A week and change ago, a delightful report came out from the Mercatus Center concluding that a Medicare for all system in American would be cheaper than our current nightmare. This was particularly amusing because the Mercatus Center is a Koch Brothers-funded conservative think tank that has an outsize influence on American policy, and the idea that they would inadvertently make the case for universal healthcare is pretty hilarious. It is also far, far from what they intended.
Of course, as I wrote, a lot of media outlets—even the mainstream ones—functioned as their personal spin doctors and pushed the story as “Medicare for all costs $33 trillion over ten years” without noting until the very bottom of the story that “um, this would actually reduce the total cost.” We’d pay more taxes, but even the average consumer would pay less overall, and anyone who got sick would obviously be saving a ton.
So that was then. Today, another wonderful story came out courtesy of The Intercept, and it involves a survey commissioned by the Koch Brothers that reached these conclusions:
—The majority of Americans support a $15 minimum wage.
—The majority of Americans support free college.
—The majority of Americans support universal health care.
Like the Mercatus report, this study by the group “In Pursuit Of,” which came into existence last year courtesy of the Kochs, was written up by mainstream media with a very different spin. But there was no hiding the actual results. Per The Intercept:
The poll was later written up by RealClearPolitics, which spun the results as favorable to the Koch network. RealClearPolitics noted that on a set of vague values questions, Americans appeared to take the conservative or libertarian side of political arguments. For instance, RealClearPolitics noted that the survey found that 86 percent of Americans said the right to personal property is key to a free and just society. Okay, sure.
But mostly left out of the RealClearPolitics write-up is the fact that the poll also surveyed Americans in detail on a number of issues they felt would help them overcome social barriers, and found that Americans are quite favorable to a set of policies that the Koch network opposes.
And yet, when you drill down into the results that go beyond vague questions like “is property good?”, you get some interesting stuff, like the idea that two-thirds of Americans think government-paid college tuition would be “effective” or “somewhat effective,” while similar proportions are all for universal healthcare and the $15 minimum wage.
Read the Intercept story for an excellent breakdown of how the Kochs have vehemently fought against these policies with think tanks and foundations and general dark money infusions into our political system. Suffice it to say that the poll results in question are not what they wanted to see.
As for Paste, we want to congratulate and thank the Koch Brothers. As a progressive outlet, we appreciate these billionaires coming to the side of good, and doing a better job than even Bernie Sanders of promoting leftist policy. Welcome to the revolution, gents.