Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"Koch Industries is just a terrible, terrible citizen"

Kansas State Senator Tim Owens is a moderate Republican that was unseated thanks in a large part by the Koch Brothers and their teahadist group, Americans for (Koch's) Prosperity. The Kochs, as you already know, bankrolls AFP to attack anyone and everyone who they see as a threat, like Owens.

Owens did an interview with David Weigel of Slate and here is what he said of the Kochs and AFP:
Slate: But I'm curious, did the Kansas Chamber or any of the groups that opposed you try to work on you before spending money in the election?

Owens: They wrote me off early on. They went after the eight moderates they saw as impediments. And the challengers were backed very strongly by the Americans for Prosperity. I don't know if you've heard of them, but they basically have an anti-tax philosophy. They were started by Koch Industries and the Koch brothers, that's where the money comes from against us. The local Chambers are wholly owned by Koch Industries and AFP.

Slate: But Koch Industries is a Kansas-based company that ostensibly provides jobs in Kansas, pays taxes in Kansas.

Owens: Sure, but they are absolutely opposed to taxes. If it were up to them they'd want us to do away with all taxes and leave them alone. They may be a Kansas business, they may be the biggest company run by a single family, but they need to be asking the question "What can we do for Kansas?" and not "What can Kansas do for us?" Koch Industries is just a terrible, terrible citizen as far as I'm concerned. I think Koch Industries has done a major disservice to the state of Kansas.
More significantly is what the Koch agenda will do to Kansas if they are allowed to continue unchecked:
Slate: And you were targeted, at least in part, because you opposed the tax plan. Why did you oppose it?

Owens: I've seen projections that say we'd be at a $2.7 billion in five years if we cut taxes too deeply. We have a constiutional mandate in Kansas that we have to balance the budget. if we're $2.7 billion in the hole, we either have to go back and raise taxes, which the new senators won't do, or we have to cut the programs. What do you cut in Kansas, where 67% of the budget is K-12 or higher ed? You're talking about higher ed taking a huge hit, and I suppose you're expecting private or parochical school to fill the gap. But Kansas right now is sixth in the nation for quality of public education. The theory, as I understand it, will be that businesses will bring enough new jobs to Kansas to make up the difference in funding. But if part of his tax plan is to eliminate income tax, it's not gonna make a lot of difference, is it? Do they raise the property tax instead? The whole theory is haywire.
Gee, doesn't that sound like what's going on in Fitzwalkerstan?


  1. For governments to operate and have any effect on the populace, they require revenue. The larger the scope of government, the more revenue needed. Libertarians seek absolute freedom in markets, reducing government involvement to an ideal zero.
    The Kochs were the leaders in bringing the libertarian view to the fore, though academics had shaped the idea for a long time prior.
    Cato Institute originated in 1974 in Wichita, Kansas as the Charles Koch Foundation. Koch Industries is the second largest privately-held corporation in the U.S. They hate paying taxes, and also want the government uninvolved with regulating things like the oil industry and financial derivatives.
    Like Grover Norquist, they push for new taxes or tax increases. Libertarians have long wanted to do away with the public school systems. Education is still needed, but should be done privately. So they push for vouchers and school choice to replace what was public "government" education with seperate, private schools. This reduces the scope of government--it also removes involvement with the teachers' unions.
    But they are using our public tax dollars to
    fund these privatized schools.
    Using public money to fund private business has become a common theme among Republicans, especially the Tea Party set.
    This arrangement has got to change. There will be very little of government left if it doesn't.

  2. I know it's a pipe dream, but shouldn't some federal branch be looking in to the Koch's not paying any taxes in Wisconsin after buying Walker's, and numerous other elected chronies?