The Billionaires Behind The Hate
|December 8, 2009||
by Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Zaid Jilani, Lee Fang, and Alex Seitz-Wald
Billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch are the wealthiest, and perhaps most effective, opponents of President Obama’s progressive agenda. They have been looming in the background of every major domestic policy dispute this year. Ranked as the 9th richest men in America, the Koch brothers sit at the helm of Koch Industries, a massive privately owned conglomerate of manufacturing, oil, gas, and timber interests. They are best known for their wealth, as well as for their generous contributions to the arts, cancer research, and the Smithsonian Institute. But David and Charles are also responsible for a vicious attack campaign aimed directly at obstructing and killing progressive reform. Over the years, millions of dollars in Koch money has flowed to various right-wing think tanks, front groups, and publications. At the dawn of the Obama presidency, Koch groups quickly maneuvered to try to stop his first piece of signature legislation: the stimulus. The Koch-funded group “No Stimulus” launched television and radio ads deriding the recovery package as simply “pork” spending. The Cato Institute — founded by Charles — as well as other Koch-funded think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, produced a blizzard of reports distorting the stimulus and calling for a return to Bush-style tax cuts to combat the recession. As their fronts were battling the stimulus, David’s Americans for Prosperity (AFP) spent the opening months of the Obama presidency placing calls and helping to organize the very first “tea party” protests. AFP, founded in 1984 by David and managed day to day by the astroturf lobbyist Tim Phillips, has spent much of the year mobilizing “tea party” opposition to health reform, clean energy legislation, and financial regulations……. For the entire article, click here:
The Koch brothers, like other wealthy folks in this country, will not be happy until all of the riches this country has produced are in their own pockets. The Right touts Capitalism as the be all, end all of finance and business in this country. What they fail to admit is that unfettered capitalism breeds greed, fraud and hate. The Koch brothers or Koch Industries has been linked to many anti-progressive activities over the past year. Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times published a blog on their involvement and was contacted by a spokeswoman from Koch Industries. She promised him she would provide proof of their non-involvement in these activities, which never came. David Koch presents himself as a champion of science, yet has done more to undermine the public’s understanding of climate change science than any other person in this country. The recent campaign that charges a set of hacked emails somehow unravels the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring, according to The Progress Report, can be traced back to Koch Foundations.
Much of the opposition to Healthcare Reform can be traced back to Koch Industries as well. They funded Patients United to blanket the country with ads distorting the provisions of the bill. They have been behind the organization of the Teabagger movement. Koch Industries is a major contributor to pollution across this country via their timber, gas and oil industries. They are believed to be behind the move to push this country to the far right since the 1950’s with their founding of The John Birch Society. God only knows what else these brothers have concocted on their road to greed and lining their own pockets.
I wonder, when will the people of this country sit up and take heed? The middle class is being destroyed and instead of Americans standing up together, corporate interests are using our fellow citizens to further their own agenda. Where, along the way to fullfilling our dreams, did Americans decide to bury their heads in the sand? Is there a way to unite middle class Americans in one cause, the survival of our very liveliehood? I still hold out hope that there is a way.