|Koch brothers laughing their way to the bank on the backs|
of tax payers.
The fossil fuel barons, Charles and David Koch, have long advocated for "economic freedom" and a smaller government. They have slammed "collectivism" and market distorting subsidies.
In 2012, Charles Koch decried corporate welfare and “crony capitalism” in the pages of the Wall Street Journal: “Far too many well-connected businesses are feeding at the federal trough. By addressing corporate welfare as well as other forms of welfare, we would add a whole new level of understanding to the notion of entitlement reform,” he wrote.
The Koch's “secret bank” Freedom Partners has spent hundreds of millions in elections in part to tackle “‘rent-seeking,’ ‘corporate welfare,’ and other forms of cronyism.”
In 2014, the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) rolled out a report on the “Unseen Cost of Tax Cronyism” and the Kochs launched a public broadside against corporate subsidies in a letter to Congress. The Kochs were so upset by programs, such as the Wind Production Tax Credit, that their chief lobbyists declared: “We oppose ALL subsidies, whether existing or proposed, including programs that benefit us.”
Now Good Jobs First, a nonprofit watchdog on corporate subsidies, has provided the Kochs with an excellent opportunity to put their money where their mouth is.
Good Jobs First unveiled a new, upgraded version of the their Subsidy Tracker data base which aggregates subsidy recipient data from more than 700 state, local, and federal economic development programs.
Click on "Koch Industries" in their parent companies list and voila! $157 million in state and federal subsidies are revealed, with an additional $6.2 million in federal loan guarantees.
Louisiana has ponied up the most $77 million in subsidies for the Koch operations, followed by $25 million in Oregon, $21 million in Oklahoma, and $15 million in Iowa.
These are all states that could use the cash.
Surely Charles and David Koch don't want to sully themselves with subsidies? With a combined net worth estimated to be $82 billion dollars, they are two of richest men in the world.
Its time to ask @Koch_Industries to give it back.
Mary Bottari, CMD's Deputy Director, is an experienced policy wonk and consumer advocate who has served as a senior analyst on trade.