The social justice infrastructure "bank" would be anything but a bank in the normal sense of the word. Ron Utt at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation exposed the farce: "This bank would be capitalized by federal appropriations to leverage a greater volume of debt borrowed under the full faith and credit of the federal government. In turn the bank would use these funds to finance eligible infrastructure projects. While these proposed entities -- and similar ones that exist in the states from earlier legislation -- are described as 'banks,' they are no such thing."
In other words: The infrastructure banks would borrow more money the government doesn't have to dole out grants that wouldn't be paid back and don't require interest payments. All's well that ends well in the land of make-believe austerity.
Unsurprisingly, Big Labor biggie Andy Stern, former head of the Service Employees International Union and an Obama confidante, is glomming on to the infrastructure bank idea to push a new overseas profit tax on multinational corporations. Brilliant: Impose new double-taxes on American businesses that no other country imposes, reduce competitiveness, induce companies to incorporate outside the U.S., and then put union bosses in charge of redistributing the $30 billion punitive windfall.
Supporters also compare the infrastructure bank plan to the U.S. Export-Import Bank -- an idea that, as Washington Examiner reporter Tim Carney rightly notes, "epitomizes corporate welfare. It also is a prime example of unaccountability. The agency is independent of any cabinet department, and it hands out loans and loan guarantees basically at its own discretion. ... (I)t's kind of like Fannie Mae was, before its exposure became real and the taxpayers had to come in and bail it out. So, Kerry wants to create Fannie Pave, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce loves the idea: a bunch of free money that seems to cost nothing."
Who pays? Ordinary taxpayers, nonunion contractors and businesses that don't pander to the Obama White House.
Remember: In his first weeks in office, Obama signed union-friendly executive order 13502, which essentially forces contractors who bid on large-scale public construction projects worth $25 million or more to submit to union representation for their employees. The project labor agreement racket requires contractors to hand over exclusive bargaining control; to pay inflated, above-market wages and benefits; and to fork over dues money and pension funding to corrupt, cash-starved labor organizations.
Higher taxes. Union favoritism. Crony capitalism. Left-wing special interest wish list. We're on the road to another irreparable taxpayer sinkhole. You can bank on that.
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