Conservative billionaire Charles Koch hit back against Democrats’ attacks calling him “un-American” in the pages of the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, citing his corporate record and denouncing political cronyism.
“The more government tries to control, the greater the disaster, as shown by the current health-care debacle,” he wrote in an op-ed. “Collectivists (those who stand for government control of the means of production and how people live their lives) promise heaven but deliver hell.”
“Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents. They engage in character assassination,” he added, saying he was the target of “almost daily” attacks.
Though Koch didn’t single out the source of the attacks, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has railed against him and his brother David for pouring money into outside spending groups. Reid’s crusade included the “un-American” accusation as well as slamming Republican politicians for being “addicted to Koch.”
“Rather than try to understand my vision for a free society or accurately report the facts about Koch Industries, our critics would have you believe we’re “un-American” and trying to “rig the system,” that we’re against “environmental protection” or eager to “end workplace safety standards,” he continued.
The billionaire businessman argued he has no need or patience for political favors, touting his corporation’s environmental and jobs record.
“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,” Koch wrote. “I believe that cronyism is nothing more than welfare for the rich and powerful, and should be abolished.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.