Cue Jimmy Mc Millan from “The Rent is Too Damn High” fame:
Gasoline prices are too damn high!
And exactly whose fault is it? Hmmmm?
A lot of people say it’s Obama’s fault.
FOX News says it’s Obama’s fault. Rush Limbaugh says it’s Obama’s fault. Newt, Sarah, Rick, and Mitt say it’s all Obama’s fault. My seriously deluded Republican family and friends are very, very sure that it is Obama’s fault.
Interestingly enough, no one has said that it’s Bush’s fault…this time…yet. Good for you, George.
All I really want to know is…WHO THE HELL’S FAULT IS IT?!
Huh? What’s that I’ve been hearing? Maybe it’s… Wall Street? Could it really be that Wall Street is a major culprit here?
No way. There is no way that Wall Street could possibly be wreaking more havoc on the collective pocketbook of America through their slick maneuvering… is there?
Honestly, it can’t be that Wall Street is once again gambling with our economy by feverishly speculating on oil and basically being left to do so unchecked once again to our detriment… can it?
Is it possible that Wall Street’s latest shell game is to buy a cargo-ship-load of oil futures, drive up the price, never intend to take one drop for delivery, then sell the precious commodity to make the buku bucks?
Color me stunned.
Don’t tell me that Congress, through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, gave the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) the authority to control Wall Street speculators back in 2011 and the CFTC has not yet done what it should be doing… Really?
That is partially because Wall Street “interests” have sued to stop these regulations from being enacted. Oh yes, you read that right. Wall Street and people who make money from Wall Street no likey being watched and controlled.
Once again I say, ain’t unfettered capitalism just marvelous? Right Mitt? You like that word marvelous when talking about money, don’t cha?
The CFTC was supposed to limit, by last July, the amount of contracts that a given trader can control in the market. Right now, one hedge fund entity can control up to 60% of all contracts for future deliveries of oil. If the powers-that-be actually enforced a position limit, it would reduce that amount of control of the market substantially, and by extension, the effect that speculation would have on the price of oil. At least that what the experts who are in the know are telling us.
The problem is that since these Wall Street and industry “trade groups” have gone to the courts to stamp their feet and say, “unfair!”, the CFTC held off on implementing the Dodd-Frank initiative. They are still dragging their feet right now.
But wait, the Democrats are at least letting the CFTC know that they are watching and expecting them to put controls on speculation in the oil futures market. Is this a cosmetic move meant to look like they are at least trying to do something? Probably. But it is a move in the right direction. Unfortunately most Americans still don’t, or won’t, get it.
The bottom line is that when I hear Republicans say that regulations are bad for business, and they do everything in their power to block them, I throw up a little in my mouth. How about the notion that no regulations, or poorly enforced regulations, as in this case, are bad for Americans when we wind up getting screwed and Wall Street and oil companies keep adding big, fat zero’s to their bottom lines?
These scary oil prices are partially the result of letting Wall Street run amok once again, unchecked, unregulated, unknown, unseen.
Oh wait, I forgot, that’s all Obama’s fault…right?
Uh, not exactly. It is really the fault of those who choose to perpetuate the myth that somehow regulation and oversight to reign in the greedy suits are sure-fire job killers and harmful to our capitalistic ideals.
It is the fault of the American people who elect ninnies whose only big, bright idea for our future as far as an energy policy is concerned is to drill baby drill. Those are the same type of Americans who casually dismissed Jimmy Carter’s call for an end to our oil addiction more than three decades ago and embraced Reagan’s “fill ‘er up!” gas guzzling mentality of the 80’s. Imagine where we would be if we had actually begun to invest seriously in alternative energy decades ago like Carter wanted? But, hey, we are America, we don’t like to plan too far ahead. We like to wait til the last minute when we are in full crisis mode. We are like an irresponsible college student who has to pull an all-nighter to eek out a crappy paper due the next day.
It is the fault of our present system designed to continue this vicious cycle of politicians who need disgusting amounts of money to win their jobs then take lots of that money from entities (oil companies/Wall Street) who use that influence to buy
votes their way into the hearts and minds of Congressmen everywhere. Hence, we get politicians who promulgate the big lie that regulations are evil and low information voters who love them vote for them. The Washington circle of life is complete.
Stop venting on your Facebook status about high gas prices and go call your congressmen and ask them why Wall Street is allowed to continue to rip us off. Call your congressmen and tell them that we should be promoting all things that will reduce our dependance on oil without destroying the planet, and sorry gang, more and massive drilling will only keep us stagnating and not moving forward. There are viable solutions out there if we the people decide to elect politicians who will push for them and actually implement them.
Then how about joining the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has been out there fighting the good fight? March on the Whitehouse or Capital Hill or Wall Street or wherever we will get someone’s damn attention.
For all of the people who have belittled the OWS phenomenon, it is exactly an issue like gas prices that they are trying to shine a light on. The message remains that the richest and most powerful voices are the ones who are still getting over on us.
Look, Obama is not even close to being perfect but in the area of energy, he is at least trying to expand and promote alternatives and been proactive in the area of improved fuel efficiency for our vehicles. Under his watch we are retrofitting homes and buildings to become more fuel-efficient. His “all of the above” energy strategy may have flaws, but it is a hell of a lot better than the Republican mantra of just drill… while we kill…the environment along the way. Solyndra is a huge red-herring used by the right to scare and inflame people in order to maintain the status quo where we are totally beholden to big oil and Wall Street. Yawn. Do the Republicans ever think we should do anything but cut taxes for millionaires and kiss big business ass? They can kiss mine.
Perhaps when we dish out blame for this mess we are in, we should really just look in the mirror. Much of the fault resides with those who ignored reality and did not demand a better energy strategy from our leaders for decades (well, some were cognizant and vocal but have been bulldozed over for years). Too many were not paying close enough attention to the root causes or even the inevitability of a problem like soaring gas prices. We bitch and moan after we have already elected the wrong politicians for the wrong reasons who are beholden to the wrong people.
Now, in the ultimate irony, Wall Street has occupied our gas tanks.
Fill ‘er up!
- Gas Prices Spiked By Speculators, Congressmen Claim (abcnews.go.com)