By the standard rules of political compromise, Senator Jim DeMint could be forgiven if he decided not to wade into the fight over whether the Export-Import Bank gets reauthorized by Congress. The bank, which subsidizes the business ventures of American corporations overseas, counts Boeing as one of its biggest beneficiaries — and the aerospace giant has a major presence in DeMint’s home state of South Carolina.
As he makes clear in a new op-ed in the Greenville News, however, DeMint doesn’t take stances based on which interests they serve; he takes them based on what principles they represent. From the piece:
When Boeing’s home state labor union ganged up with President Barack Obama’s National Labor Relations Board to try to sue Boeing for building a new factory in North Charleston, I strongly supported Boeing’s freedom to build factories wherever they pleased.
More recently dust has been kicked over the extension of the Export-Import Bank, a federal program that subsidizes American businesses’ exports. Because Boeing receives Ex-Im subsidies, and because I favor winding down the Ex-Im Bank instead of increasing its budget, some ask if I went from being pro-Boeing to anti-Boeing.
Neither. All I’ve ever been is pro-freedom.
In both cases, my guiding principle is the same: liberty.
Freedom isn’t perfect, but it is fair. And any time government hands out favors, they’ll be unfair to someone.
When Washington picks winners and losers, in the end taxpayers always lose, and Ex-Im is no exception.
Kudos to Senator DeMint for standing on the side of liberty and equality before the law, and for opposing the trends toward rent-seeking and crony capitalism. We could use more like him in Washington.