Koch Brother Endorses Withdrawal From Middle East And Gay Marriage, Says Tax Increases May Be Necessary

One half of the team of brothers that have become the bane of the left’s existence has thrown something of a curve ball:

TAMPA, Fla. – Billionaire industrialist David Koch, who is helping steer millions of dollars to elect Mitt Romney and congressional Republicans, on Thursday told POLITICO he disagrees with the GOP’s stance on gay marriage and believes the U.S. needs to consider raising taxes to balance the budget.

Koch, who is serving as a delegate to the Republican National Convention from New York, spoke to POLITICO after delivering brief remarks at a reception held in his honor him by Americans for Prosperity, the political advocacy group he chairs and has helped fund.

The 1980 vice presidential nominee for the socially liberal – but fiscally conservative – Libertarian Party, Koch told POLITICO “I believe in gay marriage” when asked about the GOP’s stance on gay rights.

Romney opposes gay marriage, as do most Republicans, and when that was pointed out to Koch, he said “Well, I disagree with that.”

Koch said he thinks the U.S. military should withdraw from the Middle East and said the government should consider defense spending cuts, as well as possible tax increases to get its fiscal house in order – a stance anathema to many in the Republican Party.

“I think it’s essential to be able to achieve spending reductions and maybe it’s going to require some tax increases,” he said. “We got to come close to balancing the budget, otherwise we’re in a terrible deep problem.”

As for whether military spending cuts should be on the table, Koch said, “I think to balance the budget, probably every federal department has to take cuts in my opinion. We have to spread it around.”

Progressive heads exploding in 3……2………1

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. grumpy realist says:

    I think we’ll see more Republican heads exploding, actually. Expect him to be tarred and feathered tomorrow.

  2. No head explosion, but then I am a centrist.

    I’ll say great news if true, but I feel some wariness that it is post-convention “pretend to be moderate” talk.

  3. Nikki says:

    So what if he is socially liberal? That’s what most libertarians claim to be, then turn around and support all of the same lame conservative policies that got this nation into this fiscal mess in the first place. That he continues to support Americans for Prosperity and the Tea Party idiots is all I need to know.

    BTW, have he and his brother finished their takeover of the Cato Institute?

  4. Herb says:

    Money….meet mouth.

  5. Andy says:

    Maybe there is something to this 2012-End-Of-The-World thing.

  6. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Referring to one Koch or to another Koch as the bane of the far left’s existence is a misplaced notion. Everything is the bane of the far left’s existence. People. Places. Things. Facts. Logic. Common sense. Data. Everything. Theirs merely is the manifestation of raw emotion. Raw, unfiltered emotion. Pure negativity. No connection to reality. No redeeming qualities. Tantamount to a mental disorder.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    Translation: “If Mitt Romney is elected then it might be okay to remotely consider a tax increase, if on the other hand Obama is re-elected then it’s not okay.”

  8. An Interested Party says:

    Everything is the bane of the far left’s existence. People. Places. Things. Facts. Logic. Common sense. Data. Everything. Theirs merely is the manifestation of raw emotion. Raw, unfiltered emotion. Pure negativity. No connection to reality. No redeeming qualities. Tantamount to a mental disorder.

    Another disorder is projecting, something that the writer of the above words has shown himself to be infected with…I wonder if he realizes the irony of this…

  9. Dave says:

    We have seen the polling data that these policies are unpopular except in the extreme right of our party. So we will say we are for populist policies while continuing to spend millions of dollars advocating differently and trying to impose a system that achieves the opposite. Seems genuine to me Koch Koch ’16, just get it over with.

  10. john personna says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Maybe some places, but pretty off-key at OTB.

  11. Herb says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    ” Everything is the bane of the far left’s existence.”

    I just talked to the American left….all eight of them.

    They say this isn’t true.

  12. Kolohe says:

    “Koch Brother Endorses Withdrawal From Middle East And Gay Marriage”

    Huh, I didn’t think you could get pregnant from Gay Marriage

  13. James says:

    So he’s saying he supports Barack Obama?

  14. David M says:

    Libertarians support plenty of things liberals could support, but in the end it doesn’t matter when they support GOP politicians that don’t support those things.

  15. Dazedandconfused says:

    Rand’s “utopia” will have it’s upsides, but for most, life will be nasty, brutish, and short.

  16. James H says:

    Billionaire industrialist David Koch, who is helping steer millions of dollars to elect Mitt Romney and congressional Republicans, on Thursday told POLITICO he disagrees with the GOP’s stance on gay marriage and believes the U.S. needs to consider raising taxes to balance the budget.

    Shortly thereafter, Grover Norquist and two large Republicans were seen entering David Koch’s hotel suite. The next morning, Koch, looking slightly disheveled, recanted his endorsement of higher taxes.

  17. george says:

    I kind of think John Personna’s cynical explanation (pre-election moderation) is pretty much on the mark. Changes in direction that suddenly appear just before an election tend to be marketing fiction.

  18. James H says:

    Here’s a thought. If a tax increase is indeed needed, then perhaps only a Republican president can propose it.

  19. PJ says:

    Seems like Koch has failed to include who would get these necessary tax increases…
    Much like Paul Ryan’s budget plan, I’m pretty certain that Koch wants to lower his tax rate and raise it for those earning the least.

  20. Modulo Myself says:

    I”m not sure why progressive heads would be exploding on this. The idea that upping the top rates or the capital gains tax will somehow reduce society’s inequalities is a fiction that lives only in the hearts of conservatives. Nor do any progressives idolize a balanced budget. None of these ideas are those of the left.

    Koch just sounds like a really rich Republican, c. 1988. The problem for really rich Republicans is that they have to sell themselves to less rich Republicans who look the background and money for some good old fashioned noblesse oblige.

  21. Console says:

    I think the guy is sincere. He’s the typical “I’m libertarian, and both parties are statist, so let’s vote republican” asshole I always encounter.

    “Libertarians” in America tend to be right wing apologists for privilege. That’s really about as deep as the ideology goes.

  22. Console says:

    To clarify more, Koch articulates stances that the guy he supports pretty much explicitly disagrees with. So what does that mean? It means there are things that are more important to Koch. Things more important than having to go to war, having his relationship recognized. Fundamental liberties aren’t that fundamental when you are privileged enough to not have to worry about them realistically being infringed on.

  23. The Q says:

    Sorry, as a “liberal” I find this amazing. Koch has been the poster boy for all thats wrong with the GOP and to actually hear him espouse these moderate positions is encouraging.

    As far as most comments saying it doesn’t matter and he votes GOP anyway, well lets reverse that and apply it to the dems.

    I am a New Deal democrat….destroying Wall street hegemony and the malefactors of great wealth and spreading prosperity around (wingnuts that means redistribution of wealth) should be the backbone of our party…not gay marriage, free tuition to illegals, 8 month abortions….

    And yet the dems have failed miserably on any New Deal type working class manifesto…but I will still vote for Obama even though he has INCREASED the defense budget every year, done nothing to halt the wars, didnt’ close Gitmo, didn;t regulate wall street, etc.

    So Koch and I are in the same situation, voting for our party even though we might strongly disagree with the leadership.

  24. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @PJ: Much like Paul Ryan’s budget plan, I’m pretty certain that Koch wants to lower his tax rate and raise it for those earning the least.

    Wouldn’t that involve “those earning the least” beginning to pay taxes? Last time I checked, a significant portion of the population pays no income taxes.

  25. James says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: This has been debunked. Repeatedly:

    The 51 percent and 46 percent figures are anomalies that reflect the unique circumstances of the past few years, when the economic downturn greatly swelled the number of Americans with low incomes.

  26. An Interested Party says:

    It’s so cute, not to mention so stupid, when some conservatives act like income taxes are the only taxes that people do or don’t pay…

  27. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So you’re complaining that people with basically no income don’t pay income taxes? And to fix that you think there should be some sort of minimum tax regardless of how much income anyone has?

  28. Console says:

    @The Q:

    What the hell?

    Dodd-Frank passed, we are leaving Iraq, will leave Afghanistan in 2014. There’s disagreements in the party about how far and how soon things should happen, but for the most part you don’t have the straight up cognitive dissonance you find at work here with the Koch guy.

  29. Nikki says:
  30. Nikki says:

    David Koch pays an average 18% tax rate on $25 billion (more likely he’s one of the 6 among the 400 richest who payed no income taxes in 2009). You libertarians probably pay an average 35% on your six-figure salaries. Yet you still advocate for the policies that allow those like him to hoover up more of this nation’s wealth, all the while demanding that those who have so much less be taxed even more.

    Why do you feel David Koch should keep more of his wealth than you do of yours?

  31. The Q says:

    Console, sorry, Obama ramped up the Afghan war (remember the surge Biden was against) and only implemented Bush’s timetable that was already in place. Its 2012 going into 2013 and the troops won’t be coming home for another 2 years. You also overlooked the big increases to the Pentagon budget under Obama. Christ, if I wanted McCain to be Prez I would have voted for him.

    The Dodd Frank bill was sponsored by two of the worst Dem legislators regarding Wall Street and this window dressing of reform is everything I detest about the current Dems who pay lip service to real reforms, but put up the Potemkin village to dupe dems like you into thinking they are actually doing something.

    But the most disgusting scene is of Clinton with a big shit eaten grin signing the Gramm Bliley leach act.

    Let the wingnuts delude themselves, there’s no place for such excuses for the dems.

    Why the dems can’t destroy the Tory party once and for all is manifest in these half measures which do nothing to curtail the rot in the system.

    Every survey shows the public think the rich don’t pay enough, that the tax system should be overhauled to make them pay more in taxes, that the wars should end, that the Pentagon is bloated……yet its a dead heat. How is that possible? See Krugman, Paul pleading for more stimulus 3 years AGO!!!!!m And he was right. No one would give a shite about the deficit if unemployment was under 7% right now. And Obama would have a huge lead. But the watered down dem poicies only half worked

    In my day, dems rained holy terror over the wealthy (see the difference in how the two generations taxed the two romneys for proof of the sellout by the boomer libs).

    Jeez, i am starting to channel the Eastwood old man diatribe.

  32. swbarnes2 says:

    @The Q:

    And yet the dems have failed miserably on any New Deal type working class manifesto…but I will still vote for Obama even though he has INCREASED the defense budget every year, done nothing to halt the wars, didnt’ close Gitmo, didn;t regulate wall street, etc.

    But by voting for Dems, you are at least voting for the side that at least has some pressure on them to make those things better, and not a base screaming to double-down on the awfulness.

    With Koch, he’s pushing money to people who will make policies that hurt gay people. His money make worse policies happen in that area. It makes no sense at all for him to say he wants X when his money makes policies supporting X less likely to be enacted.