10:59 PM, Oct 20, 2012

USA TODAY – Autumn gasoline prices are about to drop faster than fall foliage.

With inventories rising and demand waning, gasoline prices could plunge 50 cents a gallon from October’s $3.86 peak average over the next few weeks, providing a lift for the economy and possibly becoming a factor in next month’s presidential election.

Gasoline, now averaging $3.69 a gallon, is expected to fall to $3.35 or lower by late November. In some regions, prices have already sunk below $3.

“Most of the country is heading appreciably lower the next few weeks,” says Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service, who notes wholesale prices in some key markets have dropped from as high as $4.35 a gallon to $2.71. Pump prices typically lag big wholesale drops. But Kloza expects retail prices to sink five to 15 cents a gallon over each of the next three weeks.

The drop could provide a boost to consumer spending and influence next month’s presidential race, where gas prices have been a hot-button issue for much of the campaign. Several battleground states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, are enjoying big price drops.

“Certainly, lower gas prices are helpful in terms of consumer spending by increasing disposable income,” says Brian Bethune, chief economist at Alpha Economic Foresights. “And if prices come down at a rapid rate in the next three weeks, that would tend to help the incumbent. It may not be logical, but if people see problems with the high cost of food or gas, it’s the president who tends to get the blame.”

Gas prices have remained stubbornly high well past their traditional Memorial Day weekend peak, due largely to supply shortages and refinery woes on the West Coast and Midwest. But with oil inventories rising and production issues ebbing, prices have been easing the past week, a trend likely to accelerate. “This is very much gravity at work,” Kloza says. “The faster prices soar, the more prone they are to panic sell-offs.”

Kloza expects prices to bottom in the $3.30 range. Gasbuddy.com analyst Patrick DeHaan and energy analyst Brian Milne of Telvent DTN see a $3.35 bottom. Barring rising troubles in the Middle East or refinery issues in the U.S., prices could remain in that range through early 2013.

On Friday, gasbuddy.com was tracking some central Ohio stations selling gas for $2.97 a gallon. Gas prices remain stubbornly high in California — the nation’s priciest state averaging $4.51 a gallon — although some stations are charging more than $5. Energy experts expect prices to bottom in the $4 range. “California is not completely out of the woods yet regarding supplies, and their refineries haven’t been able to keep up,” Milne says.

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On Your Mark

October 16, 2012

The runners are….

 

 

In their blocks

 

 

 

On your mark….

 

 

Get set…..

 

 

Go….

 

 

And the runners are off

 

 

 

Obama is off to a quick start

 

 

With Romney running

 

Stride for stride…

 

 

About 1 step back

 

 

 

As they approach the first turn

 

Obama is still in the lead

 

 

 

Romney…

 

 

Running strong

 

Has kicked it up a notch

 

Coming off the turn

 

 

And is now a half step behind

 

 

 

Heading into the backstretch

 

 

 

Romney is…

 

 

 

Now pulling even

 

 

 

This is a big race for both

 

Of these men…

 

 

 

Romney…..

 

The elder statesman

 

 

 

Is trying to go out of top

 

 

 

Obama….

 

The current champion

 

Is trying to show that….

 

 

Winning the championship

 

Was not a fluke

 

 

And

 

 

He still has the heart

 

Of a champion

 

 

 

Halfway down the backstretch

 

Romney pulls ahead…

 

 

By a  ½ step

 

 

 

Obama is holding on

 

He picks up the pace

 

 

And catches Romney

 

 

 

Obama

 

Once again

 

Takes the lead

 

 

 

Now it’s Romney

 

 

 

What an exciting race

 

 

These two continue to trade leads

 

Down the backstretch

 

 

 

Obama …. Romney

 

 

 

Romney ….Obama

 

 

They are running

 

Stride for stride….

 

Coming into

 

The last turn

 

 

 

This is going to be a tight race

 

 

It remains to be seen

 

 

How the handoff will be….

 

 

 

Down the stretch

 

 

 

As they approach

 

 

 

Ryan and Biden

 

 

 

Both are awaiting the baton

 

 

 

Ryan and Biden are…

 

 

Both are good runners

 

 

 

But this handoff is critical

 

 

 

A clean pass of the baton

 

 

Builds momentum

 

 

 

Romney and Obama

 

Are still running

 

 

Stride for Stride

 

 

As they approach the handoff

 

 

 

Ryan and Biden

 

Take off

 

 

The runners approach

 

 

 

Ryan and Biden…

 

 

 

Now in stride…

 

 

Reaching back….

 

 

 

Await the baton

 

 

 

The pressure is on both

 

 

 

Romney and Obama

 

 

To make a clean handoff

 

 

Keeping

 

 

Ryan and Biden

 

 

 

From breaking stride

Just Thinking

October 5, 2012

My wife and I were watching TV

 

Last week

 

 

And she made a very

 

Astute observation

 

 

“How come all we hear about

 

 

 

In the Presidential election

 

 

 

Is the middle class

 

 

 

 

Did everyone stop talking…..

 

 

 

 

About the Poor?”

 

 

 

 

 

We hear about the top 2%

 

 

 

And

 

 

 

The middle class

 

 

 

What are we doing about the poor?

 

 

 

 

Are they now the middle class…

 

 

 

Want to hear some sobering facts?

 

 

 

There have been

 

48 murders…..

 

 

 

In Camden, NJ

 

 

So far this year

 

 

 

Camden has gained the title of….

 

 

 

America’s most dangerous city

 

 

 

Camden is about 7 miles

 

From where I am sitting

 

 

 

Let’s look at some of the facts:

 

  • 13 homicides in July – the most deadly month since a shooting spree in 1949
  • Murder rate was ten times New York City in 2011 — and on pace to be even higher this year
  • More than half of children live below the poverty line as the city is ravaged by drugs
  • Police department forced to cut one third of officers in 2011 and arrests dropped to less than half of what they were in 2009

 

 

 

I am using Camden

 

 

As an example

 

 

Because it is

 

 

Close to home

 

 

 

There are many families hurting

 

 

Not only in Camden….

 

 

 

But in all across…

 

 

The United States

 

 

 

In cities

 

 

And

 

 

 

In small towns

 

 

 

 

There are independent programs

 

 

Set up

 

 

To help these people…..

 

 

 

Mostly non profits

 

 

With Church affiliations

 

 

 

Providing food

 

 

Temporary Shelter

 

 

 

 

Working with youth

 

 

Helping them to

 

 

Believe in their abilities

 

 

 

 

Teaching them

 

 

You can make a difference

 

 

 

 

Aspire,

 

 

 

Don’t settle

 

 

 

 

But there is no grand effort

 

 

 

 

No coordinated

 

 

Vision

 

 

 

To make a difference

 

 

 

 

 

To lift these people up

 

 

 

 

Yes,

 

 

There is unemployment

 

 

Disability

 

 

Food Stamps

 

 

And

 

 

Other Government assistance programs

 

 

 

 

But what are we doing

 

 

As a whole….

 

 

 

To lift the poor in spirit

 

 

 

 

Give them the opportunity

 

 

To live

 

 

To Share

 

 

 

 

The American dream

 

 

 

 

Whatsoever you do

 

 

To the least of my brethren

 

 

 

That you do unto me

 

 

 

 

I think we are all familiar with that line

 

 

 

 

 

What are we doing to help…..

 

 

The poor?

 

 

 

 

We all take our lives for granted

 

 

 

 

What we fail to realize is that…..

 

 

 

Every Day is a Gift

 

 

 

 

 

I am a product of Catholic Schools

 

 

 

They taught the….

 

 

 

 

 

The 7 Corporal Works of Mercy

 

 

  • Feed the Hungry
  • Give drink to the thirsty
  • Cloth the naked
  • Shelter the homeless
  • Comfort the imprisoned
  • Visit the sick
  • Bury the dead

 

 

 

What have we been doing….

 

 

 

With the gifts that we have been given?

 

 

 

 

Many years ago

 

 

As man evolved

 

 

They realized

 

 

The only way

 

 

They could sustain

 

 

Continue to grow

 

 

And Survive

 

 

Would be by

 

 

Helping each other

 

 

 

There was no….

 

 

Bigger

 

 

Better

 

 

Stronger

 

 

 

 

They all worked together

 

 

They Realized that they….

 

 

 

All needed each other

 

 

 

 

The world calls us to be engaged

 

 

 

We are all one

 

 

 

 

“For I was hungry and you gave me food

 

 

I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink

 

 

I was a stranger and you welcomed me

 

 

I was naked and you gave me clothing

 

 

I was sick and you took care of me

 

 

I was in prison and you visited me.”

 

 

Mathew 25:34-36

Caught Up

October 4, 2012

Everyone has been caught up

 

With the idle chatter

 

 

Each minute……

 

 

Hour…..

 

 

Day….

 

 

 

The press is shooting out more ……

 

 

 

Gotchyas……..

 

 

 

 

Do you believe what Romney said?

 

 

No, but did you hear what Obama said?

 

 

 

All this,

 

 

To what end

 

 

I still do not hear anyone

 

Addressing the real issues

 

 

 

I want to give a 20% tax cut to….

 

 

Everyone

 

 

 

More trickle down

 

It did not work

 

 

 

 

By the way we have a $16 trillion deficit

 

 

 

What are your plans to deal with that!

 

 

 

Obama want to only raise taxes

 

On those making over $250k

 

 

 

How much will that actually impact

 

 

 

Our $16 trillion deficit?

 

 

 

 

 

I saw a great presentation recently

 

 

 

The US Government collected in 2012

 

 

$2.470 trillion in revenue

 

 

 

The Government spent

 

 

 

$3.8 trillion on expenses

 

 

 

Hence the $1.3 trillion deficit for 2012

 

 

 

Here is how the Government spending is broken down

 

 

Expenses are broken into 3 categories:

 

 

  • Interest -$225 billion

 

  • Mandatory programs / Entitlements – $2.250 trillion

 

    •  Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid

 

  • Appropriated Discretionary Spending – Federal Government Expenses –     

$1.3 trillion

    • Security – which include       military etc. – $868 billion
    • Non Security – which       includes education, energy etc. – $450 billion

 

 

 

 

Cross out the Discretionary spending of $1.3 Trillion

 

 

And you have $2.5 trillion in expenses between

 

Interest

 

And

 

Mandatory programs

 

 

 

 

The Government did not even collect

 

$2.5 trillion dollars in revenue

 

In 2012

 

 

 

 

That means they did not have

 

$1 available to run the government

 

 

 

 

Remember the discretionary spending?

 

 

We had to borrow that

 

 

 

 

 

My math mind starts saying

 

 

 

 

Let’s try a 5% cut across the board

 

 

 

On all expenses

 

 

 

5% of $3.8 trillion is $190 billion

 

 

 

That is not gonna do much

 

 

 

10%

 

 

Although better

 

 

 

Is only $380 billion

 

 

 

 

We want to cut taxes

 

 

 

 

We want to cut expenses

 

 

 

I have not heard any clear cut answers

 

 

 

What expenses are going to be cut?

 

 

 

 

 

We will have an open discussion about that

 

 

 

Once we get elected…..

 

 

 

 

Or

 

 

 

Once I get re-elected

 

 

 

Take your pick

 

 

 

 

What is being done to

 

 

Correct this issue

 

 

 

 

Do you remember playing

 

 

Kick the can…..

 

 

 

 

When you were growing up

 

 

 

 

That is what is being done in Washington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Presidential debates start next week

 

 

 

Be sure to listen

 

 

 

 

This election offers 2 distinct choices

 

 

 

On our future

 

 

 

But……

 

 

 

So far

 

 

 

No one is offering any

 

 

 

Real answers

 

 

 

 

The wait and see

 

 

 

And trust me

 

 

Have brought us to where

 

 

We currently are

 

 

 

For more insight contact george@hbsadvantage.com