Independent and Principled? Behind the Cato Myth
Monday, 23 April 2012 07:02
By Mark Anes. This article was first published on The Nation.
It began as a fairly straight-forward story about a shareholder lawsuit : The Koch brothers, Charles and David, who together own 50 percent of the libertarian Cato Institute, filed suit to recover a 25 percent stake held by longtime chairman William Niskanen, who died last autumn and whose widow has yet to relinquish those shares.
Cato Claim #2: The Cato Institute is independent of the Republican Party  establishment and often as much in opposition to the GOP as to the Democrats.
Cato Claim #3: The Kochs are staging an unprecedented GOP takeover of the Cato Institute by staffing it with Republican Party operatives and backers (here  and here ).
Cato Claim #4: Cato’s employees are “independent”  scholars free from the corrupting influence of “special interests.” 
So there you have it: a brief look at the Cato Institute’s factual record, which reads nothing at all like the heroic fairytales spun by Cato and its allies about its principled opposition to the Bush Administration’s imperial presidency, or its opposition to the Republican Party, or whatever else Cato’s minions tell us to win our hearts rather than our minds.