There’s nothing like a snide comment about President George W. Bush to make you feel better about paying more for food and energy.
But you’d expect a higher of level of decorum from the media, especially when they operate under the presumption of impartiality. But ABC’s Bianna Golodryga apparently couldn’t resist taking a swipe at Bush during “Good Morning America” February 29.
In conversation with reporters February 28, Bush said he “hadn’t heard that” some analysts are predicting $4-a-gallon gas prices.
“While the president may be in the dark about the price of gasoline, the rest of the country knows all too well prices are skyrocketing – not only at the gas pump, but increasingly at supermarkets too,” Golodryga said February 29.
Burnett cited John Kilduff, the vice president of risk management at the MF Global Ltd. Brokerage, as the source of this predicted high watermark for gasoline. “And John Kilduff, who I know you speak with often, as well, Brian, he says we could see prices at the pump as high as $4 a gallon,” Burnett said. That prediction has yet to come true.
According to Golodryga, food prices are up across the board.
“In the last year the price of eggs shot up a whopping 40 percent,” Golodryga said. “The price of milk – up 26 percent. Staple items like simple spaghetti – up 18 percent and ground beef, up close to seven.”
But what’s causing this spike in food prices? Although Golodryga didn’t provide any answers, there are several variables. The global demand for more food is one, but using corn to produce ethanol has also taken its tool on food prices.
“Half of inflation is coming from oil,” CNBC’s Jim Cramer said in an interview with presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton on February 27. “The other half is coming from food. Do you believe that we should continue to burn food in this country? Poor people cannot afford what we’re doing with our ethanol strategy.”
“I think a very high percentage of the blame is directly attributable to the mandate,” Max Schulz, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, told the Business & Media Institute in December. “Congress passed this mandate in 2005 to stipulate that we have 7 billion gallons of ethanol mixed into our fuel … and two years into it we have seen prices go up not just at the pump, although they have gone up there, but also throughout the economy.”
Only recently have the media acknowledged ethanol’s role in driving up the price of groceries, including dairy and meat products. It has also recently been revealed that ethanol contributes more to global warming than burning fossil fuels.