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Crony capitalism and bloated government prevent entrepreneurs from producing the products and services that make people's lives better.


Years of tremendous overspending by federal, state and local governments have brought us face-to-face with an economic crisis. Federal spending will total at least $3.8 trillion this year—double what it was 10 years ago. And unlike in 2001, when there was a small federal surplus, this year's projected budget deficit is more than $1.6 trillion.

Several trillions more in debt have been accumulated by state and local governments. States are looking at a combined total of more than $130 billion in budget shortfalls this year. Next year, they will be in even worse shape as most so-called stimulus payments end.

For many years, I, my family and our company have contributed to a variety of intellectual and political causes working to solve these problems. Because of our activism, we've been vilified by various groups. Despite this criticism, we're determined to keep contributing and standing up for those politicians, like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who are taking these challenges seriously.

Both Democrats and Republicans have done a poor job of managing our finances. They've raised debt ceilings, floated bond issues, and delayed tough decisions.

In spite of looming bankruptcy, President Obama and many in Congress have tiptoed around the issue of overspending by suggesting relatively minor cuts in mostly discretionary items. There have been few serious proposals for necessary cuts in military and entitlement programs, even though these account for about three-fourths of all federal spending.

Yes, some House leaders have suggested cutting spending to 2008 levels. But getting back to a balanced budget would mean a return to at least 2003 spending levels—and would still leave us with the problem of paying off our enormous debts.

Federal data indicate how urgently we need reform: The unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid already exceed $106 trillion. That's well over $300,000 for every man, woman and child in America (and exceeds the combined value of every U.S. bank account, stock certificate, building and piece of personal or public property).

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 purpose of business is to efficiently convert resources into products and services that make people's lives better. Businesses that fail to do so should be allowed to go bankrupt rather than be bailed out.

But what about jobs that are lost when businesses go under? It's important to remember that not all jobs are the same. In business, real jobs profitably produce goods and services that people value more highly than their alternatives. Subsidizing inefficient jobs is costly, wastes resources, and weakens our economy.

Because every other company in a given industry is accepting market-distorting programs, Koch companies have had little option but to do so as well, simply to remain competitive and help sustain our 50,000 U.S.-based jobs. However, even when such policies benefit us, we only support the policies that enhance true economic freedom.

For example, because of government mandates, our refining business is essentially obligated to be in the ethanol business. We believe that ethanol—and every other product in the marketplace—should be required to compete on its own merits, without mandates, subsidies or protective tariffs. Such policies only increase the prices of those products, taxes and the cost of many other goods and services.

Our elected officials would do well to remember that the most prosperous countries are those that allow consumers—not governments—to direct the use of resources. Allowing the government to pick winners and losers hurts almost everyone, especially our poorest citizens.

Recent studies show that the poorest 10% of the population living in countries with the greatest economic freedom have 10 times the per capita income of the poorest citizens in countries with the least economic freedom. In other words, society as a whole benefits from greater economic freedom.

Even though it affects our business, as a matter of principle our company has been outspoken in defense of economic freedom. This country would be much better off if every company would do the same. Instead, we see far too many businesses that paint their tails white and run with the antelope.

I am confident that businesses like ours will hire more people and invest in more equipment when our country's financial future looks more promising. Laying the groundwork for smaller, smarter government, especially at the federal level, is going to be tough. But it is essential for getting us back on the path to long-term prosperity.

online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704288304576170974226083178.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
 

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However, even when such policies benefit us, we only support the policies that enhance true economic freedom.
What about the workers' freedom to join together and bargain for better wages and benefits? Why should a law be created which restricts that freedom?
 

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Here is the other side of the coin....None of these guys are clean. They all claim that the government is crooked and then you find that those yelling the loudest are the ones doing the most stealing. I don't agree with all of this article but it shows how political contributions pay huge dividends back to the contributer at our expense.



Koch Industries, the international conglomerate owned by Charles and David Koch, is not only the second largest private company in America, it is the most politically active. As ThinkProgress has carefully documented over the last three years, Koch groups have spent tens of millions to influence government policy — from financing the Tea Parties, to funding junk academic studies, to undisclosed attack ads against Democrats, to groups promoting climate change denial, to a large network of state-based and national think tanks. In an opinion column for the Wall Street Journal today, Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch fired back at his critics, who have grown more vocal as it has become clear that Koch groups are providing the political muscle for Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-WI) union-busting power grab.
In his piece, Charles portrays himself as simply an ideological advocate, and says his money to political groups is only meant to “enhance true economic freedom.” He chides special interests that have “successfully lobbied for special favors,” claiming “crony capitalism is much easier than competing in an open market.” But in reality, the focus of the Koch political machine is geared towards “crony capitalism” — corrupting government to make Charles and his brother David Koch richer. Koch’s Tea Party libertarianism is actually a thin veneer for the company’s long running history of winning special deals from the government and manipulating the market to pad Koch profits:
– The dirty secret of Koch Industries is its birth under the centrally-planned Soviet Union. Fred Koch, the founder of the company and father of David and Charles, helped construct fifteen oil refineries for Joseph Stalin before expanding the business in the United States.
– As Yasha Levine has reported, Koch exploits a number of government programs for profit. For instance, Georgia Pacific, a timber company subsidiary of Koch Industries, uses taxpayer money provided by the U.S. Forestry Service to provide their loggers with taxpayer-funded roads and access to virgin growth forests. “Logging companies such as Georgia-Pacific strip lands bare, destroy vast acreages and pay only a small fee to the federal government in proportion to what they take from the public,” according to the Institute for Public Accuracy. Levine also notes that Koch’s cattle ranching company, Matador Cattle Company, uses a New Deal program to profit off federal land for free.
– Koch Industries won massive government contracts using their close relationship with the Bush administration. The Bush administration, in a deal even conservatives alleged was a quid pro quo because of Koch’s campaign donations, handed Koch Industries a lucrative contract to supply the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve with 8 million barrels of crude oil. The SPR deal, done initially in 2002, was renewed in 2004 by Bush administration officials. During the occupation of Iraq, Koch won significant contracts to buy Iraqi crude oil.
– Although Koch campaigned vigorously against health reform — running attack ads, sponsoring anti-health reform Tea Parties, and comparing health reform to the Holocaust — Koch Industries applied for health reform subsidies made possible by the Obama administration.
– The Koch brothers have claimed that they oppose government intervention in the market, but Koch Industries lobbies aggressively for taxpayer handouts. In Alaska, blogger Andrew Halcro reported that a Koch subsidiary in Fairbanks asked Gov. Sarah Palin’s administration to use taxpayer money to bail out one of their failing refinery.
– SolveClimate recently reported that Koch Industries will reap huge profits from the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, which runs from Koch-owned tar sands mining centers in Canada to Koch-owned refineries in Texas. To build the pipeline, politicians throughout the Midwest, many of whom have received large Koch campaign donations, have used eminant domain — government seizures of private land. In Kansas, where Koch-funded officials advise Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and the Republican legislature, the Keystone XL Pipeline is likely to receive a property tax exemption of ten years, a special loophole that will cost Kansas taxpayers about $50 million.
– Koch Industries has been the recipient of about $85 million in federal government contracts mostly from the Department of Defense. Koch also benefits directly from billions in taxpayer subsidies for oil companies and ethanol production.
Charles has compared himself to a libertarian “Martin Luther,” evangelizing to the world for their supply side cause. However, the tens of millions in campaign donations and the dozens of front groups funded by Koch work in tandem to promoting the business interests of Koch Industries.
Koch funds both socially conservative groups and socially liberal groups. However, Koch’s financing of front groups and political organizations all have one thing in common: every single Koch group attacks workers’ rights, promotes deregulation, and argues for radical supply side economics. Not only do the Koch’s front groups pad Koch Industries’ bottom line, they supply the Koch brother’s talking points. In fact, for his opinion piece today, Charles heavily relied on front groups he finances for statistics. The “freedom index” cited by Charles is a creation of the Koch-funded Heritage Foundation, and the erroneous “unfunded liabilities” claim was supplied by the Koch-funded National Center for Policy Analysis.
 

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Crony capitalism and bloated government prevent entrepreneurs from producing the products and services that make people's lives better.


Years of tremendous overspending by federal, state and local governments have brought us face-to-face with an economic crisis. Federal spending will total at least $3.8 trillion this year—double what it was 10 years ago. And unlike in 2001, when there was a small federal surplus, this year's projected budget deficit is more than $1.6 trillion.
How can you believe any of this article when the second paragraph speaks such a bold lie. Remember you have proven many times that there was never a surplus, in the 2001 budget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No... that's not true. You are attempting a leftism. I stated that the surplus was phony... as in unreal. It was accomplished by a combination of de-funding and excluding the costs of our military in that years budget... while having the full knowledge that it would have to be funded in the next budget. Bush's.

How can you not believe the article... when he is stating virtually everything you claim to believe in. As a "registered" Republican... you should be swooning over his words as they do not include his belief in abortion.
 

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No... that's not true. You are attempting a leftism. I stated that the surplus was phony... as in unreal. It was accomplished by a combination of de-funding and excluding the costs of our military in that years budget... while having the full knowledge that it would have to be funded in the next budget. Bush's.

How can you not believe the article... when he is stating virtually everything you claim to believe in. As a "registered" Republican... you should be swooning over his words as they do not include his belief in abortion.
Oh I see...when I expose your bullshit it is a leftism. And when I don't agree with someone who claims to want one thing and does the opposite, I am not a good republican. A good republican does not stand idly by as the original principles of the party are eroded and sold out to the highest bidder.

Your whole problem is that you believe whatever is put in front of you by the right. You never question or look to see if they are just telling you what you want to hear. Your inability to question and look at the otherside is your problem. I certainly don't believe all the bad that is said about the Koch Bros., but I certainly don't take what they say as bible either. You are a pawn, and worse yet you are a rabid and self rightous pawn that just passes on without filter the bullshit that he is fed daily. Open your eyes. You are being played, and you don't have a clue. And just so you know I would attack anybody who was as blind as you if they spoke out for the left, as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh I see...when I expose your bullshit it is a leftism...
No... when you attempt a leftism... it's a leftism. You're a funny dude. I enjoy these back and fourths. I really do.

How is it that you can state the nearly identical virtues you find admirable within the message of the Republican ideology, yet when I state the same in post or article forum... I'm a rabid and self righteous pawn ?

Like I said... you're a funny dude. -And I don't care what anybody says... I dig you, man.
I dig you. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What about the workers' freedom to join together and bargain for better wages and benefits? Why should a law be created which restricts that freedom?
Because it infringes upon our freedom to believe in the opposite... and we create the jobs.
 

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No... when you attempt a leftism... it's a leftism. You're a funny dude. I enjoy these back and fourths. I really do.

How is it that you can state the nearly identical virtues you find admirable within the message of the Republican ideology, yet when I state the same in post or article forum... I'm a rabid and self righteous pawn ?

Like I said... you're a funny dude. -And I don't care what anybody says... I dig you, man.
I dig you. :thumbsup:
You are a rabid and self rightous pawn because you believe an article from the very people who are screwing us the hardest and believing them because they say what you want to hear. The Koch bros. take government money in the form of no bid contracts and tax subsidies that cost you and me the tax payer. If they believe so much in the free market, then why take anything from the govenrment. Why use eminent domain to run their pipeline. Why not just work with the property owners and buy their land at fair market value. Why sell oil to the strategic oil reserve rather than on the open market. These guys are full of the contradictions that you just seem completely blind to. These guys are the George Sorohs of the right. And both Sorohs and the Koch bros. are not in the politics game to help us, they are in it for themselves.
 

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Because it infringes upon our freedom to believe in the opposite... and we create the jobs.
No...because public unions have an inherint conflict of interest. They get to vote for the people that they will negociate with for their wages and benifits. That goes aginst the principles of our constitution and aginst the rules of democracy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah... that what I said.
 

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Because it infringes upon our freedom to believe in the opposite... and we create the jobs.
What freedom is being infringed?

Guess who buys most of the products/services?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You are a rabid and self rightous pawn because you believe an article from the very people who are screwing us the hardest and believing them because they say what you want to hear. The Koch bros. take government money in the form of no bid contracts and tax subsidies that cost you and me the tax payer. If they believe so much in the free market, then why take anything from the govenrment. Why use eminent domain to run their pipeline. Why not just work with the property owners and buy their land at fair market value. Why sell oil to the strategic oil reserve rather than on the open market. These guys are full of the contradictions that you just seem completely blind to. These guys are the George Sorohs of the right. And both Sorohs and the Koch bros. are not in the politics game to help us, they are in it for themselves.
The actions and the ideology are to different issues. You are combining them in to one. I can both lend my support to the message Koch has put forth... while having disdain for the actions taken... regardless of reason. You are hot or cold... on or off. The message is the very same you purport to believe in... yet argue vigorously against any and all that put that message forth... whether their actions show them to be of good faith and message... or not.

Personally... I believe you like to play both sides. I believe, at the minimum, you get off on it... in reality I believe it closer to subterfuge. You seldom if ever, take on the oppositions message. Rather... you seem to prefer to cause inter squabbling amongst the right. You employ the tactics of the left... of attacking the messenger rather then the message. When it is returned or pointed out... you claim them paranoid, in an attempt to discredit the message and the messenger. You claim sameness within the ideology... yet condemn the practitioners of the ideology... each and every one of them. -Again... seldom doing the same, if ever... to the opposition. I believe you to be a fake... a fraud... a phony. You came out swinging for every message put forth by this administration and the left. You disappeared for a month or two... and came back with a new message of sameness, but argued with and against any and all that espoused that message. You align yourself, "suddenly" with one in the ideology, that has argued against some small aspect, here or there, within the party's beliefs... but holds to the ideology.

Again... I believe you to be a fake... a fraud... a phony. I could be incorrect -and you may have had an "awakening" during your transformational absents... But, I'm usually not.

From one pawn to another... I still enjoy our back and forth. I think it's great that you are putting forth articles by Taibbi... and showing some outrage... as I was called all sorts of ugly adjectives by you, for doing the same two years ago. This is a "welcomed" change... regardless of how blatant and abrupt it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
What freedom is being infringed?

Guess who buys most of the products/services?
The 18% of those that are able to bargain ? Only they buy products ? -And the most, at that ?
 

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I love listening to Billionaires complain about how they are suffering due to bad evil systems that allowed them to get rich.:laughing:

It's like listening to Lars Ulrich and the RIAA cryin that they are goin broke...:laughing:
 

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The 18% of those that are able to bargain ? Only they buy products ? -And the most, at that ?
What freedom is being infringed upon?
 

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The actions and the ideology are to different issues. You are combining them in to one. I can both lend my support to the message Koch has put forth... while having disdain for the actions taken... regardless of reason. You are hot or cold... on or off. The message is the very same you purport to believe in... yet argue vigorously against any and all that put that message forth... whether their actions show them to be of good faith and message... or not.

Personally... I believe you like to play both sides. I believe, at the minimum, you get off on it... in reality I believe it closer to subterfuge. You seldom if ever, take on the oppositions message. Rather... you seem to prefer to cause inter squabbling amongst the right. You employ the tactics of the left... of attacking the messenger rather then the message. When it is returned or pointed out... you claim them paranoid, in an attempt to discredit the message and the messenger. You claim sameness within the ideology... yet condemn the practitioners of the ideology... each and every one of them. -Again... seldom doing the same, if ever... to the opposition. I believe you to be a fake... a fraud... a phony. You came out swinging for every message put forth by this administration and the left. You disappeared for a month or two... and came back with a new message of sameness, but argued with and against any and all that espoused that message. You align yourself, "suddenly" with one in the ideology, that has argued against some small aspect, here or there, within the party's beliefs... but holds to the ideology.

Again... I believe you to be a fake... a fraud... a phony. I could be incorrect -and you may have had an "awakening" during your transformational absents... But, I'm usually not.

From one pawn to another... I still enjoy our back and forth. I think it's great that you are putting forth articles by Taibbi... and showing some outrage... as I was called all sorts of ugly adjectives by you, for doing the same two years ago. This is a "welcomed" change... regardless of how blatant and abrupt it is.
I could certainly back the message if the author was not one of the Koch bros. These two along with Sorohs seem to be the most responsible for the amplification of the political battles between right and left. The very battles that do so well to disguise the raping of america. The people who speak words matter. One cannot be an active child molester and be taken seriously about how child molestation is an abomination.

As for my playing both sides and all the rest of your paranoid delusions....My positions are the same as they have been for years. You take my positions and twist them around in your mind alone to be leftist or inconcistent with "conservative" views. You do this mostly becuase I hated George W Bush. But if you were a true conservative you too would hate him because he wasthe one who destroyed conservativism. In the name of conservativism he put us deeper into debt than any president before him, and caused much of the deficit that we fight against now. He stole more liberties and grew our government all in the name of conservativism. If you would take off the party blinders you would see that too.

As for being a fake or a phoney, I have given more information about myself than most anyone on this sight. I have posted pictures of my cars without even blurring my license plates. I have spoken of what I own and then posted pictures of them. I met and introduced myself to Patrick at Corvettes at carlisle. He knows my name. He can google to see if I was indeed mayor of my town and if I was or was not indeed a republican and he could certainly see my affliliation with my local republican club. I would give my information directly to you but your instability causes me to be concerned for the safety of my family, after all you think that I post here as subterfuge...a paranoid delusion if ever I heard one.

As for my support of evrything Obama...again you have twisted things in your mind. I do support some sort of health insurance reform. Frankly I would prefer single payer, but I will take anything that helps american business compete better in a world were everyone of our competitors provides health care at government expense instead of business expense. I also support the end of the war in Iraq. It is a huge waste of our tax dollars to invade a country to bring freedom to the poeple of that country when our government taxes us to the point that we are not free. I could go on but of course your mind has just twisted evrything I just wrote into a completely different message so why bother. By the way Vette Newb has held these same beliefs but you do not say that he is a leftist.

Your beliefs of what I am, make me your enemy and that is how you treat me and is exactly what I called you out on. You distrust anybody that does not follow your "ideology" in lock step even when I can show you exactly how the actions of those "conservatives" that you love have completely been contrary to your "ideology", and that is why you hate what I post. It makes your "ideology" ring false, every day. It makes you look like what you are a sheep blinded by your allegiance to an "ideology" but constantly betrayed by those who espouse it.

Sorry but someone has to tell you the truth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
As for being a fake or a phoney...
This is the only part of your post that I could give two shits about, that you understand. I was strictly speaking of your political and ideological stance... and not your espousal of social status. I don't know you from ****... and would not make a claim I could not corroborate. To me, your social status is as you espouse.

As to the rest... it is as I stated above.
 

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What about the workers' freedom to join together and bargain for better wages and benefits? Why should a law be created which restricts that freedom?
Ok, I'll be brief. :laughing:

When a company shits on their workers, and uses them to pad profits, while employing unsafe practices which put the employs in danger, or exploits them, a union is needed. In today's world, unions aren't really needed due to OSHA and a host of other federal regulations. But, the employees should still have the choice of unionizing and collectively bargaining for pay/compensation, in accordance with market conditions. The company on the other hand also has choices, allow the unionization or not. The company can chose to move to a right to work state, close, or move their business to a different country. There is a "market factor".

Now, when public employees start unionizing, there is no company, no profits to base pay/benefits off of. The public unions spend money on politicians to write legislation/vote for their pay/benefits. Now, since we both know that the politicians(s) are on the union payroll, the taxpayer is left paying the bill, without proper representation, because the politician is on the union "payroll". The politicians don't care, they are going to collect a lot of money, and probably won't be around when the **** hits the fan (now) anyway. Governments can't move, close, etc. There is no "market factor".

This is why public unions are bad, they put a huge, unecessary burden on taxpayers, who aren't properly represented in the process, and end up paying lavish salary and benefits, usually well above what the private sector makes. So, now you know who's rights have been infringed upon, the taxpayer.

:cheers:
 
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