02/07/2018 12:00 pm

Recycling Graft

The International Business Times reports that "Charles and David Koch and/or the business they operate could make between $1 billion and $1.4 billion more money each year" — that deserves repetition: each year — "thanks to the tax breaks in legislation passed in December by Republican members of Congress." (By 2027, "the top 1 percent of Americans will get 83 percent of the tax benefits.")
P.M. Carpenter

The Koch brothers, together, are worth more than $100 billion. They intend to spend between $300 million and $400 million of it on the 2018 elections, which of course will directly benefit the GOP. They send their thanks to Citizens United.

“Less than two weeks after the U.S. House passed its version of the bill,” continues the IBT, “Charles Koch and his wife Elizabeth donated nearly $500,000 to the joint fundraising committee of Speaker Paul Ryan, who successfully shepharded the bill through his chamber.” (Each of them also contributed, same day, $237,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, the maximum allowed.)

Law professor and tax specialist Daniel Shaviro, borrowing from the academic work of others, asks “why the Washington rent-seeking industry [i.e., greedy politicians], although we think of it as large, is actually so small … [and] ‘inefficient.'” Paul Ryan extracted a mere half-million dollars for lavishing the Kochs with more than one billion annually. Shaviro answers: because of “legal constraints and informal norms.”

However, he continues — and for this we can thank Donald Trump and his criminal gang in Congress — “the rise of partisan norms, decline of democratic accountability, and decline of prosecutorial independence from the presidency (if sustained) could certainly move towards making the rent-seeking/corruption market increasingly ‘efficient.'”

Shaviro concludes with this brilliant line: “Forget draining the swamp; the question now is to what extent the swamp will start draining us.”

We are also left to wonder to what extent the swamp’s true enablers — working-class Trumpeteers — will realize they have been had. Bigly.

By Smirking Chimp