All about ideas…

Speaking of the Gulf….

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Representative Joe Barton (R - Tx)

Representative Joe Barton (R - Tx)

The number of Republicans supporting Rep. Joe Barton’s (R- Tx) apology to BP amazes me. Is this not the party that perpetually claims self “responsibility” as part of their platform? Is this not the party that repeatedly states if you screw up, you pay the bill? Government is not going to cover your backside?

Yet, isn’t that exactly what Barton and his Republican supporters are saying? Are they not saying that big business can make a mess – whether it’s in the Gulf or on Wall St. – and they get a free pass.

Or is it that only the little, non-rich and powerful guys and gals who must pay the piper?

Republicans speak clearly about individual responsibility as it applies to average Americans, but it appears they hold a double standard when talking about powerful corporations.

It’s as if they’re saying, “God forbid a big corporation must pay for its mistakes or errors or greed or negligence.”

With that kind of thinking I have a big problem. If I’m supposed to behave in a certain responsible way, then why shouldn’t BP or Goldman Sachs or any other corporation. What makes those companies better than me?

Let me bring my argument down to a more personal level on the Gulf.

Oil-spill covered brown pelican

Oil-spill covered brown pelican

Say your neighbor dumps the entire contents of the engine’s motor oil he’s just changed on your yard. He’s killed your grass and plants and maybe your dog as a result. Wouldn’t you expect him to clean up the mess and make you whole without having to go to court? Wouldn’t you see that mess as his responsibility to clean up? Why should you need to go to court – and pay a lawyer a big fee (sometimes 30% or more) – to get that neighbor to take responsibility for his negligence. Meanwhile, you have to pay to clean it up yourself because it could take years to settle the case…and if like the Exxon Valdez case, you’d be dead before even a minor settlement is concluded. (FYI, some Exxon Valdez cases are still not settled…and those that are amount to $6K or less. A life or business – and business investment – destroyed for $6,000? Give me a break!)

It’s like when your kids slather peanut butter all over the kitchen counter: you made the mess, you clean it up. Isn’t that what responsibility is all about?

Yet, Republicans seem to be saying that big corporations are not expected to behave with the same responsibility to clean up their messes as you and I.

I have a real problem with that kind of thinking. If I’m supposed to behave in an ethical, responsible way, then why should not corporations? Why should they receive a “Get out of Jail Free” card when I, an average middle class citizen, cannot?

I applaud the $20 billion escrow account the President negotiated. If I have any problems, it is that it may not be enough to make the Gulf coast and its residents whole again.

That’s better than what Republicans are saying…and for my money that means a whole lot.

UPDATE: As of May 20, when BP agreed to the $20 Bil escrow account, get-it-wrong Wall St. was still issuing buy or hold share recommendations to their clients. It’s estimated that clients have lost an accumulated $100 Bil as a result of Buy recommendations after the spill occurred.

Written by Valerie Curl

June 20, 2010 at 7:35 PM

One Response

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  1. Speaking of the Gulf?….

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

    World Wide News Flash

    June 18, 2010 at 8:09 PM

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