2012 Elections Will Affect RVers

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March 30, 2012

Congress and the Obama Administration are seven months away from the 2012 election. As every day brings incumbents closer to the election on November 6, their attention focuses more intensely on ensuring that they return to Washington in 2013.

The House of Representatives continues to see rapid change in its membership. It currently has the largest freshman class in 60 years, and already, two incumbent Members of Congress have lost in primary battles in Ohio. Given the competitive races, retiring House members and incumbent versus incumbent battles created through redistricting, roughly 40% of the House could either be freshmen or just starting their second term in January 2013. The Senate is also hanging by a narrow Democratic majority, and intense battles will be waged to control that body. Just down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol, the White House is already in full campaign mode for their November contest.

Hanging between politicians and Election Day are a host of spending and policy issues that will impact the mood of the voters. High gas prices, spending/tax issues and international crises may dominate the summer and fall. Since the “Supercommittee” was unable to agree on a package to reduce the deficit last year, automatic spending cuts are due to kick in next January for a host of federal programs including some at the Defense Department. Additionally, a number of tax provisions are due to expire at the end of this year, and the Highway Bill has been caught in political battles that have required a series of abbreviated extensions rather than passage of a full bill.

Rising gas prices are already having an impact on how voters view their elected representatives. The issue has grown so large that President Obama and British Prime Minister Cameron discussed the possibility of utilizing strategic oil reserves to address the situation during their mid-March meeting in Washington. However, the Administration is publicly warning Americans that no quick fix is likely. Oil market reaction to tensions in the Middle East may further increase the strain on this issue which is so central to Good Sam members.

The way these pieces of legislation are dealt with may significantly impact Good Sam members’ ability to access national parks, enjoy properly maintained roads and preserve important tax benefits, so it’s vital that every Good Sam member participates in this year’s elections. Please email Sue Bray at [email protected] if you need more information or have questions as events occur.

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  1. Oliver (Ollie) Hill

    Several thoughts to add–
    -Regulations–Every business and family is buried with too many burdensome and costly regulations. They stimey every facet of our entire economy and are quite negative rather than to encourage growth and jobs. Most are not approved by Congress at all, but by Agency dictators. EPA is the worst!
    -No Budget–Why worry about how much government agencies spend? They have no budget or no one to slap their hands when they are out of control?? Do we really want this reckless Government spending to continue?
    -Gas prices–Too many bureaucrats and environmentalists calling the shots. What is wrong with using our own energy and creating jobs here at home?
    –Government Handouts–Should everyone be given everything they need and want? Our country is becoming more and more dependent on handouts/social programs. 26 new ones have been created under this administration!
    –Nationalized Health Care–Our Canadian friends at the Phoenix Rally say that is bad news and the taxpayers cost if huge.
    Ollie Hill

  2. Tom Brown

    Fuel prices are and will remain a major part of my overall RV costs.

    It is true that petroleum prices are driven by the forces of Supply and Demand in a world market. But the oil market is not a “free” market in the traditional sense.

    Supply is distorted by OPEC. Demand is distorted by commodity speculation, with the vast majority of oil futures being traded by speculators who have no intention of ever actually consuming the commodity. The government can get the speculation price factor under control, if it wishes.

    One possible hope for RVers….. there is an increasing glut of natural gas available in the world market, with prices declining sharply The price per BTU for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) versus diesel and/or gasoline is dropping. If the trucking industry drives an expansion of LNG infrastructure to support their over-the-road operations, we RVers would also benefit.

    With the cost of converting an existing diesel vehicle to LNG priced out at $15-20k, I won’t be converting soon. But if the cost of operating with LNG remains low, and the RV manufacturers respond accordingly, you just might see me buy an all LNG rig.

    My recommendation: Vote for T. Boone Pickens

  3. David

    we need to vote all of them out! the bad part is that non of them can relate to regular folks.
    i have noticed a sharp decline in rvr’s this year especially younger folks.
    people in their 20’s 30’s cannot afford even a cheap rv on $10 per hour.
    things need to change this year or i am afraid the economy will crash even worse

  4. Frederick

    The Elections did not affect the price of gas, wall street is the blame. If we all had working memories we would remember that the price of gas was less than $1.80 before we rehired the Oil Companies to run our executive branch of government in 2004 and then again in 2008. What the owners of the oil companies (wall street) are trying so desperately to make us forget is the mishandling of the housing bubble. They were taking the make-believe mortgage futures funds from the housing bubble and buying up the oil futures. First the housing bubble burst in the summer of 08 and no one cried because it was just the homeless getting hurt. But when the housing mess dried up the funds for the oil and that bubble burst then and only then did people start crying first for the poor bankers who came crawling and lying for us to bail them out so did the price of oil.. for a short time.. just long enough for the economy to start recovery.

  5. Larry

    Amen to Gerald. Our RV lifestyles are impacted by our personal budgets. As the output of dollars approaches the input of dollars we make prudent adjustments to our budgets. Likewise our government also impacts our RV lifestyle with its decisions. Their reckless spending has adverse effects on RVers as well.

  6. Carl McDonald

    It’s the oil prices thats getting kicked around the most but if you look around and bring it to light
    I can’t see one single item that hasn’t sky rocketed. (QUOTE me if you like) I think the politition
    Are doing their best to keep their retirement and their pockets well patted at our expense. It used
    to be what the tax payers wanted was fair game to put more tax on it. (But with thier greed) they
    see now it;s not just what we want BUT WHAT WE NEED TO SURVIVE. I feel they want to do away
    with the middle class tax payers so they can run the U.S.A. under a DICTATERSHIP.

  7. Jim – we apologize that we have offended you with this article. This was, in now way, our intentions. We only wanted to make our members informed that our national leaders and the upcoming elections affect our lives as avid RVers in different ways than it may affect the general population. Please rest assured, that the Good Sam Club remains neutral on all political controversy and will not promote any candidate over another. That is up to each individual member to decide their stance. Instead, we are a club that is centered around giving back and being a Good Samaritan to others.

  8. Mike P

    Since there are conflicting reasons on why gas prices are so high, what if all of us boycotted one particular gas company(choose one at random) for a month where they received no business…I think then all the oil companies woud see the power we have and then do what they know is necessary to bring the prices down. Personally, I don’t think we could get people to cooperate but what if…..?

  9. To begin with, the oil companies don’t control the crude prices. Its the oil spectulators! If you would of read the article and listened to the interview of Mr. Dan Dicker, he stated that IF Obama would put minimum regulation on the spectulators, the trhe price of gas would drop almost in half practually overnite! Mr Dicker also stated the in 2008 during the height of the recession that the true cost of a barrel of oil came out which was $32.00 a barrel!! So, you can blame Obama for the mess we are in with high gas and diesel prices because he will not do what is very simple, instead of claiming that there isn’t anything he can do!

  10. Susan

    If we are RVers, we are already in an superior position in our great country. As a newly retired teacher I’d like to join a group of Good Sams in taking people to get their necessary photo IDs so they are able to vote in November. Although we have not made new restrictions in our voting laws in IL, I know WI has made recent changes. My husband and I have taken our voting right as a responsibility, and will help others in any way we can. Are there any Good Sams up to this task?

  11. Whiskey888

    OK all you left wingers. What part of supply and demand can’t you understand. The more we produce our own oil and increase supply the more oil there is in the market place. When supply is greater than demand the price has to necessarily come down. What part of 5th grade economics did you miss?

  12. Orin

    Thanks to Gerald, he has looked up some facts. Not just emotion. Obama did say he wanted change, ie, more debt, and higher gas prices. His Energy cazar came to office wanting gas at 8-9$ a gallon. He has had to back track due to public pressure. If we continue down the road Obama wants, we may as well park our RV’s. Our favorite campgrounds will close and we will be even unable to go to our Nattional Forests as most of them will close their roads.
    We need someone in office who knows business and how to lead. I think we need to give Mitt a try, he can’t be any worse.

  13. Good Sam please support our love of camping – that is why we joined.

    Hope and Change – why do people go back to Bush when we elected a president who said he would take care of us and bring change? The focus is on the current president and his changes because from Senator Obama we learned that the president is responsible for everything.

    Oil – the current president inherited $1.70/gallon gas – we are now paying $4.50. Maybe not approving drilling permits has brought change to America and a lot of lost jobs?

    Oil – if everyone who complains about the oil companies and the “breaks” they receive would have to live without oil and the products that come from that industry for one week I believe they would be very happy to have the oil companies receive their “breaks”. How many oil related products are in our cars, home, clothes? Look at where you are sitting reading this, what does not have plastic in it? Hopefully, they could find some 100% cotton clothes made with 100% cotton thread shipped in a paper bag made from 100% wood products. And they could walk on leather-soled shoes to the post office to pick it up as a car with no plastic in it may not run and would not meet safety standards to be on the road.

    Please God, continue to bless our wonderful country.

  14. ChuckL

    Gasoline prices are based on oil futures. Therefore any definite position that will indicate that in the future there will be more oil available will result in a drop in gasoline and diesel fuel prices, as well as those plastic products made from petroleum.

    This means that a dedication to the future production of petroleum in this country will have a positive effect in reducing prices of petroleum products. “Drill Baby, Drill” will work, but it requires a commitment to future production and refining.

    The corollary is also true. A dedication to prevent petroleum production will result in higher prices. This change in energy prices will, not might, but WILL trickle through all product prices, except for those which require no energy for production of distribution. Unfortunately, I can not think of any products which fit this requirement. Can you?

  15. Ginger

    God Bless Gerald. He is eloquent and 100 percent correct on what is happening in America. Some Americans cannot be reasonable. They don’t even try to think things through. They just spout untruths they have heard on biased radio and TV. I’m about to have a great granddaughter..How I pray, for her and all younger Americans that Americans stop thinking of what they presume to be free entitlements (they aren’t) and realize that we must do hard things to get our wonderful country back on track. Forget the “Democrat or Republican.” Think only of America. How do we protect it? How do we take care of our Seniors and disabled Americans without breaking the bank? How do we become less dependent on foreign oil? How do we go back to respecting the right to practice what ever religion we want? How do we go back to honoring our military? How do we get back to honest country-loving elected political representatives? How do we get back to respecting each other? How do we get back to letting people become Americans the way they always have..learning English, supporting their families, obeying the laws of our country? How do we get back to honoring our flag and our constitution? How do we get back to a Supreme Court, a Congress and a President that, without bias, follows the constitution? How do we get back to a Congress that respects and follows the wishes of the Americans that elected them? Socialism has never worked. A free, law abiding, hard working, respectful population does! God Bless America!

  16. Mark Tripp

    I think some people have early stages of memory lost, if you think the country was in great shape when Obama took office. The eight years of Bush like to have killed this country. Talk about gas prices and trying to blame that on Obama to you better give the oil companies more credit. They know that new cars are getting close to 50% better gas mileage and that is cutting into there profite. On TV recently I heard that for the first time since 1946 the US exported oit last year, so I think that throws you theory right out the door. If people think that if they drill a oil wel every mile apart that oil prices will go down they are fooling themselves.

  17. Jeff

    AGREE TO DISAGREE, We all have our own issues and opinions and will do what we need to to take care of ourselves. I appreciate the information that affects us all as the traveling public, but keep in mind that we all do need to vote! Keep Ameirca, America.
    God Bless America.

  18. Jim Lusk

    As a Lifetime Member of the Good Sam Club, I thoroughly resent OUR club delving into politics. Like thousands of people, I had to resign my AARP membership because they have become a political action committee rather than a Senior Action Club. Please head these words and keep our club neutral on political matters. I’m sure all us members are seasoned enough to know what’s going on in politics and we can make up our own mind.

    “Good Samitans” doesn’t mean “good political supporters!”

  19. Robert Bennett

    Gerald & Mary Jane are right on track but Glen is off the map. The current administration has put our country in such terrific debt that the value of our dollar has dropped. That has caused not only higher fuel prices but also the price of groceries and most everything else we buy. The CHANGE we got three years ago wasn’t what we needed. We don’t want to give up our freedom to some ideology designed to make our great country more like countries in Europe. When our President leaves office he should get out and see how great this country is and maybe he’ll stop apologizing for the country that saved the world in the 1940’s and continues to save it today.

  20. MaryJane

    Lets just hope the voters in November will be more aware of the issues than what they were in 2008. A good orator is not the defining factor for a good President.

  21. Gerald

    In response to Glen: The Oil Companies do not get “SUBSIDIES”. They get Investment Tax Credits just like all other corporations. Subsidies are when a business get a check from the US Government.

    Lets use a little logic: if increased production from OPEC will help reduce oil and gas prices, then why wouldn’t domestic production do the same? If releasing part of the SOR will lower gas prices (which we the tax payer purchased at $80.00 or less a barrel and must replace with $100.00 plus per barrel) then why not drill domestically to increase supply? Logic, Logic, Logic.

    As for the Highway Bill, the House wants 5 year paid for bill and the Senate want a 3 year budget busting bill with funding levels at 150% above designated highway funds from the gas taxes.

    To everone concerned or not, the Internet is the greatest source of accurate information ever made available to the general public in history. Just shy away from the political sites and research unbiased and reliable sources.

    It is my opinion the some citizens of the greatest country on earth are more interested in getting something for nothing and are willing to trade their freedom and security in exchange. I am not! I may go down in flames, but I will go down a free person. It is my choice of how and where I live not the government.

    God bless you all and the USA

  22. Glen

    All the incumbants need to be kicked out they are only for themselves and not the electing people
    high gas prices are the republicans protecting the super rich and mega corps, OPEC has reported increased production and the refineries operating at capacity, big oil just wants its big profits and why are we also subsidizing these oil companies? with millions of tax payer dollars each quarter when most of the are not even american owned