Reid's latest attack on "shadow billionaires" David and Charles Koch came Thursday, at a news conference to push legislation raising the minimum wage.“These two men are a pair of shadow billionaires spending millions of dollars to rig our political system,” Reid said. “And who does it help? Them.”
Reid’s sharp comments come on a day when the Wall Street Journal published a commentary written by Charles Koch, in which he described the brothers’ decision to get involved in politics to preserve the individual freedom and free markets that he said are the pillars of the American republic.
In the commentary, Koch addressed being the target of politicians, but he didn't name Reid:
"Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents," Koch wrote. "They engage in character assassination. (I should know, as the almost daily target of their attacks.)"At his press conference, Reid took credit for bringing the Koch brothers, who jointly run Koch Industries, “out of the shadows.”
“Most people here are familiar with the Koch brothers,” Reid said. “I’ve helped make them a little more infamous or famous and I’m glad I’ve done that.”
Reid said the Koch brothers want to “abolish” the minimum wage but did not explain why they believe an imposed wage can hurt economic growth.
Reid claimed that those in favor of raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour are standing “with the American people.”
“We have to stand with the American people, not the shadow billionaires who we brought out of the shadows,” Reid said. “At least we know who they are now.”
Reid also accused "my Republican colleagues" of "falling all over themselves" to advance the Koches' "radical philosophy."
"Already, we've had one senator go on to the Senate floor and he read word for word that op-ed piece on the floor:
In his op-ed, Koch had this to say about collectivism:
In a truly free society, any business that disrespects its customers will fail, and deserves to do so. The same should be true of any government that disrespects its citizens.
The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism.
More than 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson warned that this could happen. ‘The natural progress of things,’ Jefferson wrote, ‘is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.’ He knew that no government could possibly run citizens' lives for the better.
The more government tries to control, the greater the disaster, as shown by the current health-care debacle. Collectivists (those who stand for government control of the means of production and how people live their lives) promise Heaven but deliver Hell. For them, the promised end justifies the means.