Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lugar Goes To Bat For Export-Import Bank

Richard Lugar has a long history of supporting policies that hurt, not help American interests, so I suppose it should come as no surprise that he emerges to promote saving the Export-Import Bank from the federal chopping block. Lugar makes an astonishing claim in the Indianapolis Star today that the Export-Import Bank saved his family's business that primarily provided manufactured processing equipment for the snack food industry by providing a loan to a Mexican business customer at a crucial point. From the Indianapolis Star:
The Lugars got a breakthrough when a Mexican company wanted to place a sizable order for machinery used to make cookies and other baked goods. An obscure federal agency, the Export-Import Bank, underwrote the contract, the first of many sales the company made in other countries. 
But now the bank's future is in jeopardy because of a philosophical split in the Republican Party between the populist, tea party wing and the GOP establishment tied to business interests — the same split that contributed to Lugar's primary defeat two years ago. 
Lugar said the assistance from the Export-Import Bank was transformative.
"Within three years," Lugar wrote in an opinion piece in a Capitol Hill newspaper recently in support of the bank, "our employee numbers jumped from approximately 50 to 100, and we had repaid loans and other obligations incurred by the factory during leaner years."
A look at the history of the Thomas L. Green company tells us that a long-time employee and its executive vice president, Frank Hubbard, was essentially the brains of the firm after Lugar's father, Marvin, died. Marvin, a farmer, had inherited control of the Green family business by marrying into it. Hubbard is credited with opening the company to markets south of the border, not the Export-Import Bank. Lugar didn't join the company until he returned from service as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy from 1957 to 1960 and left after a few years to devote his time to politics full-time. The Lugar's family business later stalled and was eventually acquired by Reading Bakery Systems in Pennsylvania in 2001.
Hubbard, although not officially the president of the organization, was the recognized authority in the plant after Marvin Lugar’s death. He single-handedly opened new markets for the company’s products in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Hubbard’s knowledge of the machinery and ability to develop good customer relations was one of the major reasons for the company’s growth in the 1950s and 1960s. 
At best, Lugar is telling us we should be happy that federal taxpayers helped grow his family's business by underwriting a Mexican company's contract so they could produce food products there paying slave wages instead of being produced by an American company employing American workers. At worst, his account is a fabricated story by a New World Order sycophant with ulterior motives for supporting continued federal taxpayer support of a bank that primarily benefits businesses overseas that compete with American businesses and workers.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has been leading the charge to defund the Export-Import Bank, which he calls "big businesses' big government bank." He complains that the bank sends "huge amounts of assistance to foreign corporations, buyers, and companies that are hostile to our economic and security interests." Cruz complains that the bank has loaned money to countries like the Sudan and the Congo with "horriffic human rights records" "It has financed Chinese power plants and backed Russian billionaires buying luxury planes," Cruz laments. "And, it has provided lots and lots of financing to oil companies in Russia, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia that compete directly with America’s energy companies." He points out a federal court criticized the bank for supporting an Indian airline that helped it undercut Delta Airlines and put up to 7,500 jobs at risk. Democratic lawmakers in Michigan and Minnesota complained that the bank's support of an Australian earth-moving company was harming mining interests in their states. That's to say nothing of the dozens of documented cases of fraud uncovered since 2009. The bank's chairman pleaded the Fifth Amendment when recently asked to answer a House committee's questions about fraud within the agency. Agency employees have been accused of accepting bribes from businesses that benefited from its handouts.

According to the Star, only one member of Indiana's congressional delegation, Rep. Larry Buschon (R) has signed on to reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank's charter. Others are wishy-washy, against reauthorizing it or want to see changes made before they agree to renew the bank's charter. This creation of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal has long since outlived its useful life. It's time to close the doors on it, but I fully expect it to survive because most of our members of Congress answer to their New World Order masters, not their constituents, no matter how much harm they inflict on the people they are elected to serve. At any rate, if Richard Lugar cared about Hoosier's interests he would be living here now instead of his permanent home in our nation's capital. Didn't he tell us that Indiana was where he planned to return after he retired from the Senate when he was desperately seeking just one more term in that august body?


Flogger said...

No big surprise The Indianapolis Star would promote just one more Crony-Capitalist Scheme and find some "Expert" to provide all the smoke and mirrors.

We had a similar Song and Dance Routine when Clinton-Gore and their Republican and Democrat allies promoted NAFTA. The Mega-Media did their part by flooding the airwaves and newspapers with Pro-NAFTA selling points.

The Bottom Line is you can call it the New World Order, Crony-Capitalism (Sasquatch or Bigfoot) it is the same thing. The only principle that guides it is profit for the 1%.

Gary R. Welsh said...

You're correct. There's no distinction between NWO and crony capitalism. It's all about those who believe it's the role of government to decide who wins and loses. I would gladly go into any casino in America and gamble with my money if I got to determine the odds of my winning. It's not going to happen. Yeah, some American businesses and workers benefit from the Export-Import Bank, but most are actually harmed by its work. Someone in Washington has decided that Cummins and certain other chosen businesses deserve preferential treatment over everyone else.

Anonymous said...

I thought when we voted Lugar out of office he would go away. The old ways of doing things will ruin us if we can't find our way to higher ground. These foreign interests are not so important to us that we can afford to throw unlimited money at them. I say close the bank. And lets talk about pulling out of most of our foreign aid commitments. We need to work on America, not meddle in every country on the planet with black ops money. But then I'm for cleaning up our own backyard too. No more TIF zones. No more Indianapolis bond bank. No more Capital Improvements Board. No more money to sports teams owners. And fire every single employee of Metropolitan Development and bolt those doors shut. These are common sense moves for people who would like to get our budgets back under control.