By Ben Stein
As I write this on Monday night, there are rumors around that BP will agree to President Barack Obama’s demand that the oil giant “voluntarily” put about $30 billion into a fund to be administered by the government to compensate victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.
Now, no one disputes that this is a real disaster and that BP acted irresponsibly in commissioning Trans-Ocean and Halliburton to drill for oil in waters so deep that if a failure occurred there would be no way to fix it — at least until major damage had been done. BP, Trans-Ocean, and Halliburton, as well as the individuals involved, have much to answer for.
But the action of the President in demanding this immense transfer of the stockholders’ wealth without any legislation or court decision is extremely worrisome. Read more