Beltway Confidential

Is the Tea Party costing Boeing taxpayer subsidies?

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Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

President Obama brags about "record-breaking year[s]" of subsidizing U.S. exports through the Export-Import Bank of the United States, a government agency.

He's right that his Ex-Im has ramped up its level of taxpayer-backed financing, but that entire increase comes from amazing increases in subsidies for Boeing.

In non-Boeing subsidies, Obama's Ex-Im has actually done less. Yep, Obama's FY 2012 non-Boeing Ex-Im subsidies of $2.54 billion were less, even in nominal dollars, than Bush's non-Boeing Ex-Im subsidies of $2.55 billion in 2008.

But Boeing might have to rely on the private sector a little more going forward, if this Reuters report is correct:

Money from government-backed export credit agencies (ECA), once used to pay for the bulk of jet deals, will make up 18 percent of plane financing next year, down from 23 percent in 2013, the U.S. aircraft maker said in an annual forecast.

What's putting this purported pinch on corporate welfare? The Tea Party:

Zolotusky pointed to growing opposition to state involvement in the private sector from political groups such as the conservative U.S. Tea Party movement as one reason for the decline in popularity of export credits.

This is part of a growing -- if inconsistent and nascent -- trend of the Tea Party dragging the GOP away from K Street and away from corporatism.

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