Sorta reminds you of when Bush in 2005, when president, flew over New Orleans and looked down in arrogant indifference upon the squalor of Hurricane Katrina that killed many and destroyed a city and its people. He was on his way back from a GOP celebration or something in California at the time, maybe John McCain’s birthday or something, my memory fades. Upon touching down in DC, Bush promptly signed a bill to suspend the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931. Bush suspends Davis-Bacon Act
Davis-Bacon Act, in essence, protected workers from exploitation in times of emergency AND made it mandatory that employers pay at least the going labor rate for the area in question, ergo, New Orleans. The rate at the time was $9/hour. So enter notorious Military Industrial Complex giant and crony, Halliburton. Yes, Virginia, the big H got the NO-BID contract to cleanup and restore the New Orleans area and much of the infrastructure. What Bush did was to allow Halliburton to go way under the going labor rate prescribed by law in the Davis-Bacon Act so Halliburton could double and triple their net profits. Neat. Who even noticed? Into New Orleans 10s of thousands of illegals from Central America, mostly, appeared on the streets to do manual labor at who knows, maybe $5/hour? None of them could speak English, and our own government did not ease them into the community and who knows how many stayed illegally in all the confusion and destitution?
Is this what our government exists for? To suspend and rescind valid laws almost 100 years old to benefit the no-bid crony contractors like Halliburton? And to screw local workers devastated from natural disasters so their recovery might be longer or nonexistent? I wrote my 2 Texas Senators, Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn for clarification and answers. So Kay Baily responded, saying that President Bush suspended the D-B Act to save us taxpayers’ money. I wrote back saying that the Act was supposed to allow locals in the community to perhaps recoup some of the damage to themselves by at least paying the local going labor rate and allowing locals to work to repair their own communities. Furthermore, I asked her if Halliburton and all the other corporations awarded no-bid contracts passed those savings in labor costs to Uncle Sam. No further response from Senator Hutchison. Maybe she thought Halliburton would send Uncle Sam a check for the savings they enjoyed, you think? Perhaps Halliburton, et al, cut Uncle Sam a deal on reduced labor costs for cleanup. Yeah, right. I never heard from Senator John Cornyn who Bush nicknamed the “Corn Dog.” Guess he had a better use for his time than to answer a letter from one of his constituents.
It appears that David Koch is continuing the grand tradition of screwing the taxpayer out of government assistance of any kind, but what else is new? Why should the elite “Have More” base of George Bush and all Neocons everywhere break with tradition? But Bill Koch, the organizer of the Tea Party said nobody should receive federal assistance for the second most costly natural disaster in our time when Hurricane Sandy devastated the Northeast United States.
This begs the question: WTF is government for, anyway?
Is government for the rich such as Bill Koch and his brothers who lobby billions of dollars to keep from cleaning up their vast oil and refining interests with appropriate remediation filters for all their profitable smokestacks? Does the federal government exist for them so that they make more profits by not cleaning up their own houses and spewing bad gases into the air that we all breathe? Is that what government is for? To serve the powerful and the wealthy? After Bush’s $2 Trillion tax cuts for the rich one might say that.
Is government the springboard for starting wars so the Kochs and Halliburton’s of the “no-bid” contract Country Club set, snug in bed with government can sell Uncle Sam their $500 hammers they buy from Wal-Mart for $20? Curious but Wal-Mart won’t buy hammers for $500. SO WHY WOULD UNCLE SAM? Anyone care to venture a guess?
Is it the business of presidents to start the wars and Congress to take big sums of money from lobbyists in charge of military spending projects that cost us so dearly that we will never be able to recover? All with money we borrow from the Chinese, mind you. Is that the business of government? To take us down to the depths of hell financially ($16 Trillion and counting) to where we now are paying that obscene debt and interest while the rich got their $2 Trillion Bush tax cuts for doing absolutely NOTHING? During 2 wars we were fighting at the time. Is that what government is for? And to scare us with pushing us off the Fiscal Cliff, a place our government created from not being accountable financially to us taxpayers?
Is it the business of government to bankrupt our nation while printing more dollars with no added value, but inflated to the hilt? Quantitative Easing, my ass. Call it by its real name: screwing and stealing from the people. Borrowing and spending Trillions today so that government may stay alive in splendorous form with pensions and other perks not afforded to us while the working man and middle class cut bait and forage for a living that was denied by our very own Uncle Sam. Foiling our right to a decent and good life, job, house, and the ability to pursue happiness from all the wreckage.
Is it the business of government to pay themselves big salaries compared to the private sector with no possibility of being fired or no requirement for high skills to earn 5-figure income while many Americans are unemployed and looking for work, anything at all that would pay for food and rent? Is government supposed to first look after its own by lucrative healthcare and retirement plans 10 times better than the taxpayers whose interests they swore to protect and look after?
Is it the business of government to cut off unemployment compensation because they pushed us to the financial cliff to where now we are all up sh— creek without a paddle and the rich and the government employees still get their lucrative pensions? Is it fair that the common citizen has to pay for the mistakes and incompetence of those in government and in power? Why don’t they take a pay cut, too? Whatever happened to the concept of public servants? And will someone please tell me why government gets paid so much to do so little, and all the while their pensions never get stolen by greedy corporations?
Comes now Bill Koch of Koch Industries with worldwide operations in gas, oil, refining, and other energy-related fields. Koch also does field engineering work and has for generations. After running into multiple patent infringements in its field operations in the late 1920s Koch had to halt many company operations in the U.S. But as bills needed to be paid to continue to operate, Koch had to get other clients. And perhaps the same patents Koch violated in its oilfield, refining, and field engineering work services in the United States could be used in a foreign country without repercussions. Enter Josef Stalin. It was to be a deal made in heaven (or with the devil some have said) that got Koch business well-heeled with lots of cash. They were on their way to become one of the richest family-owned companies in the world.
Much of the infrastructure in Russia was in disrepair and almost a shambles by the early 1930s. Moscow, Leningrad, all major Russian cities became the renovation contracts awarded Koch Industries by Stalin, himself. Funny, but as much as the Koch’s hated communism and socialism, when it came to “show me the money” all doctrines, creeds, and isms shrank to insignificance. The Koch’s chose to make their money by helping Stalin and Russia repair and survive. All the while, the Koch’s hated communism and said so with millions of dollars of propaganda money, but they never bit the hand that fed them. Money was power even if it came from a communist dictator.
The Koch famil
y business grew from Fred Koch, grandfather to the present Koch brothers. Stalin sough oil engineers, too, and Fred Koch, MIT graduate engineer, filled the bill. It was timely because Fred Koch could use the patents in Russia that were denied him in the United States. It was a win-win deal that catapulted the Koch family to prominence and riches not attainable by work they did just here at home.
When our government takes millions of us Americans to the Fiscal Cliff where our own miniscule government benefits such as Social Security, Medicare, SCHIPS, and other benefits for the largest number of Americans get stretched out on the cutting board as they have been it begs the simple question: “What is government for?” If it is not for the benefit of the largest number of voters (assuming that each person is just as important as the next person) then it appears that government exists for the corporations that make billions off no-bid contracts. Can you say Koch Brothers? Halliburton? Does our government exist to serve them first and us last?
Now look. Government taxes all 360 million of us. They are supposed to provide services that benefit the people, not corporations. We have declared that our tax system is one based on a graduated income tax. In other words we agree to be taxed according to ability to pay. Yet just imagine all the roadblocks to come in our Fiscal Cliff cliffhanger when all the Neocons are okay with taxing the working classes but not the upper income classes. Grover Norquist and other trogs like Eric Cantor, John Boehner, et al who are given such pause when it comes time to cough up their fair share of taxes makes us a nation of oxymorons incapable of reason. If it is a graduated system of income tax then stop bullshitting the American people and let’s all of us cough up according to our ability to pay. End of story. Until Part II that is, when we will try to make sense out of why such a class struggle exists today in our country where it appears to spell imminent doom for the common working man and the Middle Class. The Kochs and other of such ilk would just as soon see us disappear from the face of the earth, I’m afraid.