Charles Koch says he and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders don't see eye to eye on much, but in a Saturday opinion piece, the billionaire industrialist said he agrees with the Vermont senator that the nation's political and economic system is rigged to help the "privileged few at the expense of everyone else."
"[He] often sounds like he's running as much against me as he is the other candidates," Koch wrote in an article for The Washington Post
, but he does agree on "an issue that resonates with people who feel that hard work and making a contribution will no longer enable them to succeed."
Sanders, he said, believes the nation has a "two-tiered society" that dooms millions to live in poverty and hopelessness while being denied opportunities and a level playing field, while corporations seek and benefit from corporate welfare.
The business community is to blame as well, because large portions of it have pushed for such policies, said Koch. Regulatory burdens have hit smaller companies, innovators, and the poor, while benefiting large companies "like ours," Koch said, noting that his company, Koch Industries, the nation's fifth-largest ethanol producer, oppose all corporate welfare, even the government's mandate on the plant-based fuel, said Koch.
Koch said he and Sanders also share concerns on the nation's criminal justice system, as the restrictions mean the poor continue to suffer, while wealthy people have the means to stay out of the penal system.
But even though he agrees with Sanders on some points, Koch said he does not "feel the Bern."
"I 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, but I disagree with his desire to expand the federal government’s control over people’s lives," said Koch. "This is what built so many barriers to opportunity in the first place."
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