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Sanders writes: "As a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, billionaires and large corporations can now spend an unlimited amount of money to influence the political process."

Sen. Bernie Sanders at a markup meeting of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, 03/21/13. (photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Sen. Bernie Sanders at a markup meeting of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, 03/21/13. (photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

What Do the Koch Brothers Really Want?

By Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News

12 April 14


s a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, billionaires and large corporations can now spend an unlimited amount of money to influence the political process.

Perhaps, the biggest winners of Citizens United are Charles and David Koch, owners of the second-largest privately run business in America Koch Industries.

Among other things, the Koch brothers own oil refineries in Texas, Alaska, and Minnesota and control some 4,000 miles of pipeline.

According to Forbes Magazine, the Koch brothers are now worth $80 billion, and have increased their wealth by $12 billion since last year alone.

For the Koch brothers, $80 billion in wealth, apparently, is not good enough. Owning the second largest private company in America is, apparently, not good enough. It doesn’t appear that they will be satisfied until they are able to control the entire political process.

It is well known that the Koch brothers have provided the major source of funding to the Tea Party and want to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

In 1980, David Koch ran as the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential candidate in 1980.

Let’s take a look at the 1980 Libertarian Party platform.

Here are just a few excerpts of the Libertarian Party platform that David Koch ran on in 1980:

  • “We urge the repeal of federal campaign finance laws, and the immediate abolition of the despotic Federal Election Commission.”
  • “We favor the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs.”
  • “We oppose any compulsory insurance or tax-supported plan to provide health services, including those which finance abortion services.”
  • “We also favor the deregulation of the medical insurance industry.”
  • “We favor the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system. Pending that repeal, participation in Social Security should be made voluntary.”
  • “We propose the abolition of the governmental Postal Service. The present system, in addition to being inefficient, encourages governmental surveillance of private correspondence. Pending abolition, we call for an end to the monopoly system and for allowing free competition in all aspects of postal service.”
  • “We oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes.”
  • “We support the eventual repeal of all taxation.”
  • “As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion should be terminated immediately.”
  • “We support repeal of all law which impede the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws.”
  • “We advocate the complete separation of education and State. Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals. Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended.”
  • “We condemn compulsory education laws … and we call for the immediate repeal of such laws.”
  • “We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether profit or non-profit.”
  • “We support the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency.”
  • “We support abolition of the Department of Energy.”
  • “We call for the dissolution of all government agencies concerned with transportation, including the Department of Transportation.”
  • “We demand the return of America's railroad system to private ownership. We call for the privatization of the public roads and national highway system.”
  • “We specifically oppose laws requiring an individual to buy or use so-called "self-protection" equipment such as safety belts, air bags, or crash helmets.”
  • “We advocate the abolition of the Federal Aviation Administration.”
  • “We advocate the abolition of the Food and Drug Administration.”
  • “We support an end to all subsidies for child-bearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children.”
  • “We oppose all government welfare, relief projects, and ‘aid to the poor’ programs. All these government programs are privacy-invading, paternalistic, demeaning, and inefficient. The proper source of help for such persons is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals.”
  • “We call for the privatization of the inland waterways, and of the distribution system that brings water to industry, agriculture and households.”
  • “We call for the repeal of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.”
  • “We call for the abolition of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”
  • “We support the repeal of all state usury laws.”

In other words, the agenda of the Koch brothers is not only to defund Obamacare. The agenda of the Koch brothers is to repeal every major piece of legislation that has been signed into law over the past 80 years that has protected the middle class, the elderly, the children, the sick, and the most vulnerable in this country.

It is clear that the Koch brothers and other right wing billionaires are calling the shots and are pulling the strings of the Republican Party.

And because of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, they now have the power to spend an unlimited amount of money to buy the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the next President of the United States.

If they are allowed to hijack the American political process to defund Obamacare they will be back for more.

Tomorrow it will be Social Security, ending Medicare as we know it, repealing the minimum wage. It seems to me that the Koch brothers will not be content until they get everything they believe they are entitled to.

Our great nation can no longer be hijacked by right-wing billionaires like the Koch brothers.

For the sake of our children and our grandchildren, for the sake of our economy, we have got to let democracy prevail. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+62 # DurangoKid 2014-04-12 09:33
It's not about freedom of speech. It's about shouting down all who disagree with them.
+24 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-04-12 10:45
Is it what the Koch brothers want or is it what the Supreme Court wants? The Rpublicans are winning a war that the Democrats are merely complaining about. I see no Progressive leader or leaders organizing a massive demonstration on the Supreme Court area grounds which are legal to use for demonstrations. Not one. Well, Bernie, what time shall we report for the Supreme Court area demonstration you are organizing? Hmm?
+19 # politicfix 2014-04-12 11:55
As corrupt as it is...both want the same thing.
+2 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-04-12 16:30
Frankly, recently, Bernie voted for the agricultural bill. By voting for the agricultural bill, inasmuchas the food stamp program for the poor was part of that bill, also known as "bundling", a vote for the ag. bill was a no vote for the poor. So, the Vermont corporate farmers and others got lavish socialism for themselves and the poor got the shaft. Not one word from Bernie such as "this is wrong, bundling. We will not stand for it!" The poor have to bend over for "it" whether they like it or not. Bernie is shown in a "praying" position. The poor do not now need prayers. They needed those food stamps. Corporate America is not providing enough jobs for society. And so many of those jobs that are provided by corporate America do not pay a living wage. Ask most any Walmart employee. Walmart stated in their annual report that to lower costs and increase profitability, they encourage and train their employee how to apply for food stamps. Which is another way of saying, "we depend on the government for employee welfare so that by increasing our profits, our executives can enjoy a much more meaningful and rich life style."
+15 # Quickmatch 2014-04-12 17:35
What's good for Koch is good for SCOTUS.
+12 # DurangoKid 2014-04-13 09:00
The Supreme Court is an instrument.
+7 # RLF 2014-04-14 06:04
The supreme court like our congress has become disfunctional.. .good only for the businesses that can afford it.
+1 # bmiluski 2014-04-14 11:21
Hey Eldon, why don't you start a march?
0 # Linda 2015-05-12 09:00
Eldon J. Bloedorn ,Are you suggesting that Bernie doesn't want to do anything about the Supreme Court ? If you are then you haven't been paying attention . The Supreme Court is just one issue out of the many that he has addressed !
+105 # DurangoKid 2014-04-12 09:51
What they want is an oligarchic fascist state. What they'll get is collapse and chaos. You can't run a society predicated on "every man for himself". Humans have always banded together to do in common what they can't to individually. The problem has always been in those who would abuse the public trust, like the Koch brothers.
+28 # Gordon K 2014-04-12 09:51
"Are there no work houses?"
+18 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-04-12 17:04
Be patient, Gordon! We'll have them soon enough. The new Dickensian age appears to be on its way.
+3 # randrjwr 2014-04-13 23:14
Quoting The Buffalo Guy:
Be patient, Gordon! We'll have them soon enough. The new Dickensian age appears to be on its way.

Yes indeed!! Just read "Hard Times" for insight into trends in education.
+60 # PCPrincess 2014-04-12 09:58
I pause to think what it must take for individuals to believe that the Libertarian 'plan' of the 1980's, as supported by David Koch, would actually be beneficial to the U.S. The next question I would ask Mr. Koch is: Do you espouse your beliefs because you think it would help the country, or rather, are you thinking only of how it would benefit you, as an individual? Anyone who goes to the polls and marks the ballot while thinking how those issues would affect them, and only them, are having a negative effect on the democratic process. How can this system work when people are encouraged to vote with only their own interests in mind? In the case of the Koch brothers and those like them, it would truly take someone who was teat to grave, a very wealthy person, or someone who mistakenly believed they could become very wealthy through political osmosis.
I believe that the combination of capitalism, self-centeredne ss, greed, and representative democracy can NEVER work.
+34 # politicfix 2014-04-12 11:53
If the ground is fertile you start planting. Corruption has increased and is at a point where these financiers believed the time was ripe to further their agenda. That's what the Koch Brothers and many others did and started buying politicians, judges, and God knows who else to get what they wanted. Politicians aren't passing any laws that benefit individuals or the country, they do just the opposite by passing laws to take away rights and laws that will help restore the country and help the wealthiest who now own 38% of the wealth in this country. Politicians have become rich with lobbyist money. They haven't lost any of their pay or benefits in spite of their 15% approval rating by the people. They don't even care that they have performed as abject failures. They blame it on something other than themselves and run again. They'll get all the money they want from the financiers who want to buy them and their votes, so they don't worry. They're even trying to rig the voting system to get in the people most likely to be swayed into prostituting their vote. It doesn't matter what they say, their results are a failure, while they pad their pockets for their own selfish greed. So...if in them out.
+12 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-04-12 17:09
Quoting PCPrincess:

I believe that the combination of capitalism, self-centeredness, greed, and representative democracy can NEVER work.

Since we seem to be headed that way, I agree. It will never last because it never does. History tells us that!
+25 # Small Family Farmer 2014-04-12 10:33
So who knew that "It's a Wonderful Life" was actually a documentary.
+47 # angryspittle 2014-04-12 10:40
These assholes are in their 80's. And rich beyond imagination. You might think they would be content to just live out what time is left to them in their opulence and forget about controlling the planet. I just don't get it.
+20 # Cassandra2012 2014-04-12 16:32
Lust for power. Why hasn't the documentary, 'Citizen Koch' yet aired on PBS???
+7 # RLF 2014-04-14 06:08
PBS (or at least Macneil/Leher) is primarily supported by the right wing. It is a private business. PBS has been spewing right wing crap for years. Ever notice how the right wing side always has the last word?
+2 # bmiluski 2014-04-14 11:28
"Ever notice how the right wing side always has the last word?"

I watch PBS - News Hour - and I have not noticed. Macneil retired in 1995.
+2 # maryf 2014-04-16 00:22
The right wing has been trying to defund PBS for many years, insisting that it is a liberal tool. Not very surprisingly, PBS has tried to fend off these attacks by sounding more right wing itself.
+5 # WestWinds 2014-04-13 21:52
Because this is the Koch brothers' reaction to their own fear of dying. They think if they keep accumulating power and assets that they will be allowed to live forever. Irrational thinking in the face of death.

My mother was working in a prestigious NY hospital and taking care of a very rich person. He way dying of cancer but he was loudly demanding, "I have everything, why do I have to die?"

The Koch brothers are just mentally ill old men. The problem is that all we see is their money as a measure of success and somehow that, for us, translates into them being correct in all they do.
Evidently too many of us were missing from class when we were being taught about Jesus and the money changers in the temple where Jesus lost it because he saw corrupted values replacing the best interests of society.
+4 # Firefox11 2014-04-14 18:53
Quoting angryspittle:
These assholes are in their 80's. And rich beyond imagination. You might think they would be content to just live out what time is left to them in their opulence and forget about controlling the planet. I just don't get it.

They are sociopaths and don't give a s--- about anyone but themselves.
+16 # politicfix 2014-04-12 10:59
If Bernie can ever get an honest answer to his question from the Koch Bros. that would be amazing, and then it wouldn't be the truth. Personally, the words mean very little unless the actions support them. In their case it doesn't take a mental giant to see their words and actions don't match. So... you have to follow the actions and I think we pretty much know the truth based on what they're erroneous actions are.
+44 # Rcomm 2014-04-12 11:00
It seems the Kochs would like to overthrow the government of the United States. Isn't this treason?
+15 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-04-12 17:14
Quoting Rcomm:
It seems the Kochs would like to overthrow the government of the United States. Isn't this treason?

Why overthrow it when you can make it work for you? Then it's their government and it taint treason cuz the system says you can.
+2 # RLF 2014-04-14 06:09
Right Buffalo! Overthrow would mean we would get function again...not what Kochs want...
+2 # WestWinds 2014-04-13 22:02
Short answer: Yes.
+9 # John Whiting 2014-04-12 11:13
History tells us that, when the ship is sinking, the survivors will all attempt to climb onto the nearest leaky lifeboat.
+16 # politicfix 2014-04-12 11:14
Theirs is probably the pinnacle of selfishness and greed gone awry. They wrote the book on what's enough and it never was nor will it ever be enough. Selfishness feeds the guts and starves the soul. I think they qualify as being selfish. They have enough money to tell the politicians what to do all the way to the Supreme Court. Elected officials are doing their bidding. The Koch Brothers are going through the government to further their agenda. It's the politicians that have the power to stop them and they're not. They are the ones who swear to uphold the Constitution etc.. They're the ones who need to be pressured to do the right thing, and certainly not re-elected for doing the wrong thing.
+3 # jsluka 2014-04-12 17:11
But they WILL be re-elected, Dumbocrats and Rethuglicans alike, because we are admonished that not voting is immoral, evil and wrong, so we must vote, but the only ones we are offered to vote for is THEM. I think that's called a "Catch-22" situation?
+19 # hwmcadoo 2014-04-12 11:34
This is what the koch brothers want; actually this is what they want for us as

Most of this plan doesn’t apply to them except to allow them to steal our money.

The most absurd is the abolishment of the FAA. i know they don’t care about roads, bridges, fresh water for people, because they don't use them; they get around in their jets and helicopters. Can you imagine the chaos and collisions without the FAA which could involve them. I know that what happens to them is important.

Frightening is that the Republican party is working for them with their money to control voting, elections and the election count.

These kochs are nothing less than greedy, selfish, cruel, unsympathetic, evil psychopaths who soon may be in control of America and then easily the world. For the
most part, they do all this within laws designed for people like them by corrupt politicians.

This is why America is terminal. We average people can't compete with their money and their control of our government. I can see no way to to combat them under our present government. This is going to be a fascist authoritarian, punitive feudal system controlled under a police state.

Who will they put in as puppet dictator? Maybe people like Cruz, Ryan, McConnell, DeMint. Pretty scary. I see why emigration, for those who can afford it, is higher now than any time before.
+28 # JSRaleigh 2014-04-12 12:01
I call for a REPEAL of the Koch brothers! It's time to vote them off the island.

In fact, I'm ready to vote them off of the planet Earth.
+19 # suzyskier 2014-04-12 12:21
Once they have achieved their goals are they planning to build a moat around their property to protect themselves from the those who wlll starve with out many of these protections ? Basically what they want will send us back to the middle ages. We will need debtors prisons for those guilty of stealing food and clothing so that they might live.

Privatizing the roads is crazy, all roads would be toll roads, imagine the traffic jams there would be let alone the prices those privileged few could charge. There are so many things wrong with this type of thinking it boggles the mind.
Such selfish disrespect for all but themselves must be unparalleled in our history.
I don't know how people think this way. It would be chaos. Go buy yourselves your own country possibly on a other planet.
+5 # Cassandra2012 2014-04-12 16:34
Bring on the Hunger Games ...
+11 # Trish42 2014-04-12 13:08
No more analysis or detail is needed. These people are anarchists, pure and simple. They want no impediments to whatever the hell they want to do or when and how they do it. If they just didn't have to live around other people....
+2 # bmiluski 2014-04-14 11:31
Unfortunately Trish42 - you are wrong. The Kochs don't believe in anarchy, they believe in a monarchy with themselves as supreme rulers.
+7 # jsluka 2014-04-12 17:04
The Kock bros don't mention the military and police, who they will need to protect themselves from everyone else living in mass poverty when their policies are enacted. But I would guess they favor the privatisation of the military and police, since they support the privatisation of everything else. Think about it - a privatised army and police! I think the Romans tried that, when they recruited more and more mercenaries in place of legions recruited from Roman citizens, and that presaged the sacking of Rome and end of the Roman Empire.

Privatised soldiers and police are loyal only to those who pay them - not to the government or people.

On the 'bright side,' how old are these guys? Surely, they will die soonish?
+5 # Malcolm 2014-04-13 10:27
Not old enough. They've probably got enough "good " years left to convince "we the sheople. That libertarianism is a fine, fine, idea :-(

Money talks, and dummies believe most anything, if they hear it often enough. And those Kochsukkers have the ability to make sure their evil messages are heard by almost everyone, repeatedly.

The only ones who may be at least SOMEWHAT sheltered from this upcoming propaganda barrage are those who kill their bob tubes.
+5 # photonracer 2014-04-13 17:08
"On the 'bright side,' how old are these guys? Surely, they will die soonish?"
These tools did not get where they are by themselves. They have lots of help because they have lots of resources. Those helpers are the ones that need exposed and targeted. Like kochroaches they cannot stand the bright lights. The Kochs have invested in lots of little roaches that will continue to infest our society. They are your friends and neighbors. Expose them.
+8 # m... 2014-04-12 17:43

…………… ''What Do the Koch Brothers Really Want?'' …………..

I think that's the creepiest headline I have ever read in my life.

Its as if a SCOTUS Propelled ALIEN SPACESHIP has arrived and delivered an Ultimatum that we're trying to understand and accommodate.., just as if we are being held hostage by some gigantic intergalactic vault machine threatening to unleash a tidal wave of poisoned money upon the land that will send us all backwards at least one century and into some kind of Oligarchical Corpo-Caliphate.
+17 # spenel334 2014-04-12 21:02
Re: question about workhouse, apparently they are back! In, I believe, 9 states, residents are arrested and jailed if they do not have the money to pay fines. Eg. A couple in Alabama each had a traffic ticket, and though each was exonerated from the infraction, they were required to pay the $500 fine for court costs. Neither was working, and they were jailed until a relative paid a portion of the fine. This went on and on until they owed something like $2000, the fines having been increased each time they couldn't pay. If that isn't unconstitutiona l, nothing is.
+2 # babalu 2014-04-13 20:10
Another Koch motive: They have stolen from all of us by underpaying their oil toyalties for decades, and they are afraid of how many $10 billion bills they would have to peel off if the numbers were finally totalled up by a truly populist government.
Their methods of theft made it into open court when the other brother sued them for cheating him, too! A couple of handfuls of Koch employees testified as to all the ways they cheated ALL OF US, at each transfer step along the way!
+3 # WestWinds 2014-04-13 22:12
We need to connect the dots; the Koch brothers are NeoNazi's with a family full of old world Nazi connections. And this, boys and girls, is who is running our political machinery and country.

"... Notorious Nazis Ilse Koch, her husband Karl Otto Koch and Erich Koch are the ghosts of Koch Industries, who seized the U.S. conservative political agenda years ago and seem capable of seizing the government in total through the Tea Party. Ilse Koch was the Nazi’s specialist in making objects from human skin; was the only woman charged with war crimes; and along with her husband was in charge of one of the most horrific horror camps in Nazi Germany. [Insert by me: Ilse Koch was aka The Witch of Buchenwald for her human skin lampshades.]

Koch Industries is the child of the violence of Buchenwald, widely regarded as one of wartime Germany’s most notorious “death camps”.

Information connecting Ilse and Koch Industries is hard to find but is a string of fragments, pieces of information that connects the American and German Kochs and this connection gives us a clear image of the sentiment behind the Tea Party and conservative American politics since the 1950s. ..."

Go here to read more...▼-report-the-kochs-their-nazi-past-american-oil-the-foundation-of-republican-ideology/
0 # randrjwr 2014-04-13 23:24
There appears to be a small silver lining in the frightening storm cloud that is the Libertarian Platform. With no taxation, the government would have no revenue and so the wealthy class would have to finance their wars directly. Maybe that would quiet the rattling sabers.
+3 # bmiluski 2014-04-14 11:36
Unfortunately, the kochs will make it the better choice to join the army because it would provide you with 3 meals a day, clothes and a roof over your head. Meanwhile, the rest of the population starves. How do you think Kim Jong-un stays in power? If you want to see what the future beholds, just look at North Korea because that's going to be us if we don't stop the kochs.
+1 # Malcolm 2014-04-15 00:08
Nah, they won't spring for all those comforts. One or two meals, baloney burritos, Wonder read, and Heinz catsup. No roof, either. Just a tent. Gotta protect their bottom lines, don'tcha know! And the troops can get their own duds, from the civilians they kill. This ain't no fukkan fashion show.
0 # Sangze 2014-04-14 09:02
The Koch brothers want, and in November will get, total control of the USA joke of a government. They are dedicated to a dictatorship. You, the US voters, will have given them that, and you will no longer need to bother voting. They will make all decisions for you.
+1 # elizabethblock 2014-04-14 12:38
New Yorker cartoon:
A man standing in front of his burning house. Firemen approaching with hose. Man holds up hands, palms out, saying, ¨No, no! I´m a libertarian.¨
0 # typhoeus 2014-04-15 03:15
If you would like to see Bernie Sanders reject the Democratic Party in his 2016 campaign for president in favor of a truly leftist coalition, you can ask him to seek the Green nomination by signing the petition below.

The Democratic Party is a neoliberal, corporate party. It advocates austerity at home and aggression abroad. The party will not be reformed from within by Bernie Sanders; the party would reform him.

The Green Party, on the other hand, does not need reforming. It needs growth, investment, and visibility. It's time to build a leftist alternative party that can challenge the two corporate parties on a substantive, noncorporate, progressive level.
0 # Linda 2015-05-12 08:54
The Green Party does not have the backing to push Bernie forward in his canpaign that is why he chose to run as a Democrat . In those causus states like Iowa he wouldn't even be able to run !Bernie is smart enough to know where his best chances are and its with the Democratic Party otherwise he would have ran as a Independent !
0 # Linda 2015-05-12 08:49
The real reason that Libertarian's at the top level want to abolish all social programs and everything on this list is : They are corporate shills ! They know the majority of people who are on one social program or another are poor and against corporations having free rein over our country . The best way they can think of to silence their voices is to take away every program that helps them to survive in our society then they will be too busy trying to survive to fight back. Its all about corporate profit over human need !

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