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Delta Exposes The Coziness Of “Boeing’s Bank”




|| By FITSNEWS ||  We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Government shouldn’t pick winners and losers in the marketplace.  Hell, it shouldn’t even be in the marketplace.

That’s why we explicitly reject crony capitalist taxpayer-funded subsidies like those doled out by the U.S. Export-Import bank (a.k.a. “Boeing’s Bank) – which offers billions of dollars in favorable loans (guaranteed by taxpayers) to a select few foreign corporations – the vast majority of whom turn around and buy airplanes from Boeing.

Who does this benefit?

“In the case of Ex-Im Bank, the route of subsidy capture is crystal clear: it goes overwhelmingly to the shareholders of Boeing and GE, and to the respective bonus and stock option pools of their top executives,” David Stockman of the website Contra Corner wrote last summer.

Ah yes … Boeing executives.  We know all about them, don’t we?

Now … who does “Boeing’s Bank” hurt?  Well, you.

When foreign companies have a competitive advantage in buying planes, they can undercut U.S.-based airlines on price – forcing the American carriers to abandon routes entirely (i.e. Delta’s New York to Mumbai route, among others).  That leads to less competition – and higher ticket prices.

One reporter who has been working tirelessly to expose “Boeing’s Bank” is Timothy P. Carney of The Washington Examiner.  In black and white numbers, Carney has documented the extent to which the bank is nothing but a Boeing slush fund … but he’s also exposed the extent to which the government entity is shamelessly subservient to the aircraft manufacturer.

Take his most recent story … which exposes the “hand-in-glove” nature of Boeing and the Ex-Im Bank both generally and specifically in response to a lawsuit from Delta Airlines, one of the American companies hurt by the bank’s manipulative

“Congress requires Ex-Im to study the economic impact of its export subsidies,” Carney wrote in his latest piece.

And they’re doing that … sort of.

“Ex-Im, over email and in private meetings, gave Boeing a central role in crafting the economic impact procedure,” Carney reveals.  “This is a bit perverse when you think about it: to study how jumbo jet subsidies might hurt airlines, why do you ask the jetmakers instead of the airlines?”

Indeed …

Carney also exposes the extent to which Boeing and the Ex-Im Bank have been working in concert to fight against Delta – including lying to reporters about how Boeing became aware of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted to the agency by the airline.

“When I first asked an Ex-Im spokeswoman, she suggested that Boeing learned about Delta’s FOIA through the FOIA log,” Carney reported.  “But the FOIA log hadn’t been published at the time – it was published two months later.”

Oops …

This whole shameful situation – the subsidies, the manipulated studies, the lying – it is the very definition of crony capitalism.  It is the very definition of government picking a “winner” in the marketplace – at the expense of multiple “losers” (U.S.-based airlines and ticket-purchasing air travelers around the globe).  And of course all this is in addition to the billions of dollars Boeing is raking in each year in state and local bribes … err, “incentives.”

Which only distort the market further …

Enough is enough.  Boeing must rise or fall on its own strength.  No more subsidies.  No more government loans.  Congress – including South Carolina’s delegation – must send a message that the game is over.

That starts with axing the Ex-Im bank.