Obama to the Rescue

President Obama has jumped on his white horse and is riding swiftly to the rescue in the Gulf, bringing a few hand-picked scientists along with him to provide moral support. This is important, because of course those incompetents over at BP certainly can’t assemble a team of any merit on their own.

Okay, so it’s not actually Obama that’s doing the white-horse riding, it’s his Energy Secretary, Steven Chu. But the premise remains the same: that government knows better than private industry how to solve a problem.

According to Bloomberg:

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu signaled his lack of confidence in the industry experts trying to control BP Plc’s leaking oil well by hand-picking a team of scientists with reputations for creative problem solving.

Dispatched to Houston by President Barack Obama to deal with the crisis, Chu said Wednesday that five “extraordinarily intelligent” scientists from around the country will help BP and industry experts think of back-up plans to cut off oil from the well, leaking 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) below sea-level.

Members of the Chu team are credited with accomplishments including designing the first hydrogen bomb, inventing techniques for mining on Mars and finding a way to precisely position biomedical needles.

“I don’t think there is a lot of confidence in BP in Washington right now,” David Pursell, a managing director at Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. LLC in Houston, said by phone. Chu’s decision to bring in additional scientists may reflect that concern, he said.

It’s surreal, actually. Along with every other intervention planned or already in place by this (and the previous) Administration, this demonstrates how government has become an entity capable of doubting our ability to take care of our own business. Whether it’s our money, our healthcare, our energy use, our choice in transportation, our diets, or whatever, government today sees itself as so much smarter and so much better informed—and thus so much more capable than we are of making our decisions.

Much of this, I’m sure, is pure puffery on the part of the Obama Administration—they’ve got do be visibly doing something lest the Obama legacy be tarnished by unattractive comparisons to Bush and Katrina. But the fact remains true: we are losing our ability to act on our own as rational individuals.

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