The Seminar Network, which includes the constellation of groups funded by the billionaire industrialist Charles Koch and around 700 like-minded conservatives and libertarians who contribute at least $100,000 annually, will now operate as Stand Together.
Freedom Partners, an entity that was once used to air campaign
commercials, will cease to exist. Americans for Prosperity will now
oversee all political and policy efforts. Groups that cater to specific
constituencies, like Libre for Latinos or Concerned Veterans for
America, have moved under the AFP umbrella.
Corporations, which drove the train, got even more of a tax cut than they wanted. Yet they refused to promise that their huge tax break would hike worker wages. Medium-sized and big businesses got something they had only dreamed of — though in provisions so badly written one tax expert called them a “travesty.”
Rich Republicans lobbied Trump at a Manhattan fundraiser and got 2.6 percentage points lopped off their highest tax bracket.
Deficit hawks, that is, those opposed to creating any new federal debt, hemmed and hawed and finally folded, as one commentator put it, “like a cheap suit.”
An idea that would have raised $1 trillion and paid for much of the tax cuts was soundly defeated by a powerful business lobby.
Republicans used $1.5 trillion in what some call accounting gimmicks to either hide the true cost of the bill or help justify their votes.
The bill was drafted in secret, partly to keep it from Congress’s own members who, it was feared, would leak it to lobbyists.
[And, of course, the Koch brothers and their fellow plutocrats were involved.]
The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center in September 2016 looked at its
proposals for individual tax cuts and found that by 2025, 99.6 percent
of its net tax cuts would go to the top 1 percent of earners. The
nonpartisan Tax Policy Center said the plan would cause the federal debt
to rise $3 trillion in its first 10 years and $6.6 trillion by the end
of the second decade.
The Center for Public Integrity
The Takeaway: NEVER vote for a Republican.
The oil industry engaged in a secret public relations campaign to undermine U.S. fuel economy standards
One of the main actors was the largest oil refiner in the country, Marathon Petroleum. Marathon, along with others, ran a “stealth campaign to roll back car emissions standards,” the NYT reported. The campaign argued that the U.S. no longer needs fuel economy standards because it is now such a massive producer of oil.