Movers and Shakers – 8 – The Cato Institute

Cato Institute

Now we enter the murky and often duplicitous realm of the Cato Institute. Ideologically, the Cato Institute often appears to be part of the libertarian mindset – and that is precisely how they intend to appear. As a matter of fact, they work very hard at keeping up those appearances.

The Institute came into being in 1977, as the brain-child of Edward Crane and Charles G. Koch. While taking a Libertarian stance on government intrusion into privacy issues such same-sex marriage, they cozy up to and coddle the right-wingers in other areas while working in coalition with many of the right-wing groups.

Cato ranks among the top 5 most influential think tanks in the country and enjoys a 3rd place ranking in economic policy, and a 2nd place ranking on social policy according to Go To Think Tank Index. Consequently, it is safe to say that the policies and practices of the Cato Institute carry a lot of weight with our governmental entities.

The Institute has led the way and charted the course for the privatization of government services. According to Right Wing Watch, Cato initiated the first push to privatize Social Security in 1983, and has been pushing ever since running a virtual war-room to promote their agenda.

Advocating for limited government, Cato supports the elimination of eight cabinet agencies: Commerce; Education; Energy; Labor; Agriculture; Interior; Transportation; and Veterans Affairs, not to mention the privatization of many government services. This all falls pretty much in line with the Ron Paul school of idiocy that would do away with the same agencies and calls upon neighbors to take care of each other in times of natural disaster.

They also bond with the radical right when it comes to climate change and global warming denial.

The Institute sponsors various periodic policy forums and conferences, and boasts that its alumni includes former board members Rupert Murdoch and Theodore J. Forstmann, the founding chairman of Empower America which is now FreedomWorks.

From Right Wing Watch:

Cato’s corporate sponsors include: Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Bell Atlantic Network Services, BellSouth Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation, GTE Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Netscape Communications Corporation, NYNEX Corporation, Sun Microsystems, Viacom International, American Express, Chase Manhattan Bank, Chemical Bank, Citicorp/Citibank, Commonwealth Fund, Prudential Securities and Salomon Brothers. Energy conglomerates include: Chevron Companies, Exxon Company, Shell Oil Company and Tenneco Gas, as well as the American Petroleum Institute, Amoco Foundation and Atlantic Richfield Foundation. Cato’s pharmaceutical donors include Eli Lilly & Company, Merck & Company and Pfizer, Inc.

Additional funding has come from Castle Rock Foundation; Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation; Earhart Foundation; JM Foundation; John M. Olin Foundation, Inc.; Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation; Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; and the branches of the Scaife Foundation.

The Cato Institute is a powerhouse group that has great influence and sway over the politicians who are beholden to them and their supporters. They are closely aligned with the Koch Brothers, Peter Ackerman, Rupert Murdoch, the oil & gas industry, and the extreme right. All of these people and groups have one thing in common – ensuring the ascendancy of their people, and their ideology into the American governmental system.

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