Boehner and the Best Congress Money Can Buy, Courtesy of the Koch Brothers

Boehner in Koch Brothers pockets

It comes as no surprise that Republicans don’t let pesky little facts get in the way of their agenda. The so called “debt crisis” or “deficit crisis” is manufactured purely as a Republican means of trying to ram their agenda down the throats of Americans. Without facts to support their agenda, they simply make up their own “facts.”

Why would they do this? The answer is simple. Their agenda is bought and paid for by the nation’s wealthiest individuals, Big Oil and large corporations. Who are the puppet masters of the Conservatives and the Tea Party movement? They are a bunch of oil billionaires, the Koch Brothers, who have been waging war on the Obama administration.

The New Yorker: With his brother Charles, who is seventy-four, David Koch owns virtually all of Koch Industries, a conglomerate, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, whose annual revenues are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars. The company has grown spectacularly since their father, Fred, died, in 1967, and the brothers took charge. The Kochs operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and control some four thousand miles of pipeline. Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products. Forbes ranks it as the second-largest private company in the country, after Cargill, and its consistent profitability has made David and Charles Koch—who, years ago, bought out two other brothers—among the richest men in America. Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation. These views dovetail with the brothers’ corporate interests. In a study released this spring, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. And Greenpeace issued a report identifying the company as a “kingpin of climate science denial.” The report showed that, from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups. Indeed, the brothers have funded opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policies—from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program—that, in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus.

Not only have the Koch brothers insinuated their Libertarian agenda into the American political system via the Tea Party, they also have given significant contributions to the Smithsonian and arts and sciences. Named by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute as one of the top ten air polluters in the US, they have a vested interest in discrediting Global Warming research and in the government not imposing environmental regulations on corporations.

The founder of the Center for Public Integrity, Charles Lewis says, “The Kochs are on a whole different level. There’s no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.” Read moreabout the Koch Brothers Tea Party involvement and agenda here.

From The Week: David Koch has become a top donor to the arts and sciences in recent years, particularly in his home city of New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History have all benefited from his largesse. Mayer suggests that those donations might influence the recipient institutions, noting that — much to the frustration of some climate scientists — global warming exhibits in the Smithsonian’s David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins “uncannily echo the Koch message.”

Not only have they insinuated themselves into politics, the arts and sciences, but they are now paying big bucks to be able to choose make hiring decisions at Florida State University. Why? Because they want to control what will be taught in a new program promoting “political economy and free enterprise.”

TampaBay: A conservative billionaire who opposes government meddling in business has bought a rare commodity: the right to interfere in faculty hiring at a publicly funded university.

A foundation bankrolled by Libertarian businessman Charles G. Koch has pledged $1.5 million for positions in Florida State University’s economics department. In return, his representatives get to screen and sign off on any hires for a new program promoting “political economy and free enterprise”.

Under the agreement with the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, however, faculty only retain the illusion of control. The contract specifies that an advisory committee appointed by Koch decides which candidates should be considered. The foundation can also withdraw its funding if it’s not happy with the faculty’s choice or if the hires don’t meet “objectives” set by Koch during annual evaluations.

Along with Koch’s disdain for having to pay taxes, here’s a list of giant tax dodging corporations that, thanks to irresponsible tax breaks and loopholes, pay no taxes.

1) Exxon Mobil: $19 billion profits in 2009. Exxon actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings.  (Sources: Exxon Mobil’s 2009 shareholder report filed with the SEC here.)

2) Bank of America: got a $1.9 billion tax refund last year while making $4.4 billion in profits. Also got an almost $1 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department.  (Sources: Forbes, ProPublica and the  Treasury.)

3) General Electric: $26 billion in profits in the US over past 5 years.  Thanks to tax loopholes, they paid no taxes. (Sources:   Citizens for Tax Justice and The New York Times.

4) Chevron: $19 million tax  refund after making $10 billion in profits in 2009.  (Source: 2009 Chevron Annual Report.  This tax dodger owed $128 million in taxes, but with creative accounting, deferred $147 million for a Federal tax liability of negative $19 million.)

5) Boeing: which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year. (Sources: Paul Buchheit, DePaul University and Citizens for Tax Justice.)

6) Valero Energy: $68 billion in sales last year. Tax refund of $157 million. Received $134 million tax break over past 3 years.  (Source:  2009 Annual Report, pg 112.)

7) Goldman Sachs: paid 1.1% of its income in taxes in 2008. Profit $2.3 billion. Received bailout funds of almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department. (Sources:  Bloomberg, ProPublica, Treasury Dept.)

8) Citigroup: more than $4 billion in profits last year. Paid no federal taxes. eceived a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury. (Source: Paul Buchheit, professor, DePaul University, here, ProPublica here, Treasury Department here.)

9) ConocoPhillips: Big Oil company (the fifth largest in the US).  $16 billion in profits from 2006-2009. Received $451 million in tax breaks. (Sources: Profits, 2010 SEC 10-K Report to Shareholders, pg. 127.)

10) Carnival Cruise Lines: more than $11 billion in profits over past 5 yrs. Federal income tax rate of 1.1% during those years.  (Source:  The New York Times.)

So Republicans, Conservatives, Tea Party nutbags whine about the deficit and their only solution is to reduce the deficit on the backs of working families, the poor, the elderly, kids, and the sick.  Hmmm, wonder why they don’t consider making those corporate tax dodging giants pay their fair share?  Answer is simple.  Many of our Congressman and Senators have been bought and paid for by these corporations.  It doesn’t matter that the average American voted for them, hoping that they would serve them.  They make their promises … lies to get elected, and then serve their real masters, the smallest percentage of Americans and the wealthiest people in the US.

Oh, and Boehner … don’t even cite that 51% of us ordinary ole Americans don’t pay taxes.  The 51% of us ordinary ole Americans who don’t pay taxes are those who don’t make enough money to owe any taxes.  Do you really think that we are that stupid that we don’t know that you are talking about the neediest people, the elderly, the unemployed … and don’t forget the children. Kids don’t pay any taxes.

A Secret Deal Between Gov. Walker And Koch Brothers Buried In State Budget?

Another Republican Koch Whore is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Mother Jones: According to Wisconsin campaign finance filings, Walker’s gubernatorial campaign received $43,000 from the Koch Industries PAC during the 2010 election. That donation was his campaign’s second-highest, behind $43,125 in contributions from housing and realtor groups in Wisconsin. The Koch’s PAC also helped Walker via a familiar and much-used politicial maneuver designed to allow donors to skirt campaign finance limits. The PAC gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, which in turn spent $65,000 on independent expenditures to support Walker. The RGA also spent a whopping $3.4 million on TV ads and mailers attacking Walker’s opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Walker ended up beating Barrett by 5 points. The Koch money, no doubt, helped greatly.

Check out Section 44.16.896 of Wisconsin Senate Bill 11, which reads–

(1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).

What exactly does that mean? It means this:

TriplePundit: Can the State of Wisconsin sell off its public utilities to its corporate donors for pennies on the dollar without any oversight by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission?  If new Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has his way and Senate Bill 11 is passed in its entirety, two of Walker’s largest donors, oil billionaires David and Charles Koch (“the Koch Brothers”), could be handed free reign on Wisconsin public utilities.  The media has focused on the protests surrounding stripping bargaining rights from most state workers, but handing over Wisconsin’s utilities to one of our nation’s largest polluters could also have a major impact.

Here’s more on that from Forbes and here’s a little unconfirmed report:

Thom Hartmann: Unconfirmed reports say that Koch Industries is already running job advertisements to hire Managers to help run State Owned Utilities.  A major contributor to Scott Walker’s election campaign, Koch Industries has yet to release any information on its new Utility rates.  At this time, the impending sales price of these facilities was not being released by the Governor’s Office.

Here are many more articles that should be read about how the Koch Brothers are buying YOUR government.

GOP Paying Koch Bros. Front Group With Your Tax Dollars

Koch Brothers and How to Buy U.S. Government

Dear Koch Brothers, Tea partiers & union bashers:  ‘Anonymous’ would like your attention please

Americans for Prosperity

Boehner’s Economy Views Contradicted by Studies

The Koch Brothers’ End Game in Wisconsin

So, do you think that Boehner is really interested in things like the deficit, when he tries to take the budget hostage to further the Republican agenda? No.  He’s bought and paid for by the Koch Brothers and is furthering the Koch Brother’s agenda.

“Receiving campaign donations from Koch Brothers:

John Boehner (R-OH)
Eric Cantor (R-VA)
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Joe Barton (R-TX)
John Klein (R-MN)
Geoff Davis (R-KY)
Henry Cuellar (D-TX)
Allen Boyd (D-FL)
Dan Boren (D-OK)

Jim DeMint (R-SC)
Tom Coburn (R-OK)
James Inhofe (R-OK)
Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
John Thune (R-SC)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
David Vitter (R-LA)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Richard Burr (R-NC)

Source

 

House Speaker John Boehner, giving Wall Street leaders his prescriptions for growing the U.S. economy and reducing the nation’s debt, built his case on several assertions that are contradicted by market indicators and government reports.

Boehner said in his May 9 speech to the Economic Club of New York that government borrowing was crowding out private investment, the 2009 economic-stimulus package hurt job creation, and a Republican plan to privatize Medicare will give future recipients the “same kinds of options” lawmakers have.

With Democrats and Republicans sparring over legislation to extend the government’s $14.29 trillion debt limit and trim budget deficits, negotiations are being complicated by disputes over basic economic facts.

“We’re in this Alice-in-Wonderland world around government-shutdown conversations, the debt-ceiling conversations,” Senator Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, said yesterday at a breakfast at the Bloomberg News Washington bureau. The debate “has not established a shared understanding of the facts” about the nation’s economic problems, he said.

Boehner‘s statement in his Wall Street speech that government spending “is crowding out private investment and threatening the availability of capital” runs counter to the behavior of credit markets. Read the full story here.

“Receiving campaign donations from Koch Brothers:

John Boehner (R-OH)
Eric Cantor (R-VA)
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Joe Barton (R-TX)
John Klein (R-MN)
Geoff Davis (R-KY)
Henry Cuellar (D-TX)
Allen Boyd (D-FL)
Dan Boren (D-OK)

Jim DeMint (R-SC)
Tom Coburn (R-OK)
James Inhofe (R-OK)
Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
John Thune (R-SC)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
David Vitter (R-LA)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Richard Burr (R-NC)

Source

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