SARCASM WITH AN AGENDA: Your citizens or your money

June 27, 2010

by Kelly Belton

A s the oil continues to flow into the Gulf, it’s politics as usual in Washington. Political pundits are sounding off every day on their stance on President Barack Obama’s handling the oil spill, but the Republicans may have spoken out of turn.

Recent hostile language toward BP’s escrow fund has me – and certainly others – concerned about what side our politicians are on.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, a Republican from Minnesota, has called the creation of the fund “extortion” and believes the president has stepped outside his bounds.

She’s not alone.

In a statement representing his organization, Republican Tom Price, chair of the Republican Study Committee, said demanding this $20 billion from BP is “borne out of this Administration’s drive for greater power and control.”

The RSC has 114 members. Let’s pray they don’t all feel this way.

Rep. Joe Barton, of Texas, even went so far as to apologize to BP for having to create this claims fund, though he later retracted the statement.

I don’t know about these politicians, but my mama taught me that if I broke something, I better fix it. If I couldn’t fix it myself, I better come up with the money to have someone else fix it.

“It comes down to the size of government,” these politicians claim. “The government has overreached its power.”

Really? I thought it was the government’s job to protect its citizens. The $20 billion escrow is specifically designed to aid families and businesses affected by BP’s little blunder.

You would think some of these representatives would watch what they say in support of BP, especially with mid-term elections coming up in November.

But then again, maybe not when you realize how BP has been there for them. Rep. John Kline received $130,000 from BP in campaign financing, and Bachmann has received more than $70,000 in her career.

Ah, a vested interest in the oil business. I would have never suspected Republicans of such a thing.

Granted, Republicans aren’t the only ones being funded by big oil, but they are the ones defending the corporation giants now.
It’s time for the politicians to get off their high horses and stand up for our citizens.

BP is directly responsible and should be held accountable for this disaster. Republicans demanded Obama do something and he demanded this fund. BP gladly opted to create the account, as their chairman reminded us last week, BP cares about the “small people.”

So while the president and BP are trying to do something to help those affected, I can’t help but wonder what side some politicians are on.

Kelly Belton is a junior journalism and political science major from Houston, Texas, who serves as news and online editor for The Tech Talk. E-mail comments to keb029@latech.edu.