Americans of all political stripes must stand up and say thank you to David & Charles Koch, billionaires who are the majority shareholders of Koch Industries, an oil, gas, and chemical company which is the second largest private company in America. Simply by virtue of owning a huge company – which employs so many – these men should be thanked. (Imagine their tax bill.)
This patriotic family has a family foundation that devotes hundreds of millions to charities, offers tens of thousands of people a chance to prosper, and is the epitome of entrepreneurship, which should be celebrated. The charities that they donate to include a recent $100 million donation to New York-Presbyterian Hospital and charities devoted to the arts, including the American Ballet Theatre, the New York City Ballet, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the American Museum of Natural History.
Their parents have the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation, which, according to Wikipedia, is devoted to “support non-profits in Kansas” focusing on “arts, environmental stewardship, human services, enablement of at-risk youth, and education” through the funding of diversity programs at Kansas State University; the program Youth Entrepreneurs, a high-school level entrepreneurial and business program; the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, which develops programs to enhance schools’ history curricula; and the Bill of Rights Institute, an organization that holds seminars and workshops for teachers and administrators to provide “educational resources on America’s Founding documents and principles” to enhance the learning experience for students.
These are the things which people do not know about him.
Of course, the Koch brothers are leading advocates of a free-market economy and all-important issues of liberty. As Charles Koch wrote yesterday in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, he is “Fighting to Restore a Free Society,” and “Instead of welcoming free debate, collectivists engage in character assassination.” He could not be more right. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) recently said that the billionaire Koch brothers are “un-American.” For daring to speak out against Obamacare, Reid said, “It’s too bad that they’re trying to buy America, and it’s time that the American people spoke out against this terrible dishonesty of these two brothers who are about as un-American as anyone I can imagine.”
How terrible is it that a private citizen is attacked by the Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid. Imagine a private person is forced to write an op-ed in one of the nation’s most influential papers, where he writes, “[T]he fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government.” Of course, we saw it coming, when Obama in a well-publicized speech to business owners during his re-election campaign said, “You didn’t build that.”
Koch is so right when he writes that “[t]he central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism.” (This government also wants to run the lives of people in countless other foreign nations as well.)
Read this paragraph in Koch’s op-ed:
Koch companies employ 60,000 Americans, who make many thousands of products that Americans want and need. According to government figures, our employees and the 143,000 additional American jobs they support generate nearly $11.7 billion in compensation and benefits. About one-third of our U.S.-based employees are union members.
Is not an employer of that size and magnitude worthy of private dialogue? Or a certain level of respect?
The Koch family employs 60,000 Americans, donates hundreds of millions of dollars to philanthropic (non-political) causes, and they are attacked as un-American? These private citizens who are among the most prominent executives and philanthropists are attacked by the most powerful man in the world and his allies for opposing the Democratic Party and exercising their democratic rights.
This is what Obama’s America has come to. It’s awful, unfair and brutal. The right admires and respects hard-working executives, while the left hurts and attack. All the American people should say to this fine family is: “Thank you.”
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