An alternative to popular faith
Congressmen hate the truth. They don’t understand it. Why, they wonder, would anyone tell the truth when a lie is so much more convenient. So, you’ll get no greater outrage than when someone not only tells the truth, but does so in a politically risky manner.
Congressmen sitting on those high perches, pointing their talons down at businessmen, and demanding full genuflection. Congressmen express shock, “Shock, I say,” and indignation too. How dare these business people desire money, when that act is expressly reserved for politicians?
So when Rep. Joe Barton said, “I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong is subject to some sort of political pressure that is – again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown. So I apologize,” Washington showed its outrage at this truth.
Yes, BP’s executives, and those down the line, made horrible decisions in the name of profits. And they should be punished. But wasn’t the federal government at least partly responsible? All those regulators who were accepting bribes to look the other way. Weren’t they aiding and abetting?
The Mineral Management Service, that was supposed to supervise offshore drilling, but instead accepted numerous gifts and even bedroom service – weren’t they a federal agency working for President Obama?
So when Mr. Obama threatened BP chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, with the full weight of the U.S. government, Mr. Svanberg caved, and bravely responded something to the tune: “We’ll set up a $20 billion damages fund and we’ll take the money from our shareholders.” Ah, courage.
Now Mr. Obama trumpets about how he forced BP to give money to some people by taking it from other people. Oh, and by the way, he also caused more people untold damage and misery by ending offshore drilling for six months, but please don’t mention it.
BP’s CEO Tony Hayward has spent hours and hours being grilled by Congress, because after all, isn’t the CEO of a giant company supposed to know every detail of every action by every employee every minute of the time? Sure, and under the same logic, why isn’t President Obama sitting in front of those same Congressmen, answering questions about his Mineral Management Service’s failures? Why is Obama able to point his finger at Hayward, while Hayward can’t point at Obama?
In summary: Joe Barton told the truth and was punished by Washington. BP took money from one group of people to pay another group, and Washington thinks that’s fair. Tony Hayward admitted fault and was vilified by Washington. President Obama admitted nothing and then caused even worse problems, and was applauded by Washington. Meanwhile, Washington, which was partly at fault, and has the unlimited ability to create money, while taking nothing from people, has not created a damages fund, but rather sits back and points fingers.
Lewis Carroll would love it.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
No nation can tax itself into prosperity