to almost everything my family purchases. We've cut back on leisure activities and spend a lot more time at home. Now everyone is yelling drill here, drill there! What for! The refineries are at capacity and could'nt supply an extra drop of gas if it rained oil for 40 days and 40 nights.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  177. Nia - AZ

    It is I don't go to the mall, clubs, other extra activities which saves money, but the money I'm saving goes to gas...It's a visicous cycle Jack.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  178. Daniel Moore

    Yes, I am getting a bike for all my short trips (5 to 10 miles) .
    Not only will this help my weight problem it will help keep a few dollars in my pocket. I took a trip to Germany a few year ago and bike riding is a way of life. I am starting a more pro-active approach.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  179. Mark Orsted

    I bought a motorcycle.. the monthly payments plus gas are in it are less than the amount of money i was spending on gas in my small SUV. If I didn't need the truck some of the time, i'd kill the insurance and garage it!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  180. Ed from Ohio

    No, not at all...I own my own business and simply deduct most of my gas as an expense for the tax deduction. If it goes to $10 per gallon, I will just have a bigger deduction.

    But, you should ask Congress what they plan to do with their 25% windfall tax revenue per gallon that they are collecting, or a bout $1 per gallon. Where does all that money go?

    June 25, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  181. Josh (Waipahu, Hawaii)

    Gas prices have had an awesome effect on me. I ride my bike, ride the bus or jog into work. I've gotten in better shape, and when on the bus, I have time to read the paper.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  182. Carmine

    What would have a larger impact on the world? Finding water on Mars or Oil?

    June 25, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  183. Kevin

    Jack, I tried cutting a hole in the floorboard of my van and paddle like Fred Flintstone but it doesn't work, especially on the highway and in the foul weather.

    Warren, MI

    June 25, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  184. Nancy, Tennessee

    I'm trying to make up the difference in gas prices by clipping coupons for my groceries and watching all the ads to see what is on special. I don't go to different stores to buy the bargains, it costs too much in gas. I just use what is on special at the closest store. I tell the family I can't help it if they don't like chicken all the time. Chicken is the special again this week.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  185. Richard Green

    Heck, yes! I'm at home doing more reading. I've learned that one of the selling points of oil futures contracts is the Mideast "instability premium" from which we investors can significantly benefit. There's also the "dark market" feature that's great for us speculators, er, investors; and we "invesors" now control more oil than resides in the US Strategic Reserves. We plan on sitting tight until oil gets to $200 per barrel. Besides the oil, we also own now, refineries, pipelines, and storage facilities as well as the banks you all bailed out to make this possible. Thank you "Enron Loophole", Phil Gramm, and George Bush.
    Richard Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  186. Jag

    I would love to have the $4 per gallon gas here in Switzerland. My life style would change if I have to pay only $4 per gallon instead of about $7.75 that I pay now.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  187. Ted Beaverton, OR

    I generally drive less, and try to take advantage of Portland's public Transit system. I thought about a bike, but crazy drivers give me second thoughts.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  188. Geri Britt

    My husband use to make a good living as an independent truck driver. The high diesel prices forced him to give up his truck and go to work in the field as a company driver.

    Geri – Mead, OK

    June 25, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  189. lynne johnson from lattimore, nc

    Yes, it has changed our lives. We choose each month whom gets paid and whom doesn't, with the basics being the main thing that does.

    Rural people have it the roughest. No one has even thought about us. You can't do anything without a car. No big city transit system to take advantage of here.

    I guess we didn't figure into the bookies (sorry, speculators) plans when they started driving up the cost. Hope they can sleep well at night...NOT!!!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  190. Mark K. in Kalamazoo MI

    I bought a $995 death machine. But, I put $12 in the tank of the motorcycle a month ago, and still have more than half a tank. So the answer is: it's making me look a helluva lot cooler.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  191. Aleesa from Atlanta

    Well, yes, I am now on heart medicine in case I have a heart attack while pumping gas into my SUV.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  192. Carmine Waterloo Canada

    What would be a larger impact on the world? Finding water on Mars or Oil?

    June 25, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  193. Jay-Mississippi

    Well thanks to the gasoline crisis, I now walk a lot more, A mile or two is nothing and it has helped me get back in shape, I certainly need it. I also spend less out, less meals on the go. Grab some water and keep stepping.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  194. L.M.,Arizona

    I sold my small SUV back in 2005 after 50% + of americans reelected Bush that old saying "be careful what you ask for, you just might get it and then some." It so sad that you can't even say I told you so.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  195. Fran of Huntington, NY

    Oh yes, every trip is carefully thought out. Will I be going in the same direction later in the week, if so, I try to postpone and make one trip. And then there is the violent urge I am constantly fighting, not to get out of the car and attack all those who are getting gas at the stations that are 20 cents more than everyone else. Not to mention the filthy mouth I have developed, instead of getting out and smashing the gas pump over their heads I yell out obscenities.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  196. Rob, Arvada, CO

    In Denver I have not noticed that much of a difference in traffic density, except maybe at night. On the weekends there is an increased level of motorcycle riders on the streets though. If you look around, you still see empty buses, one occupant per car, and very few bicyclists. It's gotta change sometime, I can't believe so many people are being so wasteful, it's keeping the prices high by not resisting excessive driving.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  197. Marty, Idaho

    We cut out a few luxuries we didn't really need, like movie channels and extra telephones, planted a nice garden in the back yard and better plan our grocery shopping so we don't have to make as many trips to the store. Not a huge sacrifice compared to what others are going through, but it has changed our lifestyle a little.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  198. Vinnie Vino

    We are cutting back on everything and living on a fixed income that isn't easy because before the high oil prices it was hard to mange our limited monthly income...

    C.I., New York

    June 25, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  199. Deb

    I only thought I was poor, before the gas prices went over the moon. I go only when & where I must, buy only what I need, & do everything I'm going to do in one trip. No frills, no thrills.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  200. Don Bezler

    Jack,Gas being high is BAD but what makes it worse Bush & his
    goons can go ALL & people in Congress can go all over the world
    on OUR credit card cost them nothing they should PAY there own

    June 25, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  201. Bernice

    When I worked six days a week I was to tired to visit local historic sites.
    Now that I am retired I can't afford to. Got me coming and going.

    But at the end of the day I have my own bed under my own roof.
    More than many have.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  202. Lynn

    Jack Instead of running alot of little errands, now I make one trip. We have cut back on movies, eating out etc. Gas prices are cutting into food prices. Utilities are going up. It's affecting everything. We will be spending our vacation at home. All of my relatives live out of state and they usually come to my house for yearly family reunion. Not this year.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  203. Daniel From Englewood Florida


    Beer is cheaper than gas now. Yea, its changed my life.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  204. Pamela - Kansas City, MO

    It's to work and back, Jack. A once every two weeks trip to the grocery store, and calling my friends across town instead of visiting them. I am a homebody now. Which is not all that bad, but it would be nice to go on a nice long drive to the lake and not have to worry if I'm gonna have enough money to live until I get paid next!

    June 25, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  205. Bill in Albuquerque

    I'm fortunate to say "they're not" – at least not so far. But I drive less than 20 miles a day. I feel for the people who spend 25% of their lives getting to and from work. They must be really feeling it.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  206. Mike in St. Pete Beach, Florida

    My math could very well be wrong, Jack, but it seems like that same mileage difference over a period of one year is equivolent to the amount of oil drilled in Texas over a period of four or five months. Not a bad savings.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  207. Uncle Whitey of Kentucky

    Gas prices have affected me Jack- I don't do as much fishing as I'd like. Just can't afford the drives to the lake anymore.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  208. eddie

    I work for an airline so i'm able to rework my schedule how I want. Instead of going to work 5 days a week, I work 2 16 hour days and 1 8 hour day. On the single shift day before I make it home I stop off, do my shopping, and pay bills or whatever needs to be done so I don't have to leave the house for 4 consecutive days. Now I barely go to the gas station twice a month. My next move is to move within the Chicago city limits where I can take the "EL" (elevated train) to work and get rid of my car altogether.


    June 25, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  209. Carol in Durham Maine

    Rural Mainers have no Public Transportation so I MUST use a car to commute 60 miles to work daily. NOw is costs me $52.00 for 13 gallons which might last a few days. Husband on Social Security.
    No more little gifts for grandkids, no dinners in restaurants or buying much needed clothes at a regular store/even Wal Mart is out. (Goodwill is great). Or fixing the car or replacing my eye glasses.

    What I would like you to mention ,Jack, is that in Maine, we NOW are trying to lock into plans for NEXT WINTERS OIL. Which we are now budgeting at $4.75 a gal. for heating oil ( 80% of Mainers rely on Oil for heat). Which means we must budget close to $500.00 per MONTH for heating oil on top of it all. Have NO idea how we are going to come up with the funds. Merry Christmas to all.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  210. Brian


    My wife and I live in a small town and we recently bought matching beach cruisers to ride to work and on small errands so we can save on gas. We love that we're getting exercise and when we ride by the gas station and see everyone with their SUVs, we just laugh and ring the bell on our handlebars.

    Moscow, Idaho

    June 25, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  211. Connie from Ohio

    Hi Jack, I want to know why diesel is so much more than regular gas when it use to be cheaper. I bought my VW diesel when it was cheap way to run my car and then it shot up above regular gas. What gives, were the gas companies afraid that everyone would switch to diesel and not many would be using regular gas anymore? It's my understanding that diesel doesn't have to be process so why the high price? Connie Norwalk Ohio diesel is 4.69.9

    June 25, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  212. Don in Florida

    I think twice before I jump in my car to go somewhere. I try to combine trips and make fewer trips.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  213. Tess Germaine

    It is really affecting my life and my peers as well...living off of social security doesn't really allow car ownership and if one is fortunate enough to be able to swing keeping a car the gas prices have almost
    made impossible to use it.
    we need a car within our group so we now pool our money to fill it up at the pump......"retirement" as depicted in all of advertising does not exist in our group

    June 25, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  214. William Courtland North43ºWest93º

    We are at the point in existence where the globe is in need of a local police force which can serve and protect any asumed asset, military when a criminal lead raid for goods is expected to use military force, UN, Fed., State, et cetra can handle each, and through the UN share and assist force for enhanced response.

    Rail on a global scale is a global business, thus it would need to seek international sponsorship, to get constructed on a generic level, then would upgrade as individual craft and update to meet road craft handling expectations. A craft would never truly be owned by the holder, and it would always return to the establishment of licensed sale/manufacturer for general repair, inspection, or replacing. The car companies internal and external hardware can be sold separately.

    To sell this to the American public the government will need to reach all participant land holders with a gift of a government contracted cell phone, and then ask them politely, and with the promise to remain in touch after the railways have been cut..

    June 25, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  215. Valerie C in Florida

    We have only ourselves and our wasteful habits to blame for these prices. It is called payback for all of these years on waste. Deal with it America.

    June 25, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  216. Doug

    Yes. I'm semi-retired. I literally don't drive my car 3 days a week. I figure it saves me $20 to $50 dollars a month. And every bit helps.

    June 25, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  217. Maat

    Sen. McCain has now set a projected date of 2025 for becoming oil independent. At his age or mine will we ever realize it. Let's deal with the present situation. Moreover, those on the frontlines of financial restraints are the elderly and now among the most populas in the U.S. Finally, and unrealistically, all mechanical machinery needs oil to function. Maat. Kentucky

    June 25, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  218. liam riley

    some day jack, you will ask a question that you dont already know the answer to. some day.

    June 25, 2008 at 6:31 pm |
  219. Amy from Joshua Tree, CA

    ugh, yeah gas prices has changed our life and my husband works for the government. Even with the cola we get every year, it's changed the way we travel. Instead of traveling to my home town to visit my parents, we spent less money buying a pool and swimming in it everyday. Looks like we're gonna trade big shopping and traveling for swimming and library visits.

    June 25, 2008 at 6:31 pm |
  220. Marlie:

    Jack – we don't like it but tend to take it more in our stride. We are the 2nd largest oil producing nation on the planet, and I paid $5.96 a gal. to fill up last Friday. You'd think with all that oil our prices would be lower. Anyway, we just cross the border into the States to get it cheaper.

    June 25, 2008 at 6:33 pm |