Conspiracy

We Now Interrupt This Two-Minute Hate to Bring You an Urgent Message from Emmanuel Goldstein, A.K.A. Charles Koch

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Charles Koch, the billionaire businessman and giver of lots of money to political causes, along with his brother billionaire (and trustee to the Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this website) David, has emerged as the Emmanuel Goldstein of the contemporary progressive movement, a figure so reviled that merely to speak his name is to cause instant solidarity with the good and decent peoples of the world. In the current moment, the Koch Bros. are functioning among the left the way that George Soros often functions among right-wing nutjobs, as the motive force in a world where not even a sparrow (or a currency or a school board election) falls unless the big man decrees it.

Do people still read books like Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 and Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea's Illuminatus!? They're satires and parodies, folks, not exposes.

Here's a Wall Street Journal column by Charles Koch himself, discussing "Why Koch Industries is Speaking Out."

Snippets:

The Congressional Budget Office has warned that the interest on our federal debt is "poised to skyrocket." Even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is sounding alarms. Yet the White House insists that substantial spending cuts would hurt the economy and increase unemployment.

Plenty of compelling examples indicate just the opposite. When Canada recently reduced its federal spending to 11.3% of GDP from 17.5% eight years earlier, the economy rebounded and unemployment dropped. By comparison, our federal spending is 25% of GDP.

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.

The whole thing is here.

Past Reason.com material on the Kochs here.

There are signs that at least some of the fever among progressives is breaking. Talking Points Memo punctured the conspiracy theory that Koch Industries was pushing on Wisconsin in order to get its blood-soaked mitts on a bunch of sub-investment-grade publicly owned power plants that provide energy for the University of Wisconsin.

The proximate cause for the latest anti-Koch crusade is the budget battle in the Badger State. As Tim Cavanaugh notes below, the bottom-line blues facing the Wisconsin tax-and-service-fee-payers who kick in 100 percent of the state budget has precious little to do with Kansas billionaires and a lot more to do with profligate legislators of both parties (finally, one public policy debacle that can't be blamed on libertarians). As that reality sinks in, and as budget fights spread from the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol, it'll be genuinely fascinating to see how progressives respond. Especially as states with super-high tax burdens start working through the cuts they're going to have to make.

NEXT: Reason.tv - Nanny of the Month (Feb 2011): Would-Be Brothel Banner Sen. Harry Reid!

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  1. My new post on the Koche boys, less than 2 minutes + I didn’t write in on my knees

    1. WARNING! VIRUS ALERT! DO NOT CLICK

        1. WARNING! VIRUS ALERT! DO NOT FUCK!

          1. Hmm, sex education fail: boys can’t catch anything from masturbating

            1. Sound advice, men of America. Keep masturbating instead of having sex with diseased blowhores.

              THE CDC HAS SPOKEN!

              1. like they have a choice

  2. Koch owned the companies that advertised on [The Golden Girls]. I’m taking a cue from The Herc and randomly inserting square brackets in my rantings. They make them more weighty, don’t they?

    1. ALL CAPS ITALICIZED BOLD TEXT IS THE BEST WAY TO DEMONSTRATE GRAVITAS!!!

      1. – or that your meds need adjusting.

      2. Yeah, after they took away our blink tag and text colors. I’ll never forgive you for that, Mr Alissi!

        1. Seconded.

          1. [SECONDED!!1!!]

        2. Those were the days.

  3. “(finally, one public policy debacle that can’t be blamed on libertarians).”

    Nope. When you claim “up” = “down”, you can blame anything on libertarians.

    1. I thought the whole point of this post was that the lefty/Dem/progressive hive mind was, in fact, blaming it all on libertarians, as personified by the Kochs?

    2. Nope. When you claim “up” = “down”, you can blame anything on libertarians.

      I blame libertarians for that.

  4. He just hates crony capitalism because he’s rich!

    1. …and well connected!

  5. The Koch Brothers are involved with Reason somehow? Why I am just learning this now? What else are you people hiding?

    1. If you didn’t get a decoder ring, you may not have passed the background check administered by Freemasons.

      1. No, the Illuminati run the background checks. The Freemasons see to it that the “undesirables” are quietly ‘marginalized’.

        The decoder rings are issued by the overall controlling organization, the Tri-Lateral commission.

        It will all become clear once the North American Union is fully implemented.

        1. Those guys are all pawns of the Templars.

          1. Well, it’s a well known fact, Mikey, that there’s a secret society of the five wealthiest people in the world, known as The Pentavirate, who run everything in the world, including the newspapers, and meet tri-annually at a secret country mansion in Colorado, known as The Meadows.

            1. +billions

              “‘ead! Pants! Now!”

              1. Go try on some of your mother’s clothes, ya wee girl.

              2. I’m not kidding, that boy’s head is like Sputnik; spherical but quite pointy at parts! Now that was offside, wasn’t it? He’ll be crying himself to sleep tonight, on his huge pillow.

                Here’s the whole conspiracy theory exchange, for those not in the know:

                Stuart Mackenzie: Well, it’s a well known fact, Sonny Jim, that there’s a secret society of the five wealthiest people in the world, known as The Pentavirate, who run everything in the world, including the newspapers, and meet tri-annually at a secret country mansion in Colorado, known as The Meadows.

                Tony Giardino: So who’s in this Pentavirate?

                Stuart Mackenzie: The Queen, The Vatican, The Gettys, The Rothschilds, *and* Colonel Sanders before he went tits up. Oh, I hated the Colonel with is wee *beady* eyes, and that smug look on his face. “Oh, you’re gonna buy my chicken! Ohhhhh!”

                Charlie Mackenzie: Dad, how can you hate “The Colonel”?

                Stuart Mackenzie: Because he puts an addictive chemical in his chicken that makes ya crave it fortnightly, smartass!

            2. Well, it’s a well known fact, Mikey, that there’s a secret society of the five wealthiest people in the world, known as The Pentavirate, who run everything in the world, including the newspapers, and meet tri-annually at a secret country mansion in Colorado, known as The Meadows.

              Yep…and they’re Templars.

              1. Ha! That’s what you’d like us to think, isn’t it?

              2. Remember….nothing is true, everything is permitted.

            3. You all are way off here. This reeks of The Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people, who are under the supervision of the reverse vampires.

            4. hey, ProL, that’s MY reference…

              dunkel|2.22.11 @ 3:59PM|#
              Well it’s a well know fact, sonny Jim, that there’s a group of the five wealthiest people in the world known as the Pentaverate, who run everything in the world, including the newspapers. And meet tri-annually at a secret country mansion known as, the Meadows. The Queen, The Vatican, The Gettys, The Rothchilds and Col. Sanders before he went tets up. Oh, I hated the Col. with his wee beady eyes, and that smug look on his face, Oh your gonna buy my chicken, Oohh.

              harrumph!

                1. ouch…and I probably read that at the time. So I’ll practice my Scottish martial arts on you…it’s called Fuck You. It’s mostly just head butting and then kicking people when they’re on the ground.
                  😉

                  1. That’s an appropriate response, Big Head.

                    What’s funny is that I posted the same exchange, formatted mostly the same way. I’ve changed little in the last 2-3 years, apparently.

                    1. I drive my wife crazy with quotes from that movie…
                      “My name is John Johnson, but everybody here calls me Vicki.”

                    2. Now all you need is an over-sized poster of Atlantic City. Oh look, you got one.

    2. We’re all Vatican Assassins!!!!! WINNING!!!!

  6. When Canada recently reduced its federal spending to 11.3% of GDP from 17.5% eight years earlier, the economy rebounded and unemployment dropped. By comparison, our federal spending is 25% of GDP

    When Canada imposed strict regulations on banking the economy didn’t hit the skids as it did here.

    1. Canada has looser bank regulations than the US.

      What happened there was that the government did not force banks to lend to bad risks.

      The Canadian banks have high standards and require high down payments because that’s what banks do when they have to look after their own money.

      1. wrong-thy are required to do so.
        Hmm, regulations could have helped the recovery, if not prevented the economic downturn in the US

        1. Well, they don’t have the US policy of encoraging homeownership. I also don’t believe they havce anything like the equivalent of the GSEs, whose purpose is to make home mortgages less risky by taking them off the banks’ hands.

          It’s possible that the tighter regulation is part of a systemic approach that has fewer government backstops for bad bank lending. Take away the government backstops, and you force the banks to take on more of their own risk, and both they and you are going to be more cautious both in your lending and in what sort of risks you let the banks take.

      2. Canada has a weird banking culture that is more like banking in the early US days than today. People readily tend to overlook the overall culture of the business in each given country. Canada and banking is an excellent example of this.

        1. Culture? Is that what Canadians call regulation?

          World Economic Forum…ranked Canada’s banking system as the soundest in the world. The U.S. came in at No. 40…

          The average capital reserves for Canada’s Big Six banks ? defined as Tier 1 capital (common shares, retained earnings and non-cumulative preferred shares) to risk-adjusted assets ? is 9.8%, several percentage points above the 7% required by Canada’s federal bank regulator. That’s a little better than major U.S. commercial banks like Bank of America, but significantly higher than an average capital ratio of about 4% for U.S. investment banks and 3.3% for European commercial banks…Canada the new gold standard in banking was Ottawa’s decision in the late 1980s to allow commercials banks to acquire investment dealers on Toronto’s Bay Street, the country’s financial hub.

          As a result, these institutions are subject to the same strict rules as commercial banks, while U.S. investment dealers are subject to only light supervision from the Securities and Exchange Commission


          Read more: http://www.time.com/time/busin…..z1FMyi1OId

          1. do you read your own post?
            is 9.8%, several percentage points above the 7% required by Canada’s federal bank regulator

            1. I read but do you comprehend?

              1. It’s higher than required by law (by the REGULATIONS). Do you comprehend what that means?

  7. There are signs that at least some of the fever among progressives is breaking.

    That doesn’t happen. Even if a few sane ones on a TEAM calm down, the vast majority remain psychotic. That’s what they do.

    1. Stop pretending you don’t play on a TEAM. Every knows you are on TEAM LICK SUGARFREE’S NUTSACK.

      1. Yeah, well, you’re on TEAM LICK WARTY’S NUTSACK! That makes you as pathetic as me, so I don’t have to feel hypocritical or anything! Isn’t TEAM life great?

        1. My nutsack is powdered and delightful, Mr. Smegma. Don’t defame it.

          1. Why do you make assumptions as to whether I’m cut or not? You’re biased against the circumcised, you racist shitheel, aren’t you! Anti-Semite*!

            * I’m not Jewish, though I play one on TV

          2. I would lick your nutsack for the shear joy of being able to work that fact into every conversation.

            no homo.

        2. I’m on Team Life and it is great! Leave us out of your bullshit.

          (Team Life the cereal, not the board game or magazine.)

          1. Hmm, you’re all on Team Jerk Circle

            1. And you are our bukakke princess.

              1. Lol, I wrote about showers
                http://rctlfy.wordpress.com/20…..tersports/

        3. TEAM! TEAM! TEAMS!

          Warty’s nutsack is a like a diamond in the rough. If diamonds were the size of enraged grapefruits and came covered in a downy fur.

            1. You don’t know sexy, yet. But soon you will fell the wrath of TEH SUGARFREE!

          1. I’ve never seen a pissed off grapefruit.

            1. Neither have I, but it sounds sort of like a peach.

              1. I’m just going off eye-witness accounts. But they aren’t too reliable considering that no one has survived an encounter with Warty’s scrotum with their sanity intact.

                1. “loathsome shapes that seeped down from the dark stars….vast angles and stone surfaces … too great to belong to anything right and proper for this earth, and impious with horrible images and disturbing hieroglyphs.”

                2. You chumps with nutsacks that can be described with Euclidean geometry disgust me.

                  1. Truly, you have The Genitals Of Madness.

    2. What I’m asking myself is how this comment helps Haiti.

  8. How sad is your life if you intentionally misspell your name to avoid incif?

    1. Super-sad. Like masturbating while crying the shower bad.

    2. WTF are you talking about?

    3. What’s even sadder is that it failed. Don’t judge rectal too harshly, though. You could be as pitiful as her, if only you performed a botched auto-trepanation.

    4. How sad is your life if you intentionally misspell your name to avoid incif?

      I’d say somewhere between, “It put the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again…” and a dog turd.

      1. three out of four of my favorite bitches commenting in a row-Helle, get your ass out of bed and make my day

        1. They can’t see you. They have enabled a script that makes it so their browser does not display any posts made by you.

          1. they override the incif -my little rats can’t help follow the music

            1. I have no idea what you said, you obnoxious trollop, but I know that it was painfully stupid. Die already, you dumb skank.

  9. Do people still read books like Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 and Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea’s Illuminatus!? They’re satires and parodies, folks, not exposes.

    Literature departments want you to think that because they’re all on the Koch payroll!

    1. Speaking of books and the Koch brothers …….

      The Econ. dept. at my university gets reimbursed for books for a discussion group by a grant from the Koch foundation. They read evil books like Governing the Commons by Elinor Odstrom. The Kochs are evil!!

  10. … it’ll be genuinely fascinating to see how progressives respond. Especially as states with super-high tax burdens start working through the cuts they’re going to have to make.

    Fiscally responsible politicians should simply ask “What would you cut?” When the answer is “nothing” they should follow up with “What taxes do you want to raise?”

    IOW, challenge the profligate spenders to put up or shut up.

    1. What taxes should we raise? That’s simple:

      Besides returning to Clinton era tax rates, add on some new tax backets for the super-wealthy:

      50% marginal rate for all income above $500,000

      70% maringal rate for all income above $1 million

      90% for all income above $5 million

      a 60% Estate tax on all parts of the estate past $500,000

      Raise capital gains tax rates and dividends rates to pre-Reagan levels to encourage long-term investing instead of short-term profit, which is what leads to financial bubbles and collapses

      A massive bank tax to get payback for TARP

      Abolish NAFTA and all other trade agreements and put a 25% tariff on goods from countries that won’t play by our rules

      1. Please don’t feed the troll.

        1. I envied you the hatred you aroused in him. Though I too basked in it from time to time. I got at least two ‘fuck you’s out of him.

          1. Oops. Meant for SugarFree|3.1.11 @ 12:06PM, not SugarFree|3.1.11 @ 12:03PM|#.

      2. joe is back!

        1. Possibly. Certainly as sanctimonious and oblivious. I wonder if the new handle will talk about beating me up IRL.

          1. Nope. joe was never that stupid and actually understood something about economics. I may not agreed with him, but he at least understood fundamentals.

            He knew you couldn’t tax an economy to death and that trade was beneficial.

            1. I don’t really believe it’s joe. joe’s tiny body contains an ego far too massive to troll under an assumed name.

            2. He wasn’t that great on fundamentals. Trade offs, opportunity cost, malinvestment, marginal utility (and the corresponding problems in the labor theory of value and cost-push price theory) were all things that alluded him. He knew you couldn’t tax an economy to death and that trade was beneficial were all affectations that can be gleamed from spending years reading The New Republic, and comes from a political economy public policy viewpoint that takes little effort to learn or understand.

              1. Fucker couldn’t do math. The worst was when he tried to claim that the total return for a retail 401(k) investor in the S&P 500 over the last 25 years didn’t beat inflation. His basic argument was that money invested last year didn’t beat inflation for the 24 years before that (which manages to be true, irrelevant and stupid all at once), so 401(k)s were rigged (rigged!).

        2. joe could at least punctuate.

      3. Progressives. The most stupidest game.

        1. The only way to win is not to play. – Joshua

      4. Congratulations, The Truth, you’ve just raised $50 billion. Now what?

        1. And if we’re going to have Clinton Era tax rates, can we have Clinton era spending rates too?

  11. Still, you all never ever address the fact that none of this (debt, croney capitalism, etc.) was an issue as long as a Republican was in office. And your false protestations to the contrary, it wasn’t. As long as the Republican was in office, your mouths were shut.

    1. Yup. Reason ran exactly zero stories about war debt, spending, or rent-seeking during the entirety of the Bush administration.

      1. And no one wrote any books on John McCain, either. They were all, like, spend spend spend! And vote Republican!

        It’s so embarrassing to be caught out like this.

    2. psssst… Try this: http://www.redstate.com/

      That, or shut the fuck up and lurk for a while so you don’t look like a moron.

    3. Hey Mikey, do you not know how to read or are you just so much of a partisan fuckhead that not following the TEAM narrative is too much for you?

      We’re waiting, buddy! We’re dying to know!

    4. When the GOP was in total power, Social Security was not in any danger. Now it is.

    5. https://reason.com/archives/200…..redibility

      https://reason.com/archives/200…..ig-spender

      I found at least 5 more in a mere 10 minutes, but Reason won’t let me post them. (2 link limit).

  12. “Plenty of compelling examples indicate just the opposite. When Canada recently reduced its federal spending to 11.3% of GDP from 17.5% eight years earlier, the economy rebounded and unemployment dropped. By comparison, our federal spending is 25% of GDP.”

    Well, that’s one. I guess if the WSJ had come up with more cash, Charlie could have come up with more “compelling examples.” Capitalists don’t work for free, you know.

    1. Is Canada really a good example? They pushed most of the spending to their states, or whatever they call them in Canadia.

  13. I don’t agree with George Soros most of the time. (Except when it comes to his Open Society stance.) But I believe that he’s mistaken, not evil. He’s trying to improve the world in the way he thinks is right, even if he’s wrong.

    I don’t know why the Koch Brothers aren’t extended the same courtesy. Put differently, why do you have to malign someone’s motives in order to disagree with what they’re doing?

    1. He’s willfully helped the decline of more than one economy for his own monetary gain. That’s pretty fuckin’ evil.

      1. Did he really? or did he just notice an economy that was going down the tubes and had the ability to profit from it?

        1. This. I have zero problem with him being the market discipline for the Banks of Thailand and England.

          That said, his stances on the role of central banking — all of which at least coincidentally inflate the role that established hedge funds play — are worth being skeptical about.

      2. You can’t cheat an honest man, as the saying goes.

    2. Put differently, why do you have to malign someone’s motives in order to disagree with what they’re doing?

      Because you have to and I’m starting to wonder why you refuse to acknowledge this fact.

    3. Look, most people’s motives (I’m talking about people whose motives matter/who can make things happen in the world and not you and I or 99.999% of the people on the earth) are, in fact, suspect. To believe otherwise is just naivete or stupidity. I think F. Scott Fitzgerald was pretty clear about this. To confuse motives like you and I might have in our daily lives with the motives of the people who run the world is comparing apples and oranges. These people live on a different plane and we can not even look over the rim to see what is really going on or to guess what any of the “motives” are.

      1. Alright. If that’s the case, then shouldn’t the default position be to counter someone on the grounds of their ideas instead of their intent. Because the claim that “Person X’s idea is wrong, because he is, in fact, evil, even though we really have no clue what his intentions are” seems a whole lot more like a pile of logical fallacies masquerading as a good excuse to malign someone rather than an actual one. Complete ignorance of someone’s motives seems like a pretty piss-poor reason to presuppose they’re, in fact, bad people.

      2. Yes, they have more power.

  14. The Crying of Lot 49 was neither a satire or a parody, in my humble opinion. It was rather a meditation on the things we can’t ever know. It’s a very beautiful book, like a small sparkling jewel. And no, I don’t think kids read it anymore.

    Robert Anton Wilson preprared for writing the Illuminatus trilogy, which is both a parody and a satire, by joining something like 100 different groups and going as far as he could in them in six months. Mormons, Scientologists, Green Peace, Seventh Day Adventists, Moonies, Hare Krishna.

    He wrote some other books that were non-fiction that explianed what he learned. Everyone lives in a self-constructed reality tunnel that makes sense to them. These tunnels go from where you are directly to heaven, and don’t include the reality of those in tunnels next to you. Moslems don’t see the beauty of Christ, atheist libertarians don’t see the reason in Mormonism, etc.

    That insight, along with his humorous novel, also seems to have come and gone. These days we all fight for control of the consensus reality, when a better plan would be allowing as many sepearte ‘reality tunnels’ to exist side by side as possible.

    The original American Republic was set up to do just that. The Puritans in Mass. didn’t agree with the Catholics in Rhode Island — but felt they could live and work cooperatively on a few things.

    Now we have one-size-fits all reality like Obamacare and Social Security.

    1. Well, I sure wish my reality tunnel made sense to me. Incidentally, Jesus, I sure wish I was (were?) a billionaire. Even a millionaire would be pretty cool. Can you imagine just being able to buy and have things just be cause you want them??? I can’t imagine it, myself. Nor can I imagine all the choice pussy you would be able to get just because you are loaded. Life sucks ass. I’m sorry, it just does. I hate rich people, but then, I hate everybody.

      1. It doesn’t suck.

        1. I’m sorry, you are mistaken.

          1. I was responding to this:

            “Can you imagine just being able to buy and have things just be cause you want them???”

      2. I have a feeling my reality tunnel would have a lot more screwin’ in it if I was a billionaire.

    2. When did kids ever read CL49? I’ve spent my adult life on a university campus and only (maybe!) 1% of the faculty, staff, and students have even -heard- of Pynchon, much less read any of his books.

    3. I made it through 100 pages of a Pynchon book once. I don’t care how beautiful his shit is, I don’t fucking care about bananas.

    4. The only problem is that reality has finite resources such as land and food that are needed to maintain a separate reality. If I don’t agree with my state and no other state represents my views, I have to make my own state. And if the land belongs to someone else, we have a reality clash, just like the American Revolution.

      Online, separate reality tunnels is more plausible possibility. Don’t like Ubuntu? There’s like a billion other versions of Linux to choose from, and you can make your own if you want. Same goes for web domains, publications, and music. And you don’t have to worry about running out of room. If you do, just modify the protocols to allocate more space.

  15. http://www.time.com/time/busin…..17,00.html
    Unlike banks in the U.S., Britain and Germany, which needed to be bailed out with hundreds of billions of dollars in new capital, Canada’s major banks are solid and solvent.

    1. If Time says so than it must be true.

  16. “why do you have to malign someone’s motives in order to disagree with what they’re doing?”

    I personally don’t engage in this behavior. I see it most often happen with people who have no real valid argument to make, and so must vilify their opponent. They’re either too lazy, or too ignorant, to take the time for honest debate.

    1. Politics is about winning, not honest debate.

    2. Isn’t this post kinda of ironic?

      1. like rain on your wedding day

    3. I once had an English professor, who had numerous papers published about Edgar Allen Poe, and was even working toward having a book published on his use of the macabre, and she had never heard of H. P. Lovecraft. I mean, no clue whatsoever.

      1. To be fair, libraries are pretty big and the good books don’t really look any different than the rest.

  17. Radiohead read The Crying of Lot 49. I’m sure this is seen as clever and inspired instead of unoriginal and derivative:

    http://www.followmearound.com/waste.php

  18. Do people still read books like Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 and Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea’s Illuminatus!? They’re satires and parodies, folks, not exposes.

    Remember Dark Skies, the occasional NBC TV serial in the 1990s? I remember watching that at my friends’ Ralph & Kathy’s, and I’m laughing at the cute satire, and they’re taking it as “what `they’ choose to reveal at this time”.

    1. And the funny thing is, RAW & Arlen used to stay with them when he came East. But that was earlier.

      So did J. Neal Schulman, come to think of it.

    2. What barbarians Ralph & Kathy must be to actually get into the narrative of a TV series. Everyone (who is in the know) knows the purpose of fiction is for satire and for making political statements. Narrative, puh-lease!*

      *For those who are not sensitive to the subtle delineation of effect intended amongst the more sophisticated thread bearers of Hit’n’Run the exclamation marks are intended for irony.

      1. Are you making fun of Lost, or of my statements about Lost, whose maker I was also friends with?

        1. Shame you likely wont see this since I’ve only now returned hours later, but damn, you nailed that on the head.

  19. Progressives have made a huge mistake on this.
    By backing the unions they’ve effectively already made a choice between cherished programs and Democratic client constituencies. So when the program cuts come down the pipe, they’ll already be locked in to defending the unions and won’t have room to maneuver. Except the ever present fallback of higher taxes.

    1. They’ll still blame the right.

  20. Since Canada showed us how not to crash our economy, why don’t we look to them for our health care model?

    1. The way I see it, if Canada’s doing anything better than us, it must be because Canada is further north than the U.S. Therefore, we must annex Nunavut and restore our rightful, um, right to geographical superiority.

        1. General Montgomery invaded Nunavut?

          1. Maybe it is a reference to the Revolutionary War-era Montgomery.

            1. I guess. I just can’t see anyone invading Nunavut, except maybe some Inuit.

              My plans for American hegemony aside, of course.

      1. Canada is in the same boat as the European nations:

        The only reason they’ve been able to afford any of their social welfare programs is because they’ve been getting free military protection welfare from the United States ever since 1945.

        1. Also helps that they are essentially a petro-state at this point. Norway has lots of wonderful shit to force on people also.

    2. Just because one thing is done right doesn’t mean all things are. I’m sure you were right once but obviously not always.

    3. Probably because our constitution doesn’t allow the federal government to impose programs on the states like Canada’s does with its provinces.

      Canada does not have a national health plan, it has ten provincial and three territorial ones. While the federal government sets minimum standards, coverage can vary widely.

      Since we have one state that has more people than all of Canada and something like eight states that have more people than there biggest province, good luck with coming up with any places that can be administered with any efficiency. Welfare states like Canada and Sweden work to the extent that they do because they have small populations.

      And while Canada does not have the same homogenous population as Sweden there is far more cultural conformity there than in the US.

      1. Probably because our constitution doesn’t allow the federal government to impose programs on the states like Canada’s does with its provinces.

        So you’re saying the HC law is just a dream?

        1. Obamacare imposes (likely unconstitutionally) mandates on individuals, not states.

          Federal welfare programs in this country are either admininistered exclusively by the feds (SS, Medicare) or in voluntary partnerships with the states (food stamps, medicaid). The states are free to opt out of those but, naturally given everyone’s attachment to “free” money, they don’t.

          In Canada the federal government passed legislation which mandated that each province and territory set up a medicare plan to meet certain minimum federal requirements. Roughly half of the costs are met by the feds, IIANM. The exact percentage depends on how much additional coverage the provincial plan delivers at purely provincial expense.

          1. You know, I’ve found it a pretty good rule that whenever someone starts in with the “we ought to do this”, actually meaning “people ought to be made to do this” they usually are utterly ignorant of whatever it is that they’re pontificating on.

            Doesn’t matter, healthcare, the metric system, whatever. These are subjects that statist pricks like to bloviate about, all the while being utterly ignorant about them.

            1. You know, I’ve found it a pretty good rule that whenever someone starts in with the “we ought to do this”, actually meaning “people ought to be made to do this”

              While the someone espousing that meme makes sure that they are excepted from what is being imposed. I’m sure there is an Iron Law somewhere that covers this.

  21. the Koch Bros. are functioning among the left the way that George Soros often functions among right-wing nutjobs,

    You think Chait and company are going to concede an inch of the moral high ground from you with this equivocation rhetoric, Nick? Now, that is truly nuts.

  22. What taxes should we raise? That’s simple:

    Indeed it is:

    None of them.

  23. God bless the Kochs — every last one of them.

  24. it’ll be genuinely fascinating to see how progressives respond. Especially as states with super-high tax burdens start working through the cuts they’re going to have to make.

    We’re seeing that in New York. The government-sector unions claim that we can solve all our problems if only we hate the rich enough.

  25. Didn’t the Kochs inherit their empire from Daddy? Such ingenious independently-spirited entrepreneurs!

    1. And your point, besides the one on the top of your head, is?

      1. You’re given an industrial empire on a silver platter. You are one of the largest sources of funds of a major political party for the purpose of seeking favorable government policies, including the right to pollute other people’s property for free.

        What does that make you? Libertarian heroes!

        1. I’m not seeing how voluntarily extending wealth to your own children is bad. It is a voluntary transfer of wealth, as opposed to all of the involuntary transfers of wealth that you would like to impose.

  26. Americans do have the craziest conspiracy nuts (with the notable exception of David Icke), could they not have come up with a better villain ? Outside of America not many people would have even heard of Koch, in terms of conspiracy validity picking the Kochs is weak.

  27. … there are very, very few things in politics funnier, and more satisfying to see than the Kochs and Reason, which so enthusiastically cheered on the tea parties, making a “Two Minutes Hate” reference.

    1. Yes as everyone who has read “1984” knows, the two minutes of hate were all about people protesting taxes and government encroachment.

  28. While the someone espousing that meme makes sure that they are excepted from what is being imposed. I’m sure there is an Iron Law somewhere that covers this.

    Well, there is an Iron Law that addresses the fallacy they are indulging in:

    Me today, you tomorrow.

  29. Here is something that I am not sure everyone understands. There does not have to be an organized, deliberate or coordinated conspiracy with respect to running the world for the outcome to be indistinguishable from the outcome if there actually was one. This is why mocking criticisms which evoke the trilateral commission and the Bilderbergs and the CFR and peak oil and chem trails and so on are off the mark. When you have a minuscule percentage of the population in control of 99% of the wealth on earth, you can not avoid having a situation that is indistinguishable from a Dr. Evil taking over the world, whatever the intentions of those wielding the power that this wealth represents.

    1. The idea of the rich running the world is hardly new. Think of the Templars, Jewish money lenders, Free Masons, Rothchilds, Oppenheimer, Bill Gates etc. Can you see a pattern here ? none of those rich people/groups lasted, old wealth was replaced by new one, so they clearly did not rule/control the world, unless you enter the David Icke level thinking.

  30. i love that pic. I have been using it as my avatar for years.

  31. I played Emmanuel Goldstein in our high school production of 1984 — way back in 1973.

  32. Been a while since I read 1984. Didn’t “Goldstein” turn out to be “Big Brother”? Sounds like it might be an appropriate analogy then.

    1. No. Goldstein was revealed to be John Coctostan.

    2. No, 1984 didn’t take the “fight club” path.

      I think what you may mean is that, in all likelihood, Big Brother and Goldstein were both fictional creations of the party, meant to embody the Good and the Bad

      1. In all liklihood there really was, at one point, a Big Brother and Goldstein. Whether or not they are alive in 1984 is debatable as Goldstein’s book, although true, is used by the Thought Police to flush out dissidents like Winston Smith. The Party doesn’t need a single ruler, just a facade of one. But all this Koch paranoia and a sudden hatred of the democratic process by the Wisconsin people is classic doublethink.

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