As a world leader, the United States should lead. Instead of participating in a corrupt system where governments pick winners and losers, the United States should ditch the Export-Import Bank and lead the world to a better system of free trade, low taxes and minimal regulation.
By Allen B. West for Townhall:
The reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank is a bad idea on many levels. Yet, the Senate voted late Monday night to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank using a series of convoluted parliamentary procedures that blocked opposition and permitted the Export-Import Bank to bypass the normal law-making procedures. In effect, the Senate Majority Leader advanced the Export-Import Bank as an amendment to the unrelated highway reauthorization bill, while at the same time forbidding every other amendment.
The Senate Majority Leader used the same parliamentary tricks that he despised when the Democrats were in the majority, which might have been defensible if he were doing something laudable like reforming entitlements or lowering the deficit. Instead, the Senate Majority Leader used the strong-arm parliamentary tactics to promote crony capitalism at the expense of taxpayers. The highway bill, with the Export-Import Bank amendment attached, will now head over to the House of Representatives. We don’t endorse or oppose specific pieces of legislation, but we hope House leaders will recognize bad economic policy when they see it.
As I’ve explained before, America should ditch the Export-Import Bank. It duplicates private venture capital activities that the private lending industry should be doing. Worse yet, the Export-Import Bank has an unfair advantage over the private lending industry because it can artificially lower credit prices by shifting the cost of credit risk to the American taxpayer.
By offering credit that is less expensive than what is available in the marketplace, the Export-Import Bank allows businesses to profit at the expense of taxpayers, making it little more than a form of corporate welfare. That type of corporate welfare wouldn’t seem so bad if we were helping American small businesses. However, more than three-quarters of Export-Import Bank assistance goes to just a handful of big businesses, like Boeing, General Electric and Caterpillar.
Furthermore, the Export-Import Bank is perverse foreign aid. It encourages ….
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