Jeb Bush Turns on the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
Jeb Bush has been adamant that he will not switch his positions on two issues, immigration and Common Core standards, that will generate conservative opposition in the Republican primaries. But he just made a major concession to conservatives on another issue of great importance to many of them—he came out against the U.S. Export-Import Bank. And this new position of Bush’s is not just hard to reconcile with his politics—it’s hard to reconcile with his own business career.
Over the past few years, many conservatives have seized on the Ex-Im Bank as a glaring example of crony capitalism, and they will oppose its reauthorization when it comes up in June. They say the bank, which aids exporters by guaranteeing loans for foreign buyers of U.S. products, mainly aids giants like Boeing, GE, and Caterpillar, and, under proper accounting standards, is running a 10-year deficit of $2 billion, on top of its operating costs. The bank’s supporters argue that it is helping a vast array of smaller businesses as well, and that it is essentially self-financing, at minimal cost to U.S. taxpayers. The relatively obscure institution—which was founded in 1934 and whose leadership is appointed by the president—has become a major point of contention on the right, with groups like the Club for Growth and the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity coming out against it while the traditional business lobby, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, supports it.