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Dems Want To Probe Oil Speculators – Again

From an irony proof Politico:

Dems to White House: Walk the walk on gas

By: Josh Boak
March 14, 2012

President Barack Obama has been talking up ways to address rising gas prices, but Democrats on the Hill complain the administration’s not using the power already at its disposal to stop Wall Street traders from driving up costs.

A group of 71 Democratic lawmakers and one independent [being the socialist Bernie Sanders] sent a letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission last week complaining that it hasn’t done enough to check speculation in the energy markets — a responsibility that’s part of the Dodd-Frank regulations limiting how many crude oil contracts can be held by individual banks and investment funds.

We are just surprised that these clear-eyed Democrats aren’t calling for the arrests of Dick Cheney, George Bush and all of the non-union employees of Halliburton.

Speculative trading, they say, threatens to drive gas prices up and wreck the fragile economic recovery. And Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who wrote the letter, said he hasn’t seen Obama doing enough to prod the regulator into stopping it.

“Do I believe that there has been the kind of pressure that’s needed? The answer is no,” Sanders said. “All that we’re asking and the president should be asking is that the commission obeys the law. That’s not a radical request.”

Well, it is a request coming from a radical. So it is a radical request. Besides, exactly what laws are being broken? (Hint: none, or these same people would be calling for arrests.)

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said he believes Obama could avoid the political beating he’s taking from gas prices averaging $3.80 per gallon by clamping down on the financial sector.

“Every day that there’s rampant, excessive speculation in the market, particularly when there’s instability in the Middle East, we see the price trending endlessly upward,” DeFazio said. “Fifty, sixty cents a gallon of that is going to Wall Street. We need to do something to rein this in.”

Is there any problem that is not due to Wall Street? Maybe we should just bomb it — and finish the job the terrorists started eleven years ago.

When talking about gas, Obama’s been focusing on promises to investigate fraud in the energy markets, relaunching a Justice Department task force that fizzled out last year

As we have noted before, Mr. Obama ordered Eric Holder to investigate so-called ‘oil-price fraud’ way, way back in April 2011. And, as the Politico notes, that task force "fizzled out" because they could not find any fraud. Which has been the outcome of every one of these Democrat witch hunts over the last four decades.

(But speaking of frauds, Obama called for that probe while appearing at a plant that had received a $1 million dollar green energy loan from the Department Of Energy.)

While the battle plays out in the courts and regulatory meetings, Democratic lawmakers are taking their argument directly to their political base. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), for example, tweeted a chart last week claiming that speculators had increased the cost of filling up a Ford F-150 truck by $14.56, a figure that adds up to more than $700 over the course of a year

Just imagine how much it must cost the taxpayers to fly Ms. Pelosi and her family and friends back to San Francisco every weekend. And we are not even counting the bar tab.

By the way, this is the same Nancy Pelosi who led the 2006 mid-term Congressional campaign, by promising a Democrat Congress would lower the price of gas. Which, oddly enough, they never did. All they did was raise the federal taxes on gas.

Speaking of which:

DeFazio wants more: He’s pressing the administration to endorse his bill to place a one-penny tax for every $100 worth of oil being traded. But he said he doesn’t expect much traction on the legislation with an administration he considers indifferent to speculation

Democrats are clearly obsessive compulsive. Their solution to every problem is to tax it.

But this just goes to show that the Democrats don’t give a hang about the high price of gas. They are just mad that they aren’t getting more of a cut.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, March 14th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Dems Want To Probe Oil Speculators – Again”

  1. David says:

    The liberalism of DeFazio:
    I wrote to him to urge him to vote against the stimulus assuming it would do no good since he is a party-first democrat. To my surprise he responded after he voted AGAINST it! He voted against it because it had tax cuts (as minimal as they were)! He wanted a pure big government, money-printing spending spree! I guess you can be so far to the left that occasionally you do what is right!

  2. tranquil.night says:

    Easiest scapegoat/demon. It’s the only political play Team Certifiably Insane has to try and deflect the blitz of American anger as they continue the ground ‘n pound to Paradise.

    • Petronius says:

      Indeed, TN. More poisonous gas emitted from Mordor. More of the regime’s predation upon innocent Americans.

      Two points warrant comment.

      First, the attribution of blame, instead of the analysis of causality, is a form of primitive thinking.

      In ancient times natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and floods were blamed on the ill-will of personified gods. In some parts of the world accidents are still attributed to black magic. The physical sciences now provide other, quite different explanations for these phenomena. However, Liberal ideology, the Democrat Party, and Bill O’Reilly have not moved beyond personified blame, except that now blame is no longer placed on “the anger of the gods” or “evil spirits” but is instead directed at “greedy speculators,” “Big Oil,” “capitalists,” “Wall Street fat cats,” “the rich,” “angry Tea Party racists,” “Sarah Palin,” “Bushdidit,” or whoever –– persons at whom we can vent our anger much as one can feel angry at an individual who intentionally commits a personal offense against us.

      Although these anonymous speculators, investors, and oil companies are innocent of any crimes, we are urged to fix our anger on them, rather than analyzing underlying causes. This may be partly the usual Democrat strategy of demagogy and scapegoating, insofar as it redirects voter anger away from the regime’s petro-phobic policies. But in any case it is a form of primitive thinking that appeals to the ignorance and baser instincts of the American people.

      The second point that needs to be made is the difference between crimes and the orderly functioning of global markets.

      Generally there can be no crime without criminal intent (mens rea = a guilty mind or a guilty or wrongful purpose). For example, if Iran threatens to close the Strait of Hormuz, that action, if it were to happen, would create an immediate oil shortage, driving up oil prices. It would also be a violation of international law. But when speculators across the world react to Iranian threats by bidding up the price of oil, they do not commit any crimes. They are merely making a market –– reacting to changed economic conditions as buyers and sellers in the global marketplace. Buying and selling commodities like oil is a perfectly lawful activity. The speculators have no criminal intent, and the trading of oil serves a useful economic purpose by reflecting the new economic realities.

      To this must be added the fact that a collapse of the securities markets, which may be expected from government criminalization of trading, would seriously damage one of the most sensitive institutions that enables our economy to function through the rational allocation of investment capital and commodities. Indeed, an anti-capitalist policy of this kind would have a depressing effect on the entire economy, insofar as it results in discouraging investment, disruption of markets, misallocation of capital, oil shortages, and higher prices.

    • tranquil.night says:

      “But in any case it is a form of primitive thinking that appeals to the ignorance and baser instincts of the American people.”

      Yessir, making them easier to manipulate. Government is virtuous. Government and its Pantheon of luminaries will take care of you. Government will get even with all the greedy fatcats and bullies out there who are screwing the planet and everybody on it to get richer. This growth in the culture to look to the feds and by extension the Democrat Party to solve everything has been the heart of the Liberal project all these decades.

      They always run out of other people’s money. And they never learn because they mock History and distort it to their ends. Talkin’ about the so-called masterminds here, not the drones. They never figure that the enterprises and institutions at whom they thumb their noses are going to react dynamically when public policy starts starting them? Perhaps the idea is that Communism has previously failed because there’s always been stable America for capital to flee to. Well, rattle that stability and – shocking – things start falling apart globally, not just nationally.

      They’ll bunker down on failure to the bitter end. We are at the precipice, makers vs takers, it’s close, but I really believe enough of the country is aware enough that they’re going to vote to reject the current course. If the they’d had a few more years to dumb down the culture while isolating their political opponents before going totally radical and revealing themselves, they could’ve hollowed out this country without much resistance.

  3. JohnMG says:

    …..“Fifty, sixty cents a gallon of that is going to Wall Street…..”

    Which these politi-crooks think is outrageous. What about the forty-one cents/gal. tax that gets tacked on at the pump and goes to the various governments? At least it can be argued that Wall Street helps deliver a product for the profit they receive. All we receive from our government is the privilege of getting hosed twice at the pump.

  4. bobdog says:

    Good idea, following the law.

    For example, immigration laws. Gun running laws. Campaign finance laws. Congressional insider trading laws. Slander laws. Voter intimidation laws.

    Start there. Then bring up market speculation.

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