Here's the front-page headline in The Wall Street Journal Tuesday: "Traders Blamed for Oil Spike."
The government now admits that greedy speculators artificially drove up the price of oil, hurting all Americans and lighting the fuse for the intense recession. The speculators drove the price of oil from $55 a barrel to $145. Along the way, the oil companies raised their prices to us in concert with that.
There was no supply and demand issue. There was no refining issue. It was all a big con. The government agency overseeing the commodities market allowed it to happen, and then denied it happened, but Tuesday admitted it happened.
You may remember that I was the first broadcast journalist to report this story, back in April 2006:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Many of us can expect to pay $3 a gallon for gasoline this summer, thanks to some speculators who are bidding up the price of oil and to the oil companies who love that kind of speculation so they can raise prices accordingly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Subsequently, I did a number of reports on the oil corruption because it was hurting all of us. I knew it was a bad situation, but I never thought it would ignite a worldwide recession.
You also may remember that just about every financial journalist told me I was nuts. So did most politicians. Now, I'm not gloating. I am proud that for 13 years, "The Factor" has looked out for you and has been right 95 percent of the time.
But the bigger question is the federal government. It simply cannot or will not control corruption. Look, we are all suffering now, partially because billions of dollars were taken out of the economy and put in the pockets of the oil companies and the speculators. That led directly to the economic collapse.
President Bush apparently had no clue. Now President Obama wants the government to run the financial system and the health care industry. In my opinion, that will lead to disaster for this country. Quite simply, the federal government cannot run the economy, health care or assure your personal happiness.
If President Obama continues down the big government road of social engineering, you will see massive, massive corruption. We might also see the USA go into bankruptcy and the dollar crash. Already some speculators are betting against the dollar, which is troubling because all of our savings and earnings are based on a viable American dollar.
The federal government's primary job is to protect us from bad people, whether they are terrorists, corrupt speculators or health care charlatans. This oil speculation deal should be an enormous wake-up call for all of us.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
A bulletin: A 22-year-old extreme kayaker from Montana breaks a world record. Tyler Bradt went over Palouse Falls in Washington state. The 186-foot drop is the highest kayak descent in the books. When he landed on the bottom, Tyler sank 20 feet, but amazingly his only injury was a sprained wrist. For his daring, if not smarts, Mr. Bradt is a patriot.
On the pinhead front, our pal Bill Maher continues to define America in rather questionable ways, here while discussing Sarah Palin on CNN:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Do you think she has a future nationally as a presidential candidate?
BILL MAHER, HOST, "REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER": I don't know about a presidential candidate, but I would never put anything past this stupid country.
BLITZER: So people are already complaining that you're calling the United States a stupid country and giving you a chance to clarify.
MAHER: I don't need to clarify. It is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Obviously this is not a stupid country, so wise up, Bill, and don't be a pinhead.
— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org