Chamber of Commerce Spends Big to Save Export-Import Bank
June 4, 2015
How much do taxpayers have to pay off Boeing to make the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) finally and irrevocably go away? If the feds wrote a check to Boeing for $100 million, would they then let the Ex-Im Bank fade away after the current portfolio winds down?
Boeing is the largest beneficiary of the Ex-Im Bank. The bank provides subsidized loans and insurance contracts to foreign companies that buy American exports. Ex-Im Bank doles out billions of dollars of loans and insurance subsidies every year and has become the poster child for corporate cronyism in Washington.
Would America's exports grind to a halt without the Ex-Im Bank?
- Getting the federal government out of export financing would save taxpayers from having to cover the bank's $2 billion shortfall projected over the next decade by the Congressional Budget Office.
- Without an Ex-Im Bank, which finances just 2 percent of U.S. exports, private firms would provide the insurance and credit these companies need, but at market rates that reflect risk of default.
- Beyond the cost and risk of its $140 billion portfolio of taxpayer-guaranteed loans, is that it turns business into advocates for big government. This also explains why the largest business lobby in America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is spending $1 million on a campaign to save the program.
The Chamber of Commerce normally does great work promoting pro-growth economics and while they may win this Ex-Im Bank battle, its overall cause will be hurt in the end.
Source: Stephen Moore, "Using Tax Dollars to Lobby for More Tax Dollars," Heritage Foundation, May 27, 2015.
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