In a surprise revelation, billionaire industrialist and tea party financier David Koch, one half of the sometimes infamous Koch brothers, said Thursday night that he’s in favor of same sex marriage.
“I believe in gay marriage,” he told Politico reporter Kenneth Vogel.
And it’s not just that. The one-time Libertarian Party vice presidential candidate confessed that he’s at odds with his Republican allies on a number of other issues as well.
For instance, Koch would like to see American troops brought home from the Middle East. He said he’d be in favor of significant cuts to defense spending. And perhaps most shocking of all, the billionaire admitted he’s not opposed to higher taxes.
“I think it’s essential to be able to achieve spending reductions and maybe it’s going to require some tax increases,” he reportedly said. “We got to come close to balancing the budget, otherwise we’re in a terrible deep problem.”
One thing that Koch didn’t mention to Politico is that his favored candidate, Mitt Romney, wants to deregulate a number of industries that underpin his financial empire, which could save the billionaire industrialist money in the short term and help stave off disruptive new competition in the long term. To that effect, Koch’s political group Americans for Prosperity has been a consistent critic of regulations pertaining to air pollution and fuel efficiency standards, which President Barack Obama supports.
Koch, a Republican delegate from New York, is better known for helping finance Republican events through Americans for Prosperity, which was cited by an internal Romney campaign memo as “the financial engine” of the tea parties. But his stated positions don’t exactly line up with most tea partier beliefs, especially at a time when many tea party Republicans think that raising taxes is tantamount to communism. Many tea party Republicans have also been enthusiastic supporters of what they call “traditional marriage” laws that block LGBT people from getting married.
The Koch brothers have suggested they may spend up to $400 million trying to defeat President Barack Obama, the only candidate who’s proposed tax hikes for wealthy Americans and cuts to defense spending. Romney, on the other hand, has promised to lower taxes for the wealthy and make deep cuts to social programs like Medicare, food stamps and Social Security.
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