“Hardly.” That was the response the CEO of Koch Industries gave to his own question, “Is Charles Koch feeling the Bern?”
Yet, in Mr. Koch’s Washington Post op-ed last week, the multi-billionaire did “applaud the senator for giving a voice to many Americans struggling to get ahead in a system too often stacked in favor of the haves.”
Though Sen. Bernie Sanders regularly bashes Charles and his fellow-billionaire brother, David, the Kochs are ahead of Sanders in decrying “the regulations, handouts, mandates, subsidies and other forms of largesse our elected officials dole out to the wealthy and well-connected.” As Charles explains, “Perversely, this regulatory burden falls hardest on small companies, innovators and the poor, while benefitting many large companies like ours.”
Koch cites the government’s unfair, wasteful and destructive ethanol mandate: “We oppose that mandate, even though we are the fifth-largest ethanol producer in the United States.”
That’s putting his mega-money where his mouth is.
Indeed, it is just one example of the Kochs doing the very opposite of what their critics charge them with: advocating “radical” or “reactionary” policies that serve their business interests.
Sanders’s regular, ritual demonizing of the Koch brothers ignores the reality of who the Kochs are.
Their real disagreement with Sanders is over how best to increase opportunity.
The Vermont senator believes the answer is more government programs, regulations and taxes. Charles Koch, on the other hand, sees those very policies as “what built so many barriers to opportunity in the first place.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
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