These sales are the source of a major point of criticism against Ex-Im: they end up giving foreign airlines a competitive advantage over American carriers, which has cost the U.S. airline industry more than 7,000 jobs.
This summer, when members of Congress began questioning the wisdom of renewing the Ex-Im Bank’s charter, Boeing leapt into battle. They mounted a lobbying blitz costing more than $4 million, and deployed a platoon of lobbyists from both their internal shop and outside firms. And as a result, they got the Ex-Im Bank’s charter extended until next June.
And here’s the real kicker: their own finance staff has admitted that they would do just fine without the extra Ex-Im giveaways. They don’t need that extra $8 billion, but they just want it. And in Washington, D.C. as in Washington State, Boeing gets what Boeing wants. The rest of us are just left to eat their jet exhaust. They may take it in Olympia, but it’s time for a change in the nation’s capital. This June, Boeing should find someone else to finance its activities, so the U.S. government can get out of the business of crony capitalism.
David Williams is the president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.