Monday, December 15, 2014

Incentives or Bribery?

Many times you hear that the GOP is the party of big business and the Democratic Party is the party of the workers. It may surprise you to know that both parties are the party of big business and corporations. As long as the corporations are contributors, or the shareholders are buddies, the business community has developed a close relationship with DC. This is evident in the Export-Import Bank debate. 
I have to be honest that until recently, the mention of the Export-Import bank brought about a Krispy Kreme glazed look from yours truly. I had heard of it but had never delved into what it is or what it does. Ignorance is bliss, especially when it comes to Government. It is time though, that we stop taking anything for granted, especially the Export-Import Bank. 
The Export-Import Bank is a facilitator or exchange for foreign companies and other interests. It has been existence, since the days of President Franklin Roosevelt. It is amazing the mess that one man creates. He may have been a great wartime President, but we are still to this day paying for programs and ideaologies that FDR created. The path to Hell is paved with good intentions, or so they say. 
The bank doles out loan and loan guarantees. The companies that many times receive these loans are wealthy and have capital. I guess the logic is, why spend our money when we can spend yours? This legal slush fund has become a favor pot. The lending limit for the Export-Import Bank is now up to $140 Billion. The line you hear is that other countries give their companies aid. They say that without the bank's loans and guarantees that American companies will lose out to foreign competition. 
The truth is in the numbers. Only "2% of export businesses received aid from the Export-Import Bank. According to Heritage Action, " 
It is odd that the Export-Import Bank loans are:
a) Mainly to very large corporations.
b) The majority of the loans have nothing to do with export related loans. 
c) They are for companies that otherwise would fail in the free market.

The logic is that by providing these loans, it translates into goods being purchased and that means profits. This does not take into account the basic principle of where does the money come from in the first place? You and me, that's who. The government is taking money out of our pockets, though taxation, and then giving it to rich companies to buy goods. Why not let the capital, money, stay in our hands and we can decide what goods are purchased and what company succeeds or fails. That is the principle of free market. The only reason that I can think of, for violating these basic economic principles is that the state has someone in mind for the benefit. In other words, the free market does not guarantee a positive outcome to a company. Governments can, however, give this assurance through subsidy, incentives, grants, etc. So the question is not why is the Export-Import Bank good or bad, but who are they there to benefit? It most certainly is not the American taxpayer.
Most of us agree that Russia is doing bad things in Ukraine. The administration has issued sanctions, and Russia has been condemned by members of both parties. Would it surprise you to know that, through the Export-Import Bank, Russia has received $580 million in export funding? That's right. We, you the taxpayer, are giving monies that  could stay in your pocket to a Communist superpower. This is a common theme. Companies, some of which are under despotic regimes, are given money that normally would not be given in the free marketplace. In other words our government is taking our money, spending it on things we don't want, and claiming that they are for a free market. This is typical statist, Keynesian economics. Do not fall for it. Even if the lines are coming from our Republican friends.
The Export-Import Bank's charter is going to expire next summer. There are many GOP Reps. and Senators who tout the line of "job creation" and "economic growth". What they are really fighting for is growth and profits for the select few and the continuation of a crony capitalistic system. 
Please call your Congressional Rep. and Senators and tell them to let the Export-Import Bank expire. If you live in Moore County call Rep. Renee Ellmers at 202-225-4531 and Senator Burr at 202-224-3154. 

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