(CAUCUS OF HOUSE CONSERVATIVES) — During his 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama referred to one federal agency (the Export-Import Bank) as “little more than a fund for corporate welfare.” The Ex-Im Bank is a relic of the New Deal originally created to encourage trade with the Soviet Union. Similar to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s role in the housing market, Ex-Im provides financing at below-market rates to foreigners who buy American products. Most of the money ends up supporting just a few large companies.
While he once frowned upon the Ex-Im Bank’s activities, today President Obama gave it another $40 billion to use. That’s a 40% increase in the agency’s ability to conduct what the president used to call “corporate welfare.”