The Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity has a funny definition of fairness. As in they find it patently unfair that billionaires should be burdened a higher income tax rate than working families.

In their tax reform document, AFP bemoans that one reason people support a progressive income tax in part “based on a theory of fairness–which can include the desire to make the wealthy pay more due to the nebulous concept of their ‘ability to pay’ more.” In AFP’s fantasy land, apparently the only impediment to a minimum wage worker buying groceries for the week is the “nebulous concept of her ability to pay” for them.

AFP goes on to lament that a progressive tax code “removes individuals in lower brackets from the reality of the cost” of anti-poverty programs. Naturally, they conclude that a flat tax system, which would drastically cut taxes for the wealthy and shift more of the tax burden onto working families, is the only way to escape “the moral problems and economic inefficiencies” of the current system.

In short, the Kochs and AFP’s definition of economic inequality is that billionaires pay higher taxes than people living paycheck-to-paycheck.

View supporting research after the jump.

This week, as the White House rolled out new carbon emissions standards to address climate change, the Albany Times Union ran this article: New York has a leg up on federal greenhouse gas proposal.

The Times Union explained that New York was well-positioned to comply with the new standards because it had already instituted a program aimed at limiting emissions. The program, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, was “spearheaded by former GOP Gov. George Pataki” according to the article.

Then, this tidbit:

Last year, a court rejected an effort to force the state to abandon RGGI by a group tied to conservative Kansas petrochemical billionaires who fund campaigns to deny climate change. The lawsuit had been filed by the Buffalo leader of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political action group supported by oilmen David and Charles Koch that is linked to the tea party movement.

Notable if not surprising–a classic Koch/AFP move, really. […]

The Washington Post ran a scathing editorial last month that began like this:

Republicans in Virginia’s House of Delegates have blocked hundreds of thousands of poor Virginians from getting health insurance under the Obama administration’s Medicaid expansion. At the same time, they’ve refused to suggest any alternative method by which the needy people in the state might arrange health coverage.

The Post made the case that it’s morally reprehensible to refuse Medicaid expansion and deny health care to hundreds of thousands of your constituents in order to make some sort of political statement. A pretty straight-forward argument.

But the Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity was there to push back, applauding this stunt to deny people health care. Writing a letter to the editor in response to that editorial, AFP’s Virginia director offered this heartfelt conclusion: “The decision by Virginia Republicans not to expand Medicaid is logical and prudent.”

And it’s not just Virginia where AFP is waging this battle. They’ve fought against Medicaid expansion in Nebraska and Maine, in Louisiana and Pennsylvania. In Michigan, they promised to spend “considerable resources” targeting the Senators who voted to expand Medicaid.

It’s part of a callous campaign that has left over 250,000 veterans, and millions more Americans, uninsured. But it’s one that is squarely in line with the Koch agenda that promises to make life harder for working families and even easier for the wealthy at every turn.

View supporting research after the jump.

Brad Woodhouse, President of American Bridge

Last week, Tim Phillips, president of the Koch-funded group Americans for Prosperity, penned an op-ed for Forbes entitled “The Non-Existent Era of Austerity.” In his piece, under the familiar guise of faux fiscal responsibility, Phillips assailed President Obama for his “addiction” to protecting programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from massive cuts. Or as AFP calls massive cuts, “reforms” that would “save” the programs.

Make no mistake–the goal of Americans for Prosperity, which has already promised to spend $125 million supporting extreme conservatives in the midterm elections, is not save Social Security or Medicare. Their agenda is exactly the same as the one the Koch brothers have been pushing for over 30 years: Slash Medicare, dismantle social security, and undermine government as a whole in the process. It’s a self-serving agenda that centers on making the rich even richer at the expense of working families.

Their history speaks for itself: AFP has supported Paul Ryan’s budgets, including one that the Wall Street Journal said would “essentially end Medicare.” David Koch’s 1980 Libertarian ticket called social security “the most serious threat to the future stability of our society next to nuclear war.” They’ve supported huge tax cuts for the wealthy, while calling for abolishing the minimum wage.

AFP and the Kochs don’t want to save programs that are crucial to the middle class. They want to destroy them.

View supporting research after the jump.

Scott Brown’s affinity for Koch is well-documented. In 2011, when introduced to David Koch, Scott Brown looked like a little kid meeting his hero. Video showed a star-struck Brown telling Koch, “your support during the election, it meant a ton. It made a difference and I can certainly use it again.”

Well much to the former Massachusetts Senator’s delight, the Scott Brown-Koch alliance lives on! Already this year, the Kochs’ Americans For Prosperity has poured money into false advertisements attacking Jeanne Shaheen, Brown’s opponent if he wins his primary. And the ties go deeper.

Just yesterday, Scott Brown sent out a press release attacking Shaheen based on the news that a conservative group called the Center for Competitive Politics accused her of unethical conduct surrounding the IRS. That group has taken tens of thousands of dollars from Charles Koch’s foundation, and its board of directors includes Ed O’Keefe, who […]

DUI: Democracy Under the Influence (of Koch)

The Koch brothers have been trying to abolish campaign finance laws for more than three decades. In 1980, David Koch discovered a loophole that allowed him to contribute unlimited funds to a campaign if he was on the ticket. So he wrote to the Libertarian Party, bought a spot as their VP nominee, contributed over $2 million of his own money, and ran on a ticket that advocated for abolishing campaign finance laws (among others, like the minimum wage).

Fast forward 30+ years and the Kochs’ dream of overrunning democracy with unbridled political spending has essentially been realized. Their extensive network of dark money organizations reaches far and deep – like the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, which has already promised to spend $125 million to buy midterm elections for extreme Republican candidates that will push the Kochs’ self-serving agenda. It’s the same agenda that they’ve been pushing for decades–abolishing the minimum wage, slashing Medicare, removing environmental protections, and dismantling Social Security.

Check out our new video above and learn more about the Kochs’ influence.

Supporting research after the jump

Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, John Boehner, the list of extreme Republicans denying basic science showing humans impact climate change seems to grow by the day. Who else can be added to this list? Why David Koch, of course. Not only has Koch denied human caused climate change, he’s gone so far as to speculate that warming of the planet is a GOOD THING. According to New York Magazine, Koch rationalized that any trauma caused by migration of people from disappearing coastlines would be made up for by lengthened growing seasons.

As is typical of their self-serving agenda, the Kochs recognize that addressing climate change could threaten the massive profits of their piggybank – Koch Industries. So they have spent $50 million funding groups that deny climate science, fighting tooth and nail to protect their oil fortune at the expense of our air and treating this misinformation campaign as just another investment in their bottom line.

The sad part? It’s working. PolitiFact recently rated it “mostly true” that “virtually no Republican” in Washington accepts climate change science.

Check out the research after the jump.

Score another victory for the Kochs in their self-serving campaign to protect oil profits at all costs.

Ohio’s burgeoning renewable energy industry was dealt a major blow yesterday as the Cleveland Dispatch announced that Governor Kasich would sign the AFP-backed bill to freeze energy efficiency incentives.

The standards were working. And that’s why AFP helped kill them–to stave off threats to big oil companies like Koch Industries.

Read more on the Koch’s self-serving war on renewable energy.

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation