Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Shocker: Big Business Supports the Ex-Im Bank

It is encouraging to me the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank's charter could be cancelled soon, but discouraging that such a small part of the US Government is so difficult to kill. It's discouraging since it means the fight over the consequential budget issues: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Defense, will be even tougher to resolve. The supporters of the New Deal, Great Society and the American Empire made possible by the militiary-industrial complex love to pat themselves on their backs for their humane ability to take from the undeserving and give to the deserving, as they define both, they often refuse to recognize paying for their generosity has a cost. So it goes.

Shocker: Big Business supports the Ex-Im Bank. Of course it does. They are the recipients of the bank's largesse. Even a cursory examination of the bank's direct loans and loan guarantees show the biggest, and most consistent beneficiary is Boeing. That makes sense since Boeing is the nation's largest exporter. Satellites and green energy (since Obama) are also significant recipients of loans and guarantees. Take a look at who is buying these goods and you start to wonder, "Why is it these buyers and these sellers need the help of the US Government to consumate a transaction?" They don't "need" the US Government, but if someone offers you money, you take it.

The arguments in favor of the bank are it supports exports for small business, which is somewhat true but by dollar value the bank supports Big Business, not small. It is also argued Boeing and Caterpillar need to be subsidized by the US Government since their competitors are subsidized. It's a weak argument since it means we should do something stupid as long as our competitors are doing something stupid.

For a time Delta Airlines opposed the bank. It pointed out the bank was subsidizing Delta's competitors. That's also the case for other US businesses competing against the foreign companies receiving the loans and loan guarantees of the Ex-Im Bank. It's quite perverse, the US Government deciding Boeing's competitors should benefit at the expense of US airlines.

Killing the Ex-Im Bank won't have a big impact on the budget or the economy. But it would be a welcome start.

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