August 15, 2017
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In 'Latest Attempt to Distort Democracy,' Koch Brothers Bolster GOP Tax Cut Efforts

"The Trump administration's collaboration with the Koch brothers to cut corporate taxes is the pure distillation of the corrupt cronyism that candidate Trump promised to eliminate."

By Jake Johnson

As Republicans attempt to quickly shift attention from their failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act to their goal of overhauling the tax code—an objective that is being cheered on and bankrolled by Charles and David Koch—early signs indicate that their plans will face similarly fierce resistance.

Americans for Tax Fairness, Public Citizen, and several other watchdog groups descended on the nation's capital Monday to express their discontent with proposals that have been characterized as "absolutely immoral" attempts to give huge tax breaks to the wealthy and massive corporations.

The protest was held outside an event hosted by representatives of two Koch-backed groups: Freedom Partners and Americans for Prosperity. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House director of legislative affairs Marc Short attended the gathering, joining members of the Koch brothers' vast network on a panel of speakers.

In addition to organizing events in 36 states to push the GOP's right-wing tax agenda, Koch-affiliated groups have also begun running digital ads promoting tax cuts for individuals and businesses.

Economist Robert Reich argued that this promotional effort is just the Koch brothers' "latest attempt to distort democracy" after largely remaining on the sidelines during the 2016 presidential election.

The groups organizing the protests outside the event on Monday expressed similar sentiments.

"The Trump administration's collaboration with the Koch brothers to cut corporate taxes is the pure distillation of the corrupt cronyism that candidate Trump promised to eliminate," said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. "Big money influence has led to spectacular concentrations of wealth, which is channeled back into politics in the service of helping the superrich become even richer."

As Common Dreams reported, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and several members of the Trump administration last week released a joint statement outlining their so-called tax principles, which include the goal of lowering tax rates "as much as possible."

Attempting to propel the effort, pro-business donor networks are "activating their leadership" as Republicans begin their tax reform push, which is set to intensify in the coming days as money rolls in from the Kochs and other right-wing organizations.

Advocacy groups have, in response, urged the public—which opinion polls consistently show is against tax cuts for the rich—to mobilize and voice their opposition.

The GOP is attempting to "slash our Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education, and other vital services American families depend on—all to put more money into the already substantial tax breaks enjoyed by profitable corporations, millionaires, and billionaires," said Susan Harley, deputy director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch division.

"Luckily," Harley concluded, "the public has caught on to this sham 'reform' effort and is taking to the streets to demand that corporations and the wealthy finally pay their fair share of taxes."

Originally appeared at

Photo: Americans for Tax Fairness/Twitter

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