A national campaign called “Unrig the Economy” was just launched by Americans for Prosperity (AFP). The campaign seeks to inform voters about two issues: the Export-Import Bank and tax extenders.
AFP-OH has joined the fight and is targeting three Ohio congressmen: Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH-15), Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-02), and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
“Tax extenders and the Export-Import Bank advance a culture of government favoritism that benefits politically connected companies at the expense of everyday Americans and main street businesses,” said Micah Derry, AFP-OH state director.
The Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) must be renewed by September 30 of this year to continue to its existence. The organization was created in 1934 to finance trade with the Soviet Union.
According to the Mercatus Center, the Ex-Im Bank became an independent government agency in 1945. It was given “the power to ‘aid in financing and facilitate exports of goods and services, imports, and the exchange of commodities and services’ between the United States and foreign countries to create jobs in the United States.”
The bank has four programs, including loans, insurance, loan guarantees, and working capital. In 2015, the bank’s charter was not renewed and so it was unable to make commitments in excess of $10 billion. The private sector began picking up the loans that Ex-Im alleged no one else would handle, proving there was a market and that taxpayers need not be exposed to a $70 billion risk. The U.S. Government Accounting Office even admits that “the Bank is backed by the U.S. government—so taxpayers could be responsible for losses.”
According to the American Institute for Economic Research, 65 percent of the bank’s business benefited just 10 major U.S. manufacturers, primarily Boeing, Caterpillar, and General Electrics. But those taxpayer-protected benefits also went to foreign countries, particularly Mexico’s government-run oil and gas firm, Pemex, the UAE’s national airline, and Ryanair in Ireland.
Stivers of the House Financial Services Committee has historically supported reauthorization of the Ex-Im bank. Now that Congress is considering restoring its full authority, AFP-OH is making sure Stivers hears from Ohio citizens.
narrowly targeted preferences for specific economic interests, which distorts economic activity, creates uncertainty, and slows economic growth. Going forward, Congress should allow most of these tax provisions to expire and should instead focus on expanding and making permanent the features of the tax code, such as full expensing, that move toward a more ideal system.
“Companies should compete on their own merits rather than the government picking winners and losers in the marketplace,” Derry said. “Congress should end these corporate welfare practices and send the Ex-Im bank and tax extenders to the ash-bin of history once and for all.”
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