All Rejoice! The Ex-Im Bank Has Been Saved

Cartoon, Corporatism

Sources courtesy of the Mercatus Center (1, 2)

It’s true. The Ex-Im Bank is not the greatest threat to our personal liberty. I’m sure worse examples of corporatism persist in DC without much notice. But what are advocates for smaller government supposed to do? Dismissed are the calls for total abolition of state-sponsored corporate privilege. These calls are labeled ideological and impractical. But the calls to repeal more concrete, granular examples of corporate privilege are dismissed with equal quickness. These calls are labeled unimportant and petty — we’ve got better things to do.

So what is this Goldilocks example of state-sponsored corporatism, to which small government advocates may hitch their wagon? Too big of an issue and you’re an impractical ideologue. Too small of an issue and you’re playing petty politics.

No one advocating for Ex-Im’s repeal believes doing so will destroy the whole of corporatism as we know it. My thoughts are, “If we can’t get this right, what can we get right?”

Let’s recap. The majority — if not all — of the claims about Ex-Im helping small business and lifting total US exports are false. Further, Ex-Im isn’t a hot button issue for most people. Many voters are indifferent. So allowing Ex-Im to expire isn’t political suicide for anyone on Capitol Hill. Last, to relegate the Ex-Im Bank to the political trash bin of history, all Congress must do is what it’s best at: nothing. Just let it expire.

The calls for letting Ex-Im expire — which are sure to reappear at the end of Ex-Im’s extension — aren’t motivated by delusions of curing every ill caused by corporatism.  I think small government advocates are, for the most part, just kinda’ daring Congress to screw this one up.

Some more links:

http://online.wsj.com/articles/tim-phillips-1402869142