Did pump prices hurt summer fun?

By Meghan Smith
August 28, 2008

Dear Mr. President,

I just wanted to thank you for emptying my wallet for me this summer. It was really nice of you.

After working fulltime for the entire summer, I managed to save a little less than $1000. You’re probably thinking I must have gone on some elaborate vacation. Nope. Bought a new car or an apartment? No sir. Then where did all my money go, you ask? Straight to my 11-gallon gas tank. Which, by the way, cost $22 a year ago but now costs me over $40 to fill up.

My summer days were spent working at a summer camp and my nights were spent as a server at Applebees making a measly $50 a night in tips thanks to the lovely state of our economy right now. I would love to know how you expect the average American to afford anything when we are paying almost $4 for a gallon of gas and another $4 for a gallon of milk. We just can’t live like this.

Do you know what it’s like to be a college student today? Let me paint a picture for you-empty pizza boxes, empty beer cans, empty gas tanks and empty wallets.

As a junior at a $40,000 college I just spent $100 to buy a perking permit-which won’t get me a parking space anywhere on campus anyway-$300 on books-that my professors will neglect to use all semester-and have little money left for groceries and supplies let alone have enough to fill my gas tank once a week.

So I just wanted to thank you for teaching me a very valuable life lesson: money really does matter and apparently if you aren’t making six figures you’ll just be getting by. This summer also taught me a tough lesson in decision-making-to buy food for lunch or gas so I could get to work, that is the question. I don’t know about you, but doesn’t that sound a bit extreme? Having to decide on buying gas or food should not something any American citizen should have to do.

But hey, thanks for the recent drop to $3.47. That was super nice of you.

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Meghan Smith

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