I've blogged previously about how the United States in general benefits greatly from a strong dollar. To me, this seems fairly obvious. A strong dollar means that it is worth more, which means that it buys more. We all benefit. That simple logic seems to have escaped the powers that be in Washington, however, and we have been subjected to (as the Journal describes it) years of "malign neglect" of the dollar: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122048621675397153.html?mod=djemEditorialPage. This is so true and SO dangerous. Look at these basic facts: As the dollar was in freefall earlier this year, we saw commodity prices in general and oil prices in particular rise to previously unseen levels. That's when gasoline rose above $4 a barrel, and the cost of living went up for everyone. Fuel prices were just the most visible example. However, the collapse of the dollar also caused a spike in food prices (just to cite a prominent example).
The greenback has come back somewhat in the past few months--and, surprise surprise, commodity prices have fallen commensurately--but it's still a long, long way from what could be considered to be a healthy range. The next President, be it John McCain or Barack Obama, NEEDS to make sure that the dollar is strong. If they don't, the voters may very well be looking for a replacement come 2012.