Is the Export-Import Bank “corporate welfare” or “critical support” for American businesses? According to Barack Obama, it’s both.
Back in 2008, then-Sen. Obama denounced the Ex-Im Bank as a government program that should be “cut back” because it had “become little more than a fund for corporate welfare.” But just last week President Obama signed a bill not only extending the bank’s charter for two more years but also increasing the amount of money it can loan by 40 percent.
“By reauthorizing support for the Export-Import Bank,” Obama said at the signing ceremony, “we’re helping thousands of businesses sell more of their products and services overseas and, in the process, we’re helping them create jobs here at home. And we’re doing that at no extra cost to the taxpayer.”
Ex-Im may not be costing taxpayers extra today; but there is no guarantee that such will always be the case.
The bank provides loans and loan guarantees to foreign governments or companies for the purchase of products and services from U.S. companies. These loans, by the way, are handed out by the Ex-Im Bank because the private sector has decided they’re too risky, while politicians and bureaucrats have no such qualms about tossing around other people’s money with abandon.
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