Stephen DeMaura

When the Ex-Im Bank can’t keep track of where their money goes or whether or not it actually helps support American workers, we’re left with a lot of what Secretary Rumsfeld would call “known unknowns” – we know this money is being spent, we’re just not sure how.

The “known knowns” that de Rugy’s research turns up – instances where we do know generally where the Ex-Im money went – are not encouraging either.

Three of the top five industry categories for Ex-Im financing since 2007 contain the word “aircraft” – specifically, these are “aircraft manufacturing” in the top spot, “large commercial jet aircraft” at number three, and finally, plain old “aircraft” at number five. Funding for these high-flying categories totaled $57.1 billion, 33 percent of Ex-Im’s business during this period.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Boeing is one of the largest beneficiaries of Ex-Im’s largesse. They just happen to specialize in “aircraft,” more specifically “aircraft manufacturing,” and even more specifically, “large commercial jet aircraft.”

In 2013 alone, Boeing received over $8 billion from the government – which would appear to give some credence to Ex-Im’s nickname of “Boeing’s Bank” – while reporting earnings of nearly $90 billion. And supporting American jobs? Research shows that Ex-Im’s loans to foreign and often state-owned carriers to purchase Boeing aircraft cost the U.S. airline industry 7,500 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars.

The “unknown knowns” and the “known knowns” in this new Ex-Im research are both cause for concern, and the call into question the Bank’s stewardship of American tax dollars. Ex-Im’s charter expires on September 30th and these concerns should be borne in mind as Congress considers the question of renewal.

Stephen DeMaura

Stephen DeMaura is president of Americans for Job Security.