cronyism

Republicans are about to cave on the crony Ex-Im Bank, surrendering more ground to the Obama White House

After months of a very public debate over the future of the Export-Import Bank, House Republicans are poised to temporarily extend the life of the controversial New Deal-era agency to avoid any drama before the mid-term election.

The Ex-Im Bank has, rightly, been criticized by conservatives both inside and outside of Congress because it has become symbolic of cronyism, the marriage of big government and big business. The Bank has doled out billions of dollars in taxpayer-backed loans to some United States’ biggest corporations, including Boeing, Caterpillar, General Electric.

Despite the efforts of some members willing to take on cronyism, House Republicans are poised to reauthorize Ex-Im, albeit temporarily, instead of risking a big fight before the chamber, because, apparently, there’s never a good moment to get into a debate over bad policy:

Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday signaled the House will extend the Export-Import Bank’s charter, saying that one of the institution’s biggest critics is on board.

The Ohio Republican said he is working with Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the Financial Services chairman, who “thinks a temporary extension of the Export-Import Bank is in order.”

Big Business and big government cronyism is bad for taxpayers and consumers: Let the free market work

capitalism

There’s a common misconception that people in favor of free markets love corporations. That isn’t the case.

There’s nothing wrong with a business being highly successful and expanding operations. The question becomes what happens when their operations end up getting involved in government and when government tries to influence business.

This is an issue a lot of groups have struggled against. Both the original Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street protests were against the government-big business bailout of 2008/2009. The solutions were much different. The Tea Party wanted the government and businesses to be separated and not mix with each other. Occupy (outside of it’s not-top hits) wanted businesses taxed to eternity and capitalism destroyed.

The problem with Occupy’s solution is it expands the role government has in people’s lives. The idea of using higher taxes against businesses and “the rich” doesn’t work (just look at France). Burger King is also an example because of their plan to leave the U.S. if they merge with Tim Hortons. Paying taxes isn’t patriotic, despite what President Barack Obama thinks.

Elizabeth Warren’s hypocrisy exposed: She hates corporate welfare, except for when she doesn’t

Elizabeth Warren

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is the darling of the political left. They can’t get enough of her. The Massachusetts Democrat’s willingness to take on corporate special interests, especially Wall Street and big banks.

But Warren’s anti-big business populism only goes so far. She recently came out in support of the reauthorization of the Export Import Bank, the controversial New Deal-era agency known for issuing taxpayer-backed loans to politically-connected big businesses. Unlike Warren, it’s conservatives that are trying to end the Bank’s brand of cronyism.

The Club for Growth released a nearly 3-minute video this week exposing Warren’s hypocrisy, pointing out that Ex-Im represents is exactly the type of corporate welfare that the Massachusetts Democrat should be against:

Flip-flopper-in-chief: Barack Obama was against the crony Ex-Im Bank before he lobbied for its reauthorization

President Barack Obama used his weekly address to make a sales pitch for the Export-Import Bank, the New Deal-era agency that has come under fire from conservatives in Congress because of its taxpayer-backed loan guarantees to large corporations. Congress will take up the reauthorization of the Bank at some point next month, which could lead to a showdown between conservatives and the Washington political establishment:

President Barack Obama urged the owners and employees of businesses that rely on Export-Import Bank financing to tell members of Congress to “quit treating your business like it’s expendable” in his Saturday morning address.
[…]
Obama took aim at that characterization of the bank on Saturday.

“Its sole mission is to create American jobs. That’s it,” Obama said. “It helps many American entrepreneurs take that next step and take their small business global.”

The bank has been reauthorized 16 times before, “always with support from both parties” and under both Republican and Democratic presidents, the president said.

“This time around shouldn’t be any different,” he said. “Because the bank works. It’s independent. It pays for itself. But if Congress fails to act, thousands of businesses, large and small, that sell their products abroad will take a completely unnecessary hit.”

Uber learns its lesson: In Washington, you only go legit when you go full crony

David Plouffe and Uber

Before Catherine Ann Novelli, Apple’s VP for “global government affairs,” was nominated as the Obama administration’s under secretary for economic growth, energy, and the environment, Congress used the excuse Apple moved money around to reduce its owed taxes while simply following the tax code to grill its CEO Tim Cook.

Politicians who were angry Apple didn’t use its influence to gain some leverage with lawmakers by creating political action committees used this official investigation to serve as a way to teach Apple - and other companies - just how they must proceed to be allowed to play the game.

The message was clear: either ramp up your lobbying and spend more of your hard-earned money on political campaign efforts, or be prepared for a major Beltway shakedown.

Unlike Apple, Uber - the transportation company that was recently under the spotlight for being threatened by the Taxi cartel - did not wait until a shakedown was put in place to act; the company has recently hired President Obama’s former campaign manager and White House adviser David Plouffe as a senior vice president of policy and strategy.

What does that mean? That his influence in Washington will help assure Uber’s strong ties with government are in place, helping sustain the company’s dominance over the industry.

Kill The Ex-Im Bank: Let Free Markets Work

If Congress kills the Export-Import Bank it would be a massive win for those who love free markets. Both Jason Pye and Alice Salles have pointed out how the bank is a massive cronyism scheme, which doesn’t really help anyone except a select few. Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan made an excellent comment on the bank saying, “Republicans should be pro-market, not necessary pro-business.” This is something more people need to realize. Liking the free market doesn’t mean liking massive corporations, unless their products or services are great.

That isn’t stopping President Barack Obama from demanding Ex-Im be reauthorized. He said last week Americans would lose jobs if the bank wasn’t kept alive. Obama even made a comparison to owning a Ford dealership which doesn’t offer financing, while a Toyota dealership across the street does.

The debate over Ex-Im is a decisive moment for conservatives: Democrats are feverishly working to save the crony Bank

As usual, Washington is trying to play politics instead of looking at the long-term consequences of bad policies, putting what they see as the most appropriate short-term solution ahead of what would, in the long run, provide a more just scenario to business owners across the board, while relieving taxpayers in the process.

The debate surrounding the Export-Import Bank could represent a decisive moment for small-government Republicans who oppose corporate welfare, considering their anti-cronyism positions have been adamantly opposed to what the Democrats consider being “pro-business.”

The two parties have their own solutions to the Ex-Im Bank.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has introduced a proposal legislation that would keep the Export-Import Bank running for five more years. His bill, however, would increase the bank’s borrowing capacities, making it effectively capable of loaning more subsidies to major companies that, obviously, need absolutely no help to do their business abroad, especially if that help comes from hard working taxpayers. The transfer of subsidies, and favoritism games play extremely important roles in the process, and that does not seem to faze the Democrat – or his supporters.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), for an instance, has come out in support of the bank.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce plans to back Democrat Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, claims she’s more “pro-business” than Ted Cruz

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce took a central role in the Republican civil war last year, pledging $50 million elect purportedly “pro-business” candidates in the 2014 election. The Chamber played a big part in the reelection of Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) last month, pouring $1.2 million in the Magnolia State to help knock off his conservative primary challenger.

Establishment Republicans like to defend the Chamber. They say the Chamber is a crucial ally for the GOP, especially in the 2014 mid-term election. Well, good luck defending this one, guys. The Chamber is reportedly planning to endorse Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) over Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) in the Louisiana Senate race:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is reportedly throwing support behind Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), according to the group’s national political director, Rob Engstrom.

Engstrom told the audience at a Committee of 100 meeting that the group would support Landrieu in her fight to win re-election, according to The New York Times’ Joe Nocera.

Keep in mind that this race is key to Republicans taking control of the Senate this fall. There’s still a path to a majority without Louisiana, at least on paper, but it’s hard to see it taking shape without a win there. Now, the Chamber claims that that “no decisions have been made” on this race. But it fits a pattern:

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“We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes nonwork.” — Milton Friedman

End Ex-Im: Newt Gingrich says the crony Bank favors “giant companies,” and he’s absolutely right

During a brief chat with the Heritage Foundation’s The Daily Signal, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) said that Congress shouldn’t reauthorize the crony Export-Import Bank in its “current form.”

“I think [Congress] should look very critically at it. Personally, I think the way its currently structured, it favors giant companies and doesn’t help small business at all,” said Gingrich. “So, in its current form, I think it should not be reauthorized.”

When asked whether Republicans should compromise with Democrats to reform Ex-Im if they don’t get enough votes to end it, Gingrich explained that Congress is under no obligation to reauthorize the Bank.


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