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Who are the Koch brothers and what do they want?

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In 1980, the platform of David Koch's Libertarian Party favored "the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs."  34 years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of one percent of the American people.

Today, the mainstream view of the Republican Party, as seen in the recently passed Ryan budget, is to end Medicare as we know it, cut Medicaid by more than $1.5 trillion over the next decade, and repeal the Affordable Care Act.  According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, "Under the Ryan plan, at least 40 million people -- 1 in 8 Americans -- would lose health insurance or fail to obtain insurance by 2024. Most of them would be people with low or moderate incomes."

In 1980, the platform of David Koch's Libertarian Party called for "the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system."  34 years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of one percent of the American people.

Today, the mainstream view of the Republican Party is that "entitlement reform" is absolutely necessary.  For some, this means major cuts in Social Security.  For others who believe Social Security is unconstitutional or a Ponzi scheme this means the privatization of Social Security or abolishing this program completely for those who are under 60 years of age.

In 1980, David Koch's Libertarian Party platform stated "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."  34 years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of one percent of the American people.

Today, 75 Republicans in the House have co-sponsored a bill that Paul Ryan has said "would eliminate taxes on wages, corporations, self-employment, capital gains, and gift and death taxes in favor of a personal-consumption tax."
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Here is what every American should be deeply concerned about.  The Koch brothers, through the expenditure of billions of dollars and the creation and support of dozens of extreme right organizations, have taken fringe extremist ideas and made them mainstream within the Republican Party.  And now with Citizens United (which is allowing them to pour unlimited sums of money into the political process) their power is greater than ever.

And let's be very clear.  Their goal is not only to defund Obamacare, cut Social Security, oppose an increase in the minimum wage or cut federal funding for education.  Their world view and eventual goal is much greater than all of that.  They want 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.  Every piece of legislation!

The truth is that the agenda of the Koch brothers is to move this country from a democratic society with a strong middle class to an oligarchic form of society in which the economic and political life of the nation are controlled by a handful of billionaire families.

Our great nation must not be hijacked by right-wing billionaires like the Koch brothers.

For the sake of our children and our grandchildren, we must fight back.

Sincerely,
Bernie Sanders
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Bernie Sanders is the independent U.S. Senator from Vermont. He is the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history. He is a member of the Senate's Budget, Veterans, Environment, Energy, and H.E.L.P. (Health, Education, (more...)
 

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Of course we must fight them, and everybody who su... by Bryna Hellmann on Thursday, Apr 17, 2014 at 12:56:24 PM
Yes, Bernie Sanders is considering a run.  Se... by Scott Baker on Thursday, Apr 17, 2014 at 3:07:53 PM
I certainly hope all other 3rd parties will stand ... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, Apr 18, 2014 at 11:21:05 AM
Who is George Soros and Michael Bloomberg and what... by Xman2 on Thursday, Apr 17, 2014 at 1:27:21 PM
This is the kind of person (Bernie Sanders) I woul... by Nancy Leys on Thursday, Apr 17, 2014 at 2:10:58 PM
In the coming months and years the Koch brother... by Doc McCoy on Thursday, Apr 17, 2014 at 7:31:23 PM
Things <em>are</em> reversed. The Koch... by Phil Weingart on Thursday, Apr 17, 2014 at 8:30:29 PM
Things really would be more fair if we had as many... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, Apr 18, 2014 at 11:24:04 AM
Oh, my gosh... Some Democratic party operative... by Phil Weingart on Thursday, Apr 17, 2014 at 8:26:59 PM
I would like to see someone refute this effectivel... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, Apr 18, 2014 at 11:27:58 AM
It's not so.  Alan Grayson did a good job of ... by Scott Baker on Friday, Apr 18, 2014 at 12:02:01 PM
Are 50% of Americans stupid or what??  So ea... by Xman2 on Friday, Apr 18, 2014 at 7:15:41 PM
Like the Bible is interpreted so many different wa... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, Apr 18, 2014 at 11:41:49 PM
David Koch's platform in 1980 - http://notseeamer... by Dennis Kaiser on Friday, Apr 18, 2014 at 6:43:42 AM
Yes, and they try to make the public think they ar... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, Apr 18, 2014 at 11:38:58 AM
Oh the poor Kock brothers, they do need to be lib... by Royallynn Allen on Friday, Apr 18, 2014 at 9:32:43 AM
The Kochs are not stupid; but very shrewd in manip... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, Apr 18, 2014 at 11:44:54 PM
The place we find ourselves in was a foregone conc... by intotheabyss on Friday, Apr 18, 2014 at 9:51:46 AM
It's time to ban billionaires. We need a cap on ne... by tim mcghie on Friday, Apr 18, 2014 at 10:38:52 AM
Yes Tim, cap Gore, Clintons, Obamas, Kerry, Harry... by Xman2 on Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 7:18:05 AM
When a man has enough money to rule the world, we ... by Pal Palsimon on Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 11:26:07 AM
I also suspect they are trying to start a Civil Wa... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, Apr 18, 2014 at 11:18:29 AM
Some of the pages with Op Ed articles have a lot o... by Pal Palsimon on Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 12:48:30 AM
This is really more of a tech support issue, but ... by Scott Baker on Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 12:27:54 PM
Before I got your message I downloaded Grime from... by Pal Palsimon on Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 5:29:48 PM
The Op-Ed Web pages are loaded with threatening a... by Pal Palsimon on Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 11:22:55 AM
Only if you are so weak that you cannot resist and... by Doc McCoy on Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 2:12:08 PM
I can resist it, but - unfortunately - my computer... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Apr 21, 2014 at 8:02:58 AM
Yes - there are plenty of ads.  Of course, th... by Doc McCoy on Monday, Apr 21, 2014 at 10:05:21 AM
This info contains a lot of information I was not ... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Apr 21, 2014 at 11:03:28 AM
I just downloaded adblock for Firefox, which may ... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Apr 21, 2014 at 8:37:53 AM