Just Who is Funding What?

In yesterday’s column, Paul Krugman derides what he calls a Republican “witch hunt” because, well, politics has become a pretty ugly thing. If he were to do what I do — not watch TV or listen to talk radio — then perhaps his poor life would be a bit more peaceful.

At one level, I can agree with him. I am not enamored with Glenn Beck’s antics, I don’t listen to Limbaugh, am sick of the “Ground Zero Mosque” nonsense, and I don’t believe that President Obama is a closet (or even open) Muslim, nor am I on a grand search for his birth certificate. Furthermore, I don’t believe that Mexicans and Central Americans slipping into our border states is a “threat to national security,” and I fear that conservatives are going to be pushing the dreaded “Your papers, please,” regime upon us — something that Democrats ultimately would embrace too, given that it would give them more power over those dreaded Republicans traveling about the country.

I am watching more and more Republicans making these things their central talking points, which is why I stay away from party politics. However, in reading Krugman’s list of bogeymen, I think that he is also being his usual dishonest self. We read:

…powerful forces are promoting and exploiting this rage. Jane Mayer’s new article in The New Yorker about the superrich Koch brothers and their war against Mr. Obama has generated much-justified attention, but as Ms. Mayer herself points out, only the scale of their effort is new: billionaires like Richard Mellon Scaife waged a similar war against Bill Clinton.

Since I don’t receive money from any of these folks nor work for their organizations (although I have published some articles in Cato’s magazine, Regulation), I’m not beholden to any of them. But, for all of the hoopla about those dreaded rich people funding things Krugman doesn’t like, let us not forget that Krugman and the Democrats have their own billionaire benefactors, led by George Soros.

Yes, if you look at huge numbers of organizations — including those organizations that Mayer used to gain her “facts” against the dreaded “Kochtopus” — you will find that they are funded by…Soros. In fact, a number of organizations that Krugman likes to use as his own fact gatherers are funded by Soros and his Open Society Institute. Furthermore, we often see the NY Times editorial page using Soros-funded outfits as their sources.

However, I don’t ever recall Krugman mentioning the OSI in any of his columns or blogs, yet Soros is far wealthier and more active than even the Koch brothers. For that matter, Soros was every bit as active against George W. Bush’s presidency as was the right against Bill Clinton when he was in the White House.

One does not have to like any of this to recognize what is going on. As the executive branch gets more powerful — and more reckless (which is what “Progressives” like Krugman want, to be frank) — the stakes get higher. More and more, it is the executive branch and its regulatory agencies calling the shots, and when that happens, huge amounts of wealth are transferred without a single vote from Congress.

Yet, this kind of unaccountable government, with its symbiotic ties to “private” organizations and “think tanks” funded by billionaires, is precisely the very dream of “Progressivism,” and Krugman is squarely in that mix. So, given that Soros began his OSI antics in 1979 — long before the Koch brothers were funding groups on the Right — I would say that this process first started on the Left.

But to read Krugman, we are supposed to believe that these poor Democrats are poor little babes in the woods, cowering before the Billionaire-Funded Republican Attack Machine. Give me a break, people. This is politics on all sides, and it is ugly and destructive, and Paul Krugman is an integral part of the ugliness.

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About William L. Anderson 48 Articles

Affiliation: Frostburg State University

William L. Anderson is an author and an associate professor of economics at Frostburg State University in Maryland. He is also an adjunct scholar with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy as well as for the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Alabama.

Anderson was formerly a professor of economics at North Greenville College in Tigerville, South Carolina.

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