Anyone who was in the middle of sipping a cup of coffee last June when Rep. Michele Bachmann said just signaling an intention to drill for oil could bring back the days of $2 a gallon gasoline, probably spit most of the java out. It was that crazy a prediction at a time when the average price for gasoline was over $4 a gallon and, apparently, heading higher.
This morning, one energy analyst predicted the rapidly falling price of crude oil would yield a further drop of 60 cents a gallon at the gas pump. With the low end of gas prices in Minnesota today around $2.57, you don’t have to be Paul Krugman to do the math correctly.
Voila! Two-dollar-a-gallon gasoline.
In politics, it doesn’t matter whether you’re right by accident or by design, you get to still say you were right. Politicians did nothing more than talk about drilling, and the price of gasoline is headed for $2 a gallon.
Of course, gas prices are falling because of a worldwide recession that’s put enough people out of work, shuttered enough factories, and cut the demand for oil. The law of supply and demand still works. The cure for high oil prices, as the saying went, is high oil prices. Never mind the consequences or the collateral damage.
The situation illustrates a different truism: Economic predictions are almost as worthless as a TV weather forecast.