March 8th, 2011 by Shellee Tyler
Koch Industries, owned by Charles and David Koch, is not only the second-largest private company in America, it is the most politically active. As ThinkProgress has carefully documented over the last three years, Koch groups have spent tens of millions to influence government policy and buy politicians.
From financing the Tea Parties, to funding junk academic studies, to undisclosed attack ads against Democrats, to groups promoting climate change denial, to a large network of state-based and national think tanks.
Charles portrays himself as simply an ideological advocate of freedom and small government. But, in reality, the focus of the Koch political machine is geared towards “crony capitalism,” corrupting our government to make Charles and his brother, David Koch, richer.
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.
The Koch’s exploit a number of government programs for profit. For instance, Georgia Pacific, a timber company owned by Koch Industries, uses taxpayer money provided by the U.S. Forestry Service to provide their loggers with taxpayer-funded roads and access to virgin growth forests. “Logging companies such as Georgia-Pacific strip lands bare, destroy vast acreages and pay only a small fee to the federal government.”
I have seen Georgia Pacific’s work in West Virginia. The S Fork of the Cherry river is now ruined. The river used to be home to native trout, bears, deer, and other wildlife. But now it looks like a bomb went off on the mountains. Trees are stacked up along the river causing major flooding for the town of Richwood, WV.
Koch Industries won massive government contracts using their close relationship with the Bush administration. The Bush administration, courtesy of Koch’s campaign donations, handed Koch Industries a lucrative contract to supply the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve with 8 million barrels of crude oil. During the occupation of Iraq, Koch won significant contracts to buy Iraqi crude oil.
Now we know why we had to invade Iraq and kill thousands of innocent people, the Koch brothers wanted that OIL. And our President Bush handed it right to them on a “Golden” platter.
Although Koch campaigned vigorously against health reform — running attack ads, sponsoring anti-health reform Tea Parties, and comparing health reform to the Holocaust. Koch Industries applied for health reform subsidies made possible by the Obama administration.
I guess healthcare reform is okay as long as the rich can get their greedy little hands on some extra subsidies. Healthcare reform is bad for the Amercian people, but excellent for the rich. After all, their trying to kill Grandma.
The Koch brothers have claimed that they oppose government intervention in the market, but Koch Industries lobbies aggressively for taxpayer handouts.
Koch Industries has been the recipient of about $85 million in federal government contracts mostly from the Department of Defense. Koch also benefits directly from billions in taxpayer subsidies for oil companies and ethanol production.
Koch funds both socially conservative groups and socially liberal groups. However, Koch’s financing of front groups and political organizations all have one thing in common: every single Koch group attacks workers’ rights, promotes deregulation, and argues for radical supply-side economics.
Bottom line is the Tea Party movement could care less about the American people or our rights. The Tea Party lawmakers and members want nothing but to destroy the country, all in the name of greed. It is nothing but a cover up for the Koch brothers takeover of the United States. I think the United States citizens better start standing up and taking our country back from the super rich politicians and people like the Koch brothers before it’s too late.
Read More: AlterNet
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Photo Credit: jypsygen
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