WORTH REPEATING: The Kochtopus Sure Eats An Awful Lot Of Big Government Money For A Libertarian


THINK PROGRESS: Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch fired back at his critics, who have grown more vocal as it has become clear that Koch groups are providing the political muscle for Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-WI) union-busting power grab. In his piece, Charles portrays himself as simply an ideological advocate, and says his money to political groups is only meant to “enhance true economic freedom.” He chides special interests that have “successfully lobbied for special favors,” claiming “crony capitalism is much easier than competing in an open market.” But in reality, the focus of the Koch political machine is geared towards “crony capitalism” — corrupting government to make Charles and his brother David Koch richer. Koch’s Tea Party libertarianism is actually a thin veneer for the company’s long running history of winning special deals from the government and manipulating the market to pad Koch profits. MORE

RELATED: In this season of budget pain, with states laying off teachers, police officers and firefighters, and generally haemorrhaging red, and our Democratic president proposing dramatic cuts to a programme that helps low-income Americans in the north-east pay their heating bill during the freezing winter, an interesting question to ask is, what took so long? The banks took some heat directly after the crash, with huge demonstrations on Wall Street, and later caravans of irate and angry protests at the homes of AIG executives after the bonus scandals. This feels like ages ago, back when the president himself told bank CEOs, “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.” Since then, of course, and leading up to the midterm elections last fall, “the pitchforks” outside the banks largely faded from sight, and American populist ire was most successfully whipped up by the right and directed at autoworkers, healthcare reformers, immigrants, the “Ground Zero Mosque” and, more recently, “greedy” public sector unions. Political economist Robert Reich recently laid out how the GOP and the millionaire class in general benefits handsomely from this arrangement whereby the middle class and the working poor are pitted against each other, and urged to fight over the crumbs of what’s left, in an increasingly two-tiered, third-world economy. MORE

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