Letter to the editor — December 12, 2017

Dear editor,
On “60 Minutes” a few of weeks ago Bill Koch, the estranged brother of Charles Koch, said “I collect wine, Charles collects money.” They have amassed a $96 billion fortune and still want more.
They and their network of billionaire political spenders have made their marching orders clear this year — kill the Affordable Care Act and pass sweeping new tax breaks for corporations and the top 1 percent or don’t come looking to us to bankroll your 2018 campaigns. They are in their 80s and want the inheritance tax eliminated. Their family would be one of the largest benefactors in America. They didn’t want Trump to win. I don’t think they gave him a penny. They supported Scott Walker the union-busting governor of Wisconsin and Marco Rubio.
The Kochs have all but taken over the U.S. government.
Marc Short worked for the Kochs, then took a job with Mike Pence, who the Koch Brothers put in as governor of Indiana.
After Trump won, Pence became vice president and Short was put in as director of Legislative Affairs.
The Koch network has almost someone in every state whether it’s the House, Senate, or a political appointee that will work their favors, including Mike Pompeo, now head of CIA, Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, U.S. Senators Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts and Gov. Sam Brownback. Elsewhere is Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri, Senate President Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Paul Ryan, Wisconsin, Speaker of the House. The Kochs wanted Ryan to be vice president. Tom Colburn and Scott Pruitt  of Oklahoma are also under the Kochs’ sway. Pruitt, director of the EPA, is changing the rules in favor of big business. Exxon Mobil (No. 7) and Koch Industries (No. 8) are two of the biggest polluters in the United States. Koch Industries has paid $657 million in fines to the EPA. They have said sometimes it’s cheaper to pay the fines than it is to clean it up.
The Kochs want trickle-down economics like we had in Kansas. It failed, and it will fail again if Congress passes the tax bill. Whenever you cut tax revenue you still have bills that must be paid. The far right is spinning this as a middle-class tax cut when 80 percent is going to the top 1 percent. We know it’s not going to be the rich that will pay for it, just like we saw in Kansas. Trump wants to get rid of Medicaid, taking the $700 billion to pay for this tax cut. Ronald Reagan robbed the money from Social Security and now your children might not get it. Can you imagine what would happen if Social Security goes broke? Sixty-two percent of the population only have $10,000 at retirement.
They tell us this will spur the economy because it will give the middle class $800-$1,200 on average more income from tax breaks when all they would have to do is give them a simple raise. A dollar an hour for a 40-hour week would give them $2,000 more a year. Would that break a small business? It certainly wouldn’t make us go $1.5 trillion more in debt.
David Comstock
Colony, Kan.

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