Not since Al Capone stole Chicago has there been a theft of the grand portions we are now experiencing with the oil price crisis and this time there are no g-men or J Edgar Hoover to stop the insanity. Once upon a time the federal government could be counted on to protect the American public but that day has long since vanished in the corruption tolerant world we live in today.
It is said that mighty empires don’t collapse because of lost wars but suffocate on their own from the break down of morality and ethics as the seeds of evil grow and bring down the empire. Well America stands at the precipice of self-destruction because big business doesn’t care and big government turns a deaf ear to the cries for help from the people.
Once upon a time the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Justice Department Anti-Trust group, the Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service and other government agencies would never tolerate the corruption and deceit running rampant today.
Today we give tax deductions to corporations guilty of multi-billion dollar crimes against humanity. We give tax breaks to oil companies that refuse to build refineries and develop new oil fields. We bail out banks and investment houses that violated the law and created the sub-prime mortgage scam. We make money available at cheaper interest rates to institutions that then refuse to lower mortgage rates. And worst of all we allow 535 Senators and Congressmen to employ 18,000 staff and receive $1.6 billion so far in campaign contributions from the very same companies bankrupting our economy and destroying lives.
The federal campaign finance laws are an invitation to corruption and the House and Senate refuse to change them. No wonder when they get $1.6 billion just for the primary elections. The media blindly ignores the truth about the extent of corruption because they get billions of dollars in advertising revenue from the same companies.
Investment houses, banks and pharmaceutical companies have paid well over twenty billion dollars in fines for illegal activities since 2000 and we reward them with tax deductions for the fines they pay. Then we watch as the Federal Reserve guarantees lines of credit to keep them in business and to bail each other out while reducing the cost of our tax dollars to them so they can continue with their market manipulations.
Many of the same companies that lost $400 billion on the sub-prime mortgages they created out of greed are now benefiting from the incredible oil price surge with record profits every month while the average American is watching their lives, standard of living and retirement funds disappear.
Congress calls hearings to question the oil executives on their salaries and bonuses while doing nothing to stop the oil price spiral. What in the world is the point unless the point is to distract the American public from the truth? Keep the eye of the public off the financial institutions that are pouring billions of dollars into the congressional and presidential campaigns while raiding the US treasury in every way humanly possible.
Through it all the people have patiently waited for their elected representatives to protect them and their federal agencies to stop the bad guys. Neither has happened nor are they likely to happen. Congress is still looking in the wrong places and the administration is still asking the oil producers to increase production and neither strategy has worked.
Why do we have to ask those that directly benefit from our defense spending in Iraq (over $500 billion) to help us with the oil supplies when they could care less? Perhaps all those Sheiks in training that came to our Ivy League Schools to learn the ways of the world learned a little more about price gouging and a little less about protecting their own market.
Of course the oil companies have not developed known reserves nor increased refinery capacity so they are contributing as well to the mess. The President blames Congress for not passing his energy bill during the last eight years. How long does a president have to wait to figure out his bill is no good? If the president wanted the bill so bad then during those eight years he might have acted like a leader and found a way to get it passed. I mean he does head the “executive” branch doesn’t he?
Then there are the car companies who have become so dependent on oil and the internal combustion engine and the massive after market repair revenue it generates they sat back and waited until the consumer was getting squeezed to death before addressing the need for an alternative fuel engine.
In the end there is us, the American consumer, who bought the cars, burned the oil, let the financial institutions invest our money, elected the president and the congress, and now are screaming about what went wrong. We could have elected responsible officials who warned us of the dire future but we didn’t. We could have thrown out the politicians who lied to us but we didn’t. We could demand our elected officials prosecute the financial institutions that own the futures market, manipulate the media to drive up the price of gas, and get the federal government to bail them out whenever their greed gets them in trouble. But we don’t.
We did reduce our driving and that is good. What we really need to do is clean house, both houses of congress that is along with the administration. What policies the president did implement over the part eight years required the approval of congress to budget so they are both guilty of complicity in the oil fiasco. Besides, when it comes to being bought off by campaign contributions from these powerful forces both were willing to do whatever it took for the money.
So we need look no further than the mirror for the real culprit in the oil debacle as we let all the players make the grand scam happen and if there is to be a solution it will be found when we wake up and use the ballot to fight back. Throw them all out of office and there is a chance the world might become a better place. After what the politicians have done to us how can we do anything less?