Cheaper gas is a tricky political calculus

Politicians avoid credit and blame

Gas prices have fallen 50 cents since mid-April to an average of $3.44 a gallon nationwide and could hit $3 a gallon by the end of the summer, a boon to consumers and businesses feeling squeezed in a difficult economy.

But politicians are remaining uncharacteristically silent on the issue. Republicans, who sharply criticized President Obama as gas prices headed toward $4 a gallon earlier this year, don’t want to associate any positive trend with the current administration. And President Obama and other Democrats are reluctant to crow about declines in energy costs that are largely the result of a slowing economy and the increasing risk of a global recession, led by Europe’s debt and banking woes.

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