Saturday, July 3, 2010

Interesting Fact Check Post On Oil Spill

Read here.

It seems like a lot of the Republican talking points about how Obama is handling the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are a bit of sophistry.

I especially found interesting the claims that Obama delayed and/or refused help of "foreign aid" with regard to the spill. It seems that almost all of those oh-so-friendly offers of "foreign aid" were actually foreign governments coming along and saying, "Hmm... see you got yourself a bit of an oil spill. Well, it just so happens I've got 100 miles of oil skimmers. I can let you have them for only 10% over retail."

Oh. Thanks a lot, buddies, but if we have to, we'll buy American skimmers in that case. No wonder Obama turned them down — or actually, he didn't in the end and grudgingly paid for the "aid", but I could understand why he might have refused: Apparently, whenever the U.S. sends aid to other countries, it's always free of charge. Whenever other countries offer aid to the U.S., it's always C.O.D.

Mexico was the single, solitary, only country on the planet to offer equipment and supplies to help clean the oil spill free of charge (and for obvious reasons... the spill effects them directly). Even Britain charged America for the oil dispersant it was offering as "aid", by the way... nice touch there. This isn't a new thing, apparently it's always the case with "aid" being offered to America: The U.S. is unique in the world in offering disaster relief without charge.

I'm as surprised as you probably are about that... and it obviously explains a lot when it comes to America dealing with offers of "aid" during times of emergency. It was wrong to automatically assume that what is true for America is true for everybody else. Well, now we know.

Another Republican sticking point is this supposed failure of Obama to suspend the "Jones Act", like President Bush did after Hurricane Katrina. The Jones Act is a stipulation that only American ships can transport cargo between two American ports. With lots of aid coming from American ports to New Orleans, suspending the Jones Act so that foreign ships could help carry that aid was sensible after Hurricane Katrina. However, since no domestic inter-port aid is involved in the oil spill, the Jones Act does not need to be suspended.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The solution should be simple. Pay whatever it takes to get the job done.

Recoup the costs by reducing the ammounts of aid the US gives to the participating countries and the UN.

Consider it as an advance payment of future aid.

Mike Farrell
Cagayan de Oro

Anonymous said...

It's long past time to do onto others what they do to the usa for so long.
No aid without a charge. Let someone else take care of the world for a few decades until the usa can get itself together.

Anonymous said...

Jil will charge Britain made for helping clean up the oil spill equate to what the USA charged us for help during the 2nd WW when they left us bankrupt.
Jim in Talakag.

Jungle Jil said...

Anon,

You can blame John Maynard Keynes for that, not America. And, the U.S. gave Britain about $30 billion worth of stuff in WW2... so BP has paid back $20 billion so far. Only $10 billion to go. Heh.