Tennessee: End of Export-Import Bank Long Overdue
A great letter to the editor today in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Mike Budnick from Winchester, Tennessee called the end of the Export-Import Bank “long overdue.”
Congress will soon consider whether or not to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. Like many well-intentioned government programs, the bank has morphed into a cronyism stash for well-connected special interests.
While the bank’s original purpose was to facilitate our exports and imports, it is now in the business of picking winners and losers — and the winners are large corporations that can afford high-powered lobbyists in Washington.
Failed renewable energy companies Solyndra and First Solar received $10.3 million and $455 million, respectively, from the bank. Boeing received 80 percent of the bank’s loan guarantees in 2012, allowing foreign airlines to purchase their equipment — an unnecessary move putting domestic airlines at a disadvantage. And, Russia was guaranteed $580 million last year as a foreign policy move.
The greatest issue with the bank is the growing risk to taxpayers. While the bank claims to be self-financing, the growth in loan guarantees may be the next bursting bubble threatening our domestic economy. Loan risk has doubled since 2007 and is climbing.
Budnick urged his “fellow citizens to contact Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) 93% and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) 28% and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) 52% to vote against reauthorizing the bank.” The paper also covers portions of districts represented by Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) 75% and Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) 82%.