Once again, President Obama has flip-flopped on another issue.
In 2008, then Sen. Obama (D., Ill.) opposed the Export-Import Bank calling it “little more than a fund for corporate welfare.”
A complete position reversal was exposed during a Friday news conference when Obama strongly defended the institution:
“But for some reason, right now the House Republicans have decided that we shouldn’t do this, which means that when American companies go overseas and they’re trying to close a sale on selling Boeing planes, for example, or a GE turbine or some other American product that has all kinds of subcontractors behind it and is creating all kinds of jobs and all of sorts of small businesses depend on that sale, and that American company’s going up against a German company or a Chinese company, and the Chinese and the American—the German company are providing financing and the American company isn’t, we may lose that sale,” Obama argued.
“Why—when did that become something that Republicans opposed? It’d be like me having a car dealership for Ford, and the Toyota dealership offers somebody financing and I don’t. We will lose business, and we’ll lose jobs if we don’t pass it,” Obama continued.
Earlier this week, Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) argued the Ex-Im bank is representative of “crony capitalism.”
“I do believe that the Ex-Im bank is representative of some of the crony capitalism we have in Washington. Big government and big business joining in a common cause to hand out preferences,” Ryan said. “I believe that we as Republicans should be pro-market, not necessarily pro-business.”
A core of conservative Republicans have been pressing to kill off the bank, despite its reliance mainly on fees, interest and other non-tax revenues.
Ryan echoed their argument that the bank puts government in the way of free-market decisions and that the United States should not subsidize key industries such as aircraft production even if other countries do so.