U.S. Rep. Allen West, a Florida Republican, has never been any great fan of President Barack Obama, but took to Facebook today to answer the question of what, if anything, he could praise about the president. His answer included a complaint that thanks to rising gas prices, it now costs $70 to fill up his 2008 Hummer H3. Is it really a good idea to use your Hummer to argue gas prices are too high?
Here's the complete statement from Rep. West that's drawing some attention:
People have asked me before is there any area where I could praise President Obama? Certainly, he has an impeccable penchant for understanding the power of the bully pulpit. President Obama is also very adept at promulgating deceptive language masquerading as policy, actually just insidious political gimmickry. This "tax policy" is an example as well as today's speech on his "energy policy" shall be. Here is the bottom line, last night it took 70 dollars to fill the tank of my 2008 H3 Hummer, what is it costing you? What does it cost the President to fill his gas tank?
Saying gas costs too much based on your H3 -- which sports an average fuel economy of 16 to 18 mpg -- seems akin to arguing Americans have grown too fat at the drive-through window of a Carl Jr.'s. Yet West and other drivers can't be blamed for the current run-up; it's not American demand for gasoline causing its prices to rise, but rather demand from China, Latin America and worries over Iran's actions near the Strait of Hormuz. Last year, fossil fuels were America's biggest export -- partly because of the economic recession and the shift toward vehicles that get 40 mpg instead of 16.
Rep. West may need to brace his pocketbook; that H3 will need $90 to fill if prices hit $4 a gallon, as most experts suspect they will soon. Or he could switch into something a little more economical; there's nothing quite as obnoxious as the Hummer on sale, but switching to, say, the 2-liter turbo Ford Explorer would save him at least $1,400 a year in gas -- and maybe some aggravation.