This isn’t a new subject for long time readers, though it barely ever gets a mention in the mainstream media. We’ve been talking about the potential upcoming renewal of the charter of the Export-Import bank for quite a while now, and this is no time to let up the pressure. This taxpayer funded entity, beloved by big spenders in both parties as well as the President, may soon get another fresh injection of blood to continue its rather ambiguous mission for years to come. But before that happens, lawmakers should be made aware that voters are up to date on this gimmick and have all the details in hand.
With that in mind, Congressman Jeb Hensarling of the Financial Services Committee is releasing a list of Egregious Ex-Im Deals of the Day for our edification. They are well sourced, and the first one is a doozy.
Hardworking American taxpayers, who are paying more for gas (“Gasoline prices at six-year high – AAA”) and “more for almost everything this year” (CNBC), might be wondering why President Obama refuses to approve the Keystone Pipeline but is using their tax dollars to finance foreign corporate welfare — like the nearly $5 billion in direct loans to help build a venture developed by Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company.
This is the same Saudi Aramco, by the way, that one report this week said is “pulling the rug out from under the U.S. gas industry” and has announced plans to spend its money to build 11 45,000-seat capacity stadiums by order of King Abdullah.
In case you’re thinking you couldn’t have read that correctly, you did. The “bank” – which is supposed to provide low interest loans to small businesses so they can afford to to purchase American goods – gave a US assured loan of nearly $5B to the state operated oil company of Saudi Arabia. That’s not exactly the type of business entity which comes to mind when one thinks of struggling small business owners.
The “Boeing Slush Fund” has clearly outlived its usefulness, assuming it ever had any. It is conceivable that if this “bank” was actually focusing on American small business job creators and facilitating sales to smaller buyers overseas who couldn’t qualify for the capital funding to do business over here otherwise, it might be worth discussing an extension of their charter. But this is just massive corporate welfare being taken to a global scale. And it’s high time for the Ex-Im bank to go.