Ted Cruz called the Export-Import Bank a “corrupt-crony capitalist fiasco” and declared that “Republicans should kill it.”
Senator Cruz wrote in a USA Today Op-Ed:
The Export-Import Bank is big businesses’ big-government bank backed by U.S. taxpayers. It sends huge amounts of assistance to foreign corporations, buyers, and companies that are hostile to our economic and security interests, but can afford armies of lobbyists to access easy financing backed by American taxpayers.
Contrary to the values that keep America strong, safe and free, the Export-Import Bank has facilitated lending to governments in Congo and Sudan, countries with horrific human rights records. It has financed Chinese power plants and backed Russian billionaires buying luxury planes. And, it has provided lots and lots of financing to oil companies in Russia, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia that compete directly with America’s energy companies.
Senator Cruz carefully noted that there is “nothing wrong with big business,” but “they don’t need special handouts from government.” How much of its help does the Export-Import bank give to big business? Cruz mentions a Cato Institute paper explaining that the top ten businesses the Bank provides loans and guarantees to -with combined revenues over $382 billion- receive a total of 92% of bank services. That’s right: a whopping 92% of Export-Import Bank services go to ten companies.
As Cruz writes, the Export-Import Bank was even opposed by Senator Barack Obama when he ran for President, saying it was “little more than a fund for corporate welfare.”
Advertisement – story continues below
Senator Cruz is not the only Republican voice in opposition to the Export-Import Bank. As then-Senator Jim DeMint wrote, the bank has “specific mandates to subsidize politically-popular causes like green energy.” What’s more, the Export-Import Bank gave a $10.7 million loan to the now defunct green energy company Solyndra.
Cruz closes his piece with a history lesson:
We should remember how President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the Export-Import Bank — through executive fiat in 1934. If President Obama wanted to create a new Export-Import Bank today by executive order, most Republicans could be counted on to oppose it. They shouldn’t reauthorize it today. The Export-Import Bank wasn’t a good idea in 1934, and it isn’t a good idea in 2014, either.
What do you think? Do we need the Export-Import Bank? Or is it really, as Cruz put it, a “corrupt-crony capitalist fiasco?”
Advertisement - story continues below
What do you think? Scroll down to comment below.