Here’s a letter that I sent yesterday to the Wall Street Journal:
Fred Hochberg, President of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S., says proudly that “the mandate of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (Ex-Im Bank) is to help create and sustain U.S. jobs by financing U.S. exports” (Letters , August 21). I’ve some questions – and answers – for Mr. Hochberg.
From where does the Ex-Im Bank get the dollars it spends to subsidize U.S. exports? (Answer: taxpayers.) Would taxpayers not spend or invest these dollars if these dollars were not taxed away? (Answer: of course they would.) Would not this spending and investing by less-onerously-taxed Americans not “help create and sustain U.S. jobs”? (Answer: of course it would.) Is there anything particularly desirable about a job producing and selling output for export as opposed to a job producing and selling output for domestic consumption? (Answer: nope.) Can you spend money more wisely than it can be spent by the taxpayers from whom it is confiscated? (Answer: no; you almost surely spend it less wisely.)
So at best the Ex-Im Bank creates jobs in export industries by destroying jobs in non-export industries. Final question, then: Why does the Ex-Im exist?
Donald J. Boudreaux
(Answer to the final question: to transfer wealth from unsuspecting taxpayers and consumers to politically powerful corporations; the Ex-Im Bank exists only to supply corporate welfare.)