Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kochs pay to play in Wisconsin

Per the New York Times, it seems the billionaire Koch brothers' company Koch Industries "was one of the biggest contributors to the election campaign of Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin." The Times article says the Koch brothers also flexed their political muscle through the nonprofit they created, Americans for Prosperity:
Even before the new governor was sworn in last month, executives from the Koch-backed group had worked behind the scenes to try to encourage a union showdown, Mr. Phillips said in an interview on Monday.
This is nothing new.
Political activism is high on the list of priorities for Charles Koch, who in a letter last September to other business leaders and conservatives explained that he saw no other choice.

“If not us, who? If not now, when?” said the letter, which invited other conservatives to a retreat in January in Rancho Mirage, Calif. “It is up to us to combat what is now the greatest assault on American freedom and prosperity in our lifetimes.”
I don't know the context of this quotation, so I don't know what Charles Koch considers that "greatest assault on American freedom and prosperity" to be. But I would like him to say whether he considers collective bargaining an "assault" on freedom. (I don't doubt he considers collective bargaining an assault on prosperity -- his prosperity, to be exact.)

Conservative blowhards like to prate about criticisms of the wealthy being "class warfare." Bullshit. The real class warfare is being waged by the Kochs and their friends through astroturf groups like Americans for Prosperity and sycophantic media outlets like Fox News.

If you're not in the same tax bracket as the Koch brothers, but you support their supposedly pro-prosperity agenda, ask yourself one question:

Can the Koch brothers and their wealthy friends possibly imagine what it's like to earn a living today?

Don't kid yourself: they can't.

The spectacle of billionaires pontificating about the threats to their continued wealth is sickening.

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