David Stockman: If You Want To Address Gas Prices, 'Stop Beating The War Drums Right Now'

This was a breath of fresh air rather than the usual nonsense we're hearing from Republicans with more "drill baby drill" as a way to control the price of oil and gasoline we're seeing rise again right now. From Fareed Zakaria GPS, former Reagan
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This was a breath of fresh air rather than the usual nonsense we're hearing from Republicans with more "drill baby drill" as a way to control the price of oil and gasoline we're seeing rise again right now. From Fareed Zakaria GPS, former Reagan budget director David Stockman hit the nail on the head; stop with the warmongering and threatening Iran.

ZAKARIA: Do you think that's - what do you think will happen with oil? Because the demand certainly doesn't justify $105 barrel oil. I mean, China is -

STOCKMAN: I think you can address this decisively by stop beating the war drums right now. And Obama could do that, and he could say the neocons are history.

The policy that they're talking about right now is the same thing we heard in 2001, 2002, and 2003. And he needs to clearly say that we're not going to attack Iran. We're not going to permit Israel to attack Iran. They are not part of the axis of evil. They're part of the axis of medieval.

In other words, these are backward people that aren't going to threaten the western world, and we need to get into a serious process of negotiation. If we do that, the price of oil will drop $30 within a few months, and all the speculators who are on the wrong side of the ship would learn a good lesson.

But as long as the war drums continue to beat, as they are now, we're going to see this kind of speculative fraud. It's not real. It's not supply and demand world today.

Now if we could get the hawks in the United States Senate to listen to him -- Senate Trying To Force Obama To Go To War.

Full transcript below the fold.

ZAKARIA: And we are back with Robert Reich, David Stockman, Gillian Tett and Zanny Minton Beddoes.

Bob, let me ask you, if you were back in the administration, what would you be doing about high oil prices? Because it does strike me that this is something that has the ability to add to a slowdown in the United States. Is there anything the administration can do?

REICH: Fareed, the irony here, the paradox is that it's really very little in the short-term that any administration can do about oil prices and what really is the issue, and that is gas prices at the pump. That's what most voters react to very viscerally, and it's understandable.

But an administration of what you have a strategic petroleum reserve, you can threaten to use the strategic petroleum reserve, and thereby essentially threaten speculators who are bidding up the price of crude oil around the world, but that's about it. And that's all - that's not terribly useful thing to do under normal circumstances.

Now, you are going to almost inevitably have some sort of restriction on supply over the next two or three years. Then maybe the administration to put that bubble does need to talk about the strategic petroleum reserve, but I would hold off.

I just don't think that we are going to see an oil crisis. I think that, you know, when you look at - when you look at all of these speculators who are - I mean, you have almost no bears in this market at all.

When they are all bidding up the price of crude oil, almost anything can tip the balance in the other direction and force crude oil suddenly downward. We've seen that before. In May of last year, for example.

ZAKARIA: Do you think that's - what do you think will happen with oil? Because the demand certainly doesn't justify $105 barrel oil. I mean, China is -

STOCKMAN: I think you can address this decisively by stop beating the war drums right now. And Obama could do that, and he could say the neocons are history.

The policy that they're talking about right now is the same thing we heard in 2001, 2002, and 2003. And he needs to clearly say that we're not going to attack Iran. We're not going to permit Israel to attack Iran. They are not part of the axis of evil. They're part of the axis of medieval.

In other words, these are backward people that aren't going to threaten the western world, and we need to get into a serious process of negotiation. If we do that, the price of oil will drop $30 within a few months, and all the speculators who are on the wrong side of the ship would learn a good lesson.

But as long as the war drums continue to beat, as they are now, we're going to see this kind of speculative fraud. It's not real. It's not supply and demand world today.

TETT: It's worth remembering that in terms of the euro and as the oil prices right now are higher in Europe than it is in the U.S., relatively speaking, and that's simply adding to the pressure on the eurozone economy. So it's a very nasty cocktail of issues right now that's feeding off each other.

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