By Nancy Thorner –
Several days ago I wrote an article directed to U.S. congressman Bob Dold (IL-10th), about his vote on Tuesday, February 3rd, along with six of his fellow U.S. Republican congressmen, to support Department of Homeland Defense funding for Obama’s illegal executive amnesty mandate.
Almost before the ink dried on my article, Bob Dold once again bucked his own party by being one of only three Republican U.S. congressmen to vote against repealing Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, a 239-186 vote with all Democrats likewise voting no. Dold’s explanation rang hollow with me in defending his vote: “The people of the 10th District sent me to Congress to advance solutions, not sound bites, to the problems we face” … Notwithstanding, Thorner didn’t vote, pass out literature in support of Dold as a precinct committeeman, or display a Dold yard sign only to have Congressmab Dold assume the role of a renegade Republican representative in believing his role wasn’t to vote for what he considered symbolic measures.
Erin Mershon, a reporter for POLITICO Pro, details why Bob Dold and two of his fellow U.S. congressmen voted as they did, marking the first time a Republican has done so in the House. Although the measure passed 239-186, a margin that largely mirrored the outcome of House Republicans’ three previous bills, this time around the Republican Party hopes to offer a replacement within the next six months. About the three dissenters — Robert Dold of Illinois, John Katko of New York, and Bruce Poiquin of Maine — all are in seats held last term by Democrats which are likely to be contested hard in 2016. Katko and Poliauin both refused to support repealing the Affordable Care Act without something immediately ready to replace it. Dold’s explanation as shared above was quite lame.
Representative Dold still has time to ponder before he must take a position and vote on the fate of the Export-Import Bank; however, Dold is on record for having supporting the Bank during his prior 2012 term in the House during the 114th Congress. Dold will now have another “bite at the apple”. The authorization vote for the Export-Import Bank was extended late last year by the previous Congress until June of this year.
Two years have passed since Bob Dold voted to approve the Export-Import Bank. But in the interim has Dold received sufficient education to change his former position from reauthorizing the Bank to allowing it to expire?
Supporters of Ex-Im make many claims which sound very appealing for legislators to bring back to their districts as beneficial outcomes, referred to as “bringing home the bacon.” Perhaps Bob Dold has fallen victim to some and even most of the misconceptions surrounding the Ex-Im Bank, strongly believing them to be true, while the counter arguments against the Bank have not registered as such with Dold.
The following claims made about Ex-Im are very seductive-sounding, Congressman Dold, but they stray far from what is reality.
- Untrue that Ex-Im create jobs for American workers. At best the effect on jobs is neutral.
- Untrue that Ex-Im has been self-financing since 2008. Ex-Im operates with the implicit backing of the full faith and credit of the U.S., making tax payers liable for Ex-Im’s lending.
- Untrue that the system protects taxpayers from any harm, as its long-term stability is unknown given notoriously shoddy and incomplete public records.
- Untrue that without Ex-Im many companies that are vital to U .S. trade and efficiency will be in danger of failure. It is estimated that in 2012 Boeing accounted for more than 80% of Ex-Im’s load guarantees. Noted by Boeing that it could do without Ex-Im’s support by arranging alternative financing if necessary.
- Untrue that without Ex-Im some U.S. companies wouldn’t be able to compete, as other countries subsidize their exports. In 2013 only 2.2% of all U .S. exports received Ex-Im financing. Of that 7%, less than half were intended to counteract credit subsidies from abroad.
- Untrue that Ex-Im supports small businesses, but instead Ex-Im supports a small group of large businesses. The oft-cited 90% figure refers lo the number of deals involving small businesses, not the amount of money allocated by the Bank.
- Untrue that Ex-Im Bank is providing a vital service for American companies. It is not the government’s place to gamble with taxpayer-backed loans. These decisions belong in the private sector.
While the Export-Import Bank provides loans and loan guarantees for foreign companies purchasing U.S. products, most of the Bank’s loans benefit large, multinational corporations like Boeing and Caterpillar. Thus the Export-Import Bank is a textbook case of corporate welfare. Accordingly, the Bank’s authority to extend credit should be eliminated.
How does Export-Import apply to Dold’s 10th District? There are 32 companies who receive Ex/Im loans. It can be ascertained when checking the 32 companies that they are receiving very little dollar loan support. For when the total shipments and total export value are the same, as they are with many of 32 companies, what you are looking is pure crony capitalism. That means for every dollar the companies received through Ex/Im the Bank supported only $1 in exports. The implication are that the companies are:
- Not “returning money to the treasury” as one of the claims for supporting the bank goes.
- They are a company totally dependent on a government subsidy.
- The companies are less likely to be competitive in R&D and more likely to be competitive in hiring lobbyists to lobby in support of Ex/Im.
Presented with the true facts about the Export-Import Bank, Rep. Bob Dold, coupled with the information that the 32 companies in your 10th District connected with the Export-Import Bank are receiving very little back in return, this should be all the incentive you need to vote “YES” to allow the Bank to go out of business. It is just and right for those in your 10th District, whether for taxpayers or small business owners.
Rep. Bob Dold’s contact information: by phone in Washington D.C. 202-225-4835; by FAX in D.C. 202-225-0837.