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What are Americans For Prosperity’s Positions?

Americans for Prosperity, funded oil and chemical billionaires Charles and David Koch, is campaigning aggressively in West Virginia, but the group's own positions are less well known. PHOTO courtesy of the Center For Public Integrity.
Americans for Prosperity, funded oil and chemical billionaires Charles and David Koch, is campaigning aggressively in West Virginia, but the group's own positions are less well known. PHOTO courtesy of the Center For Public Integrity.
April 14, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A shadowy billionaires' political organization is campaigning heavily in West Virginia. But what economic policies would Americans For Prosperity actually put in place?

According to Steve Wamhoff, legislative director for Citizens for Tax Justice, billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch are using the group to push policies that would benefit them personally: tax cuts and loopholes for corporations and wealthy individuals. Wamhoff said they would lower taxes for American corporations that make products overseas or use accounting tactics to hide money in such tax havens as the Cayman Islands.

"They'd be getting an even bigger break than they get now," he declared. "I think we would end up with more corporations doing things to shift their profits offshore, and in some cases, to shift factories and operations and jobs offshore."

In the last part of last year AFP spent $1.4 million running negative political ads against long-serving West Virginioa Democratic Congressman Nick Rahall. When called, an official with the group promised they would respond with detailed answers, but then the group did not return several calls over two days.

AFP has come out in favor of a flat income tax and a big tax cut for profits made on investments. Wamhoff said this means a woman working minimum wage to support two kids would pay the same rate on her wages as a millionaire. And in fact, he said, because of the tax break on capital gains, millionaires would probably pay a lower overall tax rate than a middle-class family.

That means a lower rate "than a household made of two people who are kindergarten teachers," Wamhoff said. "I think that's something that most West Virginians and most Americans would really disagree with."

Americans For Prosperity is part of a network of similar organizations set up by oil and chemical billionaires Charles and David Koch. The groups are largely funded with big, anonymous donations. The Koch brothers almost never talk to the press.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WV