Famous libertarian political donor and philanthropist Charles Koch is one of the Democratic Party’s favorite billionaires to hate. Turns out, he agrees with leading Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders when it comes to corporate welfare.
Even though Charles doesn’t usually see eye-to-eye with the socialist senator, he does agree that America’s system is “rigged to help the privileged few at the expense of everyone else, particularly the least advantaged.”
You wouldn’t expect such language to come from one of the Koch brothers, right? Charles expressed his opinion in an op-ed he wrote in the Washington Post earlier this month. Senator Sanders “believes that we have a two-tiered society that increasingly dooms millions of our fellow citizens to lives of poverty and hopelessness,” writes Mr. Koch. “He thinks many corporations seek and benefit from corporate welfare while ordinary citizens are denied opportunities and a level playing field.”
“Democrats and Republicans have too often favored policies and regulations that pick winners and losers. This helps perpetuate a cycle of control, dependency, cronyism, and poverty in the United States. These are complicated issues, but it’s not enough to say that government alone is to blame. Large portions of the business community have actively pushed for these policies,” he continues.
He suggested that the government’s habit of picking “winners and losers” impedes progress and draws American society further away from one of mutual benefit. “This pits individuals and groups against each other and corrupts the business community, which inevitably becomes less focused on creating value for customers.”
Mr. Koch added that his own company (Koch Industries) opposes “all forms of corporate welfare – even those that benefit us.”
The billionaire also agrees with Sanders in his opinion that America’s criminal justice system is in desperate need of reform. “Families and entire communities are being ripped apart by laws that unjustly destroy the lives of low-level and nonviolent offenders,” he writes.
Charles Koch is not, however “feeling the Bern.” While he applauds the Vermont Senator for speaking up for those who are struggling in a system stacked against them, he disagrees with the Socialist principles that would give the federal government more control over the individual. “History has proven that a bigger, more controlling, more complex, and costlier federal government leaves the disadvantaged less likely to improve their lives,” he writes.
Back in November, the Koch brothers disappointed the Republican Party when they announced they would not be endorsing any of the candidates in the primaries. Charles concludes his piece by describing the type of candidate he would back: “All Americans deserve a president who, on balance, can demonstrate a commitment to a set of ideas and values that will lead to peace, civility, and well-being rather than conflict, contempt, and division,” he writes. “When such a candidate emerges, he or she will have my enthusiastic support.”