Politics & Policy

Halliburton Hot Air

Shareholders blow a hole in the Kerry-Edwards “big oil” rhetoric.

“To save for Halliburton the spoils of the war, they actually issued a memorandum from the Defense Department saying, ‘If you weren’t with us in the war, don’t bother applying for any construction.’” — John Kerry, first presidential debate, September 30, 2004

“On the $87 billion, it was clear at the time of that vote that they had no plan to win the peace. We’re seeing the consequences of that everyday on the ground right now. We stood up and said: For our troops, we must have a plan to win the peace. We also thought it was wrong to have a $20 billion fund out of which $7.5 billion was going to go to a no-bid contract for Halliburton, the vice president’s former company.” — John Edwards, vice presidential debate, October 5, 2004

Behind all of the Kerry-Edwards rhetoric about the Halliburton Corp. is an unstated and inaccurate presupposition: If Vice President Dick Cheney intervened on Halliburton’s behalf in the war in Iraq, which he did not, and if the company obtained from the government lucrative no-bid contracts, which it did not, and if the vice president retained any financial interest in Halliburton, which he did not, that still leaves the question of whether the Bush-Cheney administration has actually been beneficial to Halliburton’s owners. It has not.

The Bush-Cheney administration simply hasn’t helped Halliburton. Who says so? Halliburton’s shareholders.

The evidence directly contradicts the theory that Bush and Cheney are the “big-oil ticket” and that what’s good for big oil is good for Halliburton. This theory is based on an old canard that states that wars are not entered into for idealistic purposes or even in the interest of national security, but rather in the interest of war profiteers (literally war-mongers) who get rich on the blood of others and whose sons never … blah, blah, blah. You find this in the ancient Greek satirists who blame the Peloponnesian War on arms merchants. You find it when virtually every war of the modern age is laid at the feet of “Jewish bankers” who loan to both sides. This time, big oil’s to blame.

Democratic party sugar daddy George Soros says his favorite philosopher is Karl Popper. Just for fun, let’s use Popper’s ideas to test the big-oil/Halliburton/war-profiteer theory. According to Popper, theories should be valued based on their ability to accurately predict events. If your theory ends up predicting events that do not come to pass, then your theory should be discarded.

So, if you bought the John Edwards view of the world, then three and a half years ago when Bush won the election, wouldn’t you have also bought Halliburton stock? If you did, you got hurt. Since Bush’s inauguration, Halliburton’s shares have fallen 11 percent. To put things in perspective, other oil-related industries have risen roughly 36 percent in this time.

In other words, not only has the Bush-Cheney administration failed to make the owners of Halliburton richer, it has instead made them poorer. And they are significantly worse off than the owners of other oil-related companies who are doing well.

According to the shareholders — the people most in-the-know — the data could not be clearer: The Bush-Cheney administration has been bad for Halliburton.

– Jerry Bowyer is the author of The Bush Boom and an economic advisor to Blue Vase Capital Management. He can be reached through www.BowyerMedia.com.

Jerry Bowyer is the president of Bowyer Research and editor of Townhall Financial.

Most Popular

White House

Obama Wrote Trump a $73 Million Check

The New York Times’ big exposé on President Trump's tax returns flags some things that may be dodgy but mainly it just confirms what everybody (including Trump) has always said -- there are a lot of loopholes in the tax code that a savvy operator can exploit. Whose fault is that? The system long predates ... Read More
White House

Obama Wrote Trump a $73 Million Check

The New York Times’ big exposé on President Trump's tax returns flags some things that may be dodgy but mainly it just confirms what everybody (including Trump) has always said -- there are a lot of loopholes in the tax code that a savvy operator can exploit. Whose fault is that? The system long predates ... Read More
Sports

It’s Time for a Change in Leadership

A lot of people -- including me -- will tell you he didn’t belong in the top job. We will tell you that nothing in his past performance indicated that he could handle the responsibility or had the right temperament for the pressures of leadership. Some of us opposed him before he stepped through the door and ... Read More
Sports

It’s Time for a Change in Leadership

A lot of people -- including me -- will tell you he didn’t belong in the top job. We will tell you that nothing in his past performance indicated that he could handle the responsibility or had the right temperament for the pressures of leadership. Some of us opposed him before he stepped through the door and ... Read More
Media

Three Cheers for Ruth Graham

In her piece in the New York Times today, Ruth Graham captured something quite true: Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination is a cultural moment for conservative women. We don’t like to talk in terms of trailblazing, because these words have ideological implications. But we all remember the “mommy wars” when moms ... Read More
Media

Three Cheers for Ruth Graham

In her piece in the New York Times today, Ruth Graham captured something quite true: Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination is a cultural moment for conservative women. We don’t like to talk in terms of trailblazing, because these words have ideological implications. But we all remember the “mommy wars” when moms ... Read More

Revolution by Shenanigan

Texans are very fond of reminding our fellow Americans that, because of its former status as an independent republic, Texas is the only state in the union permitted by treaty to leave the Union or renegotiate its status. This is a point of pride with Texans. It isn’t true. In fact, nothing you will ever ... Read More

Revolution by Shenanigan

Texans are very fond of reminding our fellow Americans that, because of its former status as an independent republic, Texas is the only state in the union permitted by treaty to leave the Union or renegotiate its status. This is a point of pride with Texans. It isn’t true. In fact, nothing you will ever ... Read More