Saturday, May 21, 2011

SHOCKING POLL: High Gas Prices Not Popular

What would we ever do without polls?

Here I thought people enjoyed paying an arm and a leg for gasoline. Not true! Turns out even seniors and upper-income households are now feeling the pinch.

Imagine that.
WASHINGTON — As high gasoline prices become commonplace, drivers have made tough choices: scaling back vacations, driving less or ditching the car altogether. And a new Associated Press-GfK poll shows the impact of sustained high prices is spreading among seniors and higher-income Americans.

According to the poll, the share of all Americans who say increases in the price of gasoline will cause serious financial hardship for them or their families in the next six months now tops 4 in 10.

Overall, 71 percent said rising prices will cause some hardship for them and their families, including 41 percent who called it a “serious” hardship. Just 29 percent said rising prices are not causing a negative impact on their finances.

While those with household incomes less than $50,000 were already feeling strained in March, the new poll shows financial pain is increasingly spreading to those with higher incomes. Among those with annual household incomes more than $50,000, 63 percent now say rising prices are causing them financial hardship, up from 55 percent in March.

For older Americans, it’s worse.

The share of seniors expressing financial hardship over gas prices hit 76 percent; it was 68 percent in March.

Nettie Cash, 65, of Dallas, Ga., is cutting back on her medicine because of the cost of fueling up her Buick. Cash is still taking her heart pills but is forgoing her inhaler and ulcer medicine for now.

“It’s not easy,” she said. “You have to do what you have to do.”
Ms. Cash drives a Buick? I bet it's one of those ginormous gas-guzzlers. I'm guessing 8 MPG, tops.

Has she considered a trade-in, I wonder?


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