The Export-Import Bank: Kill it off
Congress shouldn't reauthorize the federal Export-Import Bank this year for the simple reason that the government shouldn't be in the banking business, with taxpayer-subsidized financing tinkering with markets.
The “Ex-Im,” which provides loans and loan guarantees along with credit insurance for U.S. exports, is facing an Oct. 1 shutdown without reauthorization. Proponents insist its 80-year track record supports American jobs through exports, The Hill newspaper reports. Opponents, including several conservative fiscal groups, say it's little more than a slush fund for the well connected.
“It is not fair when a company that is not as well connected doesn't have a level field to compete with its own products and services,” says Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity.
Consider, as well, that the field is dominated by commercial banks. About 98 percent of U.S. exports are financed without the Ex-Im's help, writes Diane Katz for The Heritage Foundation. As such, there's no reason public funding should be put at risk for loans that are otherwise available from well-established private institutions.
And never mind Ex-Im's operation issues, which have come under fire from both the Government Accountability Office and its own inspector general. The former says the bank's technology is “antiquated and inflexible,” with some components up to 30 years old.
The Export-Import Bank is dysfunctional and unnecessary. Congress should let it die.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.