Billionaire Charles Koch said Wednesday that the federal government is widening the gap between America’s rich and poor.
“For most of this nation’s history, our country has been characterized by opportunity, upward mobility and personal freedom,” he wrote in an op-ed for Time.“But today, America is hurtling headlong in the opposite direction, away from a free society and towards a two-tiered society,” Koch said. "Consequently, our country is increasingly divided between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots.'
“As the gulf between the two gets larger, we are creating a permanent underclass while doling out welfare for the wealthy," he added.
Koch argued that a mix of overregulation and crony capitalism is stifling economic opportunities for everyday Americans.
“In a free and fair society, the role of business is to provide products and services that make people’s lives better,” the energy magnate wrote. “This creates a win-win situation for customers and companies alike, generating what I call ‘good profit.'
“But that’s not how many businesses act today,” he continued. "They aren’t benefiting themselves by benefitting others – they’re benefitting themselves by harming others.
“They believe that securing government handouts is more lucrative than making a product or service that improves people’s lives," he added.
Koch then charged that the federal government uses its financial and tax laws as a means of rewarding those who serve its interests.
“The tax code alone contains $1.5 trillion in exemptions and special-interest carve-outs,” he said. "The federal government also uses direct subsidies, grants, loans, mandates, bailouts, loan guarantees, no-bid contracts and more to help the lucky few with the most lobbyists.
“The solution is clear: Government must stop creating barriers to opportunity for so many Americans, especially the least advantaged,” he warned. "We must end government’s ability to enrich the well-connected few.”
Koch’s article follows his first joint television interview with brother David Koch on MSNBC earlier this month.
The two wealthy siblings are attempting a rehabilitation of their image after years of Democrats criticizing the role of their wealth in GOP politics.
The Kochs have steadfastly refused endorsing any Republican presidential candidate in 2016 thus far. The pair has pledged $250 million to elect GOP lawmakers to Congress and the presidency next year.