Several Republican congressmen have written to U.S. Export-Import Bank President Fred Hochburg, asking some probing questions about the business plan the bank submitted to Congress last month. They rightly express concern about the bank’s operations and risk management. They also cite the nondiversified portfolio of the bank, with its high reliance on the aircraft sector (which has long been about half of the bank’s exposure) singled out for particular concern. The letter, in short, gives a good indication of where bodies are buried at Ex-Im.
Back in August, Cato adjunct scholar Veronique de Rugy expressed concern about Republican campaign rhetoric on Medicare. As Republicans tell it, they want to “protect” and “strengthen” Medicare, whereas President Obama wants to “cut” and “weaken” it. Veronique thinks that the GOP’s “Mediscare” campaign could end up backfiring by making it harder to reform Medicare if Republicans succeed in taking control of Washington.
Downsizing Government has added a new essay on ending the Export-Import Bank, which subsidizes the financing of U.S. exports. Author Sallie James argues that the Ex-Im Bank creates economic distortions and mainly benefits large corporations that can obtain their own private financing.
Where is the best place in the newspaper to learn about how the economy works?
After last night’s debate, I watched the postgame on the Fox News Channel. They had some problems with their fact checking.
The magazine Guitar World is not known for addressing public policy questions, but a recent issue reminded me of President Obama’s July 13 comments on business. The president said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Les Paul and other guitar industry pioneers must have turned over in their graves.
It is no surprise that the defense contractors want to protect their profits by getting taxpayers to pony up more money.
A recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal describes what happens in an industry that suffers from a plethora of subsidies and a dearth of free markets. Water experts Peter Culp and Robert Glennon write:
Every year the office of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) releases a compendium of the worst examples of government waste. And every year I’m reminded of H.L. Mencken’s quote that “Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.” Released this week, the 2012 edition should leave even the indecent ashamed of how the federal government spends our money.
The American Soybean Association (ASA) recently asked each of the presidential candidates to respond to a series of questions about agricultural policy issues. The questions covered farm bill and crop insurance, estate tax, biodiesel, biotechnology, trade, research, regulations, and transportation and infrastructure. The candidates’ responses (full text here) were not exactly models of courageous and principled policymaking.