Ex-Im: Obama's Solyndra Banker
In 2010, President Obama visited Solyndra, a renewable energy company, and called it a model of his initiative to expand clean-technology jobs. The administration favored Solyndra so much, the company received over $500 million in taxpayer subsidies. Just one year later Solyndra notoriously filed for bankruptcy. Before that, it was just one of the many companies to benefit from the corporate welfare of the Export-Import Bank.
The Ex-Im Bank is, at its core, a tool that allows the government to redistribute taxpayer money, and the jobs that go along with it, to companies it deems fit. Representative Scott Perry (R-Pa.) explains: “it subsidizes some of the wealthiest corporations in the world, often based solely on ideological, political considerations, and has resulted in market distortions that hurt American companies that don’t receive its financing.”
In this particular case, the government chose to provide subsides to a renewable energy company, favored heavily by the Obama Administration. Solyndra was unable to sustain itself, even after receiving hundreds of million in taxpayer dollars, with $10.3 million coming from the Ex-Im Bank. And Solyndra is not alone. Abound Solar, another well connected solar panel company, received $9.2 million in Ex-Im subsides before going belly up.
The American people shouldn't have to pay out of their pockets to fund companies well connected in Washington, like Solyndra and Abound Solar. It isn't fair, and it doesn't work. The US government shouldn’t choose which companies get a head start on the competition. As long as the Ex-Im Bank continues to operate, the US government will have its hand in private business dealings, distorting the free market. The infamous Solyndra Saga is just one example of corporate welfare, facilitated by the Ex-Im Bank, running amuck.
The Ex-Im Bank’s charter expires on June 30th. It is not the job of the federal government to interfere with competition. Congress should stand with the free market and let the Ex-Im Bank expire.