We are seeing the result of Koch Economics and what happens when a few tycoons accrue the billions necessary to invest in politicians, nonprofit foundations and ideological think thanks. Pay for active duty soldiers and veterans’ benefits would freeze without raising the debt ceiling. Embassies, emergency assistance, IRS and all the accounting at the Treasury Department, airport security, education, student loans and unemployment insurance, food inspection, transportation work and government contracts with thousands of businesses will all be left in the lurch if the government defaults. There’s even a chance Social Security checks will be delayed or withheld altogether. Through their political contributions, the Koch brothers are on the front lines of this debt debacle, and they are in position to use the economic crisis to advance their ideological and economic goals of eradicating social services.We’ve been following this on our Koch Brothers Exposed page on Facebook. Please share this note with your friends and encourage them to stay informed about the Koch brothers’ secret influence in our democracy and society. What we know for sure is the Koch brothers fund individuals who are willing to play chicken with our nation. We know for sure the Koch brothers are funding groups willing to gather kindling with one hand and stop short of striking a match with the other. Charles Koch must smile ear to ear watching a Democratic White House and Senate haggle over trillions of dollars of cuts. David Koch’s steak must taste extra juicer knowing one-half of one branch of government is rewriting the social contract for the non-billionaires among us. Americans for Prosperity, which was founded by the brothers and a recipient of $5 million of their dollars, has been leading the charge to oppose any measure currently facing a vote in Congress. With allies like Sen. Jim DeMint, Americans for Prosperity is pushing a bill so extreme it would require Congress vote and approve a constitutional amendment before the more urgent issue of government default. All the tit for tat nature of the debt ceiling vote, an action so routine Ronald Reagan raised it 18 times and the last administration seven times, has forced some economic experts toquestion if the U.S. is a good investment anymore. This too is advantageous for the Koch brothers’ ideological agenda. If it hurts the economy it helps whomever the Kochs support in the upcoming election, who in turn will favor politics that boost the Koch brothers’ profits. But it also hurts working families and policymakers. Folks who borrow money would see their interest rates rise on their car payments, mortgages, you name it. That’s also true for future Congresses. They too would bare higher costs to borrow money and pay current and future obligations. This, however, is not the subject of study at the Reason Foundation or Mercatus Center, two think tanks funded and allied with the Koch brothers. The centers are out with slick pie graphs and policy FAQs that cast doubt on the Treasury Department’s credibility. These position papers come right up to the white line of corruption allegations and cooking-the-books sentiment. Without saying so explicitly, the Koch supported think tanks argue the Treasury Department is wrong about its ability to pay its bills. This tactic is reprehensible. Rather than investigate solutions or this crisis’s origins, the Koch brothers’ web of influence is keen on undermining the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. Treasury and openly inviting catastrophe. Josh Marshall wisely observed our debt is the manifestation of Hamilton’s dream, chiefly: “The national debt — created through the federal assumption of state war debts — was created to… get the holders of bonds, necessarily wealthy and powerful people, to have a vested interest in the fixity and stability of the federal government.” The Koch brothers’ hidden influence in this debt fracas is more Hamiltonian nightmare: the wealthy and powerful people took their vested interest and own the whole store. The Koch brothers could end this bickering with a few phone calls, much like what the Chamber of Commerce is doing. Instead, the brothers are content to foment discord, disillusionment and potentially default, much to the detriment of all of us.
From what I’ve read, the Kochs support decriminalization of marijuana, abortion rights for women, and gay marriage.Show me a libertarian who doesn’t think Social Security and Medicare and energy policy can’t be replaced with a “free market” solution. The libertarian certainly would be against expanding them. The Kochs are pretty much true libertarians. – pt
The Koch brothers are no libertarians in the broad sense. Libertarians place a high premium on personal freedom and privacy. I have certain libertarian leanings for that reason. I think there is far too much intrusion from corporations and government. This profile does not fit the Koch brothers. They may wish to privatize certain operations– e.g., the Post Office or K-12 education– but they do not endorse the full program of libertarianism. ChristineSome of what you say is true. However, the Koch Brothers are corporate oligarchs, not libertarians. There is no free market in the Untied States today. The reasons are fairly clear; the GDP of many corporations is larger than the GDP of many countries. When that occurs, corporations dictate to governments, and not vice versa. It’s fairly obvious that price-fixing and monopoly occurs on a large scale, and is not seriously addressed by government. I would not call this a free market. Perhaps others disagree.
Also, the corporate oligarchs have created unacceptable levels of intrusion into citizens’ personal lives. This clearly contrasts with the standard libertarian platform, as we saw when Rand Paul filibustered renewal of the Patriot Act. I applauded his courage for that.
The goals of corporate oligarchs are fairly transparent. Corporations make no pretense of social conscience, or indeed conscience of any kind. The goal is profit– pure and simple– and they say this quite straightforwardly. These oligarchs are intent on taking away worker rights so that they can increase their profit margins. If they get their way, we will become low-wage toadies with all trappings of democracy and privacy lost. It is crucial that we recognize the difference between government and corporate power, and see that corporate power has superseded government power and that this is an enormous danger to democracy.
The Koch brothers are part of this agenda. Christine Hansen