Somewhat lower prices at the gas pump haven’t stopped American from worryingabout high prices; in the latest Economist/YouGov poll, nearly three in four Americans say current gas prices are a serious problem for them and their families. And for a third, it is very serious.
The level of concern is down eight points from earlier this month — and the number saying the problem is very serious has dropped even more. But many Americans see no relief in sight: nearly half — 46% –expect gas prices to be higher in six months than they are today.
Vacation plans have changed for many. 44% say the higher price of gasoline has caused them to change their vacation destination or the length of the trip, or cancel their vacation altogether.
High gas prices may has caused even Republicans to consider a position generally anathema to their party – eliminating the tax breaks currently enjoyed by oil companies. 68% of Americans overall — including 55% of Republicans — see no need for tax breaks to encourage oil companies to expand domestic exploration and development. Oil company profits, they agree, are large enough.
Americans believe there is a lot of blame to go around when it comes to high gas prices. Two in three say oil companies and foreign oil producing countries have a major impact on prices. Six in ten say financial speculators do. Less than half put major responsibility for high prices on the backs of consumers and on government taxes.
Photo source: Press Association