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The Philosophy of Corporate Welfare

Updated on June 13, 2015


The culture of corporate welfare through the export and import bank along with any other programs that constitute corporate welfare needs to be discontinued. At this time unless Congress takes action to extend the continuation of this program it will expire at the end of June 2015. To that I say let it expire. Promoting job growth by opening markets for American businesses is a great idea but the approach which has been taken through this entity is flawed. Regardless of what is being stated by some individuals taxpayer dollars are being utilized to support corporate America when those who are involved have enough money or resources to fund their own interests in third world countries. Using taxpayer money in support of this government entity is a misuse of funds which can better be utilized in a number of other areas.

The answer is that there is no sound reason at this point in time for the government to financially support corporate America.

Let us look at the history of the export/import bank. It was created through an executive order in 1934 and made an independent agency by Congress in 1945 as a part of the Executive Branch. One of the principles of this organization is to not compete with private sector lenders but provide financing for transactions that would otherwise not take place when commercial lenders are either unwilling or unable to accept political or commercial risks in specific deals.

Opening markets is an activity which has long been in place through trade agreements with foreign countries. The important thing about these agreements is that it must benefit all parties and not give too much power to one individual or entity. This by all appearances seems to be the objective of the current trade legislation which at this point has failed to gain the support it needs for passage in Congress. Whether this becomes law is yet to be seen but unless there are changes to the current content it appears passage is unlikely given the large numbers of elected officials who voted against it in the House of Representatives.

Corporate welfare is not talked about much in the media and perhaps it is because of political ideology or the fact that the names given too many federal programs disguise the true situation. Corporate welfare whichever way you slice it is completely wrong and government at all levels should discontinue this practice. Granted there may be some exceptions but they should be the exception rather than the rule like the import/export bank.

Each one of us along with our elected officials has a right to our opinion but when it comes to Congress impact the decisions they make. Each decision made by Congress has an impact on us as individuals and businesses across the country. It can also affect the budget.

I am not a fan of government having entities such as the import/export bank to be a financial support function for corporate America. Our economy is healthy or at least many corporate entities are so why should the government corporate activities. As mentioned in a principle of the import/export bank it states that support amounts to agreements which may not otherwise have been made without the support of government. Today we are a global market and as such many countries are thirsty for products and services from us and others and with that being said the need for this government entity does not exist. Government talks continuously about the global economy but yet it acts like we are in the 20th century not the 21st. The world has changed significantly since the import/export bank first entered the picture. It like potentially other entities in the government has lost their purpose and should be discontinued. The money saved could be put to better use like reducing our debt. Granted this may not be a significant amount but it would be a start.

Organizations in the government whether they are executive departments or agencies within them need to be examined to determine if their purpose no longer exists. The first step is to look at anything which remotely appears to be corporate welfare. In addition there is much duplication within government costing taxpayers which can be eliminated. The concept of corporate welfare sometimes gives the appearance of government picking winners and losers.


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    • Dennis AuBuchon profile imageAUTHOR

      Dennis AuBuchon 

      4 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by and providing your input and perspective.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thanks for an interesting and well-written article. I think this problem is not exclusive to your country.

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