Oh … lookie here …

Powerline on GE versus Koch industries:

One can hardly resist comparing GE with another American company–one that has steadily increased its American workforce, rather than cutting it. One that has never gone to the federal government for a bailout. One that lobbies out of self-defense, as all companies do, but not to secure special privileges for itself at the taxpayers’ expense. One that pays lots of taxes. One that not only advocates free enterprise, but lives by it, competing for business with superior products and services.

A number of companies would fit that description, but I have in mind Koch Industries. Koch is smaller than GE, although not radically so–$100 billion in revenues vs. $150 billion–but it pays a whole lot more in taxes. One might think that a company like Koch would be honored and respected compared with a company like GE, but that is not the case–not on the left, anyway. On the contrary, it is Koch’s very integrity that makes it public enemy number one for the Democratic Party.

Certainly, Koch industries are nothing like Obama’s favorite company, GE, which earned over $14 billion in 2010, and not only paid no corporate taxes, but claimed a $3.2 billion “tax benefit” which will carry over into the future.

How does GE do so well? Lobbying and creative accounting.

And even more important than all of that may be the fact that G.E. owns NBC, which in turn co-owns MSNBC with Microsoft. NBC and, especially, MSNBC–the home of Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schulz and until recently Keith Olbermann, has essentially been a house PR organ for the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats. (Last month, GE made a deal to sell NBC to Comcast.)

So the symbiosis between GE and the federal government, in particular the Obama administration, is obvious. GE strikes us as a “modern” company, in that its business strategy consists largely of exercising political influence. In truth, however, the concept is not new: the virtual merger of Big Government and Big Business has long been a hallmark of national socialism.

But, moving right along, the left wants to focus on the Koch brothers. In the vilification of Koch Industries, the left has turned them into “Lex Luthor” and “General Zod.” They are the epitome of everything that is wrong with our Democracy ; big money and political influence. Oh, wait, strike that. They are the epitome of everything that is wrong with our Democracy; big money and political influence on the right.

The Obama administration was ahead of the curve when it criticized Koch industries last year:

The left has not only failed to acknowledge Koch’s virtues, but has relentlessly slandered the company and its owners. The Obama administration, shamefully, has taken the lead in this regard. In August 2010, Austan Goolsbee, the Chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, slandered Koch Industries by claiming falsely that the company doesn’t pay taxes:

[W]e have a series of entities that do not pay corporate income tax. Some of which are really giant firms, you know Koch Industries is a multibillion dollar businesses. So that creates a narrower base because we’ve literally got something like 50 percent of the business income in the U.S. is going to businesses that don’t pay any corporate income tax.

Now, get ready for Glenn Greenwald’s documentary on the Koch brother. I can’t wait.

But the Koch brothers go far beyond mere writing about political issues. They single-handedly fund advocacy groups and covert campaigns on a wide variety of highly controversial issues that adversely impact huge numbers of people. That they expect to be able to do that without any vigorous response or opposition or anger is just reflective of their oozing sense of entitlement: the same syndrome that leads them to perversely believe that the True Victims in America’s political culture are its wealthiest and most powerful.

Greenwald has a nice slight of hand here -HOW DARE THEY CRITICIZE OUR CRITICISM?!!? The Koch brothers aren’t questioning the rights of those to question. They are questioning their veracity.

The overreaching them of the Koch brother’s position is that the government has gotten too large and spends too much. And that the government is meddling where it shouldn’t.

Government spending on business only aggravates the problem. Too many businesses have successfully lobbied for special favors and treatment by seeking mandates for their products, subsidies (in the form of cash payments from the government), and regulations or tariffs to keep more efficient competitors at bay.

Crony capitalism is much easier than competing in an open market. But it erodes our overall standard of living and stifles entrepreneurs by rewarding the politically favored rather than those who provide what consumers want.

But the difference between GE and Koch Industries, or the difference between Koch funding libertarian causes and George Soro’s funding progressive ones?

Common Cause has received $2 million from Soros’s Open Society Institute in the past eight years, according to grant data provided by Capital Research Center. Two panelists at Common Cause’s rival conference nearby — President Obama’s former green jobs czar, Van Jones, and blogger Lee Fang — work at the Center for American Progress, which was started and funded by Soros but, as a 501(c)4 nonprofit “think tank,” legally conceals the names of its donors.

In other words, money from billionaire George Soros and anonymous, well-heeled liberals was funding a protest against rich people’s influence on politics.

When Politico reporter Ken Vogel pointed out that Soros hosts similar “secret” confabs, CAP’s Fang responded on Twitter: “don’t you think there’s a very serious difference between donors who help the poor vs. donors who fund people to kill government, taxes on rich?”

Our Donations are Different. Yea, that’s it.

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8 Comments on “Oh … lookie here …”

  1. Jay in Ames Says:

    The common theme of these seems to be: Which method will make the lawyers and politicians richer quicker, rather than the corporations?

    I see the Koch brother’s corporation paying taxes, and GE getting waivers. Which one is benefiting the country more, again?

  2. Hotspur Says:

    I was hoping for something upbeat.

  3. Car in Says:

    I was hoping for something upbeat.

    Really?

  4. Hotspur Says:

    But not music. We have different tastes.

  5. Car in Says:

    I’ll search the news for something upbeat.

    You’ll be responsible for my wasted day 😉

  6. Hotspur Says:

    I can handle it.

  7. MJ Says:

    I think you are really hitting on something here that I don’t read too much about. Generally speaking, the anger or heightened awareness of political culture is categorized. They are angry about the public debt, or spending, or Wall St, or bailouts, or etc etc etc.

    I’m not seeing the overreaching theme that ties people’s feelings together; mainly that the public doesn’t like corruption and sense of unfairness that has led to the poor state of government. It all seems so rigged, when most of us just want a fair shot at the goal. If you are of a favored group, whether that is by race, political organization, or constituency, you get to move the ball forward, and the goalie won’t pay attention while the shot it taken. Wink, wink.

    In short, maybe people are beginning to understand that the country was made great because of the equality of opportunity, not the equality of outcome.

  8. agiledog Says:

    In short, maybe people are beginning to understand

    But is the number of people whose eyes are finally starting to open enough? I believe it was Car in who had a link a few months back to the statistic that now more people work for the goverment (local, state and federal) than work in manufacturing jobs here in this country. That is a freaking scary stat. And something like 30% feed off the goverment teat in some form. We are getting to the point where enough people think they can just vote themselves what they want – they don’t have to work for it.


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