What would you buy with $3235?
That is what the Department of Energy estimates the average American household will spend on gas in 2011, up 28% from 2010. Story HERE.
"Higher gasoline prices will give consumers less money to spend on other goods and services, which many economists fear could slow the U.S. economy."
Gas is typically portrayed as an absolutely necessary expense - like the cost of food or shelter. I know better... as do probably 80% of the world's inhabitants. Being "over that oil barrel" is a voluntary choice. (Granted, our society shapes that choice. But many citizens have chosen to live far from their destinations.)