Nate Jackson / November 5, 2015

Zombie Ex-Im Bank Is Undead

“The nearest thing to eternal life is a government program.”

As Ronald Reagan once said, “The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program.” He was all too right. “The House on Wednesday night rejected efforts to derail a renewal of the Export-Import Bank, virtually assuring a new life for the agency,” reports The Hill. “Supporters of the 81-year-old bank highlighted the 313-118 House vote last week — 127 Republicans voted in support — in favor of reviving Ex-Im as proof of the strong support in Congress.”

As we noted before its temporary expiration, the bank is a little-known federal agency that gives loans to foreign customers to buy U.S. goods. In practice it’s little more than a mechanism for Big Government to choose Big Business winners and losers. The first warning that the bank would be a cronyism cesspool was when the father of modern Big Government, FDR, created it by executive order in 1934. The second warning is that Ex-Im’s biggest defenders are cronyists in Congress and in huge companies like GE and Boeing, the latter of which benefits from 30% of the bank’s financing — nearly $70 billion over the last seven years to foreign purchasers of its products.

Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN), who led the GOP charge to reinstate the bank, said Wednesday that “this is a Republican reform bill, [and] we should be happy when Democrats want to cross the aisle to support Republican ideas.” He added, “It’s sad when people put their political scorecards above their constituents.” No, it’s sad when Republicans abandon the Constitution and free-market principles in favor of cronyism. But that’s standard procedure in Washington.

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