Tuesday, May 19, 2015

END EX-IM BANK, NOW!

The Washington beltway is awash in cronyism and political favor.  Politicians are exposed from time to time cutting a deal that in one way, shape or form translates into a favorable vote or appointment. 

Now with the pending expiration of the Export-Import Bank charter, will Congress vote to end the corrupt program or continue it as a tool of political power brokers?

The Export-Import Bank was created by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934 under Executive Order, then chartered by Congress in 1945.  Its purpose was to provide credit services to American businesses to benefit from international trade deals and to protect jobs. 

Well that was the original intent.  Now Ex-Im Bank stands as a wasteland of taxpayer money.  Ex-Im Bank has ballooned to hold credit at taxpayer expense.  Americans backed $51 Billion in Ex-Im credit in 2007.  As of 2014, Ex-Im costs taxpayer's $134 Billion.  That's your money being poured into deals that continue to favor foreign corporations far beyond the core benefit of American businesses and jobs.

Today Ex-Im Bank credit is leveraging deals that favor foreign businesses and short hand many American businesses.  Here's a prime example.  Delta Airlines must buy Boeing jets at market price.  However, Ex-Im Bank makes subsidized loans to Air China for the same jets, at a discounted price.  This puts Delta at a distinct cost disadvantage versus an international competitor.  This also impacts American jobs.  It is estimated that Ex-Im involvement with foreign airline deals have lost over 7,500 domestic jobs.

Another concern of Ex-Im, is the money going to economic allies of the United States?  Not exactly.  Over the past seven years, $23.9 Billion in loans were granted to politically connected firms in Russia, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and China.

What about the internal corruption of Ex-Im Bank?  Yes, the cronyism runs deep and far beyond the politics of the loans.  Several senior level bank employees have been implicated in accepting cash payments, kickbacks and bribes, while other staffers have faced criticism for accepting lavish trips and other gifts from businesses seeking Ex-Im assistance.  Currently, there are 31 lawsuits pending against Ex-Im for a broad range of violations.

HILLARY BACKS EX-IM BANK
On a highly-charged level of cronyism, the Clinton Foundation dipped into Ex-Im too.  A Moroccan mining company, OCP, received a Ex-Im Bank loan guarantee of $92 Million through Citibank to purchase equipment from two American companies.  The Washington Free Beacon and Politico reported OCP contributing $6 Million directly to the Clinton Foundation.  OCP's controversial financial dealings are now being scrutinized for violation of U.S. and international trade law.  Here's the full story by the Washington Free Beacon.

So, let's stop this tool of the beltway insiders.  Raise your voice to Congress.  Tell them cronyism must be halted, here and now.  Pick-up your phone today and let your Congressman know that Ex-Im has got to go.

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