President Bush and Gasoline Prices

The other morning on my way to work, I was flipping through some radio stations when I heard one morning DJ talking about how low gas prices were before President Bush took office in 2001 and how high they had become since.

Because I have a natural distrust for most morning radio personalities (I think they’re sensationalists and just try to gain listeners by being outrageous and over the top), I decided to look into these claims and see what I could come up with.

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How much is President Bush to blame for high oil and gasoline prices?

Obviously, there are plenty of conspiracy theories out there regarding President Bush and how his administration has helped to manipulate gas prices to help out his Big Oil buddies. Personally, I don’t believe that this is the case (just so you know my bias), however, I think that he has tried to help out his buddies with a very relaxed tax code.

Regardless, we can save this conversation for another time. In the meantime, let’s get back to actual data regarding gas prices.

When President Bush took office on January 20, 2001, the national average gas price was $1.46 per gallon. Six and a half years later, on August 27, 2007, the national average gas price had jumped to $2.76, roughly 89% higher. Compounded annually, this represents about a 10% jump each year Bush has been in office.

Now, let’s compare the numbers over the same time period for President Clinton.

When Clinton took office on January 20, 1993, the national average gas price was $1.06 per gallon. six and a half years later, the national average gas price had jumped to $1.22, roughly 15% higher. Compounded annually, this represents about a 2% jump each year.

Even when you compare all of Clinton’s term (38% jump overall) against the first six and a half years of Bush’s term, the overall jump in gas prices between the two presidents isn’t even close. In order to meet Clinton’s “numbers” gas prices would have to fall to $2.02 per gallon – or roughly 36%.

While these numbers are pretty staggering, I’m of the belief that you’d have to be pretty nuts to think 1) Bush would have the ability to do this and 2) the President of the United States would want to harm the country like this. No matter what you think of Bush’s policy, when you look at it through a clear lens, I’m sure you’d come to the same conclusion.

To me, it seems pretty safe to argue that the main reason behind the oil and gasoline price jumps has far less to do with the Bush administration and more to do with a much higher worldwide demand for oil/gas than what was seen during the Clinton administration. With China and India needing more and more oil to keep their economies growing – not to mention the fact that U.S. demand has only recently dropped – prices were bound to go up at some point. It just so happens that it occurred during Bush’s time in office.

I’m sure there are plenty of you out there who disagree with me. However, all I ask is you remove any political bias you may have (either for or against the current administration), look ALL of the facts, and then make your own decision.


  1. U have to be a stupit person to believe that bush wasn’t the cost of the major hick in the gas and this economy. BUSH was the major cost of why the economy is bad and in debt of $11.315 trillion and when he became president the debt increased a 71.9% on his watch. So what do u assholes have to say bout that. its Bush fault. 8 months after he was sworn in we got bombed if u ever set down and though about it we was bomb because we put some one in the chair that didnt give a rats ass bout the people but he surly gave a rats ass bout his family business.

    • Liz Chartier says

      Bush inherited a 5 trillion dollar debt. Why don’t people know this fact? Your numbers are completely wrong! Bush spent 5 trillion. Obama spent 9 trillion. Such ignorance!

  2. michael ziel says

    what I see is that every pres. will do what ever her can to make as much as he can. They do not care about the poor because they can’t give them money. It is the hard is job in the world because you have to get as much money under the table you can but if you upset the voters the money train will end.
    P.s anyone that thinks people are giving Mr. clinton a million $ just to come and tall to their works because he is a great speaker should not get the right to vote.

  3. You talk about how Bush helped the oil industry with oil prices. I don’t see Obama doing anything different except trying to please countries who don’t like us. We can drill here for our own oil but he still refuses to do so.

  4. isn’t it funny how you stop short of the FOUR DOLLAR A GALLON mark set in June 2008!

    how typical of your ‘non bias’ report


  1. […] should be noted that gas prices when George W. Bush took office were $1.46 per gallon and when he left eight years later, they were $1.61 per […]

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