Another Orwellian Op-Ed From Charles Koch


Quick Quiz — Who said what:

  1. I have devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives [yet I am] the almost daily target of … attacks.
  2. I have spent the best years of my life giving people the lighter pleasures, helping them have a good time, and all I get is abuse, the existence of a hunted man.
  3. If we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years [but] it was only in the past decade that I realized the need to also engage in the political process.
  4. You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.

Quotes 1 and 3 are Charles Koch in his umpteenth head-exploding Wall Street Journal op-ed, “I’m Fighting to Restore a Free Society.” Quotes 2 and 4 are Al Capone.

Let’s us have a moment of silence for the plight of misunderstood businessmen. Time’s up.

Koch’s agenda is to concentrate wealth in the hands of the few, especially himself, with no regard to the health and well-being of the many who will suffer along the way — and he will stop at nothing to achieve this. He and his brother are the Al Capones of pollutocrats — or Bernie Madoffs, if you prefer the modern-day analogy. They outspend Exxon Mobil on pro-pollution disinformation aimed at preventing action to preserving a livable climate. They must make their billions as quickly as possible before the global Ponzi scheme they are pushing collapses.

The subhead for the WSJ opinion piece could only have been written by some editor at the paper recently hired away from the Ministry of Truth (aka Minitrue):

Instead of welcoming free debate, collectivists engage in character assassination.

Yes, that’s the goal of the Kochs — free debate and debate free from character assassination — if we lived in the Bizarro World. Here’s another quote:

This American system of ours … call it Americanism, call it capitalism, call it what you like, gives to each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it.

Oh, wait, that’s not Koch in the WSJ, it’s Al Capone again. Go figure!

The entire agenda of the Kochs is to ensure that businesses are never subject to science-based regulations aimed at preserving and improving clean air, clean water, and a livable climate, thereby making people’s lives better. For the Kochs, limited government means unlimited pollution.

Yes, this post is an update of one idea three years ago, but as long as the Wall Street Journal keeps letting Charles Koch rehash the same nonsensical sob story, we’ll keep debunking them. In fact, Koch claims in the op-ed:

Far from trying to rig the system, I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates, subsidies and protective tariffs — even when we benefit from them. I believe that cronyism is nothing more than welfare for the rich and powerful, and should be abolished.

Koch made the same exact absurd hypocritical claim in a 2012 WSJ op-ed. In response, Climate Progress’s Rebecca Leber detailed five ways Koch Industries benefits from policies it has lobbied for:

  • Billions of dollars in oil subsidies
  • Koch Industries has had at least $85 million in federal government contracts
  • They’ve asked for bailouts
  • After launching a campaign on behalf of the Keystone XL pipeline, they stand to benefit from taxpayer subsidies
  • Koch Industries contributes millions of dollars to advance anti-environment legislation, and has been accused of outright bribery

The truth is the Kochs want to continue all of the massive subsidies for dirty energy, while gutting them for the clean energy products and services that actually make people’s lives better. For a good discussions of this, see this report on how Koch Industries makes their money, which points out:

— The dirty secret of Koch Industries is its birth under the centrally-planned Soviet Union. Fred Koch, the founder of the company and father of David and Charles, helped construct fifteen oil refineries for Joseph Stalin before expanding the business in the United States.

– As Yasha Levine has reported, Koch exploits a number of government programs for profit….

Koch Industries won massive government contracts using their close relationship with the Bush administration….

Helping Stalin, now that is old-school collectivism….

All of Koch’s assertions are easily debunked, but let’s end on his claim of his company’s environmental benevolence:

EPA officials have commended us for our “commitment to a cleaner environment” and called us “a model for other companies.”

In the decade of the 2000s, primarily from 2006–2009, the EPA had 27 enforcement actions for various Koch violations. It will not surprise you to learn that of the roughly $280 million in penalties Koch was slapped with, 95% of them were from 2009! Yes, Koch Industries is a model for other companies … a model of what not to do.