The Corner

Economy & Business

The Export-Import Bank Shuffles Forward — Like a Zombie

The Capitol building in Washington, D.C. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

While most of Washington is consumed with impeachment, the operation against ISIS leader al-Baghdadi, and the Nationals being on the brink of botching a championship, Congress still faces a decision on the Export-Import Bank and a variety of expired tax cuts referred to as “tax extenders.”

To refresh your memory, the Export-Import Bank is supposed to help American companies export more goods, but ends up giving taxpayer assistance to some of America’s biggest companies, like General Electric, John Deere, Caterpillar, and especially Boeing. George Will calls it a downright socialist government allocation of capital, Representative Jim Jordan calls it a waste of money, and here at NR, Veronique De Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, makes the argument against the Export-Import Bank, year after year after year.

The taxpayer-funded bank was slated to expire on September 30, but a provision in the continuing resolution keeps it going until November 21.

Conservatives usually like tax cuts, but some budget and tax policy-watchers find the “tax extenders” that House and Senate negotiators are considering to be narrowly targeted preferences for specific economic interests. If the tax breaks are really that worthwhile, they ought to be made permanent, not just given another extension.

Just in time for Halloween, Americans for Prosperity is unveiling a new fake movie trailer calling the bank a “corporate welfare horror show.”

They also sent a fake movie poster to every congressional office.

“Like Dr. Frankenstein building his monster away from the prying eyes of the townsfolk, Congress is trying to renew the Export-Import Bank and tax extenders without anyone knowing what they’re doing,” AFP Vice President of Economic Opportunity Russ Latino said in a released statement. “Both sides of the aisle should put a final nail in the coffin of this zombie corporate welfare that just won’t die. We urge Congress to help unrig the economy and vote ‘No’ on EX-IM and vote ‘No’ on tax extenders.”

Ronald Reagan famously said, “a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.” Who knew he meant zombies?

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