Perhaps it’s a small matter. But maybe not, as a New York Times op-ed chose to mention it in the limited space these things have.
In today’s newspaper and yesterday’s online version, David Callahan wrote this: “One such group is FreedomWorks, which has received significant amounts of money from the Koch brothers and is a force behind both the Tea Party political movement and the conservative libertarian policy agenda it espouses.”
The problem is that the alleged financial support from the Koch brothers to FreedomWorks doesn’t exist. A page on the Koch Industries website states: “For example, neither Koch companies and foundations nor members of the Koch family have ever contributed to FreedomWorks.” This was repeated in a Washington Examiner interview with Dr. Richard Fink, who heads the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and serves as an executive vice president of Koch Industries.
While this might seem like an inconsequential error, the op-ed’s topic is political contributions — those who make them, and those who receive them. So it’s not unreasonable for a prominent newspaper to get the facts used to bolster its argument correct.
Generally, this is another example of the political Left’s obsessive slamming of Charles and David Koch, to the point where things like facts don’t matter, not to mention the politics and economics. As an example, critics portray the Kochs as pursuing policies that benefit only themselves. But the reality is different. As we are learning, it is easy for a corporation to mine the halls of government for subsidy, special tax treatment, and regulations that benefit it and harm its competitors. Competing in the marketplace, where consumers are king, is more difficult. These free markets, however, are what Charles and David Koch believe in and have supported for decades, because economic freedom makes everyone more prosperous. As recently written in the Weekly Standard:
The second charge was that the Kochs’ talk about free markets was merely cover for economic self-interest. But if that were true, why doesn’t every major corporation full-throatedly support limited government? Are we really to believe that Koch Industries is the only self-interested corporation in America? The reality, of course, is that an easier way to advance corporate self-interest is the one taken by most giant companies: securing monopolies, bailouts, tariffs, subsidies — the opposite of free enterprise. “It’d be much safer economically to sit on the sidelines or curry favor with the Obama administration,” said Richard Fink.
It was impossible for the liberal activists to acknowledge that libertarians might actually operate from conviction. Charles and David believed in low taxes, less spending, and limited regulation not because those policies helped them but because they helped everybody.