gasoline consumption and prices) and the White House (GDP). The figure shows that in 2010 the total economic cost of gasoline as a proportion of GDP was about half what it was in 1983.
Assuming that gasoline consumption is constant in 2011 ans 2012 and prices go to $4.00 per gallon, with 2.5% annual GDP growth then the index increases in 2012 to 66, or just about the same level as in the lead-up to the 1988 elections.
While everyone likes lower priced energy, the current price of gasoline does not appear particularly exceptional in recent US economic context. $4/gallon gasoline is not what it used to be.