The Koch brothers tentacles reach deep within the neuro-network of our nation and if you haven’t read ‘Dark Money’ by Jane Mayer yet you should click on over and order that writ.
While you are waiting for your delivery, check out this recent development from Texas wherein our constitution as we currently know it is blatantly at risk. Koch sycophant Governor Greg Abbott released a plan to amend our constitution not with the typical two-thirds congress vote, but with the atypical act of convening a governors’ vote.
The development bears some attention. In the realm of financialization, where the elite make policy and hold sway in government decisions, the process has largely been subversive ( Mayer), but a convening of the states to amend the constitution after a Koch brother fashion puts the process front and center. The bill being introduced is disconcerting in its language. It seeks ‘to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government.’ One could conclude this to mean that states get more power, and to a degree it is. I assert that there’s more to it.
Limiting the government on the fiscal level most probably means less power to tax, at least at the corporate and one percent level. Who picks up that slack? The middle class, which has decreased noticeably the past two decades, will necessarily be tapped for this revenue. It follows that limiting federal fiscal power will include the small percentage of social services that the middle class depends upon to survive: food assistance, medical insurance, a (still somewhat) decent education. When considered a bit further, if federal fiscal spending is limited then presumably federal funds to state causes will be strangled, affecting an infrastructure that begs for attention as it is. With less federal monies contributing to state coffers, states will be forced to raise their taxes as well: at the point-of-sale level, at the small business level, at the property tax rate level. It’s a triple punch to most of America: a likely increase in federal income tax, a probable decrease in social services, and varying tax increases at the local level.
Let’s consider the prospect of limiting the power of the federal government. Again, we can presumably conclude that this would work in favor of individual states. But what if limiting government really means rolling back the few regulations already in place that keep corporate powers in check? What if limiting federal power means that corporations step up to fill the void instead of the states, via carefully placed beholden puppets such as Greg Abbott?
Such predictions seem as if I’m proclaiming a ‘sky is falling’ sort of scenario. Maybe it’s a good thing for the states to have more power (?). However, I make my contentions based on the cornerstones of the process of financialization – this potential effort to change the constitution comes not for the benefit of the people, nor does it originate from the desire* of the people, it is absolutely fabricated in favor of corporate interests and by corporate interests, manifested through politicians bought by corporate money. This is American Oligarchy – Full Steam Ahead.
- Jane Mayer does an excellent job connecting the dots with the Koch’s undercurrent of blaming government for the nation’s failings, when in fact our problems are largely due to the process of financialization which innately increases public and private debt, creates unstable economies, and depletes the all-important middle class. So the idea of limiting government sounds really good to a populace who thinks that the government is to blame when its actually an already limited government that enables the private industry to economically pillage the nation.