Seattle Courant

More than four bucks a gallon

76 Gas Station on Capitol Hill. May 23, 2008. Photo by Keith Vance.
By Keith Vance
May 23, 2008 07:05PM

Whether it's a bubble or not, it really doesn't matter because at the end of the day, driving is getting expensive. Say for instance that you want to drive down to Portland for the weekend. It's 175 miles one way. If your car gets 25 miles to the gallon you'll need eight gallons of gas to get there and eight to get back. Based on the pump price of $4.11 a gallon, this comes out to $65.76 for gas there and back.

Another way to look at it is that if you're unfortunate enough to work for minimum wage, which is now $8.07 an hour, you'll need to work more than eight hours to purchase gas to get to Portland and home safe. Now tack on the price of a hotel, eating and entertainment and that weekend in Portland just get real expensive. You might want to consider just staying home.

But while the price of gas at the pump may be the most obvious effect of skyrocketing oil prices, the cost of everything is going up. The price of food is on a seemingly endless trajectory skyward. Tuition at the University of Washington continues to climb every year. It's no secret that more and more Americans are finding themselves in debt, living too far from their jobs, with mortgages they can't afford now that they're paying $600 a month to fill up their Escalade, not to mention, the value of the dollar is in a free fall.

Yet the federal government continues to subsidize the oil industry in the tune of tens of billions of taxpayer dollars every year.