Over at Rare, I have a piece on the cronyism angle of the Export-Import Bank debate. The Senate will likely vote this month on whether or not to end the bank:
[I]f government is going to dole out corporate welfare, the most efficient way to do it is to hand out cold, hard cash. Straight subsidies don’t distort international markets or invite corruption the way export subsidies do.
But most cash gifts to corporations are political non-starters. They’re a little too obvious. So companies and allied politicians need cover stories. The Export-Import Bank fits the bill.
An official logo, sophisticated-sounding economic rhetoric, and appeals to American jobs and patriotism are designed to make people feel good about the special favors Ex-Im performs for businesses.
Read the whole thing here.