It certainly feels good to put the screws to BP doesn’t it? The $20 billion to be paid over years (with a government lien on BP assets) into the federal government’s shakedown escrow fund does nothing to stop the flow of oil or clean up the mess. But what has it really done?
BP seems to have screwed up and I will not defend them, but Rush Limbaugh is right. He just reminded listeners we are a country of laws – both civil and criminal – that already cover situations like this. BP put a claims process in place and made it clear they would pay all legitimate claims – not all claims – but all legitimate claims.
That was not good enough for President Obama. By Executive Branch dictate – of which they have no standing or authority – they demanded $20 billion from BP and they assigned an independent authority to manage and distribute the funds. Of course, this independent authority is headed by another czar that works for the Executive Branch.
So when you attack BP, who are you attacking? For that matter, when you attack heath care insurers or automobile manufactures, who are you attacking? You’re targeting the owners of the company, who happen to be shareholders and group investment accounts. You’re attacking your friends, family and neighbors.
Maybe you think the BP executives should pay? Yeah! Those fat cats who talk about “small people” should pay! Even if the total executive compensation package totaled $1 billion per year – I’m sure it does not come close to that, since the compensation for the group chief executive is less than $5 million – you’d be hard pressed to clean up anything at all with those funds.
Maybe put them in jail? Yeah, that’s it … put them in jail! Well, that won’t clean up the oil or plug the damn hole either.
Obama’s move is not only an assault on the rule of law, but it is one additional move away from capitalism towards socialism. Mark my words, the current Executive Branch would be perfectly happy to own and manage a big chunk – if not all – of BP.
Now, since the Obama administration has taken over the claim process and will presumably pay all legitimate claims promptly, how would Obama handle these three claims?
1. Our family has property in Naples, Fla. It’s a canal lot and we were going to sell it to someone for $1 million sixty days ago. They buyer lowered his offer to $500,000 after the oil spill started. I think my $500,000 claim is legitimate, but BP actually wanted us to show them the offer from the original buyer dated just prior to the spill (the gall of them huh?). Can you just send a check this week?
2. We usually rent our beach property in Alabama 10 weeks each summer for $1,000 a week. Due to the oil spill, we were only able to rent for two of the 10 weeks. BP wanted us to provide the address of the beach house and provide them with tax records (can you believe that) proving we have rental property that earned income last year. Please send a check for $8,000 to [address withheld].
3. I’m a waitress that normally makes $500 in tips each week, but since the oil spill I’m only making $100 per week. Can you send me a check for $2,000 to my PO box in Minnesota for the last five weeks of lost wages, and start sending $400 each week until the oil spill is stopped and all cleaned up? BP actually wanted me to show how much I made as a waitress during the same period for the last two years. (They don’t understand that I get paid under the table and don’t put that income on my tax return … crazy huh?) By the way, I really do live and work in Alabama, don’t mind the Minnesota post office box.
Do you see a problem here? Of course there will be very legitimate claims that should be paid promptly, but will BP be able to audit the claim process managed and operated by the Obama administration? How many millions will be taken by scammers? It is their money is it not?
Or is that just the price of getting into bed with the Obama administration?