Part of the problem for conservatives is the disconnect that many American taxpayers have with Washington, D.C. and the decisions made there. The average American taxpayer knows something is wrong, but because they are working to make ends meet (several working two or more jobs) they don’t know all of the specifics when it comes to legislation being considered or passed. This disconnect is also partly due to the fact that so much goes wrong in Washington, D.C. The inside baseball discussion of legislation takes place every day and many taxpayers are not part of that conversation.
Such is not the case of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im).
Created by executive order by FDR, the Ex-Im Bank’s charter was “to create and sustain U.S. jobs by financing sales of U.S. exports to international buyers.”
However, in recent years, the Ex-Im Bank has become a slush fund for corporations that don’t need the money, but would rather not shoulder the risk. The risk is, however, placed in the lap of the American taxpayers to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars of loans subsidized each year with taxpayer dollars.
Loans like the $126 million one to the China National Nuclear Power Corporation or the millions of dollars in loan guarantees to customers purchasing Boeing aircraft. It is the essence of corporate welfare and a slush fund used to manipulate the free market.
While defenders of the Ex-Im Bank will argue that the bank helps level the playing field for small businesses in America, the fact of the matter is that in 2012, 82% of the bank’s loan guarantees went to Boeing’s customers.
At the end of this month, the Ex-Im Bank is up for reauthorization and its future is in jeopardy. Why? Because the foundation on which its current iteration is built (Congress) is shifting underneath it. A new breed of conservatives have been elected to office the last few election cycles, many of whom are Madison Project endorsed. As proponents of the actual free market, not a manipulated one, they are fighting to let the authorization for the Ex-Im Bank lapse at the end of this month.
It’s as simple as that. But make no mistake – there will be a fight over the next few weeks as the GOP leadership attempts to ram it through Congress, potentially attempting to attach it to the Defense Reauthorization bill to create a conundrum for the Ex-Im Bank’s critics.
Stopping it could be a huge win for the conservative movement, but we’re going to need all hands on deck to stop it and begin rolling back the largesse of the big government/big business crowd that has become far too comfortable playing with the American taxpayers’ money.
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