I asked the question as an article, who are the domestic oligarchs that are out to destroy our American democracy? The following answer by Robert Goldenwas well worth passing on.

The Koch’s have spent decades and literally hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign donations, think tanks, sponsorships, political research, lawyers, and political organizations that impact politics in every state. Their donor network magnifies their effective influence and undermines the democratic principle of one person one vote. Their funding and interlocking tentacles extend into the very corner of American life down to the books your kids will read, who will teach them, and what type of energy they will depend upon.

Even a small-potatoes billionaire like Robert Mercer, acting out of concert but within the R party, showed how much Democratic damage money can purchase in the 2016 Presidential election. As part of the deal to resuscitate “self-funding” con artist Trump, Mercer installed his two operatives Conway and Bannon to advise Trump while his firm traded stocks
for two years. We are still waiting to see how Mercer fairs in his firms pending 7 Billion tax avoidance case before the IRS? Their tax con started in 2004, and they have been litigating since 2014, with only paying their legal costs.

Most people do not understand how much a billion dollars really is and/or how much of our government it can purchase. In the past multi-millionaires were the kingmakers. A billion dollars is one-thousand-million dollars. When that kind of money is combined with other billionaires with common interests they can function as a quasi-government. Operating in an environment of highly concentrated corporate ownership i.e. the MSM, Energy, Defense, Pharma, and all the other bigs these interests set the narrow parameters of what is possible, even if, and when they lose a branch of the government momentarily.

Right now they are trying to sell a picture of a “booming economy” by equating the economy with the stock market, of which 80% is owned by the top 10%. The MSN doesn’t really touch on the 40% of American households that can’t endure a $400 emergency. Over the last 50 years, the federal minimum wage is worth 31% less than in 1968 adjusted for inflation. Let’s not forget the so-called booming economy, which represents 10% of America was financed by every taxpayer.

By exempting the very rich from the progressive income tax system which helped to sustain a thriving middle-class and build modern-America there is no way to repay or pay down this debt. Under Trump, the Fed debt and deficits are skyrocketing without addressing a single critical problem we face, and it is actually much worse than anyone can foresee. Tax cuts and subsidies for the richest Americans, fossil fuel deregulation, privatization, and ignoring real issues have tremendous unfunded costs which increase with time and inflation. Infrastructure repairs alone have probably increased by a trillion dollars since Trump. CC restoration costs, remediation, mitigation, and green energy transition will grow much costlier under Trump’s accelerated fossil fuel policies.

The last offramp to Kingdom is Serfdom and after that, it’s Extinction unless we make a Left-turn to Democracy. ‘Trickle down” has been a failed economic ideology for the last 40 years, and empire maintenance, financial and fossil-fuel deregulation have resulted in 22 Trillion in debt and an unsustainable environment hostile to human health. Oligarchy is the wrong road to our future.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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