Mr. Obama usually begins his gas price narrative, now a campaign trail staple, by explaining that there aren't easy solutions. That's true—there's not a lot the political class can do to change gas prices in the short run—but then the President goes on to mention that there happens to be one easy solution: raising taxes on the oil and gas industry. This is also his stock answer on the budget deficit, world hunger and everything else. The junk economic theory is that increasing the U.S. costs of investor-owned oil producers—which together hold a mere 6% of world reserves—is supposed to lower the price of a global commodity.
The liberal drive to tax Big Oil is rooted in an ideological commitment to higher energy prices, not consumer relief.
Rising gas prices are stealing the gains of middle-income voters, so this is an important debate to have. Too bad Mr. Obama's Washington can't seem to escape the energy incoherence—phantom speculators, easy villains—of his predecessors.