Charles Koch Defends Opposition to 'Cronyism' and 'Political Favors'

Wednesday, 02 Apr 2014 09:14 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Billionaire businessman and conservative-cause supporter Charles Koch fought back Wednesday against "almost daily" attacks, defending his libertarian-leaning political philosophy and exemplary corporate record.

"The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life but those in power are capable of running it for you," Koch,  chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, wrote in an op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal.
"The more government tries to control, the greater the disaster, as shown by the current health-care debacle . . . Those in power fail to see that more government means less liberty, and liberty is the essence of what it means to be American. Love of liberty is the American ideal."

Koch said he realized in the past decade that he needed to "engage in the political process" to better defend "dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom," which are "under attack by the nation's own government."

He said those who think government knows and does best "strive to discredit and intimidate opponents."

"They engage in character assassination," he wrote, adding: "I should know, as the almost daily target of their attacks."

In a blistering attack on Charles and brother David Koch last month, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid charged that they "seem to believe in an America where the system is rigged to benefit the very wealthy."

The billionaire brothers were also targeted in a $3 million, two-week ad campaign sponsored by the Senate Majority PAC in Colorado, North Carolina, Arkansas, Michigan, and Louisiana.

"Here are some facts about my philosophy and our company," Koch wrote, declaring that Koch Industries puts 60,000 people to work — a third of them union members — and praising them for having earned "well over 700 awards for environmental, health, and safety excellence since 2009."

"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," he said.

"Instead of fostering a system that enables people to help themselves, America is now saddled with a system that destroys value, raises costs, hinders innovation, and relegates millions of citizens to a life of poverty, dependency and hopelessness," he wrote.

"This is what happens when elected officials believe that people's lives are better run by politicians and regulators than by the people themselves."

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