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“Can” The Crony Capitalist Ex-Im Bank



Earlier this week S.C. Sen. Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) – one of a dwindling number of true free market backers in the South Carolina Senate – took to his Facebook page to publicly call out colleagues who voted in support of the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

Unfamiliar with this boondoggle?  It’s basically a crony capitalist slush fund, doling out taxpayer-guaranteed loans to a select few foreign corporations – the vast majority of whom turn around and buy airplanes from Boeing.

Davis posted a scathing reference to the bank – along with a link to an editorial from National Review slamming the bank.

That editiorial also delved into a mushrooming bribery scandal wherein four employees of the bank are being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department (USDOJ) for allegedly accepting payments and gifts from companies that benefitted from Ex-Im’s taxpayer-subsidized loans. A fifth employee has been placed on leave.

Here’s what Davis posted … 

DOJ investigating #ExImBank employees for allegedly accepting payments & gifts from bank beneficiaries. Hardly surprising, as NR’s editors note: “Public-choice economics teaches us that government programs work for special interests and bureaucrats, not the taxpayer. The corruption this engenders is certainly hard to investigate and fix, as we’ve seen at the VA and the IRS.”

That’s why I am proud to have been on the losing side of last May’s 28-14 vote in the SC Senate asking Congress to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank. Here’s that roll-call vote, for those of you interested in such things:


Alexander, Allen, Bennett, Campbell, Cleary, Coleman, Courson, Gregory, Grooms, Hayes, Hutto, Jackson, Johnson, Kimpson, Leatherman, Lourie, Malloy, Martin (Larry), McElveen, McGill, Nicholson, O’Dell, Pinckney, Reese, Scott, Setzler, Sheheen, Williams


Bright, Bryant, Campsen, Cromer, Davis, Fair, Hembree, Martin (Shane), Peeler, Shealy, Thurmond, Turner, Verdin, Young

Nice …

We always like it when lawmakers call out the bad guys publicly … by name .  And it’s also refreshing to see an elected official stand up against one of the most powerful special interests in his home state (although Boeing’s influence in South Carolina could be on the wane).

In fact we’ve dispensed praise on such accounts consistently over the years …

Funding for the Ex-Im bank expires at the end of September, and the U.S. Congress must decide whether to reauthorize it.  Let’s hope that a majority of U.S. representatives will vote – like Davis and his thirteen colleagues listed in the “NAY” column above – to can this crony capitalist boondoggle.