Big Biz Made a Bargain With the GOP's Devils. Here Comes the Bill.

Categories: Schutze

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Big business is finally figuring out what Democrats have been saying since the worst days of George W: that the genius idea of Bush's brain, Karl Rove, was a Faustian bargain with that powerful and elusive element of American political landscape -- the ignorati.

Now the ignorati are demanding their due.

The New York Times today carries a fascinating story in which outfits like the National Association of Manufacturers and Associated General Contractors -- huge supporters of the GOP -- are wailing about what the GOP is now doing to them.

With all that big business cash safely deposited in campaign and PAC accounts, the Tea Party wing in the House is now threatening to virtually destroy American exports by taking apart the U.S. Export-Import Bank. The bank, created in 1934 to finance deals with our then ally, the Soviet Union, is a favorite target of the new paranoia wing of the GOP, who think it's a commie-socialist intrusion on the free market.

But the people who actually sell overseas say the bank is a crucial function of government without which they cannot survive. The Times story quotes a guy whose company sells crop-dusters saying no private sector banking institution in the country can or will ever step in to finance the foreign deals that the Ex-Im Bank has always done: "There is not a free-market system that operates like that," says Daviod Ickert of Air Tractor. "It does not exist. We need the Ex-Im Bank, period."

Oh my God, a socialist! Man the pitchforks!

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Hey, Mr. Businessman, here's your partner. Enjoy the dance.
Other countries have vigorous versions of our Ex-Im Bank. In the way of the world, about two seconds after we kill our own foreign trade bank, competitors in those other countries will jump in and grab our trade away from us -- not a pleasant prospect for the major business groups quoted in the story.

Yeah, well, you guys did this to yourselves. You fueled the Rovian bargain. And we can sort of see it. It probably seemed like a brilliantly simple answer to an otherwise impossible question: How can the GOP get the American middle and working classes to screw themselves?

Easy, the Rovians said. Every time you see a working- or middle-class person about to perceive his own true self-interest, you start screaming, "Watch out! Watch out! Two gay guys in Baltimore are about to kiss!"

By stirring up the gunk at the very bottom of the Jungian psychological pot, the Rovians were able to get George W. elected -- well, that and stealing some votes. In the process they helped fuel the whole hate-the-future movement now known as the Tea Party.

Guess what, Mr. Smarty-Pants Faust: Those demons hate you, too, because you do business with foreigners. They don't like foreigners, remember? They don't like persons of color in high office. They don't like women much. And they don't like you, you bunch of foreign-trading socialists.

It's those GOP Tea Partiers in the House who are behind the move to kill the Ex-Im Bank, not to mention several other Cro-Magnon concepts for turning America into a third-rate power.

Hey, we here in Texas -- the place where Rove learned his craft, after all -- could have told you all about this. Our own governor, Rick Perry, embraced the Tea Party in the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary to great effect, allowing him to come from way behind and defeat one your old-fashioned pro-business Republicans, Kay Bailey Hutchison. Of course Perry said he was pro-business, too, but business leaders here knew better.

If Perry's pet plan to gut the state's top research universities were ever to become a reality, it would crater all of the work the state's top business leaders accomplished in the 1990s to diversify the state economy by recruiting knowledge-based industries.

It was business leaders in Dallas and Fort Worth who provided the ultimate ammunition to defeat Perry's plan to build a massive new transportation corridor from Mexico to Oklahoma and not because they hated the concept itself. The thing they did hate was Perry's own utter disdain for political compromise or consensus-building -- oh, that, and the fact that the thing was going to cut off and starve huge shipping hubs in both cities.

But that's what you get when you sell your soul to the ideologues. Ideologues don't do business. They do True Belief. Whole industries crashing and burning is the glare they crave -- their burning bush, no pun.

So now here you are, Mr. and Ms. Business Leader, stuck on the airplane of life in a seat next to an old dude in a tricorn hat who will pause from his spit-flinging rant about the Trilateral Commission only long enough to ask again you why drink scotch that was made in a foreign country.

Welcome to your own nightmare, Binky. Have a safe flight.

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Wes Scott
Wes Scott

For me, the real mark of the idiocy of the Tea Party mental midgets is epitomized by their photo darling wearing a British officer's tricorn hat when they are supposed to be representing the founding principles of America. Those nutjobs on the far right don't even know which side they are on! It is going to be most enjoyable watching them on TV and reading their hateful words of peril and "end-of-the-world" scenarios when Obama wins re-election and they have to put up with him for another four years.

I don't even like Obama, but I am going to vote for him just to bother the shit out of the political right! I detest fascists far more than I detest Obama, which is really quite a lot! I would suffer any inconvenience or indignity to watch the far right fall flat on its face it its own puke.

Anon
Anon

All that big business found out is that it got a horrible return on its investment once it went out of the mainstream and started supporting fringe right groups. The opposite doesn't tend to happen with the Democrats but only because they don't demonize spending. The real take away from the article should be that roads don't pay for themselves with gas taxes and anyone who wants to keep expanding them is a socialist.

Perry Moore
Perry Moore

It is disturbing to read that Mr. Schutze has found common ideological ground with Big Business. Then again, we all find common ground with Big Business when it comes time to buy a 60" HDTV.

Mavdog
Mavdog

It's funny to read comments by those who write that "there is no private entity doing" what the ExIm does, or "ExIm is just a variation on a theme that is Fannie Mae..".

If the government is involved it MUST be "socialism"!!

That is the problem with the right wing today, they can't get their knee-jerking controlled sufficiently enough to allow them to see past their own noses.

The ExIm is nothing like Freddie or Fannie, and they do work with private lenders to provide financing. They also facilitate insurance coverages with private providers also.

There is a usefulness for organizations such as ExIm and the government's role in helping American small business export their manufactured goods contributes to our economic health.

It is regrettable that there are those who are so fervent in their ideology they can't see the forest for the trees.

Albert
Albert

"Other countries have vigorous versions of our Ex-Im Bank. In the way of the world, about two seconds after we kill our own foreign trade bank, competitors in those other countries will jump in and grab our trade away from us.."

In which Jim discovers why some nations lower income and capital gains taxes to better compete and raise tax receipts.

In related "shit you just can't make up about liberals" news, eleven sanctuary states have filed suit against Arizona because their SB 1070 law is causing illegals to head for those sanctuary states.

Enrique De La Fuente
Enrique De La Fuente

Those countries with lower income and capital gains taxes also subsidize and protect big business.  

People like to point out that a Toyota plant in America is the free-market at work, but the reason Toyota got to be Toyota was because of a supportive and protectionist home country.  

Albert
Albert

"Those countries with lower income and capital gains taxes also subsidize and protect big business.  "

So does the US.

scottindallas
scottindallas

 those policies will harm Arizona's economy.  Few AZ conservatives are proud of AZ's policies.  Just watch and wait.  How's that Farmer's Branch economic miracle going? 

I don't oppose the state's right to fuck itself up.  I think anti-immigration policies should be allowed to proceed on a state by state basis.  But, I will commend you to watch with unbiased eyes the results. 

Albert
Albert

"...those policies will harm Arizona's economy."

Ah, so the sanctuary states are acting to save AZ from itself, otherwise they'd welcome the economic boom that black market labor brings.

Mike
Mike

Ex-Im Bank is just another variation on a theme that is Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Sallie Mae, etc. Uncle Sam doles out loans at below market rates, collects a fee nowhere near equal to risk accepted that looks like profit to a civil service worker, and everything is hunky dory while the market is up. Then the market turns and the taxpayer is left holding the bag. Plenty of banks are there to lend money at market rates. As for Ex-Im delivering a faster turnaround, I doubt it. It is the government after all.

In good times of easy money, no problem. We are getting ready to make some serious cuts affecting millions of people. A few businessmen are just going to have to rely on the market and then start to whine about some serious cuts coming.

Mr. Schutze reminds me of that gigantic war machine in old Star Trek that reacted reflexively without thought anytime it saw any enemy. It was easily befuddled. Here his sworn enemy the Tea Party might have upset some people and he is ready to jump in with both feet, not really understanding the issues. Just Tea Party bad is sufficient for a diatribe.

scottindallas
scottindallas

 In each of those cases the gov't can better provide the funds than any other entity.  The occasional losses are worth the greater, longer term gains the country as a whole.  That is not to say that they can't be reformed, adjusted, reworked or reconceived.   Though your Luddite response certainly doesn't advance any of those important aims. 

Albert
Albert

If the Tea Party comes out in support of Obama for President...

knoxharrington
knoxharrington

If financing the sale of crop dusters overseas is a money-making proposition there will be somebody there to step in to reap the profits.  There is no private entity doing it now because, wait for it, the government stepped in 70 years ago and as Jim Schutze well knows - you can't fight City Hall.

I love the liberal handwringing over - literally - ending corporate welfare.  Apparently the dictum that the left never met a subsidy it didn't like is true.

Also, for the record, what we have is not the free market - not even close.  When the government picks the winners and losers that is not a free market - again, it is not even a close call.  I just wish both parties - the one that decries subsidies and the one that decries corporate welfare - could see the through the labels and kick these assholes, who want to gain from force what they can't from voluntary exchange, out of the game.

FrankDracman
FrankDracman

So just who blocked the ending of Big Oil subsidies today?  Yes, the senate GOP.  Big bunch of liberals...... 

scottindallas
scottindallas

 Those are some fair points.  Though the gov't may well be the most efficient provider, I'd like to hear other suggestions.  Shutze is correct that this is a competitive global market, and hang-ups can mean lost sales. 

Glenn
Glenn

Jim: 1.) Karl Rove is no fan of the tea party; in fact he's been openly critical of it. 2.) Bush Jr. ran as a more centrist, "compassionate conservative" in 2000, not as some gay-baiting race-baiting yahoo. So, all this "Rovian bargain" talk is nonsense. What W did have to do with the tea party--and it's a big deal--was spend too much on stuff like the prescription-drug benefit, the tea partiers will tell you. I think that plus the bailout really kicked the movement off.

JimS
JimS

Glenn, here's an exercise in candor for you: tell us how you feel about the Ex-Im Bank issue.

Glenn
Glenn

Have to confess that the "Ex-Im Bank issue" is not something I wake up thinking about, Jim. But since you ask: The big picture is that with the growth of entitlement programs and other pork spending/wealth-redistribution programs, the U.S. government has become bloated like a great big giant fat slobbering hog, and it's young people--not baby-boomer codgers like you and me--who are going to be left to clean up the mess, if they can. This ExIm bank costs taxpayers something like, what, $140 billion, and its benefits seem a little dubious. (Helps some businesses, hurts others, and I think Solyndra got some of its dough, for example.) So when you look at the enormity of the U.S. debt situation overall, why in hell wouldn't something like this subsidy bank be on the table?

Mavdog
Mavdog

Well, if "things went south" there's a lot more to be worried about than this....

Glenn
Glenn

Supporters want to increase the "lending cap" to $140 billion, meaning taxpayers would be on the hook for that amount if things went south.

Mavdog
Mavdog

No Glenn, this isn't a $140 Billion appropriation request. The bank is pretty much self-funded and typically shows a profit.

Guest
Guest

The Rovian bargain is generally understood as Rove's willingness to court the religious right, bringing in Ralph Reed etc. George H. Bush refused to do so, seeing it as a potential danger in matters of separation of church and state.

In other words, the father had far greater vision into the future of what the Republican party might become. That day has arrived, thanks to Rove and his Atwateresque sleaze bag techniques that, stunningly, worked really well among the so-called "ethical" portion of the electorate.

Tea Partiers and the Religious Right are ideologically at odds, one wants less intrusion and the other wants more. But the TP and the Koch brothers don't have enough momentum on their own to form a third party, they have to hitch up to the wagon full of evangelicals that has become the GOP. 

Glenn
Glenn

Huh? Lee Atwater played a huge role in getting George H.W. elected, and H.W. called people like Jerry Falwell a friend and ally. And, you overstate the split between tea partiers and the Religious Right. Both are economically conservative, and I'd bet a helluva lot of tea partiers stand right alongside the RR on issues like abortion, traditional marriage, etc.

Guest
Guest

There are plenty of sources out there to verify the George H.W. Bush conundrum. Sure, he had Falwell but Pat Robertson had the evangelicals. It flipped once Robertson was out of the race. As far as the Atwater reference, it means Rove learned a few things and applied it to rousing the evangelicals. Like push-polling, whisper campaigns, leafleting in church parking lots, McCain has a black love child etc.

I think I have named the split perfectly. Maybe there's TPs who say they believe the way the Kochs do--no government interference, no regulations, etc.--but still don't see how that principle applies to individual liberty. Believers of all kinds are very prone to cognitive dissonance. Maybe the Koch's will throw a convention and all those claiming to be conservatives can come up with a stated platform on which they agree, for all to see.

Kevin
Kevin

Don't disorient him further, Glenn.  These little lapses have got to hurt an old war horse like Schutze even more than they confuse his readers.

I just hope Joe ultimately handles Jim's last column with the same public grace and dignity Bob Mong showed Marilyn Schwartz when her time had obviously long since come.

Phelps
Phelps

Easy, the Rovians said. Every time you see a working or middle class person about to perceive his own true self-interest, you start screaming, "Watch out! Watch out! Two gay guys in Baltimore are about to kiss!"

Easy, the Alinksyites said.  Every time you see a working or middle class person about to perceive his own true self-interest, you start screaming, "Watch out!  Watch out!  They hate your vagina/skin color/religion/beer choice!"

Anon
Anon

Passing laws that affect the health choices of women is the same as pointing out that gay people are forming loving relationships that they want the government to recognize legally? And I'm pretty sure the GOP has made its stance on certain minorities clear without the Democrats needing to spend a penny to make it known.

Albert
Albert

From the WITA:"The Obama administration and congressional Democrats want to renew the bank's charter for four years and raise its credit exposure cap to $140 billion.

House Republican leaders have proposed renewing the bank's charter for one year and raising its cap to $113 billion, an approach Eximbank President Fred Hochberg has called inadequate."

Only 27 billion dollars between us and the re-institution of slavery, folks.

Hewood U Buzzoff
Hewood U Buzzoff

Hey, will some of my fellow Tea Party Members remind me to put this on the agenda for the next 'How do we piss off Jim Schutze' monthly meeting?  I am sure I can wedge it in between the baby fur seals punting contest and the part we show off our handgun licenses.

Come on Jim.  Tricky Ricky may have embraced the Tea Party but that did i am sure thye did not hug back.  He was the lest insulting candidate, and yes that includes Bill White and Kay Baily Useless.   And by the way, how is your Solyndra stock doing?

Albert
Albert

Republicans call it "corporate welfare", and we know that any move to cut off tax monies from corporations just enrages the left to no end.

scottindallas
scottindallas

explain what's going on regarding oil subsidies currently?  The sophists you listen to won't even broach the issue.  They don't want to foster understanding, or critical thinking.  By the way, you've failed to answer my charge that higher top marginal tax rates encourage capital intensive production.  I arrive at that by using the very right wing premises that you vomit all the time.  You never engage your own brain to realize their conclusions do not follow from a consistent application of their premises.

Further, you tend to make as many pathetic appeals in your argumentation as anyone on here. Funny, you and those you relegate your analysis to are often the quickest to resort to pathetic appeal, while decrying "touchy-feely" liberals.

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