The government regularly issues reports on unemployment, housing starts and manufacturers' output to track the economy's progress. But for the average person, the top economic indicator is the price he or she pays at the pump, experts said. And at a time of record-high gas prices -- combined with long-term joblessness, greater personal debt and paychecks reduced by higher taxes -- the consumers whose spending drives the economy are unwilling, or unable, to part with their money.If President Obama wants us to feel better about the economy, if he wants to stimulate trade, the one single thing he could do that would have an immediate impact is to un-do the regulation that drives fuel prices. I note that when Obama took office, gas prices were about $1.68 per gallon. Today they're twice that.
I've got to have gasoline to get to work. If I'm spending it at the pump, I'm not spending it for other things.