LETTER: Koch brothers are generous philanthropists
Ryan Summerlin March 10, 2014
Boy, am I sick and tired of the relentless left-wing derogatory references to “evil” Koch Industries and its principals, Charles and David Koch.
Reading their side alone you would think we were being assailed by the devil incarnate. Yes, Koch Industries is vast; a global concern based in the U.S., the second-largest privately held corporation with 60,000 employees, a successful family-run business since 1940 with revenues of around $115 billion. (There was a time in this country when that would be considered a good thing.) And yes, the principals are very wealthy. This is something the liberals feel they must attack: If you have more of something than they have, you are “greedy” and they want some of it. Here’s some enlightening facts about this family’s spending.
• $120 million to cancer research at MIT … $30 million at Sloan Kettering….
• $25 million at MD Anderson … $15 million at NY Presbyterian … $35 million at the Smithsonian … $20 million at American Museum of Natural History … $65 million at Metropolitan Museum of Art.
There is a David Koch Cancer Center at JohnsHopkins. Do you watch Nova on PBS? He’s the major contributor. Like ballet? $100 million went to benefit American Ballet Theatre, NYC Ballet, NYC Opera. Remember “Lincoln Center?”It’s now the David Koch Center.
How’s that for perspective? Much has been made in the liberal press of their political contributions, and yes, they do fund libertarian and conservative causes. But since when is it anybody’s business how they choose to spend their resources?
By way of comparison, consider George Soros, who through hundreds of political action committees and so-called 527 advocacy groups outspent the Kochs by a factor of 20 to 1. (Now, I’ll give credit where credit is due: I’m sure the Soros Family has a history of grand philanthropic giving. I’ll be first to congratulate them on that.)
Also, the Koch’s personal political contributions pale in comparison by those of the unions: AFT, NEA, UAW, SEIU, CWA, AFL-CIO, the Teamsters, (all of which were exclusive to the Democrats.) Let’s keep some perspective on the lawful use of anybody’s money regardless if their name is Koch, Gates, Walton, Bloomberg or Boyle.