Skip to content

And Who’s Going to Pay For This Mess?

More material from the “responsibility is for other people” world of conservative DC today: House Minority leader John Boehner appeared to argue that taxpayers should pony up and help pay for BP’s mess.

I say “appears” because Boehner’s statement only holds that “the people responsible for the spill—BP and the federal government—should take full responsibility for what’s happening there.” No explicit mention is made of who should pay the actual cash-money for it. The statement might plausibly be cast that way in context, following a statement by the Chamber of Commerce CEO that did say taxpayers would have to foot much of the bill. Partisans like TPM are eager to just that, highlighting gross hypocrisy among conservatives willing to bail out big oil or big banks or big insurance but not for a working mothers’ health care. That sentiment is widespread among conservatives, though spoken aloud only to the degree that each calculates he might get away with it. But in light of Boehner’s earlier and explicit statement that “not a dime of taxpayer money should be used to clean up their mess” and others like it, I don’t think it fair to try to tie Boehner himself to a sentiment he did not express, but rather to someone else’s speech. Presumably, he feels government should be answerable for it only at the polls, for elected officials, and subject to firings, for appointive ones.

…Which doesn’t exactly let Boehner and other conservatives off the hook, does it? It wasn’t Obama’s staff who spent a generation weakening environmental legislation, capping corporate liability, cutting funding for regulatory bodies, or packing the EPA with anti-environmental activists. It was Boehner and party.

So let’s see it: let’s see those agents of government—elective or appointive—responsible for the spill step up, admit their part in creating this massive disaster to both environment and large regional industries, and resign. Starting with Boehner. And if he isn’t willing to live up to the same standards he sets for others, Ohio’s 8th district should make the decision for him. ‘Cause I’m getting mighty sick of the persistent attitude that only the little people should be held to ethical standards.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *