POLITICS

Free enterprise is so good we should subsidize it

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

It's understandable that the Chamber of Commerce would be a pro-business lobby rather than a pro-free market lobby. After all, the "free market" isn't paying the Chamber's dues -- businesses are.

But even if I set aside my moral objections to shaping public policy so that you are using the government's might to make a profit -- I know not everyone sees that as theft the way I do -- it's unseemly for the Chamber to abuse the phrase "free enterprise" in the way it does.

Vin Weber, a congressman-turned lobbyist-cum-Romney-advisor, penned an op-ed together with Robert Rubin in the Wall Street Journal defending the export-subsidy agency, the Export-Import Bank. (The Journal has editorialized against Ex-Im.) This op-ed is no surprise -- Ex-Im is exactly the sort of corporate-government cooperation that the Rubin wing of the Democratic Party and the K Street wing of the GOP openly and regularly advocate.

Also unsurpising: The Chamber of Commerce is lobbying hard for Ex-Im extension and expansion. But here's where it gets dicey: The Chamber touts this op-ed at its blog, FreeEnterprise.com

Because nothing says "Free Enterprise" like taxpayer-backed goverment subsidies from a New Deal agency.

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