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The Koch

Network

&

Trump

Trump angrily frowning, looking mean

The Koch brothers and their superrich allies in stealing the American Dream can afford many mansions around the world each.

  • They have great power and rule in America, like the kings and queens of Medieval Europe.
  • And their wealth depends on making sure our government stays rigged for the rich.

The secretive Koch network meets twice a year to plan strategy to sabotage our democracy—California in the winter, Colorado in the summer.

  • You can only attend by invitation, it costs $100,000 a year to attend, and no media is allowed.

Let’s look at a few more of the most corrupt people in the Koch coalition:

Sheldon Adelson

  • Billionaire Sheldon Adelson paid a $47 million settlement to end an investigation into money laundering for the vicious Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel.
  • Adelson is also linked to Asian mafias in his casinos in China and has been investigated for bribing foreign governments.
  • He and his wife were the two largest individual Republican donors in 2016.

Robert Mercer

  • Hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer uses computer algorithms and high frequency trading to cheat regular Americans on the stock market.
  • Mercer complained America started going wrong after passing the Civil Rights Act of the 1960s.
  • He funded Donald Trump’s rise, Steve Bannon, and the white-nationalist Breitbart News.

Paul Singer

  • Hedge fund billionaire vulture capitalist Paul Singer buys up the debt of countries and cities facing massive debts for pennies on the dollar.
  • Next, he uses his government connections to force them to cut money for their own people’s health, education, and pensions to pay him back.
  • He also bought much of the debt of Lehman Brothers during the financial collapse and made many tens of millions on our government bailout.

The Waltons

  • The Koch-allied Walton family is worth $191 billion. They are heirs to the Walmart fortune.
  • They make $4 million per hour, $100 million per day, and avoid taxes on foreign earnings by using hidden subsidiaries in tax havens.
  • Meanwhile, us taxpayers pay $6.2 billion each year for health care and other government assistance to Walmart workers. In some Walmart stores, 80% of the employees must use food stamps.
  • Some Walmart warehouse workers loading shelves from trucks have to show up every morning but only get paid if there’s enough work for them that day.

Others

The Koch network includes other hedge fund or private equity managers who buy companies and suck the profits out of them.

  • They destroy tens of thousands of jobs, destroy businesses like Sears, K-Mart, and Toys R Us, and steal retirement pensions in ways that are illegal in other countries.

Around 700 members now happily pay the $100,000 Koch network membership fee so they can get richer by crafting our laws to their own benefit.

Members include:

  • Koch Industries
  • Walmart
  • ExxonMobil
  • AT&T
  • Coca-Cola
  • Bayer
  • Kraft Foods
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Verizon
  • Comcast
  • Time Warner
  • Facebook
  • Microsoft
  • State Farm Insurance
  • United Parcel Service (UPS)
  • DeVos family (Amway)
  • Coors family (beer)
  • Diageo (Crown Royal, liquors)
  • Intuit (accounting, tax software)
  • Reynolds Tobacco (Camel, Winston)
  • Altria (formerly Phillip Morris tobacco)
  • GlaxoSmithKline (Tums, prescription drugs)
  • Pfizer (prescription drugs, Viagra)
  • PhRMA (pharmaceutical trade group)
  • Searle & Company (the Nutrasweet fortune)
  • American Bail Coalition (for-profit bail bonds)
  • Energy Future Holdings (Texas electricity)
  • Peabody Energy (largest private coal company worldwide)

The Koch network planned to spend nearly a billion dollars on the 2016 election alone.  When the scandalous, vulgar Trump became the Republican nominee, they changed their minds and spent only $400 million.

Now they’re very happy with Trump because of their new massive tax cuts, great destruction of environmental protections and public health, and all the new judges precisely tailored to meet their needs.

The Koch Network Runs the Trump Administration

Now the Koch network basically runs our country.

  • Trump has stacked his cabinet with billionaires, corporate executives, and lobbyists who hate and want to destroy the agencies they run.
  • Charles Koch bragged that “We’ve made more progress in the last 5 years than I had in the previous 50.”
  • The Koch network has very close ties to 44 Trump administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and the disgraced former Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt.
  • Trump eliminated a number of lobbying rules and installed 281 lobbyists into his administration, many in top cabinet-level positions.

In nearly every area of life, Trump showers wealth on the superrich by screwing the rest of us.

For example, food insecurity affects 11% of all American households, including many of the working poor.  Some of them work two or three jobs.

  • Food insecurity means these families don’t always get enough food to be healthy.
  • At least 30% of food insecure Americans aren’t eligible for food stamps.
  • In some states, it is 50%.
  • Food insecurity is linked to poor health, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and even mental health problems.
  • Children in these homes are especially vulnerable.
  • Because of these health consequences, studies find food stamps saves both Medicare and Medicaid hospitalization costs.

Yet Trump is now taking away food stamps from nearly 700,000 MORE Americans by tightening work requirements.

This constant process of cutting social services for decade after decade to shower more tax cuts on billionaires has stolen the American Dream.

Here are some more examples of enriching the wealthy at the cost of the rest of us:

  • Trump promised to lower the cost of medicines. Instead, he listens to health company executives and has put at least 16 pharmaceutical company officials in his administration.
  • Trump put financial services predators and illegal “Foreclosure Kings” Steve Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross in charge of the Treasury and Commerce Departments.
  • Trump put billionaire Betsy DeVos, deeply involved in for-profit schools, charter schools, and student loan industries, in charge of the Department of Education.
  • A judge ordered DeVos to stop garnishing wages and stop forcing students to repay loans from a closed down, predatory, fraudulent for-profit network of colleges.
  • DeVos failed to stop collecting on the loans, so the judge had to hold her in contempt of court and fine her $100,000.

Trump’s administration has helped billionaires and hurt workers by weakening worker rights, pay, safety, and child labor laws in 43 different ways.

Trump’s administration has already eliminated or is working hard to eliminate nearly 100 regulations protecting our water, air, land, and public health.

  • Eliminating these protections will kill people.
  • As many as 200,000 people in the US already die early from air pollution each year.
  • A study shows Trump’s changes to rules on air pollution alone could kill thousands more each year.
  • Trump removed protections for 2 million miles of smaller streams and bodies of water that connect to our navigable waterways and 20 million acres of wetlands.
  • This puts the drinking water for 1/3 of Americans in danger. Plus, it’s a disaster for fish, wildlife, hunting, fishing, and clean water.
  • Of course, this benefits coal mining companies and oil and fracking companies.

Trump’s superrich allies are happy to poison people to make money:

  • Scientists agree the dangerous pesticide chlorpyrifos causes serious health problems to those exposed to it and damages the brains of developing children.
  • After a wave of lawsuits, scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) planned to outlaw it.
  • Then Trump became president, met with the CEO of Dow Chemical, and refused to ban the chemical.
  • Even after a judge ordered the EPA to ban chlorpyrifos, Trump’s administration refused and still continues to fight the ban in court.

Under Trump, polluters have paid 60% less in fines than under previous administrations during comparable periods of time.

Studies consistently show environmental regulations are good for our economy and save far more than they cost.  They save us money by preventing illnesses and deaths from pollution.

In his first year, Trump got rid of over ¼ of the scientists on the EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board, replacing them with scientists with strong industry ties, likely to be very business friendly.

Even so, in December 2019, the EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board, including the new business-friendly members, blasted 3 of Trump’s most far-reaching new rules as completely ridiculous, ignoring the strongly established science:

  • the weakening of water pollution laws
  • the weakening of auto and truck air pollution laws
  • rules eliminating the use of data from personal health records from consideration in health regulations

Trump’s new interpretation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act sets people and companies free to unashamedly kill birds with no consequences.

  • BP paid $100 million for killing or injuring a million birds in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010.
  • Under Trump’s rules, BP would face no fines at all.
  • You could burn a barn filled with baby owls and as long as you did it for some other reason, there would be no charges or fines.
  • You could kill thousands of birds by spraying a banned toxic chemical but as long as they weren’t your “intended target,” you’d be off the hook.
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