De Rugy: Taxpayers Are the ‘Unseen Victims’ of Ex-Im

by Molly Wharton

Veronique de Rugy, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center and an NRO contributor, testified before Congress today about the Export-Import Bank, which she says is a raw deal for taxpayers.

At the hearing Wednesday morning, lawmakers were debating whether to reauthorize the agency, the funding for which expires September 30. 

De Rugy said that taxpayers are “unseen victims” of Ex-Im in a number of ways, telling the members of the House Financial Services Committee that the bank “transfers risk away from lenders and towards every single taxpayer that you represent.” The result, she explained, is the problem of moral hazard, as there is no risk for exporters if the companies default. “Normal tax-paying Americans pick up the tab in bad times,” she said.

She also noted a recent CBO report that questions whether Ex-Im is a budgetary plus for taxpayers. In fact, when the bank’s loans are fairly valued, it costs taxpayers billions.

“Everyone in this room knows who will benefit if the bank is reauthorized,” de Rugy asserted — big businesses with sufficient political clout to get loans.

“But what about the forgotten firms, workers, taxpayers and consumers whose voice are so easily drowned out by the corporate beneficiary of government privilege?” she asked.

“This is your opportunity,” she told Congress, to end a bank that abuses those unseen stakeholders.


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