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Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Dark as in “Dark Money” by Jane Mayer

Let’s say you had 14 billion dollars in 2008.  Your brother had the same amount and you knew that you were going to continue to build on that fortune.  Would the purpose of your existence be based on making more of that money or would $14 billion be enough?  Would you organize a bunch of your fellow billionaires to coordinate their considerable resources for the purpose of protecting your billions from the greedy hands of the government?  After all, this is America.  If a person wants to get ahead, then they should jolly well learn how to work for it.  Government takes away from initiative.  It doesn’t add to it.   

Then, the people went and elected the socialist Barrack Obama.  Obviously, they don’t know what’s good for them.  They certainly don’t need minimum wage laws or a public health care system or environmental controls placed on the upstanding resource companies you happen to own.  Your companies have to compete with others around the globe, many that don’t have to abide by environmental standards. 

At first, your idea is simply to provide a conduit to funnel money into the campaigns of candidates that support your interests.  And that turns out to be a lot because it’s not just you, it’s all your buddies as well.  You put your money into “Social Welfare” groups like "Americans for Prosperity" that in turn uses that money to finance the Republican candidates that you support.  Your donation is completely anonymous and get this, it’s also tax deductible.  You can use tax deductible money to protect your own money.  Some may call that dark money because it can’t be traced but it’s that kind of individual initiative that helped make America great.   

And then, in 2012, even though you’d outspent the opposing candidates, Barrack Obama gets re-elected.  Time for a rethink.  More to the point, you need the masses to do a rethink.  And, where does all that thinking take place?  In colleges and universities of course.  And, who are those controlled by?  The liberals of course.  You need to sponsor your own institutions of higher learning.  You need to take control of the ideas.

You knew of the Olin Foundation that had been in existence since the 1950s.  It had sponsored academic programs focused on the law and economics so that between 1985 and ’89, the Olin Foundation organization had underwritten 85% of the costs for such programs.  You decide to do the same and create your own foundation that sponsors pro-business, anti-regulatory, and anti-tax program in 307 different institutions of higher learning including Ivy League schools.  However, your pet project is George Mason University in Virginia, a hotbed of neo-conservative thought where you give more of your money that anywhere else.   And remember, not only are your supporting a good cause but it’s tax deductible. 

Then, in the 2010 civil case, Citizens United against the Federal Electoral Commission, the Supreme Court’s voted to end restrictions on the amount of money corporations and unions could spend on campaigns.  This was followed by an end to restrictions individuals could make to political action committees (PACs) so long as you weren’t directly involved in a candidate’s campaigns.  Now, you realized the influence could really begin.  Elections got so expensive that candidates couldn’t afford to ignore the kind of finances you could provide them.  They needed the money provided by you and your buddies to have any chance of getting elected.

Charles Koch
Even with Barrack Obama in power, your wealth has grown to $41 billion.  The same as your brother's.  Some people may ask, what the fuck do you do with $41 billion dollars and you know what I say?  It doesn’t matter.  It’s mine.  Some say that with the kind of money and influence my buddies and I have over the American political system, it’s become an oligarchy like Russia where a small group of people have control of the country.  Obviously, with Barrack Obama in power and Hillary Clinton about to replace him, that’s not entirely the case and even if it was, would that be so bad?  Who said democracy was the best system of government?