Posted Monday, Oct. 15, 2012, at 4:56 PM
Photograph by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
Last week it was timeshare magnate David Siegel whining about his taxes and sending a letter to his employees threatening to downsize if President Obama is re-elected.
Now it’s the Koch brothers following suit: sending a letter to all 45,000 employees of Georgia Pacific, the Koch-owned paper company, listing the parade of horribles that will descend on them if the president is returned to office.
We all know the Koch brothers as super PAC kings, happy to use their vast wealth to proselytize in the political arena. And I don't begrudge them their full-throated exercise of their First Amendment rights, even in the form of letters to their employees.
But it would be nice if the wild claims of the Koch brothers were tethered to facts. It is a sad reality that the wild assertions of those who have a deep-seated animus for the president are taken as seriously as those long-debunked birther claims once were. (Think former GE CEO Jack Welch and his conspiracy theory about the latest job numbers.)
The Koch brothers warn that the president wants to subsidize a few favored cronies to the tune of several hundred billion dollars. What in the Dickens are they talking about? Are they still smarting over the auto bailout that rescued an entire sector, saved an estimated 1 million jobs, and stands in marked contrast to the Romney approach of letting the industry go bankrupt? Or maybe it’s the fact that the oil and gas industry, in which the Koch brothers are major players, did not receive the same federal assistance as the auto sector.
Here's another so-called warning from the Kochs: They say the president is placing "unprecedented regulatory burdens" on business. Such as what exactly? Dodd-Frank? Some simple principles to prevent another cataclysm such as the one we lived through? Or have Charles and David Koch forgotten the near-depression caused by the financial sector's grotesque avarice?
How about their claim that the president is "excessively hindering free trade"? Hindering free trade by doing what Romney has been calling for for years—bringing unfair trade charges against China?
What is their evidence or proof? None—not even a scintilla.
And finally, they raise the specter of "runaway inflation." Really? Interest rates are at historic lows because there is insufficient demand within the system. Many economists are asking the Fed to ignite inflation on the theory that it might spark consumption. The simple fact is that there is no meaningful evidence of inflation on the horizon.
I wish the Koch Brothers would pay attention to what the great Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan so wisely once said: “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”