It speaks to the gross ignorance of the overwhelming majority of Americans — or else the deep cynicism of our politicians — that we even have to address this, but for the nth time ever, here we go!

Unless the world economy crashes or intercessory prayer starts working, no one on the planet has the power to significantly lower the price of gasoline at the pump. Especially not Newt Gingrich.

Here’s some explanation from CBS Evening News.

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Don’t miss the point at 1:55 when some reporter asks “Is the rise in gas prices the president’s fault?” and the White House press secretary issues the appropriate response: a derisive laugh.

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Bryan Walsh at Time is also on the case:

Recession depress economic demand, and when demand is depressed, fewer people drive — which in turns leads the price of gas to fall like any other commodity would when demand falls. As the economy recovered and economic activity picked up — both in the U.S. and elsewhere — the price of gas rose as well. If future President Gingrich were to somehow be able to deliver $2.50-a-gallon gas, it would probably mean the economy had tanked again.

It’s hard to understand why this isn’t as ingrained in our national psyche as, say, the relationship between supply and demand. I mean, seeing as how that’s exactly how the price of oil is determined. Are we really so insulated from news about the explosive economic growth experienced by billions of non-Americans in the past decade? Those people buy oil, too, and last time we checked, planet Earth isn’t making any more of it.

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