16 June 2010

My Thoughts on the Oil Spill Speech

I suppose that President Obama’s speech from the Oval Office last night was not “the” oil spill speech. But it was supposed to be something important. Two things caught my attention during the speech.

The first thing that caught my attention was Mr. Obama’s continual demonization of BP. Because BP is the easy target here – and is almost certainly at least partially at fault for the spill – Mr. Obama appears to believe that BP can be used as a political punching bag while still counting on them to actually cap the well. Perhaps the academic in Mr. Obama does not fully grasp that the more he publically flogs BP, the more money he “asks” BP to preemptively put in an escrow fund, the less BP is able to focus on capping the well. The administration needs a punching dummy, though, and BP fits the bill in a populist manner quite well.

Secondly, when Mr. Obama calls for a revolution in the energy sector, his inability to be specific is truly scary. Indeed, Mr. Obama clearly stated that he does not “yet know precisely how to get there.” What’s more, Mr. Obama gave no signal where “there” is; it is some strange vision of magical energy production which creates no pollution and makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy inside. He likened this energy push of his to the charge President Kennedy made for landing on the moon. But there is a key difference between the two: landing on the moon is a tangible, measureable goal; finding the answer to our energy dilemma is vague at best. And yet this completely vague goal will have its costs. Senator Lieberman said it would be about one dollar per person per day. Don’t believe it. Like the imaginary reform of health care, that one dollar figure will balloon once, as Speaker Pelosi once said, they pass the bill and we find out what’s in it. It will be a money-sucking boondoggle.

But that seems to be the modus operandi of this administration and their cohort in Congress. More drastic reforms are demanded – a crisis must never go to waste. More voluminous legislative steps are taken resulting in more money being sucked out of private circulation (in the form of higher taxes or deficit spending). As the central government “reforms” aspects of our society, each of its citizens enjoys less individual liberty. Wash, rinse, repeat. This cycle has repeated too many times in the last eighteen months for it to be an accident. I am not saying that our current political “leaders” are purposefully out to ruin the country; I am saying that the end result of their “leadership” methods will indeed result in the ruining of the country.

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