Politico reports that the event took place at the St. Regis Monarch Beach luxury resort, south of Los Angeles. According to the AP, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and former technology executive Carly Fiorina, both presidential hopefuls, were in attendance.
“Where I believe we need to start in reforming welfare is eliminating welfare for the wealthy,” Koch said. (What.) “This means stopping the subsidies, mandates and preferences for business that enrich the haves at the expense of the have nots.” (What.)
Koch asked those in attendance to end “corporate welfare,” which is “creating a permanent underclass, crippling our economy and corrupting the business community—present company excepted, of course.” (Haha—what.)
The Koch brothers’ network of donors plans to spend upwards of $889 million on the upcoming presidential election, the AP reports. “I wish the whole world could see what goes on here,” Koch said. As do we! However, according to Politico, this was the first time mainstream media reporters were permitted inside the twice-annual “donor seminar,” on the condition that those present not be named without their permission.
Possibly this is an effort at softening the Koch brothers’ image as greedy robber barons who will go to any length to roll back government regulation that might impede their accumulation of wealth. Then again, what do they care? They’re rich beyond all imagining. Still, it costs Charles Koch nothing to pander a little bit, and if they—or Republican strategists—imagine that it will get a GOP candidate into office, then so be it.
(In an interview with USA Today in April, Koch scoffed at the idea that he and his brothers’ political involvement had anything to do with making money at all: “We are doing all of this to make more money?” he said. “I mean, that is so ludicrous.” Ludicrous is certainly one word for it.)
Still, a glimmer of honesty shines through the rhetoric. In the effort to end a “two-tiered society,” Koch said on Saturday that it is necessary to encourage “principled entrepreneurship.” Ohh, right. Capitalism for everyone!