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Republicans: What is your opinion of the effect of the Koch Brothers on Republican policy?
The Koch Brothers are straight up Libertarian billionaires. Their goal is to create a society in which corporations can dominate government. They oppose regulation of internet giants such as Facebook and Google for this reason. They influence the Republican party through their large donations.

Some media opinion shows,(Fox News), are saying that the Koch brothers have Mitch McConnell by the short hairs, and that they are interfering with the regulation of internet companies that try to block free speech for their own personal political reasons, and that the Koch brothers will oppose any attempt to regulate large corporations.

8 replies
Aug 8, 2019
badminton · 61-69, MVIP Best Comment
Read Jane Mayer's Book "Dark Money" for valuable information on the Koch Brothers and their efforts to influence national politics and ideas in favor of the billionaire class.
4meAndyou · F
[@601940,badminton] I was just reading about the court cases that made this possible. The so called Eight Magic Words in a supreme court decision. I mean...what were they even thinking?
badminton · 61-69, MVIP
[@387713,4meandyou] The Koch's hit on the idea of using the philanthropy laws, because they could set up organizations that operate with virtually no outside scrutiny, largely un-taxed, in near total secrecy. In [i]Dark Money[/i], Mayer presents detailed documentation of the Koch's activities. Clearly, she has done extensive research.
Heartlander · 70-79, M

[quote] Mayer describes how the Koch Brothers have used philanthropy laws to set up organizations, with no accountability and much secrecy,[/quote]

Tax laws are so-so-so-so complex that they are beyond the ability of the government to audit and enforce, especially when you get to the super rich and multi-layered corporations stages. Add that Koch Industries is involved in multiple industries, all with unique regulations and opportunities for cost shifting, and it's beyond the scope of a trainload of accountants to wrap their arms around it.

One of the benefits of my long-ago smoking years was that one of my loading-dock smoking companions had been a DOE accountant auditor and his description was that gas and oil, energy companies, were beyond any attempts to audit them. They can do anything they want and the best the auditors can do is check their calculations. From that analysis we can understand why it took so many years to determine that ENRON was a fraud even with supposedly the most sophisticated inside and outside accounting companies looking at their books?

My own belief is that it's lobbyist who write the tax laws and members of congress sign what's given to them by friends. Philanthropy laws and Not for Profits seem to be especially pliable considering how politicians from both sides tend to gravitate towards them and put family members in control.

I did enjoy a tiny-tiny peek into the brothers a dozen+ years ago via a family friend who worked there. For a number of years the brothers seemed too busy with family feuds to do much more than fight with one another.

Heartlander · 70-79, M
I'm likewise not a Republican but an independent. If I had to identify with something it would probably be as an anti-Democrat :) I realize that there are some good Democrats, but seriously oppose team-government.

I don't believe in vilifying the Koch brothers. While I like hands-off government, I don't like the idea of overpowering or fortifying large corporations.

The Koch brothers are well liked in Kansas, and they've done good things for Kansas and the world. But interestingly, Kansas had an interesting experience during the depression years where the banks did not fail. That was because Kansas laws at the time prohibited branch-banking and multi-bank corporations. Banks then were basically community banks, supporting the local communities rather than serving as ATM machines for large multi-state banking corporations. When the depression hit, people who had money in banks saw their deposits suddenly vanish as big businesses across America shut their doors. Except for Kansans, whose bank deposits were still kept locally and out of the reaches of big corporations.

I have no objection to big business, but they sometimes fail, and can take a big chunk of America's $$ with them when they do. We saw the depth and speed of an economic downturn just 10 years ago.

I favor anti-monopoly and anti-trust laws, and on reflection of our current health care problems, I think much of of the problem is due to politicians giving a pass to insurance companies and providers so they can bypass anti-trust regulations and in general get supersized by government regulations.

So I think the Koch brothers are free to participate on the same terms as the local butcher shop. And they shouldn't be given a right to manipulate or snuff out the competition.

Nice guys, but .... :)
MarkS · 46-50, M
Same as Soros effect on the dems: $ makes the rules.

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