Now, I'm all for free market competition on a global scale. But I am not for picking winners and losers, especially when putting taxpayers on the hook. No government meddling.
If it's profitable to build airplanes or refiners, or whatever, fine. Go ahead and do it. That's capitalism at its best. But when the government doles out favors, that's crony capitalism—something to be devoutly avoided.
Again, ironically, the roughly $140 billion Ex-Im portfolio could be redirected to major U.S. corporate tax cuts, maybe dropping the rate from 40 percent to 20 percent.
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That would make all American companies, both large and small, truly competitive around the world. And small S-Corps also could make use of the tax-reform incentive. (Someday I'd like to see the entire corporate tax abolished.)
Then there's the issue of widespread fraud, corruption and bribery inside Ex-Im.
The Wall Street Journal broke the story that Ex-Im suspended or removed four officials because of gifts, kickbacks and cash-payment bribes. And the Heritage Foundation reports that there have been at least 74 cases since April 2009 in which Ex-Im officials were forced to act on the basis of "integrity" investigations by the Office of the Inspector General, with many of these cases referred to the Department of Justice.
Are we shocked when an exponentially growing government agency becomes rife with corruption? Many analysts assert that Ex-Im uses virtually no risk management practices when assessing its loans. Does this sound familiar? Fannie Mae? Freddie Mac?
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The good news is that the new GOP House majority leader, Kevin McCarthy, and the new whip, Steve Scalise, are opposed to reauthorizing Ex-Im.
Of course, gigantic business lobbyists like the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers are working hard for Ex-Im, and even want to raise its loan caps. But if the Republican Party truly wants to change its image of bailing out big banks and businesses, now is the time.
Just say no to Ex-Im. The whole country will take notice.
—By CNBC's Larry Kudlow.