Ron Paul: No Taxpayer Bailouts or Liability Caps for BP!

Too Much Government in the Gulf

by Ron Paul

Sadly, the disaster in the Gulf continues this week as BP’s efforts at containment keep hitting snags and residents along the coast scramble to clean up and defend their shores and wildlife. Many have criticized the federal government in the past weeks for not doing enough. The reality is there is only so much government can do to help, yet a lot they can do to prolong the problem and misdirect the pain. For example, in the interest of “doing something” the administration has enacted a unilateral ban on offshore drilling. This is counterproductive. I am proud to cosponsor legislation to lift that ban. Why punish other oil companies and their hard-working employees who had nothing to do with this disaster, and who have better safety records?

And, as usually happens after disasters, countless people – even officials in local and state government – have come forward who know what needs to be done and are willing to help, but have been stymied by federal bureaucratic red tape as the oil continues to gush. The real problem is not so much a lack of government assistance, but government getting in the way of those who have solutions. We witnessed the same phenomenon during hurricanes Katrina and Ike. It seems government’s main role in these situations is to find excuses to stall relief, hold meetings and press conferences, waste money, punish the wrong people, and over-regulate.

Yet even after many examples of past incompetence, people still look to government to solve problems in the wake of disasters. A government that tries to be all things to all people might engender a lot of learned dependence, but ultimately it only harms the very people it is supposed to serve as they wait helplessly for salvation from Washington.

Government could help by holding the appropriate parties fully liable for damages and clean-up costs. I am hopeful that efforts to do this are genuine and BP is indeed held responsible for all damages, not shielded by liability caps or reimbursed under the table by taxpayers. Unfortunately, a large sum of taxpayer money has been slipped into the upcoming supplemental bill for Gulf cleanup costs that should fall on BP. Taxpayers should not have to bail out a major oil company that has caused this horrible damage to our shores.

It should be noted that BP is not exactly a bastion of free market capitalism. Rather, they are very vested in acquiring government subsidies, favorably slanted policies, and competition-hobbling regulation. BP has even been a major lobbying proponent of cap-and-trade because of certain provisions in the legislation it could profit from. Considering who lobbies for them and what they lobby for, my concern is that attempts to hold them strictly and fully accountable could end up being nothing more than a shell game, with taxpayers ultimately holding the bag.

If the government’s idea of action in crisis is to punish the innocent, bail out the guilty, and raise prices at the pump on everybody, we should want them to do less, not more. Recent polls show sharply waning support for offshore drilling. We still need oil, and a lot of good jobs depend on oil production. It is crucial to the functioning of our economy. But if accidents continue to be handled this way, it is easy to understand why so many see more cost than benefit to off-shore drilling, and that is also a tragedy.


  • selfrealizedexile

    It’s basically understood Ron Paul will run for President in 2012; he’s probably just not wanting to mention it until after the 2010 Congressional elections so that his constituents don’t think he’s forgeting them for the lime light.

  • katey1dog


    I’ll subscribe to Mr. Napolitano on Constitutional issues. I’ll subscribe to Ralph Nader for worker safety and environmental protection.

  • katey1dog


    I’m not demonizing profit. As one Congressman stated, BP had well over 700 violations of laws designed SPECIFICALLY to prevent these deaths and the destruction of the coast.

    Now, what needs to be done is punishment. If jail time is not an option, Obama needs to Nationalize ALL of BP’s American holdings. Taxes may in actuality go down, since those holdings can produce billions of oil revenue.

  • Kyocus

    @Psychosmurf547 It is obviously true that a person can relinquish their rights and become a slave. Worse yet many Americans have been forced into slavery and bondage against their will.. Just look at our prison system. It is not a question of “what is possible” but “What abilities and powers do you want your Government to have above you?”.

  • katey1dog


    Did I say PROFIT was evil? I’m not even implying that. All I wish to see is the investigation of one the greatest crimes against nature since Chernobyl.

  • katey1dog

    The spill is currently dumping 2.5 million gallons of crude into the sea every day.

    Valdez was nothing compared to this. Valdez was only a leak in a ship.

    BP Oil Spill Now Worst in U.S. History, Surpassing Exxon Valdez (ABCNEWS)

    256,200,000 Million gallons of oil have currenly leaked into the ocean and currently may surpass 300 million. Greater than the Lakeview Gusher

  • ForTehNguyen

    Valdez was #34 in largest oil spills in history just to give perspective.

    The #1 oil spill was in the Gulf War when oil was 5 inches thick in the persian gulf. Later something funny happened 1/2 of the oil evaporated because of the heat and middle east oil is the light sweet stuff that breaks down easily. The Gulf oil that is spilling now is similar. We are lucky this isnt the thick nasty black tar stuff like Valdez spilled that stuff doesnt go away as easily

  • Firebirrd85

    Ron’s wife said he IS going to run in 2012 but he’s not announcing it right now. Search on youtube for the 2 hippie guys who did the interview.

  • ekid2k

    Obvious solution is obvious, why isn’t this guy president?

  • bearhuntaa

    Ron Paul is my president.

  • sexylady2584

    The one and only Ron Paul you are our hero and you are the true man.
    this world would have been much better if we had more people like you.

    god bless you

  • cagedtigersteve

    Drill Baby Drill!!!!!

  • mbhopp

    Turns out now that BP and MMS have been battling this since Feburary and both took the risk and did NOT shut it down. They are both at fault. Saw it on Bloomburg, FOX and Hot Air.
    Of course the dems in the house grilling Tony H of BP is just the gov’t attempting to cover their own asses. Both are now working together to do just that as they both look and are inept.

  • mbhopp

    @katey1dog Keep demonizing profit and we’ll be the USSR at some point. There is nothing wrong with profit, without it nobody would even work because there wouldn’t be a reason to.
    BP was way out of line & a complete failure. We don’t need more gov’t b/c of red tape. We need other private citizens to watch BP. People in LA knew what they needed to clean up & couldn’t get it b/c of red tape. You’ll never prevent all accidents, u can’t control everything…at least not if you want a FREE society!

  • VMATT500C

    Our Fed. Government sucks, for the tax paying middle class. This is not about party, it’s systematic attacks on the central American core, Throw the BUMS OUT.
    Thanks RON PAUL.

  • ihatemexico

    Great, here come the carbon taxes.. All part of their plan all along.

  • Uwiluz60

    Ron Paul is right on…As most of the time…I do fell the government could have allowed more help much sooner on this to help contain it better..I just wonder how the media and world response would have been if this happen under Bush ? It really shows the bias that exists.

  • greenii44

    Obama and Emanuel are loving this oil screw up/set up , now carbon tax is on its way

  • nathuwjohn

    The largest companies will be able to afford disasters,while small companies will be financially ruined. Please government, you do not have to save us from small businesses. Unfortunately alot of people are falling for this fascist lie.

  • katey1dog

    This is something taxpayers will eventually pay for in the long run. Not in undo taxation, but in profits lost.

    Obama must gut BP. Take a very rusty, dull blade, open up BP’s belly, and let the cash flow.