Republican Crony Capitalism is Just as Bad as Democrat Crony Capitalism

Here we spend money and work hard to defeat Democrats and replace them with people we hope believe in free markets, and then they go and vote to not only re-authorize the Export-Import Bank, but also to increase it’s funding. This just stinks.

The bad subsidies, according to Republican teaching, are President Obama’s green energy initiatives, like the stimulus-created loan guarantee program that funded failed solar panel maker Solyndra.

The good subsidies, for Republicans, come from a federal agency called the Export-Import Bank, whose loans and loan guarantees subsidize U.S. exporters, with two-thirds of the loan guarantee dollars backing Boeing sales.

On Wednesday, a large majority of Republican congressmen voted to reauthorize Ex-Im (whose current charter expires later this month) and increase to $140 billion the legal limit on taxpayer exposure from Ex-Im financing. Currently, taxpayers are exposed to nearly $100 billion in Ex-Im loans and loan guarantees.

By supporting Ex-Im, instead of trying to kill it, Republicans aren’t merely calling into question the concept of free enterprise, they are passing up the chance to make President Obama’s corporate welfare a central theme of the 2012 election.

The stage had been set, economically and politically, for the GOP to wage a free-market populist campaign against Obama.

AFP released this video urging President Obama to veto the measure. You’d think he would, seeing that he himself called it crony capitalism.

So, what do you think he’ll do? From the article quoted above:

Obama’s closeness to subsidized industrial giants General Electric and Boeing (the CEOs of both of these companies are top advisers) and his ties to solar and wind companies (the top investor in Solyndra was an Obama campaign bundler) undermines Obama’s anti-special-interest rhetoric and highlights how government intervention ends up benefiting the biggest and most connected companies. …

As President Obama campaigned hard for reauthorization of Ex-Im, free-market institutions in Washington called for abolition.

Read the whole thing.

Crony capitalism lives. Thanks, Obama. Thanks, Republicans.

Via Hit and Run and The Other McCain