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“I Want to be Dependent on Politics, But Also Exempt from Political Realities”

Here’s a letter to Fred Hochberg, Chairman and President of that great geyser of cronyism, the U.S. Export-Import Bank:

Dear Mr. Hochberg:

I seldom agree with any of your attempts to justify the existence of your government agency.  The Export-Import Bank is, after all, a bureaucracy that diverts private-sector resources into artificially expanded operations and bloated revenues for politically powerful corporations – and all on the ridiculous superstition that exports are uniquely good for the domestic economy.

Yet yesterday you spoke truthfully when you said that “[b]usinesses don’t pursue overseas sales, invest in their operations, or hire new employees on a month-to-month basis.”

Of course, what this reality tells you is that Congress should reauthorize your agency for a term longer than a few months.  What this reality tells me, in contrast, is that U.S. exporters that now depend upon your political agency for some of their sales should immediately and forever be denied that dependence.  Private capital markets are open for business 24/7/365 and never need reauthorization from politicians.  So if you’re really interested in ensuring that Boeing and other U.S. exporters enjoy access only to financing that is never subject to political sun-setting, please join those of us who call for the Ex-Im Bank to be straightaway and permanently shut down.

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