Biden’s Bad and Good Points

I watched Meet the Press this afternoon, and Senators Joe Biden and Lindsey Graham were on it. Joe Biden was defending Barack Obama and attacking John McCain, and he said some pretty provocative things (see Read the transcript).

First of all, Brian Williams referred to a February 17 quote by Hillary Clinton that questioned Obama’s flip-flop on receiving public financing. Here’s Biden’s response:

“I understand her words. She was competing against him. Were I, were I still in the race, I’d probably be raising it. But the essence, the honest to God truth is, he’s kept his commitment of keeping big money, individual influence, out of his campaign.”

Well, that’s pretty telling, isn’t it? Biden likes Obama because he’s kept big money out of his campaign, yet he’d be criticizing him if he (Biden) were still in the race? So Biden admits that he doesn’t always say what he means and mean what he says? He’s basically confessing that he’s dishonest?

Second, Graham and Biden talked about drilling for offshore oil. Graham said: “Why did the Democratic leadership send a letter to President Bush, to [tell] Saudi Arabia…to drill more? The Democratic solution here is tax at home and get Saudi Arabia to drill more. The supply they want comes from the Mideast. The supply John McCain wants is here at home to blunt the effect of dependency of Mideast oil.”

And Biden responded: “We’re not trying to get Saudi to drill more, we’re trying to get them to pump more of what they’re drilling. They’re not pumping what they could, number one. This is a gift, a gift to the oil companies by John McCain. They have now leased 41 million acres of offshore leases. They’re only pumping in 10.2 million of those acres. Seventy-nine percent of all the offshore oil available off the coast of Florida, into the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Coast, the Pacific Coast, lies within those acres that they now have. Why are they not pumping? Why are they not doing this? Why are they not pursuing what’s estimated to be a total of 70–54 billion barrels of oil at their disposal right now if they pump? Why are these greedy fellows deciding they want to go beyond that? It’s because they want to get it in before George Bush leaves the presidency. It’s because they’re not pumping the oil to keep the price up. They are not even drilling. So here you have 30 million leased acres they have right now that possesses 79 percent of all the offshore, and they’re not drilling. And John says they need more? And it would take 10 years for it to come online.”

But, if the oil companies don’t even want to drill offshore, then why’s Biden against allowing them to do so?

Biden still raises a good question, though: Will the companies even want to drill and pump more in America, if they’re permitted? Or are they satisfied with the status quo, since higher prices mean more profits?

In a free market economy, competition should be bringing down the prices. Theoretically, a maverick company should be able to enter the equation, drill and pump in more areas, and offer the gasoline at lower prices, all in attempt to draw customers to itself. Then, the other companies would try to do the same, and the gas prices would come down. So why isn’t that happening?

Maybe the companies are all agreeing not to drill more, since that allows them all to reap high profits. Or perhaps there’s not a whole lot of competition, since there are only a handful of big oil companies that are even in the game. If a maverick company ever entered the equation, the big companies would drive it out of business, since they’d have the resources to pump more and charge lower prices. Then, after driving the maverick company out of business, they’d raise the prices back up. That would discourage maverick companies from even joining the game!

Of course, there’s the possibility that government policies favor the big companies and discourage competition. David Cay Johnston presents examples of that sort of thing, in Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill).

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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8 Responses to Biden’s Bad and Good Points

  1. Pascalian Awakenings says:

    “But the essence, the honest to God truth is, he’s kept his commitment of keeping big money, individual influence, out of his campaign.”

    That’s a bunch of malarkey. Obama just has it bundled so it looks that way. Those Dems will say anything to make Barky look good, but we’re not fooled. Ha ha ha ha ha (fiendish laugh).

    If you need articles on Obama’s bundlers, let me know.


  2. Pascalian Awakenings says:

    BTW, did you ever see Obama’s ads saying he does not take money from oil companies? No one does; it has been illegal for about 100 years.


  3. Anonymous says:


    I always appreciate your entries. Here’s the actual data from someone who’s been watching these companies as an IBanker for several years.

    The backlog and size to the drillers: Transocean, Diamond Offshoring, Nobel, etc… prevents maverick companies from entering. There has been industry consolidation and projects take a long time. The size and scope of drilling an offshore rig requires significant capital. There isn’t any excess, nor could much be wrung up in the next several years. Further, the industry is cyclical, so companies are loth to extend themselves too far. Just check historic earnings and their PEG ratio. Our only viable option within the next 2 years is if we can find oil elsewhere. We can only plan for the future–we cannot solve things quickly. And like you hinted, there’s probably a bit of conspiracy.

    James: do you doubt that the essence of Barack’s idea was to steer clear of big money? The essence of what he said still holds true–it’s the particulars that have changed.

    Why does changing your opinion equal dishonesty? I can think of several times Jesus changed his opinion; I change my opinions every day based upon new data and new perspectives.

    Come on, be fair.



  4. Anonymous says:


    You’ve left out several important candidates in your postings. You included Alan Keyes way back when, so you should give Gene Amondson, Brian Moore, Kat Swift and others a little write-up. 🙂



  5. James Pate says:

    Hi Yvette! Yeah, I’d like to see the evidence of Obama’s bundlings. I know he can be sneaky. I remember one debate in which he was bragging about this lobbyist reform bill he got passed, then he admitted that the lobbyists are still allowed to eat with politicians, as long as they’re standing up.

    Hi Jake! Thanks for the information. That’s another point that Biden made–that getting an offshore oil program going will take a while.

    I think it’s fine for a person to change his mind, but, in this case, it just seems somewhat disingenuous. He seems to be doing it because he can raise all of this private money. The whole goal of public financing is to make the candidates less dependent on that, and Obama is opting out of it.

    Where do you think Jesus changed his mind? I’m just curious.

    Yeah, I may do write-ups on the third party candidates, especially since I’m thinking of voting for one myself (Bob Barr). I didn’t know there was still a Prohibition Party.


  6. James Pate says:

    BTW, Jake, I didn’t explicitly say that Obama was dishonest in my post. When I said “he,” I meant Biden. I mean, what he said was just bizarre. My paraphrase: “If I were still running for President, I’d be criticizing Obama on this, but I’m not, so I see nothing wrong with what Obama is doing.”


  7. James Pate says:

    Thanks, Yvette. 🙂

    Who’s Pascal support in the election?


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