Koch to Buffett: My Donations Trump Taxes for the Rich
Skeptical writer to Koch: I think not
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2011 2:53 PM CDT
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett attends the Fortune Most Powerful Women summit at Mandarin Oriental Hotel on October 5, 2010 in Washington, DC.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – How dare Warren Buffett call for higher taxes for the rich, when America's super-wealthy already contribute to the country's "societal well-being" through "business and non-profit investments"? Billionaire business mogul Charles Koch penned this argument in a 50-word retort to Buffett's New York Times op-ed Friday. After reading it, Lee Fang at ThinkProgress is still trying to close his gaping jaw: "America has been good to Charles Koch, providing an environment where his family has made billions," Fang writes. "But Koch doesn’t want to give back."

Koch's charitable foundation donates around $12 million per year—which is just 0.05% of his net worth, Fang points out. And those charitable investments have funded Tea Party events, birther rallies, and think tanks "dedicated to cheerleading the war in Iraq, spreading anti-science propaganda, and smears claiming that the poor do not really suffer." Meanwhile Koch and brother David have earned $11 billion in recent years, in part thanks to high gas prices, all while Koch Industries fails to compensate for the hundred million tons of carbon pollution it produces annually."This company is among the country’s top sources of carcinogenic chemicals and air pollutants," Fang writes," and in return, Koch's investments "at best advance Koch’s political ideology and at worst misinform American voters."