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At Least Don’t Protest Such Budget Overages When the Labor Market Is Sluggish

Here’s a letter to The Hill:

It’s true that over the past three years bureaucrats at the Export-Import Bank exceeded their travel budget by 71 percent (“Ex-Im busts travel budget by $3M,” Aug. 13).  But what’s the problem?

According to the Bank’s supporters, Ex-Im creates jobs in the U.S. by spending taxpayer money to boost demand for those American goods and services that Bank employees determine should be purchased in greater quantities.  Well, Ex-Im employees clearly determined that more taxpayer money should be spent to increase the purchases of travel services – purchases that, if the economic theory used by Ex-Im supporters is correct, create more American jobs.  So Rep. Maxine Waters, Sen. Maria Cantwell, Bill Clinton, and the Bank’s many other champions should positively celebrate such budget-busting travel as furthering the Bank’s mission and strengthening the American economy.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030​​​​​