But Washington’s pick-winners-and-losers habit stretches across many industries. In addition to Boeing, profitable companies like GE and Caterpillar also got in on the money. Not surprisingly, some of the firms have connections to the policy agenda of the current Administration. Boeing’s CEO is Chair of the President’s Exports Council. GE is a proud beneficiary of federal “green energy” policies and is a participant in the United States Climate Action Partnership – a big business/big government alliance that has promoted a cap-and-trade national energy tax.
This type of crony capitalism has no place in our free-market economy. Members of Congress have the opportunity to take a positive step toward smaller and smarter government by opposing reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. They’d join organizations like National Taxpayers Union and U.S. Public Interest Research Group – both of whom differ on the desirable size and scope of the federal budget, but who are united in the belief that the Ex-Im Bank is an unnecessary program.
In a Washington Post column entitled, “Export-Import Bank’s Damage to American Firms,” George Will noted, the bank claims “it helps ‘to level the playing field for U.S. exporters by matching the financing that other governments provide their exports.’” But as Will cautioned, “ … a leveler’s work is never done.” That’s why the best course is to shut down Ex-Im and let our free-market system do the “work” of efficiently allocating investment capital instead.