We have all heard their cries for limited government, less spending, less regulation, less taxes, more freedom, no Obamacare, and less Obama….yada yada yada. These are a few of the Tea Party themes consistently mentioned in the press. And don’t forget, the Tea Party movement had 60 freshman representatives join the House of Representatives after the 2010 mid-term elections, and the current Tea Party Caucus has 49 members–including 4 Senators–as of January 2013. Then again, it would be difficult to forget because they have been holding the Republican Party and the rest of the country hostage to their ideology ever since.
While I and many others have become extremely frustrated with the Tea Party’s intransigence and lack of reason, to retain my claim to open-mindedness, I felt an obligation to finally educate myself on exactly what the Tea Party is all about, and exactly what they want, beyond the common generalities we always hear and read about.
Well, little did I know, but this is not an easy question to answer, and for a disgraceful reason–they don’t even know themselves! They just know that they must reject President Obama on all things, repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at all costs, reject all climate change science, and never ever compromise on anything. After some basic research, it is painfully clear that all this Tea Party whining is nothing but that…whining. The movement is decentralized so there are many flavors, but here is a list of some common views:
Typical Tea Party Complaints:
- The Federal Government is too big, powerful, and too intrusive–the Government should be as small as possible.
- The Federal Government has exceeded it’s enumerated powers as defined in the Constitution.
- Federal spending is out of control and the cause of the current poor economy.
- Federal Taxes are too complex, too high, and prevent the so-called “Job Creators” from growing the Economy
- Illegal immigration, particularly from Mexico, must be stopped completely; and current illegals deported.
- America is “Exceptional,” and President Obama doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism, he is too apologetic
- The Federal Government is a threat to the people of the United States, the people want to “Take back their country!”
- President Obama is a collectivist, Socialist, and Communist.
- Liberals simply want government hand outs and do not strive to be self-reliant.
- There are too many laws and regulations hampering industry, especially in the areas managed by the EPA.
I must admit, there are a few items on this list that sound good and are good; however, reality must play a part in the execution of any initiatives no matter the soundness of policy.
In Lindsey Graham’s own words, the fine Republican Senator from South Carolina,
OK, so now we must get to the Koch brothers, four fabulously wealthy, extremely intelligent gentleman that fund a great many civic and charitable organizations through their philanthropic efforts. Their father Fred (1900-1967) invented a new way to refine oil into gasoline, and he founded Koch Industries. David and Charles Koch bought out their two brothers Fred and William in 1983, and now run Koch Industries, the 2nd largest privately held company in the U.S.–after Cargill. They own refineries in Texas, Alaska, and Minnesota; and they also own the well know brands of Brawny paper towels, Invista (“Stainmaster” Carpet and Lyrca), as well as Georgia Pacific and very large Cattle Ranch operations, Nitrogen Fertilizer production, and other chemicals–just to name a few! Koch Industries is estimated to produce revenues of $100 Billion per year, and both David and Charles Koch have a net worth exceeding $30 Billion, placing them EACH in the top 10 of richest Americans.
These guys are certainly successful, and what is wrong with that? They give away a ton of money and fund charities too numerous to list. The problem most have with the Kochs, is that now that Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission has opened the floodgates for corporate political spending, there is really no limit to their influence if they choose to participate in politics. Is this really what our country is supposed to be about, the richest decide whats best for the rest of us? Politicians must bend to their wills or have their funding removed? The U.S. government should not be able to be bought, but it certainly appears that many are trying–and the Kochs are having some success.
Lets Look at a few motives for David and Charles:
1) Would an oil refinery company have any interest in the U.S. moving away from fossil fuels? Not likely.
2) Would an oil refinery company have any interest in reducing carbon emissions? Not likely.
3) Would an oil refinery company want society to accept the science of climate change? I doubt it.
4) Would life long Libertarians who prefer the elimination of the EPA and most other Federal agencies, have an interest in so-called “limited Government?” Yes.
David Koch was the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential candidate in the 1980 presidential election, sharing the party ticket with presidential candidate Ed Clark. The Clark–Koch ticket promising to abolish Social Security, the Federal Reserve Board, welfare, minimum-wage laws, corporate taxes, all price supports and subsidies for agriculture and business, and U.S. Federal agencies including the SEC, EPA, ICC, FTC, OSHA, FBI, CIA, and DOE.
If these are not radical views what are? Do away with Securities and Exchange Commission? We can barely prevent financial abuse now. No EPA? Would they prefer we wreck the planet in the next 50 years? All for money? Social Security? Really? Of course the Koch brothers are entitled to their opinions, but they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the last 10 years supporting their Libertarian agenda, and many groups (like the Tea Party) are not even aware that they are being used to accomplish the Koch’s agenda. It really is time that we shine some light on the Koch brothers and all their various funding, aside from their known support for the Tea Party through Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks.
Mark G Capolupo