WASHINGTON - Today’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice of a $18.7 billion out-of-court settlement with BP to resolve charges related to the Gulf Oil spill failed to indicate whether the deal will allow the oil giant to write portions off as an ordinary tax deduction – thus, greatly reducing the public value of these payments.
So the settlement $$$ will be levied against the tax payers, at least in part? Which cup is that pea under? So who pays? Us or them? We play that conman's shell game so much with labels and legal technicalities that you kind of get the sense that as a citizen ...that you need to hire a lawyer just to read the news!
Censorship by omission is one thing but censorship by the obfuscation and mislabeling of pertinent provisions of the regulations for the distribution of fines and penalties must be due to corruption. What the hell has happened to America that our government officials subvert the public good as if protecting America and Americans were a bad thing to do? It can't be that, can it? It must be bald faced corruption by officials. Please tell me that those involved took money under the table! It has to be that and not simply a pervasive attitude among officials to rip off the country and its people (that our officials have sworn an oath to serve and protect) because you in government don't like government? Our regulatory officials have developed a split personality it seems.
It is as if there is among the officials of our regulatory agencies, a general understanding that enforcing the law or regulations against corporations is unacceptable! An attitude where officials would permit what is actually an inadequate penalty (for the amount of damage to the Gulf and its ecosystem, industries and citizens caused by gross negligence) to instead be levied against the taxpayer rather than against the guilty party.
What kind of deterrent is it that says - You have done something that has harmed people, so those people will have to pay your fine instead of your having to pay it... and I hope that teaches you a lesson!!!
They do it so we pay? They get to pay their penalty fine using taxpayer money? Well there's a helluva deal! That'll sure teach 'em!
The thing is that many in government see the regulatory agencies they work for as the enemy. In effect they seem to be acting as if the protection of their own country and shielding its citizens from harm is less important than shielding corporations from the penalties for having done harm! A schizophrenic or at least delusional attitude of officials that claims loyalty to America but nevertheless assists those who harm the country and its people to escape paying restitution for their crime. Maybe it's just me but to my mind, government officials who subvert their own government rules and regulations is not a winning combination.
Making the tax payers pay instead of the guilty ... is not much of a penalty nor a deterrent to future gross negligence... but the irony of it is that people who work and live around the Gulf... will actually be paying a portion of the penalty levied against BP. Thus paying a fine for their having been injured by BP.
Justice is not a word that should be used when referring to the dealings between corporations and government. Please tell me this was the product of corruption and not that we have become so mediocre and stupid as it this seems to be.