Left-Wing Myth of the Year: Billionaires Are ‘Right-Wing Conservatives’
A Special Report from the Accuracy in Media (AIM) Center for Investigative Journalism
During the presidential campaign of 2016, the far left of the Democratic Party and their acolytes in the mainstream news media have lambasted the pernicious influence of the “billionaires” on a regular basis. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has identified the politics of conservatives with that of the “billionaire class.” Sanders says on his senatorial website: “Our great nation can no longer be hijacked by right-wing billionaires like the Koch brothers.”
Echoing Sanders, The New York Times ran an article on October 10th, which asserted, “…the families investing the most in presidential politics overwhelmingly lean right.” This false assertion is made frequently. The top donors to political campaigns do not “overwhelmingly lean right.” In fact, many lean liberal-left or libertarian.
In fact, our analysis shows that many politically active billionaires provided money and support for a variety of causes that would be anathema to authentic conservatives and grassroots Republicans. A number of the most powerful billionaires provided verbal and financial support for anti-Second Amendment causes; the promotion of abortion; increased trade with communist China and other adversaries of the United States; a lax national defense; increased taxes and unnecessary regulations; promotion of open borders through amnesty and the liberalization of the caps on H-1B visas (which also impairs our national security); and funds to liberal Democrats.
A March 25th Washington Post article by Matea Gold and Tom Hamburger was titled, “In 2016 campaign, the lament of the not quite rich enough.” In that article, there was nary a peep on how the prospective Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was courting super-wealthy individuals, and how left-wing billionaires are involved in politics.
Cliff Kincaid’s article, “Bernie’s Billionaires,” notes that billionaires on the left include George Soros, the hedge fund operator whose net worth rose from about $9 billion before President Obama took office to over $24 billion today; environmentalist Tom Steyer; gay activist Tim Gill; and anti-Second Amendment advocate Michael Bloomberg.
This report examines several others, such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison.
The “Right-Wing” Billionaires
On many occasions, the mainstream media distort the issue by misidentifying the political ideology of the Koch brothers. The Koch brothers may be “right-wing,” but that doesn’t necessarily make them conservative.
A September 21 Washington Post article by Amber Philips described the Koch Brothers as “libertarian leaning conservatives.” She got it partly right. The Koch brothers are libertarians, whose ideological positions depart from conservatives who place priority on traditional values and a superior national defense. While conservatives and libertarians value free enterprise, the latter believe in open borders and unfettered free trade, without any practical consideration for national security, and socially liberal causes such as abortion and gay rights. Koch Industries and its subsidiaries engage in economic cooperation with Red China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia, support abortion rights, gay marriage, amnesty for illegal aliens, and even engaged in eminent domain disputes against private property holders. Their support for so-called “criminal justice reform” is backed by the Obama administration and George Soros.
There are some billionaires associated with right-wing causes. But the record is mixed. Billionaire hedge fund operator and GOP donor Paul Singer supports a strong Israel, while promoting homosexual marriage. Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a major GOP donor who runs the Las Vegas Sands, America’s largest casino company, promotes U.S. support for Israeli interests but endorses amnesty for illegal aliens.
Of course, one can’t mention the political influence of billionaires without noting the views of billionaire Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who, in the past, has funded the campaigns of both Democrats and Republicans. In the current campaign, Trump opposes President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, supports a strong Israel, opposes Muslim immigration and wants Mexico to build a wall to keep their citizens from illegally entering the United States. He criticizes China’s trade practices but has a history of trying to invest in the old Soviet Union and Russia.
The October 19, 2015, Forbes Magazine lists the top 20 billionaires who are actively involved in supporting political campaigns. Microsoft founder and former CEO Bill Gates, often described as the world’s richest man, is one of the most prominent.
Though a successful capitalist, Gates has expressed admiration for Communist China, funded pro-abortion and anti-Second Amendment causes, and supported more Democrats than Republicans in recent election cycles. One of his favorite causes is the United Nations, through which he finances development of an HIV/AIDS vaccine. He also supports a global tax to generate revenue for the U.N.
Strangely, Gates contemptuously dismissed any role of the free market in playing a role in developing U.S. energy policy. He noted that “Yes, the government will be somewhat inept…But the private sector is in general inept. How many companies do venture capitalists invest in that go poorly? By far most of them.” Instead, Gates prescribed a massive swathe of government regulations to ostensibly protect the environment.
During the recent visit of Chinese Communist ruler Xi Jinping to the United States, he made a point of having a luxurious dinner at Bill Gates’ opulent residence in Washington State. Gates praised the state-dominated Chinese economy as “a brand-new form of capitalism, and as a consumer it’s the best thing that ever happened.” Gates commended the tightly controlled and oppressed Chinese working class for its “willingness to work hard and not having quite the same medical overhead or legal overhead.” Clearly, Gates implicitly appreciates the fact that the cowed Chinese workforce is not protected from the very real abuses of the Communist Party, of foreign multinationals resident in the People’s Republic, and crony capitalists tied in with the Party.
Gates also aggressively made use of the government’s H-1B visa program to hire foreigners that could be compensated less than Americans who invested their own time and money to work in IT fields. Out of a workforce totaling 125,000, Microsoft laid off 18,000 of its employees. This occurred scarcely after Gates called for the lifting of all caps on H-1B visa holders, thus further inflating the U.S. labor market to the detriment of job-hungry Americans. Such labor practices open the door to potential high technology thefts, lost purchasing power of thousands of Americans, and lost tax revenues for state, local, and the federal government.
The new book by Michelle Malkin and John Miano, Sold Out, examines how “high-tech billionaires” such as Gates have lobbied for more H-1B visas and the controversial federal “Common Core” educational standards. The authors name Rupert Murdoch, founder of the parent company of Fox News, and GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, as supporters of the “Big Tech, open-borders agenda.”
In a New York Times op-ed, Gates, Adelson and Warren Buffett supported amnesty for illegal aliens. The column noted that legislation supported by Obama, many liberal Democrats, and establishment Republicans “included a sensible plan that would have allowed illegal residents to obtain citizenship, though only after they had earned the right to do so. Americans are a forgiving and generous people, and who among us is not happy that their forebears—whatever their motivation or means of entry—made it to our soil?”
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