In their first published remarks since a prank caller tricked Gov. Scott Walker into thinking he was speaking with big-bucks backer David Koch himself, Koch executives said that that hoax and nearly two weeks of Madison protests have only strengthened the Koch brothers’ determination to continue to use their billions to promote a national agenda that includes gutting the power of unions and deregulating industry.
Their statements in a Thursday night story by Robert Costa of the National Review Online, itself a bastion of conservatism, were defiant.
“With the Left trying to intimidate the Koch brothers to back off of their support for freedom and signaling to others that this is what happens if you oppose the administration and its allies, we have no choice but to continue to fight,” says Richard Fink, the executive vice president of Koch Industries. “We will not step back at all.”
Got that, they’re not backing off from their “support for freedom.” That would be a good thing, if their definition of that word weren’t completely perverse.
Here are a couple of graphs from the first chapter of my book:
Dig a little deeper, and it becomes clear that “freedom” for the Right offers most of us anything but. It’s the freedom for companies to screw their workers, pollute, and otherwise operate free of any meaningful regulations to protect the public interest. It’s about the wealthiest among us being free from the burden of paying a fair share of the taxes that help finance a smoothly functioning society.
The flip side, of course, is that programs that assure working Americans a decent existence are painted as a form of tyranny approaching fascism. The reality is that they impinge only on our God-given right to live without a secure social safety net. It’s the freedom to go bankrupt if you can’t afford to treat an illness; the liberty to spend your Golden Years eating cat food if you couldn’t sock away enough for a decent retirement.
Cross-posted elsewhere, to share the love.
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