February 5, 2015
As we have learned in the last few weeks, politicians and the pundits who support them have no problem deceiving the public to pass government programs that people would oppose if they simply knew the truth.
Hillary Clinton’s comments over the weekend about her affection for the Export-Import Bank, suggesting that only ideologues would be against it, represent a similar problem. Politico reports:
“Thank you for mentioning the Ex-Im Bank, because I’m a very strong supporter of the Ex-Im Bank, because it is a tool for us to be competitive in order to support our businesses exporting,” said Clinton, a former secretary of state. “But there are those who wish to end the role of the Export-Import Bank, and it’s not based on evidence, it’s based on ideology.”
There’s so much wrong in these two sentences that I’m not sure where to start.
First, Clinton’s gushing over the Ex-Im took place “at an event in Little Rock for the No Ceilings project, which focuses on equal participation for girls and women” . . . while Ex-Im gives a tiny slice of its authorizations to women-owned businesses and claims it’s given such firms a priority. As I wrote a few weeks ago:
Ex-Im reports $154 billion in authorizations from 2007 to 2014. Of that, $1,565,363,877.82 was authorized for women-owned businesses. That’s a whopping 1.02 percent of all Ex-Im authorizations.
Also, according to the data highlighted on www.exim.gov, between 2007 and 2014, the bank’s activities supported 8,499 exporters, 476 of which were “women-owned.” That’s 5.8 percent of firms supported by the bank.
An institution that spares a meager 1.02 percent of its authorizations and 5.8 percent of all selected firms is a great friend to women? In reality, it looks like patriarchy is alive and well at the Export-Import Bank – a glance at their list of chairmen and presidents shows that only 3 of their 44 presidents and chairmen have been women — but it’s really cronyism that rules the roost.
I also have a chart here that debunks the laughable claim that Ex-Im should be saved because it is so important for woman-owned firms.
Second, it’s stunning to see one more Democrat allege that opposition to Ex-Im has to be based in ideology, not evidence. Mrs. Clinton, if she’s such a big fan, should know that Ex-Im is in the “big businesses” business, even as it claims otherwise: Its backers tout its support for small businesses while most of its activities benefit a handful of every large firms like Boeing and Caterpillar. Worse, last week an Ex-Im Bank spokesman went on record admitting that they were labeling some large firms as small businesses, hence misleading the public (whether intentionally or unintentionally).
I realize that, in Mrs. Clinton’s mind, I’m an ideologue because I want to shut down the Ex-Im Bank forever. But she should think a little harder about whether the anti-corporatism cause driving opposition to Ex-Im is grounded in “ideology.” There’s plenty of data and evidence against the bank, and Mrs. Clinton should check it out rather than brainlessly rehashing talking points and propaganda.