I think peak oil is going to result in a long-term economic malaise. A federal tax rebate will help, but remember, this is a loan, not free money. Also a drop in the fed rate will briefly help. But the source of the problem will not go away.
The basic premise of “peak oil” is that supply of “easy oil” has peaked and will either stay the same or even begin to drop. Meanwhile the demand for oil will keep on increasing, unless aggressive conservation measures are taken. The result of falling supply and rising demand is rising petroleum prices. The increased energy costs will result in both inflation and loss in jobs. Stagflation.
The last episode of stagflation was during the Carter administration. Here is the price of oil adjusted for inflation with a peak in 1979-1980. What initiated that was OPEC getting together and reducing oil supply (oil as a weapon). What ended it was a break in OPEC members and the western nations getting scared into reducing their energy use.
OPEC isn’t behind this latest spike in prices. It is simply, we are running out of easy oil. We can’t simply increase the supply, because the supply isn’t there. What is scary is, no one seems to be scared. We won’t fix this problem until we become properly scared or worried. So this is a request to you all, start becoming scared about this. Once you have become properly scared, start demanding that your politicians take action. This should be the number one issue in the next election, and it isn’t. The problem can be fixed, if the proper action is taken. The tax rebates and fed rate drops are not attacking the core issue.