“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vermont's Congressman Welch Attacks Free Enterprise

A very liberal Democratic Congressman from Vermont named Welch was all over cable news yesterday insisting that BP, at the federal government's behest, suspend its dividend and public image advertising during the duration of the containment efforts and cleanup of the Gulf Coast oil spew.

As I wrote only yesterday, Wonderboy has also been busy intimidating BP and trying to coerce the company's management to do his bidding out of fear of federal government power.

Let me state this clearly: both Welch and Obama are wrong.

This is the type of government behavior that belongs in a banana republic or some African dictatorship. Not the United States of America.

When one network anchor suggested to Welch that his energy was better spent investigating why government regulators were asleep on the job, the Congressman promptly attempted to blame the Bush administration for the lack of regulatory oversight.

Welch is embarking on a very dangerous and, frankly, completely unconstitutional path. That is, government intervention in private sector activity out of frustration and anger.

Welch blathered about how BP wasn't doing its image any good by paying a dividend or spending money on ads. Just how would Congressman Welch, a member of one of the American institutions with the lowest public approval ratings on record (23%) know anything about how to improve the image of any other entity?

Further, in America, publicly-held companies answer to shareholders, not to government. If BP, by paying a dividend, causes acrimony among customers and, thus, by extension, investors, then its share price will fall. That will be sufficient penalty.

It's totally wrong-headed and politically dangerous for our society to have the president and/or members of Congress demanding that BP change its internal managerial decisions on subjects in which it has not acted illegally.

If it's BP today, which company will be next, and on what totally subjective, arbitrary bases?

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