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All the Stimulus We Need


Lower gasoline prices are saving American consumers a billion dollars every day:

Last week's $1.59 - the average for a gallon of regular on Dec. 29, according to the Energy Information Administration - works out to $1.33 in 2001 dollars, or 9 percent less than it was the day Mr. Bush took office. The tumble in prices, from a high of more than $4.05 in early July, has meant incredible savings.

John B. Townsend II, spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, said the inflation comparison doesn't mean much to consumers paying at the pump, but the drop in prices has put real money in consumers' pockets.

At gas prices' peak in July, Americans were spending $1.6 billion a day at the gas pump. Mr. Townsend said that has tumbled $1 billion in five months, and at today's prices drivers are spending about $600 million. For the average family that fills up once a week, that means paying $25 a week rather than $75.

With distillate (diesel and heating oil) and natural gas down almost as much, the average family will be ahead even more than $50 per week this winter.