Guess We'll Pass On Koch 'Tax Expert' Who Says Biden Will Bring 'Economic Devastation'
As a big-time political mommyblog, recipe hub, and German Sex Bomb information clearinghouse, Yr Wonkette often gets invitations from PR people who want to let us know their clients would be available for an interview. Sometimes it's an author, or a distinguished academic. This morning, we heard from a flack who offered the insights of one Patrick Hedger, the VP of Policy for respectable conservative group the "Taxpayers Protection Alliance." Hedger has a dire warning for us: The tax increases Joe Biden is calling for to pay for his Build Back Better initiatives will, in boldface, "cost trillions of dollars and are accompanied by a series of tax hikes that would devastate the economy." Gosh, that sounds bad!
Mind you, much of what Biden has been calling for involves rolling back parts of 2017's Big Fat Tax Cuts for Rich Fuckwads, so we're having a bit of difficulty seeing how returning to some of the pre-2017 tax rates on individuals and corporations would nuke the entire economy. How quickly we forget that before 2017, America barely even had an economy.
Then again, Biden has also called for doubling the capital gains tax rate for millionaires, so maybe that would be devastating to the average American with annual income of million bucks and a stock portfolio.
For a fairly brief email, there are some wonderfully vague portents of doom in it. Hedger frets, rather nonspecifically,
As President Biden acknowledged in his address, job numbers are beginning to rise and the economy is rebounding. That is precisely why his litany of trillion dollar proposals – along with a laundry list of tax hikes – is a dreadful idea for the American economy
Ah. So providing services that would help workers would actually hurt them, somehow, bringing the recovery to a dead halt. Oddly, in an online statement, the group attributes the very same quote to Taxpayers Protection Alliance president David Williams. Maybe the TPA takes the idea of the organization speaking with one voice way too literally.
Among the "additional talking points" helpfully provided in the email is a warning that Biden has another laundry list — we're not sure what the Taxpayer Protectors have against clean clothes — of "green energy programs," which are bad, because all that "green spending will sink the country deeper in the red and be a massive corporate welfare giveaway." Why? It just will! Please yell "Solyndra" a few hundred times in a row.
Also too, we're told that Biden's call for developing infrastructure for electric vehicles is a very bad idea, because
Despite years of tax credits and subsidies, electric vehicles have failed to grab a firm foothold in America. Instead of focusing on more efficient methods, this plan would waste billions of dollars.
Gee, these very concerned taxpayers seem awfully concerned with being protected from green energy. Wonder why that is? So we did a little looking at SourceWatch, where we learned that this here "Taxpayers Protection Alliance" is
an advocacy front group that is part of the Koch political network. It is largely funded by money funnelled through groups tied to Kochs, such as Americans for Job Security, Center to Protect Patient Rights (now called American Encore), and Freedom Partners.
TPA claims to advocate against "runaway deficits and debt" and "publish timely exposés of government waste, fraud, and abuse."
And of course, the late David Koch was a chief funder of climate crisis denial forever, because despite its diversified portfolio, Koch Industries is all about fossil fuels.
The email also advises us that Mr. Hedger, the tax expert, previously served as a "Research Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Center for Technology and Innovation and also served as Director of Policy at FreedomWorks." FreedomWorks, a big player in Tea Party astroturfing, is yet another Koch-adjacent outfit. It's also the libertarian think tank that brought us Hillary Clinton Panda porn.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute should be very familiar to fans of the essential book on rightwing junk science, Merchants of Doubt. CEI is the lobbying group that got its start trying to muddy the science linking tobacco and cancer, and has since become another of the big drivers of climate denial.
A really cynical person might almost get the impression that our pals at the Save the Rich Alliance aren't so much worried about taxes devastating the economy as they are about the loss of revenue from fossil fuels. Sure makes that fretting about green energy being a "massive corporate welfare giveaway" sound even more sincere, doesn't it?
In conclusion, we guess we don't want to talk to Mr. Hedger all that much about our laundry. Or Mr. Williams, or whoever might be on the phone.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.