Should price controls be imposed on gasoline?
February 29th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Should price controls be imposed on gasoline?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Gas prices rose for the 22nd day in a row, inching ever closer to a national average of $4 a gallon.

According to triple AAA, the nationwide average is now $3.73 a gallon.

Gas prices are up 14% percent so far this year.

Gasoline is already topping $4 a gallon in several states including California, Alaska and Hawaii and there are reports of $5 gasoline on Long Island. Some suggest we could see gasoline top $6 a gallon.

Gas prices are mainly rising due to soaring oil prices. The market is reflecting fear that tensions with Iran will lead to a war and disrupt oil supplies.

Signs of an improving economy, growing worldwide demand and speculators have also driven oil prices higher.

We've been here before:

In the 1970s, the Nixon and Ford administrations imposed price controls on gasoline. They were reacting to rising gas prices caused by OPEC's cuts in production.

But what followed was long lines at gas stations and an artificial shortage of gasoline.

Experts say the most likely outcome of price controls is gas rationing, like what we saw almost 40 years ago.

People panicked to make sure they didn't wind up without gasoline and gas stations only stayed open a few hours a day to empty their tanks.

Since they couldn't raise prices, they would close shop after selling out.

And those who didn't want to wait in long lines bought gas on the black market at steep prices.

But as gasoline prices continue to climb and consumers feel a more intense pain at the pump, there could be pressure on the government to intervene once again.

Just today Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she is skeptical "about the reasons for the increase in gas prices." She says it deserves "careful attention" from Congress. Good luck with that.

Here’s my question to you: Should price controls be imposed on gasoline?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


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Filed under: Gas Prices
Can you hear the fat lady singing yet in the GOP race?
February 29th, 2012
02:46 PM ET

Can you hear the fat lady singing yet in the GOP race?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With two more victories last night, Mitt Romney has recaptured the momentum that has been so elusive.

Headed into Super Tuesday next week, Romney should have the wind at his back, with his big win in Arizona and the more narrow victory in his home state of Michigan.

In addition, Romney has won four other primary contests: New Hampshire, Florida, Nevada and Maine. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have won five states combined. Ron Paul: Zero.

Romney is also back on top of the national polls, after briefly losing that spot to Santorum.

And perhaps Romney senses he may soon end this thing. He didn't mention Santorum at all in last night's speech, saving all his fire for President Obama and fixing the economy.

It's worth pointing out that Romney still has issues with the Republican base. Michigan exit polls showed that Santorum handily defeated Romney among voters who define themselves as "very conservative" and those who want a candidate with a strong moral character.

But even if many conservatives aren't crazy about Romney, it's becoming difficult to see a path to victory for any of his competitors.

Working in Romney's favor, he beat Santorum in Michigan among voters who care strongly about defeating the president and among those who say the economy is their top concern. He also won the Catholic vote, which is a strong rebuke of Santorum.

Meanwhile, the Republicans better get their business sorted out, and soon. CNBC reports that markets are already beginning to anticipate an Obama victory in November. Stocks are rising on growing expectations that the president will be re-elected.

Here’s my question to you: Can you hear the fat lady singing yet in the GOP race?

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.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP Ticket