BP = better pay!

And yet here we sit today, a modern-day Valdez in one of our nation's largest and busiest commercial ports. And after 11 days, oil continues to spew, polluting the coastline and threatening fishing and other commercial enterprises. Gulf-area workers and residents are growing restless. What's more unsettling than the spill itself is the fact that BP can't seem to plug the hole.

Our government is also growing restless. President Barack Obama traveled to Louisiana yesterday to vent his own frustrations, and I appreciated his tough talk.

"BP is responsible for this leak. BP will be paying this bill," Obama said. On behalf of all Americans, let me be the first to echo that sentiment. In fact, as far as the feds are concerned, BP should now stand for "better pay!" That's why I was worried when, in the same speech yesterday, Obama stated, "Your government will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to stop this crisis."

Uhh, just what exactly does that mean, Mr. President? I realize your administration believes government can play a role in every facet of our lives, but when it comes to this situation, don't you dare let BP off the hook. Besides the fact that our country is flat broke, not one American believes one tax dollar should be spent helping a British oil company; I don't care how many American jobs they create. This is their mess. Lean on them to speed up the process, but don't give them any slack. And please, refuse the urge to tilt another government department toward any grand agenda.

It's national situations like these that average Americans fully understand and appreciate. We don't need any new laws to gum up the works or any new bureaucracies to watch other bureaucratic agencies. Forget the chance to push a leftist philosophy and just play this one straight up the middle.

Visit www.armstrongwilliams.com.