It has been just about a year since Charles Koch wrote a ‘woe is me’ op-ed to combat the bad publicity resulting from Senators Harry Reid and Bernie Sanders battering the Koch brothers for assaulting Americans in their quest for power and influence over government. Now that more Americans are aware that the Kochs own Republicans and bought them control of Congress, and that their goal is deconstructing the federal government, the Kochs are launching a huge multi-media publicity campaign to change their image and convince Americans the Kochs are their friends and benefactors. The primary message the Kochs intend to push is that they are not out to increase their own wealth, but to help Americans and create a better society.
It was reported on Thursday that the Kochs are launching an “aggressive new defense” of Koch Industries with particular emphasis on educating Americans that their political ambitions in paying Republicans to eliminate the government is not driven by a desire for more profits, but is “rooted in the Kochs’ decades-long quest to increase well-being in society.” Any American familiar with the Kochs would question exactly how dismantling the government is helping Americans, but that is Charles Koch’s assertion as well as disabusing any detractors of the idea that the brothers’ political ambitions have anything to do with increasing their wealth.
As the public face of the Koch empire, Charles Koch said he was surprised that anyone might think he and his brother’s political ambitions were about making more money. In a sense, one can argue that the Kochs do not need any more money and that what they really want is unlimited power and control; but that power and control is to eliminate the government they believe gets in the way of unlimited wealth. In that sense Koch is a liar as much as his claim that he and his brother’s drive to eliminate government is to “help American society” no matter how the Kochs frame their motivation.
What is stunning is that Koch had the temerity to express righteous indignation that anyone would accuse the brothers of using Republicans to amass more wealth. Charles Koch actually said, “We are doing all of this to make more money? I mean, that is so ludicrous. I don’t know how they can say that with a straight face.” It is easy because the brothers’ assault on all manner of regulations is, by their own admission, to stop government overreach they claim prevents businesses from taking unrestricted profits. Any American with even scant knowledge of the Kochs wonders how he can say with a straight face that he and his brother are not out for more money, or that their impetus to eliminate the government is to benefit American society.
Still, Koch lied and said “We oppose as many or more things that would benefit us than would hurt us.” As an example, Koch bemoaned the potential losses at Koch refineries if the Keystone XL pipeline is constructed; a pipeline the Kochs spent millions on gaining Republican control of Congress to skirt the Executive Branch’s authority over the application process. Further, if as Koch claimed the pipeline will hurt Koch Industries and cause the company losses, then why did they acquire over 1.2 million acres of tar fields in Canada, or contract for Koch refineries to process at least 30% of all tar sand slated for the Gulf Coast and exported on foreign market? Obviously they did not invest in the tar sand fields to “help American society,” but to profit from a project that provides nothing whatsoever for America or the American people.
Koch is a liar, and like his Republican subjects he is also a blatant hypocrite. For example, he claims to oppose the Export-Import Bank because it provides subsidies to aid American manufacturing companies; something the Kochs condemn as nasty government-provided “corporate welfare.” All the while, Koch Industries has been the recipient of well over 100 million dollars in corporate welfare and special tax breaks, and that does not include their profits from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The biggest Koch lie of all is Charles’ assertion that the brothers are spending hundreds-of-millions of dollars to buy Republicans who pledge to eliminate government to “help American society.” There is nothing the Koch brothers, their legislative arms the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and State Policy Network (SPN), or political activists the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, or Cato Institute have supported or opposed that helps American society or the people. In fact, every government agency, department, and program the brothers have been paying Republicans to abolish, defund, or restrict are those that serve and protect the American people and actually make society better.
There is a very, very long list of government agencies and programs the Koch brothers want abolished or eliminated that exist solely to help, protect, and sustain the people; many going back to the New Deal. For example, the Kochs have made no secret they want Medicare and Medicaid abolished as much as they want rules governing the private health insurance industry terminated; including deregulating the medical industry. They have also demanded for thirty years that Social Security be eliminated in its entirety because they claim it is a fraudulent and oppressive program that does nothing whatsoever to help elderly Americans. In fact, the Kochs are so opposed to helping any Americans that they demand an end to all government programs that provide services for children, aid to the poor and disabled Americans. To keep working Americans poor and toiling in unsafe working conditions, the Kochs demand the abolishment of the minimum wage and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).
In spite of it being required in the U.S. Constitution, the brothers want Republicans to abolish the United States Postal Service, and in lieu of achieving that Republicans passed legislation that created the means to bankrupt the Post Office with the sole intent of transferring all package delivery to privateers. While they are abolishing parts of the Constitution, the Kochs demand, and Republicans have recently proposed, terminating all taxation including abolishing outright the Internal Revenue Service. While the Kochs wait for the IRS and taxation to be abolished, they want Republicans to immediately stop all criminal and civil laws against tax evasion. Obviously they want all state and federal campaign finance laws eliminated as well as what they call the “despotic Federal Election Commission” abolished to afford them free rein to steal and buy elections.
The most dangerous thing for the Kochs is a well-educated populace and to ensure their motivation and attempts at wiping out government will never be discovered, they demand the abolishment of not only compulsory education, but education itself they claim is government indoctrination of children. Two current Republican candidates for the GOP nomination for president propose abolishing the Department of Education to impress the Kochs, and several Republican governors devoted to the Kochs are busy either eliminating funding for schools or using public funding for private religious education. As typical libertarians, the Kochs insist that education is a choice for those who can afford it; it is just another of their twisted idea of helping American society.
The Kochs demand that any department, program, or agency created to actually protect Americans and help society be abolished including the Federal Aviation Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, Consumer Protection Agency, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation, and Department of Energy. In typical libertarian fashion, the Kochs demand immediate privatization of all roads, highways, bridges, and waterways to profit a corporate operator; likely a subsidiary of Koch Industries.
What is missing from the long list of Koch demands to abolish virtually the entire government is exactly how it will help Americans. It is a question the Kochs will not answer and one that mainstream media covering the impending media blitz promoting the Kochs as America’s benefactors will never ask. And why should they? The media, all media, will be the recipients of a substantial influx of Koch money touting the blessing to Americans as a result of Charles and David Koch’s intent to spend just short of a billion dollars to buy the government and promptly dismantle; all to make more money and destroy American society no matter what the liar Charles Koch says.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.