Not satisfied with Republicans passing a tax bill that is hugely beneficial to them, the billionaire Koch brothers are planning to invest millions in an advertising campaign designed to sell the hugely unpopular bill to the American people.
The “full-scale, nationwide education campaign” will include TV and digital ads along with phone banking, door knocking, and town hall events, in the hopes that it will convince people of the bill’s supposed merits.
“We will make a massive push to show how pro-growth policies can revitalize the economy and open the floodgates to new opportunity, innovation, and prosperity,” a spokesman for the Koch network told Buzzfeed News. “There’s no doubt this was an historic achievement, but it was only the first step.”
The Koch brothers have already spent more than $20 million lobbying for the bill, working closely with the Trump administration.
Business leaders were quick to praise the bill’s passage, which more than half of Americans oppose, and have delivered a slew of promises signaling their commitment to “economic growth.” The CEO of Boeing announced his company was setting aside $300 million for “employee” and charitable investments. Meanwhile AT&T, Comcast, and Wells Fargo all promised their workers bonuses supposedly meant to celebrate the bill. It remains to be seen however if this festive good will continue once the bill begins to take effect.
CEOs in particular have good reason to be cheerful about the tax bill. According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, the majority of the benefits will go those making more than $300,000 a year, with 80 percent of the benefits going towards the top 1 percent of earners. Meanwhile, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has found that many middle and lower-income households will end up worse-off after the tax bill, while benefiting those with higher incomes. The bill is also expected to add more than $1.46 trillion to the deficit. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called the bill “the looting of the federal treasury.”
— ITEP (@iteptweets) December 19, 2017
Despite running America’s second-largest private company, with a turnover of more than $100 billion, the Koch brothers have proven remarkably adept at avoiding paying their fair share of taxes. In November, the Paradise Papers revealed that the Kochs had taken over a paper and pulp company called Georgia-Pacifica, made it private, and used it as a front to relocate hundreds of millions of dollars from high-tax environments to offshore havens like Bermuda.
They weren’t alone in those endeavors either: the Paradise Papers also implicated Trump backers like casino mogul Sheldon G. Adelson, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and hedge fund manager Paul Singer for similar tax-dodging.