“I’m not a Democrat who believes that we can or should defend every government program, just because it’s there. There are some that don’t work like we had hoped… [like] the Export-Import Bank that has become little more than a fund for corporate welfare… If we hope to meet the challenges of our time, we have to make difficult choices. As President…I will eliminate the programs that do not work and are not needed.”
- Barack Obama, Campaign Trail, 2008
Background. In 1934, Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank to “facilitate exports and imports and the exchange of commodities between the United States and other Nations…”. This aid now takes the form of loans and loan guarantees, as well as working capital and credit insurance, to both U.S. exporters and foreign purchasers of American goods and services (including foreign governments). In essence, the Bank attempts to stimulate job creation and counter the subsidies provided by foreign governments to competitors overseas. This interference in and manipulation of the market invites economic distortion, cronyism and corruption.
Congress had the opportunity to end what has been called a “publicly subsidized piggy bank for large corporations” less than two years ago. Instead, Congress passed legislation to reauthorize and increase Ex-Im’s lending authority by 40 percent, from $100 billion to $140 billion, despite surprising opposition in the House and Senate.
As this fight heats up, it is important to know where your Representative stands on the issue. Calling your congressional office and asking whether or not he or she will oppose the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank and reporting back what they say creates a feedback loop that will help conservatives win. Take action now by making the call.
We have written about our opposition to the Bank before, invoking the ire of some of the Bank’s supporters.
“Republicans have slammed all this ‘corporate welfare’ and ‘venture socialism’ for ‘unfairly picking winners in the marketplace’,” he recalls.