WSJ Sets a Litmus Test for Corporate Welfare

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The Wall Street Journal has a largely terrific editorial today on the wasteful, inefficient, distortionary and unconstitutional Ex-Im Bank. I say “largely” because the editorial is rather meek in its recommendations, calling for “more oversight” and “limits” on the bank’s operations, rather than outright disbandment. But it’s a start, and might lend some momentum to legislative efforts to terminate the bank entirely.

The Ex-Im Bank itself is authorized until September 2014, but in the meantime a serious spanner could be thrown in the works if, as the editorial suggests, the Ex-Im board is denied a quorum. While these sorts of micro-level shenanigans are, in my opinion, an inferior substitute for principled, thoughtful policymaking, it might at least go some way toward preventing the growth of the bank, especially while Congress is so timid.

Watch this space.

[Editor’s note: See this Cato essay for more on ending the Export-Import Bank.]