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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt…a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.

–President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in a 1954 letter to his brother Edgar

Pity the poor plutocrats, victims of the envious mob. You can hardly open the Wall Street Journal these days without reading a self-pitying screed by some billionaire hungry for love.

A while back it was venture capitalist Tom Perkins, who equated criticism of the wealthy with the Holocaust.

“I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its ‘one percent,’ namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich,’” he opined in a letter to the newspaper.

Makes sense to me. One day they’re saying Wall Street bankers should pay the same tax rate as the guys who rotate their tires, next day they’re flinging them into concentration camps. Soon billionaires will be hiding in attic penthouses, quietly fondling stock certificates. Their limos will be disguised as UPS trucks, their yachts as humble tugboats.

In a subsequent San Francisco speaking engagement, Perkins suggested that the United States formally adopt a one-dollar, one-vote electoral system. Citizens, he said, should be like shareholders in a corporation.

“You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How’s that?”

The audience laughed, but Perkins claimed to be dead serious. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the investment firm he co-founded, called itself shocked, and emphasized its disagreement.

More recently, Charles Koch, the elder of the infamous Koch brothers of legend and song, contributed an op-ed to the Journal bitterly complaining that people targeted by TV attack ads he’s paid for are actually allowed to talk back. The brothers, you see, are pure idealists campaigning for liberty.

So that when their Tea Party front groups oppose a public transport system in Nashville, Tennessee, work to forbid Georgia Power from investing in solar technology, or spend big on a county referendum on open pit mining in Wisconsin, it has nothing whatsoever to do with Koch Industries’ oil, gas and mining profits. It’s all about freedom.

And when the same organizations spend millions on TV commercials featuring actresses reading prepared scripts, pretending to have been injured by the Affordable Care Act and attacking Democratic U.S. senators in Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska, that too is all about liberty.

However, wicked “collectivists” who “promise heaven but deliver hell,” — hell evidently being reliable health insurance not subject to cancellation on an employer’s whim — have called the Koch brothers out. One such is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who went so far as to call their secretive methods “un-American.”

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • Dominick Vila

    If a Democratic administration proposed anything close to what Republicans propose with great pride, they would be run out of town and would become a true minority party for generations to come. Proposing the privatization of Social Security, dismantling MEDICARE and replacing it with a voucher system, and repealing the Affordable Care Act after millions of Americans are benefiting from it, should be enough to turn the GOP into public enemy number one. And yet, there are many among us, including many who would be affected by the implementation of what the GOP is proposing, who support their ideas without giving it a second thought or ever wondering what our most vulnerable citizens would do without the social programs that provide them the means to live a long and healthy life with the dignity everyone deserves.
    I guess some of them are so wealthy, and so detached from the plight that most of us face every day of our lives, that they simply don’t understand how hard it is to make ends meet on a meager salary or retirement. Interestingly, many of their supporters are working class folks, facing the same problems most of us encounter. Is it ideology, ignorance, greed, cultural or ethnic hatred? I suspect that since the only ingredient missing from that recipe is logic, it must be all of the above.

    • paulyz

      Everyone understands that Medicare & S.S. are on an unsustainable course & will become bankrupt with “our” money! And you worry about private & voluntary privatization of S.S. and also ignore that Obama took $716 BILLION from Medicare, and another $500 BILLION in new taxes for Obamacare! ! ?

      • John Cobb

        Please read up on these topics from a dependable source before spouting any more nonsense. You have to graduate from Fox News in order to join the public discourse.

        • sallysue

          So right John. Left untouched by greedy lawmakers, it is a fact backed by the CBO that SS remains sustainable. And, the $716 billion “Obama took” was simply shifted from the provider side of medicare to the benefits side. Kinda like transferring $$ from your checking to savings: the money hasn’t really left the bank. paulyz is clueless on how medicare works, and probably forgot that during the last presidential go-round, Paul Ryan proposed taking the same $716 billion from medicare and giving it to the 1% in the form of more tax breaks. Ignorance is bliss.

          • John Cobb

            Thanks for your reply, sallysue! You have even more facts at your command than I do. These facts need to be articulated continuously. They may ruin a few people’s bliss, but in this case I would say that knowledge is preferable to ignorant bliss.

        • BillP

          John this low information troll can only write the same untrue “facts’ that he gets from right wing media. I’m sure there are many Republicans and Conservatives that are collecting SS and use Medicare as their primary health care. This troll never offers anything intelligent nor backs up his statements with provable facts. He will never reply to you or others who question him, he doesn’t have the intelligence or cohones to do so.

          • elw

            I agree the guy is a nut case, but other people read what he says and I think someone should respond back with real information. If it saves one person from believing him, it is worth it.

          • plc97477

            Mr lyz also is hurting for “likes” so badly that he gives himself “likes”

      • elw

        As long as the US Government can collect taxes none of these program will go bankrupted. It is a very silly thing to say and makes no sense at all. Obama did not take 716 billion out of Medicare, what he did was eliminate the bonus paid to the Advantage plans for insuring Seniors, those bonuses are fazed out over 10 years all of it is going back into Medicare in the form of benefits. And of course there is new taxes for the ACA, unlike the last GOP President who put an unfunded prescription drug program into place along with his two unfunded wars, this President is being practical and responsible by funding the programs and actions he puts in place. That is why deficit spending has gone down during his Presidency. But then you do tend to make silly claims and blame everything wrong on the Current President as if no one else has ever been in that office and history does not exist.

    • elw

      I actually think that their constant attacks on SS and Medicare is slowly and surely making them enemy #1.

    • Independent1

      Dominick, I may have already posted this for you, but in case not, here’s a link to Harry Reid calling the Koch Bros. out. It’s really something to see:

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    The scary thing is while the Koch brothers and Tom Perkins are publicly declaimed by their “associates”, those same individuals privately agree. Their unguarded conversations, speeches, etc. all show their disdain for the public, and their belief in a Plutocracy.

    • John Cobb

      That’s what concerns me. Also I’m concerned that the robber barons (which is what I like to call them, as that describes them perfectly) actually have a long-range plan, which no one seems to address, or be taking steps to prepare for. All the “crazy talk” by their political minions and their public protests are mere distractions to keep our attention off their step-by-step execution of their plan. They already have the Supreme Court in their pocket. What’s next? Most of all, what’s their end game?

    • Independent1

      Talking about the Koch Bros. You may be interested in seeing a list of David Koch’s campaign platform for VP back in 1980.

      Here’s just a little of what he’d like to destroy in our government:

      “We urge the repeal of federal campaign finance laws, and the immediate abolition of the despotic Federal Election Commission.”

      “We favor the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs.”

      We also favor the deregulation of the medical insurance industry.”

      “We favor the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system. Pending that
      repeal, participation in Social Security should be made voluntary.”

      “We oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes.”

      “We support the eventual repeal of all taxation.”

      “We condemn compulsory education laws … and we call for the immediate repeal of such laws.”

      “We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property
      of private schools, whether profit or non-profit.”

      “We support the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency.”

      “We advocate the abolition of the Federal Aviation Administration.”

      “We advocate the abolition of the Food and Drug Administration.”

      “We support an end to all subsidies for child-bearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children.”

      “We oppose all government welfare, relief projects, and ‘aid to the poor’ programs. All these government programs are privacy-invading, paternalistic, demeaning, and inefficient. The proper source of help for such persons is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals.”

      You’ll find more here:

  • paulyz

    Isn’t George Soros a 1%er?

    • awakenaustin

      Do you actually believe you are making a point with that statement?Folks here are upset with the Koch brothers and Mr. Perkins not because they are wealthy, but because they are greedy, self-interested, self-justifying, self-centered, ignorant a**holes.
      I could think of other adjectives, but I bet you get the point.

      • edwardw69

        Why do you bother with this guy? Ignore him: let him rot in his bunker.

    • CripesAmighty

      Why, yes. But Mr. soros advocates for policies that do not benefit him personally, and believes that he and his peers have an obligation to pay back into the society that allowed him to amass such wealth.

      Worth noting, as well, Soros has enough confidence in his skills and talents as a financier, that he does not feel the need to use government to attempt to rig the rules in his favor. That’s how capitalism’s supposed to work.

  • Paul Bass

    Cry me a river you clowns.
    As Ann Richards famously said of George Bush, “He was born on third base and thought he hit a triple”

    The hardest work these guys do all day is walk to the bathroom.

    They wouldn’t know hardship if it came up to them, slapped them in their face, twisted their arm round back, and dunked their head in a toilet. They’d still say ‘My taxes are too high!’ Boo-Hoo, sorry I could go on forever…

    • elw

      Yes, I saw GW Bush being interviewed yesterday and he was bragging how he spends his days painting portraits of famous people. His wife was very proud of his paintings of their cat. It was pathetic.

      • Paul Bass

        Yes, see my comment on this exact topic on the comic of the day. (comparing Clinton & Carter Foundations to how GW spends his day)

        • 4sanity4all

          On the other hand, do you think any foundation would WANT GWB to muck up their operation? I think painting is a fine occupation for him.

          • Paul Bass

            I agree!

          • Independent1

            Anything that keeps him from getting involved in screwing up the U.S. economy any more than it is.

  • latebloomingrandma

    I wish I could have written this article. Spot on!

  • Lucretzia

    Oh, Gene, I heard you can take it with you. I heard of one plutarch who decided to have his wealth rolled into ten thousand dollar bills and used to stuff his hollowed out carcass. so there.

    • edwardw69

      I read this somewhere: You can take it with you; you take exactly that amount that you have freely given away.

    • jointerjohn

      If either of the Kochs plan to take it with them they better use an asbestos bag.

  • elw

    Yep there is no way of getting around it, the crazy right is full of sick puppies who spend their time counting their money and feeling picked-on, while destroying other people’s lives.

  • Allan Richardson

    Not even religion can cure their selfishness; they just turn it around and use it to justify their greed: “Blessed are the strong, for they can take the earth away from the meek who inherit it.”

    Some of the rich folks in this crowd are Mormons, and the Book of Mormon repeatedly condemns the forming of “secret combinations” to gain power to do evil; what we would call “conspiracies” today. They are not explicitly mentioned in the Bible (probably because the OPEN use of force to take things from others was pretty much unstoppable, while in Smith’s time there was great distrust of the Freemasons and other secret societies). That’s another sin on top of stealing from the poor to give to the rich, at least if you happen to be a Mormon. I don’t think Jesus would approve, either.

    • Sand_Cat

      Actually, most of them justify their evil using religion.

  • Gantz9

    If Dick Cheney won’t die then neither will these assholes. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if Charlie slipped a “hail HYDRA” in at the end of that statement.

    • Lovefacts

      Having seen Winter Soldier and last night’s episode of Agents of Shield, I second your comment with a here, here!

  • charles king

    Democracy Works, Critical Thinking Works, Social Security Works, Medicare Works, Public Education Works, Unions Works, Obamacare Works, and many more government projects for the People they all Works and the Country moves forward. These greedy Capitalistic Pigs, Plutocracts, Republicans and Democracts Representives Do Nothingiers etc. are Not needed in our Free Society, We the People has the Vote, and By, Of, and For the People this will protect our Democracy from all the MONIERS Who? are hanging on Our Democracy Which? is the best governing body in the world. Thank You are the magic words in my book. I Love Ya All . The Vote is still Supreme. Mr. C. E. KING

  • adp3d

    If these “boys” would pay what they owe in taxes the world would be a better place. I wonder what their tax bill would be in relation to the amount of political spending they do…?

  • charles king

    I do not understand Why? they have trouble paying their taxes. Who? cares how much money you are worth, it is only MONIES and we wish you well but do not deny another American their rights. Thank You are the magic words in my book. I Love Ya All. P. S. Watch out for those Plutocracts in smalltowns USA. Mr. C. E. KING