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Hullabaloo


Sunday, May 11, 2014

 
This is going to help you more than it helps us. Honest. #Kochs


by digby

Paul Waldman made a great observation about the Kochs that I think is worth thinking about a bit. He quotes saying this from AFP, in defense of their worldview:
"If the presidential election told us anything, it's that Americans place a great importance on taking care of those in need and avoiding harm to the weak," reads the AFP memo.

Echoing Charles Koch's opposition to the minimum wage, it asserts that free market, low-regulation policies "create the greatest levels of prosperity and opportunity for all Americans, especially for society's poorest and most vulnerable." Yet, the memo says, "we consistently see that Americans in general are concerned that free-market policy — and its advocates — benefit the rich and powerful more than the most vulnerable of society. …We must correct this misconception."
And then observes:
If you read closely, you see that this is actually a different kind of claim than free marketeers usually make. They often argue that unfettered markets will provide better outcomes for poor people than free markets with the help of a safety net will. And they argue that free markets are good for everyone. But this goes farther. Maybe I'm not sufficiently steeped in their rhetoric and dogma, but I don't recall hearing too often that their policy agenda, which includes things like slashing environmental and worker safety regulations, cutting taxes for the wealthy, and eviscerating safety net programs, actually provides more benefits to the poor than to the rich.

It's one thing to say, sure, when we cut capital gains taxes the wealthy benefit, but in the end it helps the whole economy. It's another thing entirely to say that the greatest benefit from those tax cuts accrue to the poor.

That's interesting, no? They don't just believe in the trickle down or the "high tide raises all boats" thing, they believe that these policies directly benefit the poor more than the rich. It's hard to understand why they think this although as Waldman points out it's easy to see why they would need to. After all, to believe otherwise is to be a horrible person. And they don't seem to want to be the purveyors of "tough love."

However, there are plenty of Republicans and libertarians who do. Like the people who shouted "yeah!" when Ron Paul said it was just too bad if a person got sick without health insurance. Or those who cheer Rick Perry when he takes pride in being the record holder for most executions of any Governor. Certainly, all those people who thought Romney's 47% remark was right on have absolutely no interest in helping the poor. (I won't even go into the fact that most of them think the benefits got to the "you know whos" and they don't like that one bit.)

It's hard to know what the Kochs actually think is the mechanism for the poor benefiting more from their policies although, if I had to guess, it would be "liberty" the ultimate catch phrase of the right wing these days --- which translates in Koch world roughly into "you are free to starve or work as a lackey, ain't that grand?"

But hey, good luck to them finding a way to convince regular people that they are the ones coming out on top when the Kochs pocket another 50 billion. Most of us may be dumb about money but we aren't that dumb.

.




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