Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Replies of candidates to oil disaster email

I received many replies to my email to Congressional candidates about the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. After I collected the replies, I sent the below form of email to the Congressional candidates or their staff members who had replied to me:

From: RDShatt@aol.com
Sent: 5/23/2010 _____.M. Central Daylight Time

Subj: Re: Campaign question for you about Gulf of Mexico oil catastrophe: ...

Dear _____,

Thank you for your below reply to my email.

This election year is infused with anger and resentment against Congress. There is growing sentiment that the country's elected lawmakers in Washington have failed the American society.

I agree with that view, and I would like as many incumbents as possible to be thrown out of office and for someone else to be given the opportunity to do a better job for the country.

Voters who are angry with Congress have a variety of reasons.

My main reason is that I think our lawmakers are corrupt in being more interested in preserving themselves and their perks in office, rather than doing what is right for the country.

One example is the way Congress allowed the plaintiffs' lawyers to keep medical malpractice reform out of the health care law that was adopted earlier this year. Our lawmakers did not do right for the country there.

I emailed you and other Congressional candidates about the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster to raise another way our lawmakers do not do right by the country.

There is no question that the country, through non-corrupted lawmakers, needs to lay out rules in advance that reflect legitimate economic and social policy trade offs concerning regulatory oversight of oil industry operations and also concerning liability in the case of accidents. These rules could reasonably include no limitation of liability or they could provide for a limitation of liability. If Congress makea a policy decision in favor of the latter, Congress may then need to make a determination whether society as whole, through the use of tax revenues, should give financial aid to victims of the Gulf oil disaster that are not compensated because of a liability limitation.

Further, to the extent there will be liability for an accident, the country needs to have mechanisms, set up by non-corrupted lawmakers, for determining details of the liability under the law, including its amount and to whom the liability is owed.

In writing my email to you and other Congressional candidates, I had this question in mind: How much should it cost the country to determine the details of the liability in the Gulf oil catastrophe. Should it cost $500,000,000 to determine the details of that liability, or one billion dollars, or two billion dollars, or more?

I frankly don't think it should cost more than $50,000,000 to determine the details of the liability in the oil catastrophe in the Gulf.

I think a corrupt failure of our Congress is that it will allow hundreds of millions, or billions, of dollars to be paid to plaintiffs' lawyers (and defense lawyers) in the determination of the details of the oil disaster liability. Those moneys would be much better spent by society as part of the compensation paid to persons who suffer significant losses from the disaster. The moneys could also be better spent by not being paid at all and being available for use by BP and other parties who had the misfortune of being a cause of the accident, in order that those parties can continue their legitimate business of producing oil for the benefit of the county, providing jobs, and paying dividends to hundreds of thousands of stockholders, big and small, including retirement plans, who are dependent on and deserving of financial returns from their investments.

The lawyers are not deserving of hundreds of millions or billions of dollars being paid to them growing out of the Gulf oil catastrophe, but our Congress corruptly allows such things to happen.

There are many reasons for thinking the American society is ill served by its elected lawmakers in Washington and for wanting to throw incumbents out of office and giving others an opportunity to do a better job for the country.

This email indicates my reasons, and I hope tens of millions of other Americans will also act on their reasons for voting out incumbents in November.

Rob Shattuck

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