It’s not just Obama and Congress who lie…
The United States government, in its entirety, has been doing so for years.
But the gravity of how far it’ll go — and how good it is at doing it — didn’t sink in until recently, when I came across some old pictures.
Take a quick look at this Southern California landscape:
And then look again:
During WWII, the government camouflaged an entire Lockheed aircraft plant by covering it in netting and making it look like a subdivision. The netting was strong enough to walk on and was complete with fake houses, trees, parked cars, and actors.
A Warner Bros. studio down the road was falsely labeled as the Lockheed plant to throw off the suspicions of Japanese pilots.
It was thoroughly planned. It was highly detailed. It was meant to deceive. And it was just one in a long line of government cover-ups.
Follow the Money
The use of lying — or at least distorting the truth — has been useful to governments for a thousand years.
From using the guise of religion to Crusade in 1095 to searching for WMDs in 2003, the impetus of these deceptions can be traced to one thing: money.
Christian control of the Holy Land was never accomplished. But Europe got plenty from the Crusades: robust trade, new scientific discoveries, algebra, advanced engineering — all of which led to new wealth and, some say, the Renaissance…
No WMDs were found. But man, did Bush and his buddies make an absolute killing:
Halliburton (NYSE: HAL), Fluor (NYSE: FLR), CACI International (NYSE: CACI), General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), and plenty more raked in cash by the hundreds of billions as a result of the Iraq War — many of those contracts awarded by the Congressional buddy system.
Dianne Feinstein used her seat on the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee to get her husband’s company, Perini Corp., a $650 million environmental cleanup deal in Iraq.
Another one of her husband’s companies — URS Corp. (NYSE: URS) — made $792 million in clean-up fees.
Former Chief Security Officer of Homeland Security Dwight Williams raked in $1.44 billion as his company DynCorp was hired to train Iraqi police.
And of course, we all know about Tricky Dick’s Halliburton…
Politicians made billions as they loaded a trillion dollar debt on the taxpayer — based on lies.
The new guy isn’t any better.
Still Following the Money
Obama came in, lies blaring. Elected as a populist, he quickly filled numerous cabinet and other posts with former bankers and industry executives.
He put people like Larry Summers, who played a role in deregulating derivatives in the 90s, in charge of the National Economic Council.
And he’s got people like William Daley — a former executive at JPMorgan and Fannie Mae — serving as Chief of Staff.
Obama’s ties to banking are as extensive as Bush’s ties to energy companies.
This should explain why the executives of the very firms that caused Great Recession are sill reaping record pay. And why, as home values continue to plummet and Americans can’t find jobs, bank stocks continue to appreciate.
And it doesn’t stop there…
A Page from the Predecessor
Remember when Obama said, “In ten years, we can reduce our dependence so that we no longer have to import oil from the Middle Ease or Venezuela”?
Or when he said, “Our goal should be, in 10 years’ time, we are free of dependence on Middle Eastern oil. And we can do it.”?
(I know he’s made a lot of unfulfilled lofty promises, so it’s hard to keep track.)
He was just kidding.
A few days ago, just after he pressed the red button for Libya, Obama took a trip to South America. And you know what he told them about their offshore oil reserves?
We want to help you with the technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely. And when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers.
As an Investor’s Business Daily editorial noted, this came “at a time when the president was railing against tax incentives for U.S. oil companies” and when we’ve got “a seven-year offshore drilling ban in effect off of both coasts, on Alaska’s continental shelf and in much of the Gulf of Mexico — and a de facto moratorium covering the rest.”
So instead of Middle Eastern oil, Barry wants us dependent on Brazilian oil, all the while bypassing American oil and the jobs it entails.
But not as bad as when he said:
The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
He meant, of course, unless he was the president, and there was a hated dictator and millions of barrels of oil involved that American companies could exploit after an invasion.
If you don’t have strategic resources, like Sudan, you get nothing.
If you have strategic location but an allied dictator, like Egypt, you get verbal support.
But if you have an enemy dictator and strategic oil reserves, we will bomb you and take it — all while telling the American people it’s a liberation effort.
At least Bush threatened us with anthrax and mushroom clouds…
I guess Obama’s got more ties to companies like Halliburton than we thought. They’ll make a killing rebuilding Libya.
These are lies piled on lies piled on misleading statements.
And while all this is going on, nothing is getting better for Americans.
The Ultimate DIY Project
And it’s not just the president. The entire American political system — from the Senate to your City Council — operates this way.
It’s pay to play.
That’s why you have to disassociate from it all. You can’t have moral skin in the game. You can’t be a political zealot.
I know because I once did and was. And it doesn’t do you any financial good…
You end up ranting about why we shouldn’t be invading Iraq instead of loading up on shares of Halliburton and CACI International, and you get nothing for it but angst.
These guys are going to do what they want anyway, or what the corporations funding their campaigns lobby them to do.
I’m not saying to be complacent or become a nihilist; by all means, stay on top of the news.
But don’t be consumed by it.
Analyze it, use it to follow the money, and profit from it.
Only you have your best interests in mind. The government stopped caring a long time ago.
Call it like you see it,
Editor, Energy and Capital