Today we find the announcement that Mr Obama and the White House are launching a commission to figure out what happened in the oil spill.

I predict the same thing will happen as is occurring with the financial crash … more Democrat stupidity is what will happen. And no. I don’t expect that “if this was a GOP President and Congress” there would be any lack of GOP stupidity. But … today we have a Democratic President and Congress so they own the stupidness (which isn’t a word … stupid mess?)

What is occurring with the financial crash you ask that is evidence of Democrat stupidity in action? A commission was launched to study the causes of the financial meltdown. And the report on the findings of that commission is due in three months. Yet today and not in three months time the Democrats are rushing to put in place 1,400 pages “redefining” and restructuring how banking is done in the country … before the results of the study are out.

So here’s my prediction. That similarly there will be an exhaustive and complete restructuring of the oil industry and how it operates pushed through with great fanfare. Well in advance and like the financial package completely and obviously ignoring the results of the commission and any study launched with much fanfare.

Now the argument that the politically charged studies of this nature produce no meaningful results likely has merit. I think that argument is can find a lot of good historical backing and that later careful studies done show that those initial high stakes commissions produce results which are worse than a random stab at the cause or answer. But … if that is the case, then the news about this new commission is just yet another great big waste of taxpayer money. If we had a press corps with cojones, there’d be hard questions asked about the nature and expected effectiveness of such a commission which highlights the failures of the same in the past and pointing out essentially that “isn’t this commission just a way of pretending you’re doing something useful when you aren’t?”

It is not necessary for the beltway buffoons to be experts in oil drilling. It is in fact impossible for them to do so, they lack the time, the resources, and any incentive to do so. What would be good is for the beltway to get a clue about regulation. Regulators work when they have an personal stake and an incentive in regulating well. Oil drilling safety regulators would far better being beholden to insurers and not the platform operators. In the financial world, there is much noise about the problems with bond/security ratings companies getting their money from the bond issuers themselves. The (wrong) government solution is to have the government pay for (or in essence do) the ratings themselves. But that is just skewed in a different (and wrong) direction. It will cause bond ratings to skew for political purposes which are just as inaccurate. Inaccurate ratings are the problem. The solution of “who should” pay for the ratings is the same as the answer to the question “who most clearly depends on accurate ratings?” That is the same agent that should be paying for the ratings. In coal mines, the canaries might be said to be the ones wanting to be hiring the safety commission. In general the person or agents that have the most at stake, who depend the most keenly and sharply on regulation to get it right should be paying and funding said regulation (it should be noted that this is a quite different group from those who directly oppose the activity in question).

Filed under: DemocratsEthics & MoralityGovernmentMark O.

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