In a Washington Post op-ed on Wednesday, Republican mega-donor and all-around evil billionaire Charles Koch has broken with pretend billionaire Pres. Donald Trump over planned tariffs on steel and aluminum. And he has encouraged others to do the same, saying “corporate leaders must reject Trump’s tariffs.”
“One might assume that, as the head of Koch Industries — a large company involved in many industries, including steel — I would applaud such import tariffs because they would be to our immediate and financial benefit. But corporate leaders must reject this type of short-term thinking, and we have. If we are to have a system in which businesses can succeed long term, policies must benefit everyone, not just the few,” Koch wrote in his op-ed.
We are on the losing side of almost all trade deals. Our friends and enemies have taken advantage of the U.S. for many years. Our Steel and Aluminum industries are dead. Sorry, it’s time for a change! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2018
Trump plans to impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum, essentially negatively affecting nearly every industry in the U.S. and costing American industries and consumers a lot of money.
Koch further slammed Trump with this statement.
“Unfortunately, tariffs are not the only problem. Our entire economy is rife with cronyism, resulting in regulations and subsidies that are destroying competition, opportunity and innovation. Koch Industries benefits from many of these, as do many established companies, but we consistently work to eliminate them.”
Koch is a free-market libertarian who has a long history as a Republican donor, but he did not contribute to Trump’s campaign. He even quasi-supported democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, but she quickly told him to F off.
Why Republican leaders will fall in line
Why do I say in my headline that Charles Koch “commanded” elected Republicans to abandon Trump? Because what the Koch brothers say is the law of Republican-landia. The fact is, it’s likely that most GOP politicians—particularly high-profile ones like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)—will fall in line behind Koch because his company and his family contribute millions to their campaigns.
Listen to Mitch McConnell groveling to Koch at a 2014 “Free Speech: Defending First Amendment Rights” summit. The audio is hard to hear, but wearing headphones/earbuds will help you hear it better. You can also read most of the transcript in an article I wrote in 2014.
This delicious (and pathetic) gem from McConnell’s statements:
“I want to start by thanking you, Charles and David, for the important work you’re doing. I don’t know where we’d be without you.”
And they want to tell us this as a 'middle class tax cut'? It's a colossal con job designed to help the wealthy and big corporations. That's what it is. https://t.co/DQYQcoJakM
— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) March 2, 2018
In 2017, Paul Ryan’s joint fundraising committee (Team Ryan) collected $500.000 from the Kochs (data source) just a few days after the House passed the disastrous tax law, with both Charles AND his wife Elizabeth contributing $247,700 to Team Ryan, becoming Ryan’s top contributors.
Tax law passed: November 16, 2017
Charles and Elizabeth Koch donations: November 29, 2017
Can they be any more obvious? Come on!
Be a cuck to Donald Trump or get a half million dollars from the Kochs? Paul Ryan be like…
Who else will fall in line behind Koch?
Other politicians you can expect to quickly fall in line behind Koch are Rep. Mike Pompeo, Sen. Roy Blunt, Sen. Ron Johnson, Sen. Marco Rubio, and more. Below is a screengrab of the elected officials who received the most money from Koch Industries in 2016. View the full list here.
So when it comes down to choosing between Trump and Koch, the money (Koch) will win. Money talks and bullsh*t walks and Donald Trump is nothing but bullsh*t. He’s obviously a temporary problem, but Koch money is here to stay and these career politicians know that.
Why we’re hearing so much about bourbon and Harley Davidson
On the issue of tariffs, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have already voiced concerns about the consequences of a trade war. And they’re justified in their concern. The European Union has threatened to impose its own tariffs on U.S. imports that include bourbon and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Tariffs on these industries will affect Wisconsin and Kentucky, home states of Ryan and McConnell respectively.
The E.U. president specifically called out Trump.
President Trump said: ‘trade wars are good and easy to win’. But the truth is trade wars are bad and easy to lose. EU’s goal is to keep world trade alive and if necessary to protect European by proportionate responses.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) March 7, 2018
The E.U.’s mention of bourbon and Harley Davidson is not random. They are sending a thinly veiled message to Ryan and McConnell: don’t f*ck up or you’ll regret it.
So we have a double whammy here for leaders McConnell and Ryan. Pissing off the Kochs AND costing their constituents jobs and money? No way they’ll ever align with Trump on this issue.
No, Charles Koch is not on our side
Isn't it rich seeing millionaires & billionaires now cry over tariffs when they laughed at taking healthcare from millions.
— Denise Shearin (@DeniseShearin) March 8, 2018
In his op-ed, Koch cried some crocodile tears for working class and poor Americans.
“The administration’s recent decision to impose major steel and aluminum tariffs — on top of higher tariffs on washing machines and solar panels — will have the same harmful effect [fail to introduce jobs]. Without a doubt, those who can least afford it will be harmed the most.”
And he dared to drop this whopper that made me spit my coffee on my keyboard while I was typing.
“We only support policies that are based on equality under the law and that help people improve their lives.”
“To include millions more of our people in true economic progress, our lawmakers must act on behalf of all Americans — not just the privileged few.”
Oh please, Mr. Koch. Do shut up. Immediately. You are fooling NO ONE with this BS. Even working class Republicans don’t believe you care about them.
Read more at The Washington Post. There is a limit to the number of WaPo articles readers can read for free every month—and we encourage everyone to subscribe to support their important journalism (it’s very affordable)—but if you can’t afford to subscribe, you can open most browsers in an incognito window in your browser to read Koch’s op-ed and other articles.