Most big businesses that decry “big government” and “Washington interference” also lobby heavily for favorable tax treatment and anti-competitive regulations. So it is worth noting that Koch Industries (cue evil mustache-twirl music now if you are a mindless liberal) is publicly arguing right now to let expire all of the “temporary” tax “extender” measures that Congress likes to roll over every year and that benefit a number of Koch’s own business ventures. In other words, Koch is advocating policies that will raise its own tax bill. But they are doing this consistent with their free market principles, as Lachlan Markay explains in the Free Beacon:
“We oppose ALL subsidies, whether existing or proposed, including programs that benefit us, which are principally those that are embedded in our economy, such as mandates,” wrote Philip Ellender, president Koch’s government affairs division, in a Wednesday letter to members of Congress.
Ellender singled out the wind production tax credit as particularly deleterious. But unlike that provision, some of the tax breaks included in the House package benefit activities in which Koch and its subsidiaries are heavily invested.
Koch subsidiary George Pacific, for instance, qualifies for a tax break for the production of cellulosic biofuels. Another subsidiary, Flint Hills Resources, operates biofuel production facilities that could benefit from another of the provisions.
Those tax breaks could improve Koch’s bottom line, but the company sees federal tax preferences in general as economically harmful.
“Koch doesn’t view these as ‘benefits’ even if they are in industries we’re in,” explained a source familiar with the company’s public affairs strategy. “They are wasteful and market distorting, and allow other firms to run businesses that aren’t making money any other way.”
Let this be the beginning of some good ol’ crony-capitalist shaming.
JOHN adds: Here is the Koch letter in its entirety: