The Koch brothers, Charles and David Koch, are often considered the Tea Party boogiemen of right wing politics, similar to how George Soros supports left wing movements like Occupy Wall Street. So perhaps it’s with no surprise that Democratic Senate majority leader Harry Reid has the two oil barons in his crosshairs.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, the Koch Brothers are in the top 10 for Forbes’ 2014 richest people in the world, with both of them having $40 billion each. But you might be surprised to hear that second and third place is currently occupied by non-Americans.
Speaking of being non-American, Reid used the Senate floor to decry the influence of the Koch brothers, whom he claimed have a “radical” agenda for the United States which is “about as un-American as anyone that I can imagine”:
“These are two oil barons, and they’re trying to rig the political system to favor the rich and especially favor themselves.”
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) spokesman Justin Barasky joined Reid in this quest to demonize the Koch brothers.
“If the Kochs get their way, they will buy a U.S. Senate that wants to end Medicare as we know it and wants to dismantle Social Security. That’s a huge problem for the country.”
Democrats have even launched TV ad campaigns explicitly targeting the Koch brothers. But Republicans say these efforts by Harry Reid are hypocritical considering how Senate Democrats have also been trying to gain hundreds of millions of dollars in re-election money by garnering favor with progressive-leaning billionaires like Tom Steyer, Soros, and others.
The reason Democrats are trying to cast the Koch brothers as villains is because they’ve been dropping millions of dollars into a network of advocacy groups that are consistently bashing Obamacare. This tactic shouldn’t be too surprising since President Obama’s approval rating dropped due to Obamacare and many Democrats facing re-election in the 2014 mid-terms are attempting to dissociate themselves from the Affordable Care Act.
Some in the media are tiring of the Koch brothers being targeted. The family run business Koch Industries is the second largest privately held company in the United States, employs about 60,000 people, and generates around $115 billion. But Charles and David have spent much of that wealth on philanthropic efforts:
“$120 million to cancer research at MIT… $30 million at Sloan Kettering…. $25 million at MD Anderson… $15 million at NY Presbyterian… $35 million at the Smithsonian… $20 million at American Museum of Natural History… $65 million at Metropolitan Museum of Art. There is a David Koch Cancer Center at JohnsHopkins. Do you watch Nova on PBS? He’s the major contributor. Like ballet? $100 million went to benefit American Ballet Theatre, NYC Ballet, NYC Opera. Remember “Lincoln Center?” It’s now the David Koch Center.”
When it comes to political spending, it’s claimed that George Soros has outspent the Koch brothers by a “factor of 20 to 1” by creating “hundreds of political action committees and so-called 527 advocacy groups.”
Do you agree with Harry Reid that the Koch brothers are rigging US politics or do you fear the influence of George Soros more? Or do you think everyone is just exercising their first amendment rights and that demonizing billionaires is a bad idea?