Let me get this straight:
- Robert Samuelson thinks that the Export-Import Bank is a waste of government money.
- He is nevertheless opposed to cutting it.
How does he reconcile (1) and (2)? Word salad: "The congressional fuss over the renewal of its charter is... political grandstanding. The Ex-Im Bank is portrayed... by tea party conservatives as a citadel of 'crony capitalism'... government bloat that’s bleeding taxpayers.... This is... wildly misleading. It suggests... Congress is getting serious about trimming... when it isn’t..."
"Let's not do a good thing because some people I don't like will claim that it is a more important good thing than it is" is an argument one level of rationality below "get off my lawn!" or "old man yelling at clouds".
Robert Samuelson: The misleading debate on the Export-Import Bank: "I was against the Export-Import Bank before I was for it...
...and I may someday be against it again. But right now I’m for it, because the congressional fuss over the renewal of its charter is mostly political grandstanding. The Ex-Im Bank is portrayed--mainly by tea party conservatives — as a citadel of “crony capitalism” and an example of government bloat that’s bleeding taxpayers. All this is, charitably, wildly misleading. It suggests that Congress is getting serious about trimming unneeded government, when it isn’t...
Me? I'm against the Export-Import Bank. A lower real value for the dollar is a better export-oriented industrial policy if an export-oriented industrial policy is wanted. That said, right now--until the risk-bearig capacity of the private sector recovers to normal levels, and we reattain full employment--we want the federal government to make more loans and shoulder more risk. I'm an Augustinian on this.
But I at least have arguments. I'm not just saying: "The Tea Party will claim this as a victory, and I don't like the Tea Party".
Rand Paul No Longer Says Republicans Are "Too Eager for War" - Loyal to the Group of Seventeen * Howard Kurtz: Intellectual Garbage Collection by Kevin Drum - Loyal to the Group of Seventeen * Robert Samuelson: Dean Baker Does the Intellectual Garbage Cleanup - Loyal to the Group of Seventeen