It's time to for Congress to stop funding the taxpayer-backed Export-Import Bank, says Rep. Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.
"The 80-year old Export-Import Bank will begin to wind down on June 30, unless Congress renews it again," Hensarling wrote in an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal
"Republicans in the House and Senate need to let it expire — and as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, I am helping lead the charge to see that we do," the Texas Republican wrote.
According to Hensarling, the Export-Import Bank does nothing more than promote corporate welfare while taxpayers take the risk, if the companies it funds don't turn a profit.
The Fortune 100 companies that it helps to fund, such as General Electric, Boeing and Caterpillar, "keep the profits if sales go well; taxpayers bear the risk of loss if not."
"The bank is a small-scale example of a larger and more dangerous threat: the shrinking of the free-market economy and the rise of a progressive welfare state — with its attendant cronyism, public-private partnerships, and spreading government economic controls," Hensarling said.
He contends that "when governments decide who wins and loses, success increasingly depends less on how hard you work and more on who you know in Washington."
"And big business is often all too willing to enter into alliances with big government to play this game," he said.
The Export-Import handouts have resulted in "stunted economic growth, anti-competitive directives pushed by special interests at the expense of the commonweal, and corrosive public cynicism," he wrote.
"Almost every Democrat in Congress supports renewing the Ex-Im Bank," even though "much of its members' rhetoric fixates on corporate greed."
But, the "Democrats support corporate welfare in order to control what they subsidize ... It helps advance their agenda," he contends.
For example, Hensarling says that Ex-Im Bank "has a government-imposed green energy quota; it is required to expand financial commitments in sub-Sahara Africa; it unilaterally adopted a policy significantly restricting financing for coal-related exports."
Some have said that if Congress doesn't renew its support for Ex-Im Bank that it will cause businesses to send jobs overseas
, but Hensarling said in May that he doubts that will happen.
This is an issue that the Texas lawmaker argues Republicans should lead on.
"If Republicans can’t stand up to corporate interests in this skirmish, how will we ever stand up to the myriad special interests warring against adoption of a simplified, pro-growth tax code? How will we earn the moral authority to reform the social welfare state unless we first reform the corporate welfare state?" he asked.
"Let the Democrats own corporate welfare by themselves."
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