We have a copy of this book and will be doing a review of it soon. In the meantime, if you’re headed to the beach or lake this summer this might be a good one to take along.*
This month Congress will consider whether to renew the charter of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank). Ex-Im Bank is a New Deal-era federal program that uses taxpayer funds to subsidize the exports of American businesses. Foreign businesses, including state-owned corporations, also benefit from Ex-Im Bank. One country that has benefited from $1.5 billion of Ex-Im Bank loans is Russia. Venezuela, Pakistan, and China have also benefited from Ex-Im Bank loans.
With Ex-Im Bank’s track record of supporting countries that supposedly represent a threat to the US, one might expect neoconservatives, hawkish liberals, and other supporters of foreign intervention to be leading the effort to kill Ex-Im Bank. Yet, in an act of hypocrisy remarkable even by DC standards, many hawkish politicians, journalists, and foreign policy experts oppose ending Ex-Im Bank.
With regard to government there is no issue with revenue, except that the collectors take too much of it. We are taxed far far beyond what is reasonable. The only people who likely think that we are not are either those who are not taxed (for the most part), those for whom taxation has little impact on their lifestyle, or those for whom taxes are a circular flow – government employees.
How much better would your life be if you could keep the money which goes for just your income tax? Assuming a defense, a court system, a system of law enforcement, and maybe a patent system are funded, how much better would our lives be without the crushing weight of everything else the government does? Seriously, your family’s life would likely be much BETTER.
For the most part your taxes go to support corporate welfare and a government dependent class (government workers, contractors, welfare). Why shouldn’t that money instead go to investment and retirement accounts and paying for the kid’s college and building businesses?
Why? Because there are powerful people who get rich off of the taxes taken from your family. It is nearly as simple as that.
Crony capitalism is bipartisan, transpartisan even.
Though there is a general rule which holds, and that is that the degree to which a politician enables the state is the degree to which that politician will probably enable cronyism. The bigger the government the more crony the government. It’s just the way it is.
The only real way to fight crony capitalism is to lesson the catalyst which makes crony capitalism possible, government. There is no “electing good people” to government and then having a large government “work for the people.” Government corrupts. It is at best a necessary evil. For the most part, get it out of the way.
The point here is that there is some effort to make welfare recipients go through drug testing etc., and that this is humiliating. So we should focus on the welfare the rich get too.
I’m for that.
Thing is this list, almost completely, lists tax DEDUCTIONS as “handouts.”
Making sure that Ex-Im is not reauthorized later this year is important. No one who believes in free enterprise should be for a bank funded and guaranteed by taxpayers which loans loans at below market rates for the benefit of a few large corporations. (Many of the “small businesses” the bank touts as clients are actually parts of larger corporations.) The Republicans in Congress who hold sway on this issue say that they are for free enterprise. We’ll see.
The Export Import Bank of the United States is a boondoggle and corporate welfare. Republicans in Congress need only to let it die a quiet death. Just don’t reauthorize the charter. Relatively simple and not messy.
The Clintons are plenty familiar with big business. They know how to leverage relationships in the corporate world about as well as anybody. They’ve been schmoozing for contributions for decades at this point and they won’t disappoint this go’round.
I’m cool with this. Sure the so called “safety net” has tons of fraud in it. Sure it often discourages people from being productive parts of society.These issues need to be addressed, and God willing they will be. But I think it’s pretty reasonable to say that taxpayers shouldn’t be paying one dime to corporations and that crony capitalism should be first on the chopping block.
I think Daniel J. Mitchell sums things up very nicely here. I feel about the same way.
Corporate America is doing a full press in DC right now, even during the lazy days of the Congressional summer recess. The big boys don’t want the Export-Import Bank, the taxpayer backed corporate slush fund, to go away. Congress may stop funding it in September. If Congress does stop funding Ex-Im it will be a major win for everyday Americans and it will be a real loss for the crony capitalists.
Though the President called the Export-Import Bank of the United States “corporate welfare” when he ran for president, his message has changed. Many of his former staffers are pro-Ex-Im too as the attached report outlines. Who followed whom is unclear.
The National Review’s Jonah Goldberg argues that what is called the American “Left” will never really fight crony capitalism. That what the progressives actually want is not the separation of business and the state but business which will do as it is told. Business as junior partner to the government. A lapdog.
Is he right?
Because they know they can count on him to do “their business.”
Think about that. On average each of the largest 100 companies in the world receives $200 million from the US taxpayer, each year. Some more than others of course.
This is not capitalism. This is crony capitalism and it is dangerous to our economy and our society. If small government people are going to talk about how free markets are preferable to the incestuous system we have now they need to go after corporate welfare.
Each member of the House and Senate should be held accountable on a day-to-day basis. Who voted for what? And not only on whether a lawmaker voted to make a bill law, but also if a member voted to move something into (or out of) committee. What were the committee votes? What maneuvering happened?
If we want a less crony capitalist government it’s going to take some monitoring (and perhaps at least equally as important, reporting). We have the technology.
People lose their senses when entering the land of the farm bill. Conservatives vote for subsidies and feel perfectly fine about it while voting to cut food stamps. (Which should be reduced but so should the farmer subsidies.) When one explains to a farmer that they are essentially on welfare and costing the taxpayer billions of dollars one invariably hears back that farmers feed the the country and that somehow they deserve all the welfare that they get because they feed us.
FDR partnered with big business while burdening the general economy. (Sound familiar?) LBJ did the same in better times. As the attached article points out LBJ even partnered with corporate America to take down Barry Goldwater. Nixon laid layer after layer of regulation on top of the American people, while remaining a good friend to big business. Much of the giant government apparatus we have today was built in concert with, not to counter, big business.