Obama’s Big Lie: Radio Ad Blames Oil Companies for Gas Prices

All this was inspired by the principle–which is quite true in itself–that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.

–Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

Let’s begin by letting Mr. Obama speak for himself.

Across Pennsylvania, we’re living the problems.
An economy in shambles. Families struggling. Gas prices close to four dollars a gallon.
What’s Hillary Clinton’s answer?
Misleading negative ads.
Here’s the truth.
While she’s played political games, it’s Barack Obama who’s taken on the oil companies, demanding higher gas mileage standards and a larger investment in alternative energy.
It’s Obama who’s worked to strip tax breaks from the oil giants as they roll up record profits.
And he’s the only candidate who doesn’t take a dime from oil company PACs or lobbyists. The only one.
The Federal Election Commission reports that Clinton’s taken more from Big Oil and other PACs and lobbyists than any other candidate, Democrat or Republican.
The same old Washington politics isn’t going to lift our economy or bring down gas prices.
So if you’ve had your fill of that…
Vote for change we can believe in, Barack Obama for President.

Obama is looking for a scapegoat for high gasoline prices, and let us see whether his statements are accurate or misleading. Bloomburg.com carries energy prices here. As of April 14, crude oil was running at about $110 per barrel. There are 42 gallons to the barrel, so this translates to $2.62 per gallon of crude oil.

Here are current gasoline prices in Pennsylvania. As of April 14, regular gasoline is available from Sheetz for $3.25 per gallon. In Scranton (Northeast PA), prices range from $3.26 to $3.40 or so, and we don’t know where Obama got the $4.00 figure–except from a desire to engage in sensationalistic demagoguery.

Assume for the sake of argument that a gallon of crude oil can be refined into a gallon of gasoline. (Refining actually produces non-gasoline byproducts, but we will assume that the sale of these byproducts offsets the cost of the oil that is not converted into gasoline.)

The total markup on the gasoline is therefore 63 cents a gallon. Only a portion of this goes to the oil companies that Obama accuses of gouging the public. The oil company must pay the oil tanker or oil pipeline to deliver the oil to a refinery, which also has operating costs. Then someone must pay a tank truck to deliver the gasoline to Sheetz, Costco, Sam’s Club, or whomever, and the gas station must pay its employees and earn a reasonable profit. Finally, we must not forget sales taxes, highway taxes, and excise taxes!

This analysis reinforces our belief that Obama will say whatever he has to say to get credulous people to vote for him. Truth, as with the proclamations of Joseph Goebbels, is irrelevant to Obama’s campaign.

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