As Warren Buffett put it way back in 2006, "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning." But the Right's feigned outrage is rendered even more ridiculous thanks to a new report by Brad Friedman over at Mother Jones magazine who obtained an audio tape of a secret meeting of billionaires back in June in the mountains of Colorado. What you're about to hear is billionaire oil baron Charles Koch - the same guy who funds right-wing thinktanks and AstroTurf Tea Party groups - rally HIS soldiers - our nation's oligarchs - behind a "mother of all wars" to be waged against President Obama - who Koch refers to as Saddam Hussein. Again - that was billionaire Charles Koch calling President Obama "Saddam Hussein" - and urging his rich buddies to prepare for the "mother of all wars." Later - Koch goes on to tell his troops to shell out a millions bucks toward that war effort - pocket change to most of the oligarchs in the room. What Charles Koch is referring to is the billionaire's war against working people.
And it's this very same war - that James Hoffa spoke of yesterday and on my radio show today.....The battle-lines are being drawn - the billionaires are arming up - and Hoffa was urging working people to wake up and realize it. It's a war against the New Deal - against the contract that our government made with all of us after World War 2 - that if we all work hard and live honorable lives - then we can achieve the American Dream of a comfortable life - we get the house - the car - the family - the vacations - the free education - and a comfortable retirement at a reasonable age. This contract held strong for 40 years - from the 1930's to the 1970's - and the middle-class thrived.
But the wealthiest among us felt threatened. As the workplace and the marketplace was opened more and more to minorities and women in the middle of the 20th century - and more and more Americans wanted in on this deal of a good middle class life - the billionaires saw their piece of the wealth pie leveling out.They saw their massive fortunes growing - but not as fast as they'd like - as workers demanded better pay and benefits. If they wanted to see their empires grow, they had to renegotiate FDR's New Deal with the American people. They needed to realign the American economy away from the middle-class where FDR and Republicans like Dwight Eisenhower positioned it - and give it back to the oligarchs.They started this 30 years ago when Ronald Reagan busted up PATCO - the air traffic controllers union - and triggered generation-long battle against labor unions.
Today - labor unions - of which one in three Americans USED to belong to during the 1950's - have largely disappeared with only one in ten Americans enjoying the protections of organized labor. And as labor unions went into decline over the past few decades - so, too, did the middle class's share of wealth - dropping from close to 30% in the 1960's to about 10% today - as the billionaires gobbled up more and more money - so much so that just 400 families now have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined. With Reagan, they were subtle about it. They said they liked Social Security and Medicare, and even unions - they just wanted them protected. But after 30 years of successfully drilling holes in the New Deal, now they are just openly bragging that FDRs New Deal is dead.
The new New Deal - Paul Ryan's New Deal - is pretty easily summed up in four words, that Republicans are constantly pushing in various forms of code using words like "personal responsibility" and "freedom." Those four words are, "You're on your own." Paul Ryan's budget - what he calls the "Roadmap" - is the new contract that billionaires want to impose on the American people - a contract that renders the American dream obsolete and no longer rewards hard work with a good middle class lifestyle. No Social Security - no Medicare - no labor unions - no free education - no healthcare - no vacations - no retirement until you're dead - and no home and no car - nothing - unless you're willing to go in debt up to your eyeballs. Why? Because the billionaires don't want to pay their share to make sure the rest of us have any semblance of economic security.
It's that simple. If Republicans win the election of 2012, get used to the lifestyle of the working poor. Luckily - so far Republicans only control the House of Representatives - and not the Senate or the White House - so Paul Ryan's and the billionaires' vision for American can't be fully realized...at least. Which is exactly why Charles Koch is asking his cabal of billionaires to cough up at least a million dollars each to prepare for "the mother of all wars" - the billionaires' quest to take over Congress and the White House next year. The billionaires are just one election cycle - just one election - away from finishing off once and for all their 30-year-war against working people started by Ronald Reagan. Just one election away from killing off FDR's New Deal - and replacing it with Paul Ryan's New Deal for billionaires. James Hoffa knows what we're up against - he knows that Charles Koch isn't afraid to shell out millions of bucks to win this war.
So with Charles Koch and the oligarchs fully committed to this struggle - it's time for the rest of us to wake up - and decide who's side we're on"the billionaires - or the rest of America.