“Do-Nothing Regulators” are Doing Too Much

Vermonters have learned that they can count on Bernie Sanders not to allow facts to get in the way of his rants.  The latest example is his claim that the high price we are paying at the gas pump is largely due to to little regulation:

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Thursday he will introduce legislation to force federal regulators to curb unbridled speculation in crude oil markets that experts blame for driving up gasoline prices.

“We cannot allow Wall Street speculators to continue to rip off the American people at the gas pump any longer,” Sanders told a press conference at his Senate office.

This whole argument is a Red Herring.  As a Cato Institute study points out:

“Attacks on American oil companies and speculators seek to shift blame to those subject to U.S. government control from the uncontrollable foreign oil-producing governments that are truly to blame.”

Once the blame is shifted to those who are “subject to U.S. government control”, this blame game can be used to expand the power of government by exerting even more control.  Of course we would not be so dependent on “foreign oil-producing governments” if it was not for the regulations enacted by our own government, which prevents us from fully developing our own considerable domestic supply of energy sources.  Such regulations have long enjoyed the support of Senator Sanders.  What we have here is the political class pointing to a problem that they were partially complicit in creating and then using that problem to further expand their political power.  Of course that is one little inconvenient fact that he fails to mention in his “rants”.