Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Koch Brothers

I continue to be amazed at why people who work for a living believe they have something in common with billionaires like the Koch brothers.  Although slightly less amazing, it surprises me that thinking people could be so influenced by the so-called Tea Party.  Unfortunately, some folks in politics have short memories.  The Tea Party has recommended people for office like Steve Stockman who, it turns out, acts like a nut and has little or no sway in Congress.

I personally know several people who ascribe to the Tea Party mentality.  In fact many of these folks are good, decent, God-fearing folks.  The mystery to me, however, is how they could ignore the signs of what some of their candidates would do--things that are diametrically opposed to these God-fearing folks' expressed beliefs.  A glaring example of this from the recent election is the fact that Dan Patrick led the Republican primary election for Lt. Governor.  

Most of the folks I know who claim to be members of the Tea Party express the belief that they are concerned about having better education in Texas.  Patrick is one of those leading the charge not only to cut substantial funding from public education, but trying to convince the world that Texas’ school system is currently over funded.  Guys like him, I know from experience, would dismantle the whole system of public education if they had the choice.  They fail to realize the future of Texas’ prosperity is education and educating some other people’s children is a key to that, particularly when we have a growing minority population which is clearly being under educated at the present time.

A common theme of many of my Republican friends is that they are tired of seeing “welfare queens” in line at K-Mart with finely manicured nails buying groceries, using part of the tax money my friends say they have paid.  I, too, would not approve of any able-bodied person resting in the so-called welfare hammock that many conservative Republicans speak of.  Unfortunately, it is very difficult to cut off single mothers from welfare without punishing innocent children--but the amount paid, such as for Aid For Dependent Children, pales in comparison to giveaways to greedy corporate entities.  

As an example, in Texas alone, oil companies which now are reaping record profits–not gross income, but profits–are still receiving approximately $25 million dollars of your tax money each biennium.  Putting this back in the pot to assist improving education in Texas, or to lower the tuition you have to pay for your child’s college, would not make even a 1% difference in the profit of major oil companies getting rich off of Texas’ natural resources.

On the subject of the Koch brothers, they, too, are as large as any hypocrites in the Republican movement.  The Koch brothers have spent $30 million dollars through the organization called Americans for Prosperity to defeat Democrats nationwide.  The Koch brothers hold regular conclaves and conferences in an effort to further their national agenda of anti-government, anti-labor, anti-people programs.  The newspaper Mother Jones, as well as a publication called Center for Effective Government, recently revealed that one of the Koch brothers’ lieutenants, Mr. Haworth, who owns Haworth, Inc., in between his ranting about doing away with big government and government spending, has managed to land for his company a $100 million dollar+ contract to furnish the government with office equipment!  

This is the same Mr. Haworth who is a trustee for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.  This right-wing, think-tank exists strictly as an anti-labor organization in Michigan.  Mr. Haworth is a regular speaker on behalf of the Koch brothers and one of the big money sponsors of the Tea Party.  Principally, this is one of the reasons it amazes me that a laboring guy would support a Tea Party sponsored by people who are avowedly anti-labor, anti-union and anti-people.  

Nonetheless, I keep hoping that one day working folks in Southeast Texas will wake up and quit voting against their own best interests.

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