Gallup: Gas at $5.30 a Gallon Would Force Personal Cutbacks

Friday, 09 Mar 2012 09:24 AM

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An overwhelming number of Americans believe that President Barack Obama and Congress must act immediately to bring down gas prices. Most consumers also say that $5.30 a gallon is the tipping point that would force major life changes such as cuts in spending.

A new Gallup poll found that 85 percent of Americans want Congress and the president to take action to lower gas prices that are now averaging $3.76 a gallon. Additionally, Americans reject the idea pushed by the president that the level of gas prices is generally beyond the control of government.

In the survey, 65 percent believe the president and Congress can stop gas prices from rising, while just 31 percent say the price of is largely beyond politicians' control.

“The president in a recent press conference spoke at length about his administration's efforts to control the price of gas, even though he admitted that he held no ‘silver bullet’ that would do so in short order,” Gallup noted.

“These types of pre-emptive public statements are well advised, based on the finding that most Americans want the president and Congress to take action to control the price of gas, and that a majority feel there are things these elected officials can do to accomplish this.”

While most Americans found that $5-plus gas would be the tipping point for major life changes, others put the number lower.

“The responses varied widely, with 14 percent to 17 percent of Americans saying a price of less than $4 per gallon would be high enough to cause them to change their lifestyle or cut back on spending elsewhere,” Gallup wrote. “Another 28 percent each say a price point in the $4 range would cause these changes. The overall average ‘tipping point’ price of roughly $5.30, however, suggests there is room for a considerably greater increase in gas prices before Americans say prices will begin to have widespread, serious consequences on their spending and lifestyle patterns.”


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