Top 5 Lobbyist for 2010: Koch Industry

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The Koch brothers have spent millions of dollars lobbying DC to influence lawmakers. In 2010 they ranked in the top 5 of lobbyists putting them in the company of BP and Shell. They have made sure to hire lobbyists that do not have a history with their company allowing them to maintain a low profile, that is until recently. With the recent events in Wisonsin, they have been thrust into the spotlight along with their activities.

With regard to the Bush tax cuts, John Aloysius Farrell recently wrote an expose and had this to say.

Koch lobbyists listed the expiring Bush tax cuts as a lobbying objective last year, and the Koch brothers were among an elite, relatively few Americans who profited when the income tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 a year were extended in a year-end deal.

Another of the Bush tax breaks had special meaning for the Koch brothers. Charles Koch, 75, and David Koch, 70, are tied for fifth place, each with a net worth of $21.5 billion, in the latest Forbes rankings of the wealthiest Americans. Included in the deal to extend the Bush tax cuts was a proposal to reduce the federal estate tax. The Kochs have, historically, been players in an ongoing effort by wealthy families to curb or eliminate the tax on inheritances.

The final tax deal reached by the White House and Republicans in Congress in December set the estate tax at 35 percent. That makes the new rate considerably more favorable than during the Clinton (55 percent) or even the Bush (45 percent) years, and the lowest it’s been since the 1930s. If one of the patriarchs should die while the new rate is in effect, it would save the Koch family billions of dollars.

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