Holtz-Eakin Debunks GOP Attacks On President Obama Over Oil Prices

March 28, 2011 1:46 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

With the recent turmoil across the Middle East accelerating the rise in oil prices, Republican leaders have been quick to blame President Obama's energy policies. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS), and Sarah Palin are just a few of the conservatives to hype the president's alleged culpability for pain at the gas pump.  

As Political Correction previously noted, the reality is that oil prices plummeted as a result of the global recession and were bound to return to normal levels as the economy recovered. Yesterday, in an interview on CNN's State of the Union, Republican economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin debunked his own party's argument:   

HOLTZ-EAKIN: I think there are three lessons on the oil and gas front. Lesson number one is we have oil at $140 a barrel in 2008. And it went down not because we somehow discovered a lot more oil. No, it went down because we went into a massive global recession. As economies recovered, it was inevitable that prices were going to rise. And this was utterly foreseeable.

Republican lawmakers are normally content to write off economists who disagree with them as "discredited," but they may not have that luxury with Holtz-Eakin. In addition to serving as a top adviser to Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) presidential campaign and as CBO director under the Bush administration, Holtz-Eakin is a prominent supporter of the Bush tax cuts and opponent of the Affordable Care Act.