Skip to comments.7 Ways the Koch Bros. Benefit from Corporate Welfare
Posted on 09/02/2010 7:32:44 AM PDT by Willie Green
Mainstream America is finally getting to know the billionaire brothers backing the libertarian movement, thanks to a pair of dueling profiles in New York and The New Yorker. Now that we've heard about their charitable giving, David's 240-foot mega-yacht and role as patrons of the Tea Party movement, it's time to ask a more serious question: How libertarian are they?
The short answer...not very.
Charles and David Koch, the secretive billionaire brothers who own Koch Industries, the largest private oil company in America, have spent millions bankrolling free-market think tanks and pro-business politicians in order, as David Koch has put it, "to minimize the role of government, to maximize the role of private economy and to maximize personal freedoms." But a closer look at their dealings reveals that for the past 35 years the brothers have never shied away from using government subsidies to maximize their own profits, even while endeavoring to limit government spending on anything else.
[CLICK TO SEE THE 7 WAYS THE KOCHS BENEFIT FROM GOVERNMENT LARGESSE.]
In 1977, Charles Koch founded the Cato Institute, an influential libertarian think tank, with the aim of injecting free-market ideas into the mainstream. The Kochs would go on to establish and fund a vast network of overlapping think tanks, institutes, foundations, media outlets, and lobby groups that would vilify centralized government and promote laissez-faire capitalism as the only route to economic prosperity. The Mercatus Center, Americans for Prosperity, Reason Magazine, the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation are just a few of the right-wing organizations that run on Koch cash today.
Koch Industries is America's second-largest private corporation, with revenue of $100 billion in 2009, and 80,000 employees in 60 countries. According to Charles Koch, Koch Industries has grown 2,000-fold since he took over from his dad in 1967, transforming a middling oil transportation and refinement operation into a corporate mini-state involved in oil, petrochemicals, paper, agriculture and financial services.
Seventy-four-year-old Charles G. Koch, who runs the company from a compound in Wichita, Kansas, has attributed the company's success to an unshakable belief in the power of the free-marketsa belief that he says can be traced back to an "intellectual epiphany" he experienced at a conference more than 40 years ago. There, Koch realized that free-market economics were an objective reality "as immutable as the laws that work in science," he explained in 2006.
In its recent profile, the New Yorker called Charles and David Koch "the primary underwriters of hard-line libertarian politics in America." But the magazine failed to mention that their free market philanthropy belies the immense profit they have made from corporate welfare.
IN DEPTH: An illustrated history of the Koch Bros.' socialist links and penchant for government handouts.
If these guys are funding freedom and libertarian causes how is that any different from Soros funding Obambi and socialist causes?
No problems with that, liberal media?
I think they deserve a medal.
Ehhh...somebody’s digging hard trying to disrupt the Tea Party...would they dig as hard about “Bammy’s history...
Sorta like the Kennedys?
You are right about the media hypocracy- if they are taking govt money, these moneys exist and any good business man takes advantage of the (business) environment he has to exist in.
But they are funding causes that will ultimately REDUCE the money they can get, aren’t they?
If they were taking government money and then spending it to elect candidates who can get them MORE government money, then I would have a serious problem with that.
Classic lib technique, right out of the playbook: make the program available, and you are either 1. at a disadvantage if you don’t use it, or 2. painted as a hypocrite if you do.
What does any of this have to do with passenger trains?
The only world we get to live in is the one that exists. If the Koch brothers are hypocrites then we all are be we free-market or socialist.
They play the game the way it is set up by our lousy government.
They then turn around and pump millions into conservative causes, and yet you still complain.
Let's end corporate welfare, not because it's bad for the country, bad for the economy and a waste of money, end corporate welfare because these mean conservatives get some of the dough.
Sounds good to me. Let's cut government spending by 60%, to screw these rich guys.
The Koch cattle used to be Passengers on Trains heading out of SW MT. Probably the TX ranch too.
What does any of this have to do with passenger trains?
Koch sockpuppets oppose energy efficient passenger rail systems to increase Koch oil revenues.
passenger trains are a thing of the past, not the future. They are NOT economically viable.
ROFL, good timing Willie while you were posting this somebody else was posting a story about how the left is excuse mongering their eventual losses in November, the lead off in the story is their demonizing the Koch brothers:
Way to use your talking points.
Yeah, but you can spell hypocrite, unlike our buddy Willie, who of course is NOT a hypocrit (sic) with his publicly funded choo-choo wet dreams.
For example, two weeks ago, the Kochs bought a couple of ethanol plants ? I might too, since our wonderful goobermint is about to MANDATE an increase in gasoline ethanol content to 17%.
Which is another sop by Big goobermint to Big agribusiness, like Archer Daniels Midland. Screw the consumer.
If the Kochs are being forced to pour that piss into their gasoline, why shouldn't they supply it as well ?
I just don't understand the problem Willie. You love Big goobermint when it's forcing us to pay taxes for your favorite boondoggle, any kind of passenger choo-choo. Why the heartburn now ?
Would to God all conservative business played the game the way the Kochs do. The professional left despises them because they “play the game” with all the ruthlessness the left is known for.
Koch Industries has consistently shown a remarkable ability to skirt the intent of government sponsored leftist regulation, while documenting obedience to the letter of said regulation when it goes to court.
That’s why this hit-piece has the same tenor as a pissed off teenage girl bitching about a girl prettier than herself.
I noticed that highly suspicious timing too. Clear evidence that WG is at least a part time JournOlista.
As an example of the snarkfest these leftist hypocrites indulge in, point #1 of the “7 examples” cited above is the Koch’s PURCHASE OF A USED OIL TANKER FROM A COMMUNIST COUNTRY!
They go on to ask: “With the whole free world to choose from, why would a supposedly true-believer libertarian like Charles Koch buy a vessel produced in a communist country?”
Would to God all conservative business played the game the way the Kochs do. The professional left despises them because they play the game with all the ruthlessness the left is known for.
That merely makes the Kochs the flip side of the same unethical and immoral coil.
They are too!
Look at all of the trains of the following type:
I'd guess that they are, in general, quite profitable.
Nonsense. The firemen and the fire are not different ends of the same plateau.
Anyone positing equivalence between malum prohibitum and malum in se deserves nothing but the back of the hand.
WG, recognize one of your leaders?
Same lefty story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/opinion/29rich.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general
And this comes from a socialist!
For how long will FR tolerate this unionist plant, Willie?
Before Fredrick Koch suddenly developed a pinko paranoia and helped start up the John Birch Society, he was making piles of cash laying the foundation of Soviet oil infrastructure in the 1920s and early 1930s. He designed and built refineries, hosted Soviet engineers for training in Wichita, Kansas, and made an invaluable contribution to the rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union during Joseph Stalin’s first Five-Year Plan. This is a touchy issue for the Koch family: without the Commie Reds providing his future seed capital, Koch Industries would not exist todayand neither would the Tea Parties.”
Can this guy be serious?