Export subsidies continue to break records 

President Obama has pledged to double U.S. exports in five years. A major tool for doing so is the U.S. Export-Import Bank, a government agency that exists to subsidize the exports of U.S. manufacturers.

Dow Jones Newswire reports:

Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg said a strong fiscal first quarter bodes well for the agency's ongoing efforts to help double U.S. exports by 2015.

"This year looks like we'll have another record-setting year," Hochberg said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The agency's credit authorizations jumped to $24.5 billion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2010, up from a high of $21 billion the previous year.

I have written for years that Ex-Im is naked corporate welfare. It's defenders point out that the "Bank" has been moved off-budget, paying for its new finance projects with payments coming in from its old loans and guarantees.  But still, there is a government guarantee here, and thus taxpayer risk. Beefing up this agency seems at odds with Obama's campaign rhetoric bashing the philosophy that we can "give more and more to [those with] the most, and somehow prosperity will trickle down."

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Timothy P. Carney

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