In an effort to expose the effect of Ex-Im Bank's financing (costs and benefits) on America, Mercatus Center has created 2 charts. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the maps show that Washington state, home of Boeing, garners the bulk of the benefits in terms of both Ex-Im Bank disbursements and as a percentage of total state export value, even though taxpayers across the nation are equally exposed to liability. This, among other reasons, is why killing The Ex-Im Bank is crucial to the future of capitalism.
The first map shows that Washington state is the clear winner in terms of total Ex-Im disbursements, receiving a massive 43.6 percent of all Ex-Im Bank disbursements from 2007 to 2014. Washington is the home of Boeing, one of Ex-Im Bank’s biggest beneficiaries, but the sheer size is nonetheless startling. Larger states like Texas and California only respectively pulled in 10.5 percent and 8.8 percent of total Ex-Im Bank disbursements during the same time. An astounding 42 states received less than two percent of Ex-Im Bank disbursements, with 35 of these receiving less than one percent. While businesses in most states barely benefit from the Ex-Im Bank at all, their taxpayers are just as exposed to Ex-Im Bank liabilities as taxpayers in states that receive the most Ex-Im Bank backing.
The second map displays a similar pattern to the first. Washington state is again the big winner in terms of state export value supported, with an incredible 22.67 percent of state exports backed by the Ex-Im Bank since 2007. The state percentages drop off quickly from there. While almost four percent of Wisconsin’s exports and about 3.5 percent of Massachusetts’s exports were backed by the Ex-Im Bank, the Ex-Im Bank supported less than two percent of the exports of 41 states for the same time period.
The Ex-Im Bank yields negligible benefits for the vast majority of state exports. But the concentrated benefits it yields to a few beneficiaries makes the reform necessary to prevent widespread losses that much harder.
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So what is at stake in the Ex-Im battle is the future of market capitalism itself. If Washington lacks the capacity to say no to the shareholders of a few big US corporations that can be counted on one hand, then the statist predicate will triumph finally and for ever more.
Unfortunately, the script is already evident. When push-comes-to-shove during the run-up to the fall congressional elections, Speaker Boehner can be counted upon to come to the rescue of GE in his home state, and sell-out the tea party insurgents yet again.
And this time it will be game over. If the Ex-Im is given a new lease on life there will be no place for free market conservatives in the Republican party at all. Going forward, crony capitalism will be readily managed by the statist politicians who dominate the beltway regardless of notional party affiliation and banquet speech ideologies.