As an Assemblyman, would Harrison differ with Hunter on Export-Import Bank?

Eric Andersen Eric Andersen 28 Comments

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EricI honestly like Mike Harrison and enjoy each opportunity we have to talk, but I need to know if his values are any different than those of his boss, Congressman Duncan Hunter. Mike has been a loyal staffer and in each of our discussions has always been faithful and supportive of him.

On Monday the Congressman voted “Yea” on H. Res 450, a resolution to consider the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. Congressman Hunter was one of only two California Republicans to support more crony capitalism, a continuation of the Export-Import Bank and the transfer of more dollars from the tables of San Diego families to American corporations.

LaMalfa, McClintock, Cook, Denham, McCarthy, Nunes, Royce, Rohrabacher and Issa voted “Nay”.

I understand that as a possible state legislator the Export-Import Bank is not within Harrison’s purview, but the Cal Chamber and it’s representation of California’s thirty largest corporations is. I need to know how he will respond to their visits to his office. Unlike his opponent Randy Voepel, Mike doesn’t have a voting record we can assess. I need to know his values; his comment at this time on the Congressman’s vote would be greatly appreciated.

While we are on the topic I would also like to hear how candidates Voepel, Jerry Kern and Phil Graham would respond to Cal Chamber’s support for the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.

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Comments 28

  1. Eric,

    I am no expert on the Export-Import Bank but I do wonder why you wouldn’t want to help our largest businesses compete with foreign companies who receive considerable support from their home countries.

  2. HQ,

    If you’re no expert, why would you draw such an uneducated inference in your question to Eric?

    Either you understand Ex-Im Bank or you don’t; which is it?

  3. The Exp-Im Bank provides politically appointed bureaucrats the power to subsidize politically driven causes. It basically loans money to foreign entities to buy U.S. goods at a discounted rate, which means those companies that are competing with American companies to get a lower cost on capital goods which makes their product cheaper. And if they default, the American taxpayers get to pick up the cost. It does not support fair trade or free market principles.

  4. Brian,

    The extent of my knowledge is that the Export Import Bank is there to support U.S. companies that do business internationally. From Eric’s post, I assumed that he was opposed to continuing its existence and I wanted to know why.

    It is possible to have a basic understanding of a topic and the desire to know more while still being able to admit that you are not an expert.

  5. Post
    Author

    Hypocrisy- Well, I have always had this thing against pirates and “A” using force to take from “B” to give to “C”. Call me old fashioned.

    I care about business … and the poor and the middle class. Any business whose product or service needs to be subsidized by government is proof alone that the market doesn’t value it and individuals whom depend on government for protection of their natural rights should not be forced or plundered by that same government to support such a business.

  6. Eric,

    In a perfect world, I would tend to agree with you. However, with many, if not most, other developed countries having their own Export Import Bank and helping their businesses any way they can, I don’t know how our companies can compete, or would even want to stay “our companies” without the support.

  7. HQ,

    Jerry Kern described Ex-I’m perfectly. Now that you understand exactly what Ex-I’m does, do you see why this sort of fascist subsidy is opposed by freedom loving people?

  8. Post
    Author

    What justifies looting Americans to enhance corporate profits? The fact that other governments loot their citizens to boost exports is no argument.

    The money being spent and lent by ExIm does not belong to it or to Washington. Rather, it is the taxpayers’ funds. Businesses have no moral claim to seize that money for their own benefit.

    Let me try this another way. Country “B” subsidizes it’s corporation so that it’s widgets sell for $10 in Country “A” where widgets currently sell for $12.

    The citizens of country “A”, everyday laborers, now enjoy a pay increase, relatively speaking, as they now have $2 extra dollars in their pockets which they can use to pursue happiness and support other businesses in Country “A”.

    This extra capital produces an increased demand for new labor in other markets yet Congressman Hypocrisy halts this natural and peaceful economic exchange by taxing all citizens of Country “A”to protect the few working for an uncompetitive American corporation?

    Please correct me if I misunderstand your position.

  9. Eric,

    I actually don’t have a position on the issue. That’s why I am asking questions. Believe it or not, I do find Rostra to be a credible source (at least from some of the regular posters) of information.

    Speaking of questions, is your “country A, country B” being used as an example to support government subsidies of business? It certainly seems so since the only reason the “everyday laborers” of country A received the benefit of lower prices is because of the government subsidies provided to a business in country B.

  10. Brian,

    Unfortunately, I think the answer to your question is yes. As Richard Rider likes to incessantly point out, businesses have choices as to where they want to operate. And before you ask, I do also think, for the same reason, that we need to lower the corporate tax rate.

  11. Eric, I appreciate the question, and likewise, I enjoy our conversations as well. You’re right, it is reasonable to expect people to have questions on my viewpoints and policy positions as I run for the seat in AD71. It is for this reason that I have consistently made myself and my positions available through my website, in articles I’ve written for our local publications, on social media with Facebook, Twitter and postings on this blog, and personally by phone, email and most importantly in person. I have been walking precincts, participated in community events and have attended every Central Committee meeting so that other Republicans in our area know I am both accessible and willing to discuss important issues. You can be assured that I will continue to do so.

    On this particular federal policy issue, I will defer to Congressman Hunter who is more than capable of explaining his voting record and respectfully refer you to his floor statement which can be accessed through the following link:

    http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4557198/hunter-statement-ex-im-bank

    As for the question of whether I share Congressman Hunter’s values, I am certainly very proud to work for him and appreciate the fact that for over 21 years, I continue to feel blessed where God provided me opportunities to serve. How many people really get to say that?

    Thank you again Eric, contact me anytime.

  12. Post
    Author

    Thank you Mike for your response

    If I understand the Congressman, he challenged his Republican colleagues on the basis of four points.

    1. Hunter feels ExIm Bank legislation best puts forth the interests of American manufacturers and businesses…

    2. Hunter feels TPA gave the President expansive new authority to export millions of jobs overseas.

    3. The congressman believes the vast majority of ExIm loans support small businesses.

    4. Quotes Reagan’s support of ExIm Bank.

    Before I respond I want to make sure I understood your points (I am assuming you agree with his vote) as I attempt to become familiar with your values. It is my opinion that limited government and free markets are ideas that need to be upheld at not only the federal level but the state as well. Talking through this vote publicly will give us better insight into your beliefs and values as well. Thank you for your time and this valuable exchange.

  13. Congressman Hunter has endorsed my candidacy for Assembly (AD76) and I’ve been asked to comment on his vote.
    I find far too often we are asked to comment on extremely complex issues. While I plan to learn more the stated issue, I am not going to comment directly on it until I understand it far deeper.
    But, let me outline some of my principals that I believe are part of this discussion. In particular, I’ve been asked to comment on private property rights, taxation, free markets and cronyism.

    Private Property – Whereas liberals use eminent domain far too much to accomplish a public/or crony end, I believe in respecting ownership and private property rights. Eminent domain in most cases is wrong and I don’t believe that eminent domain should be used for private development.

    Taxation – Whereas liberals believe that the pie is one size and that the only way to pay for gov services is wealth distribution, I believe that the size of the pie is endless. I also believe that lower taxes and smaller government with limited power improves the standard of living for all. Lower taxes create more incentives for people to work, save, invest and engage in entrepreneurial endeavors. Plus, money is by far best spent by people who earn it…and that concept is fundamental to liberty and freedom.

    Free markets – Free markets are by far the best way for an economy to work. Far too often our government interferes by price-setting (often benefiting a monopoly, a select group that is tied to those in power, often allowing for graft) or other types of government intrusion. The over regulation by our government, both at the state and federal level, do just that. The Keynesian economic policies of the left, where they believe we can borrow and spend out of any problem, means that only someone determined to create a European socialist type of country would believe it in. Free markets work, both morally and materially, because it aligns the interests of the individual and society. It rewards the creation of value and punishes complacency, especially at the top. Free enterprise simultaneously yields economic growth and cultivates social solidarity. The system is not perfect, but it is fair – because its power resides in the people. And so rewards flow to those who add real value to the lives of their neighbors and their nation.

    Corporate cronyism- Cronyism empowers and enriches the few by disenfranchising the many. Cronyism bends the economy toward the state, inexorably shifting wealth and opportunity from the public to policymakers…which is the goal of those in favor of centralized planning. The more power government amasses, the more privileges are bestowed on the government’s friends, the more businesses invest in influence instead of innovation, the more advantages accrue to the biggest special interests with the most to spend on politics and the most to lose from fair competition.

    Phil

  14. Phil,

    I think you will find that it is not the liberals who are responsible for the overuse of eminent domain. Nor do liberals believe that “the pie” is finite in size. On the contrary, liberals believe it is the middle and lower classes that drive our economy through their spending and it essential to ensure that the entire pie not be taken by the upper 1% because that would almost guarantee that the pie would not get any larger.

  15. “On the contrary, liberals believe it is the middle and lower classes that drive our economy through their spending and it essential to ensure that the entire pie not be taken by the upper 1% because that would almost guarantee that the pie would not get any larger.”

    Why support Ex-Im then? It is, quite literally, a wealth transfer from the middle class to the wealthy. Here is what would happen id Ex-Im didn’t exist:

    Boeing would have to provide financing for customer purchases and it would go to capital markets–it would probably pay more for the capital required to extend the financing. Boeing then has two choices:

    1- pass that cost along to its customers
    2- work on a lower profit margin

    I am all for profit but real profit–profit generated by creating value in the marketplace. Subsidized profit is wrong for the Chargers, for Boeing, for Solyndra, and for any private concern.

    Ex-Im, HQ actually works against what you say liberals advocate

  16. Brian,

    I agree with you, and in a perfect world, no one would subsidize their “home team,” but that is not the way the world works. It would be difficult for us to compete against countries that supported their businesses without supporting ours.

  17. ” It would be difficult for us to compete against countries that supported their businesses without supporting ours”

    It’s unnatural for business to operate at a loss and, if Boeing can’t exist without taxpayer subsidies, then it is a failure. If other countries must subsidize their businesses to compete, then they go the way of Greece…not immediately but eventually,

    Ex-Im is a wealth transfer which keeps the smart, ambitious, but undercapitalized down. It stifles innovation, efficiency, and competitive zeal.

    Taxpayer subsidies for business are unnatural because voluntary trade isn’t.

  18. Brian,

    It is not a question of operating at a loss. Boeing could make a profit without any government assistance. The question is how much of a profit and most businesses will go where they can make the MOST profit. God help me, you are making me sound like Richard Rider.

  19. Post
    Author

    Hypocrisy,

    “the way the world works” (you are correct)
    “It would be difficult for us to compete against countries that supported their businesses without supporting ours.”

    I share your desire for the American worker. Bravo. I too want American labor to be competitive but not with the ultimate goal that there be employment but that they would enjoy prosperity.

    As I have shared in the past the goal of an economy is not employment but prosperity. African tribes and third world countries don’t have a problem with employment but with prosperity. We could employ all Americans tomorrow by destroying all machines.

    I would recommend we consider economics from the framework of what makes individuals prosperous and being careful not to confuse the means (employment) with its end (prosperity).

    So responding to our concern about American labor being competitive I would ask you to consider raising your ethic to something greater than “the way the world works” to something that uphold the rights and freedoms of individual all workers.

    Perhaps I am missing something here. Let us assume Country ‘A’ is plundering ALL it citizens in order to subsidize a FEW workers in it’s widget factory so they can sell more widgets to the workers in Hypocrisyville.

    Let’s suppose that because of plundering and corporate cronyism, Country ‘A’ is able to sell widgets to the citizens in Hypocrisyville at $8 a widget instead of the market price of $10.

    What if instead of Hypocrisyville mirroring the same immoral behavior, because “that is the way the world works”, it set an example by allowing their citizens to purchase their widgets for $8?

    If my thinking is correct two things would happen.

    All the citizens of Hypocrisyville would have $2 extra dollars in their pockets and a few workers at Hypocrisyville’s Widget Factorty would lose their jobs.

    What now?

    The extra $2 in the pockets of everyone in Hypocrisyville act like a pay raise. Governor Hypocrisy is brilliant. Without exploiting any of his citizens, without more corporate cronyism, he has “increased their wages”.

    This naturally results in increased demand and for new products and services in Hypocrisyville. Not only are it’s citizens more happy but those who lost their jobs at the Widget Factory gain new ones according to where its citizens desire it.

    Governor Hypocrisy becomes an example to other nations and in a landslide is elected to another term.

  20. Eric,

    Your example of what should be done in “Hypocrisyville” is precisely what we did do in the United States. We signed “free trade” agreements, removed tariffs and allowed our citizens to buy all sorts of widgets from other countries that could produce them for “$2 less.” The result, however, wasn’t a general population with more buying power and more prosperity, the result was actually a loss of millions of good-paying manufacturing jobs and the decimation of the middle class.

    “Necessary and sufficient.” You are correct that employment alone is not sufficient to allow for prosperity, but it is necessary.

  21. Post
    Author

    I don’t believe we can lay the loss of manufacturing jobs at the feet of free trade. At the foot of “free trade agreements” perhaps but not free trade. If those agreements were really about free trade they would only be four words long – “All trade is free.”

    NAFTA was 2000 pages. That is controlled trade. WTO was 29,000 pages and needed the World Bank, the IMF and a federal bureaucracy.

    Free trade doesn’t.

    I believe American labor can compete with labor from any nation but it makes it hard with a high corporate tax rate and union wages and unnecessary regulation.

  22. According to my research, last year (when the Ex-Im Bank was humming along, dispensing subsidies right and left, roughly 440 California companies took advantage of this crony capitalism. An impressive number — until you realize that the Golden State has 75,000 exporting businesses.

    99.4% of California firms exported without this subsidy — the other 0.6% can learn to do the same — or go out of business.

  23. Richard,

    My guess is that those 440 companies have a significantly higher percentage of revenue and employment significantly more people than the 0.6% number you cite. It is also very likely that the vast majority of those would not go out of business without government help; they would simply move their operations to a country that did provide the help.

    You, who incessantly points to the Texas business model, surely knows that businesses can and will move to wherever the government provides the most incentives.

  24. HQ, sooooo, why have the 75,000 exporting companies in CA not moved overseas? Few are getting export subsidies. They are moving to other states, but few are moving overseas — especially to get export subsidies.

    The business and personal savings from moving to other states are MUCH bigger than these export subsidies, and far easier to do than abandoning one’s country.

    Yours is a straw man argument without substance. Ain’t happening.

  25. As for which companies are getting the subsidies, you’re probably right that it’s the bigger, better heeled companies who know how to pull the right levers to get on the government teat are the biggest beneficiaries. Boeing is a BIG component of our export subsidies.

    But the article I used (didn’t include the URL, but will now) is by an Ex-Im Bank tout, who emphasizes that about 96% of the CA exporters are small businesses.
    http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2015/11/what-will-california-do-without-the-export-import-bank/

    Moreover, on the Ex-Im Bank propaganda website, I find this claim: “In FY 2014, nearly 90 percent of EXIM Bank’s transactions—more than 3,340—directly supported American small businesses.”
    http://www.exim.gov/about/facts-about-ex-im-bank

    Funny how these proponents emphasize how much they help small business, and then turn right around (as you have here) and tell us that most of their subsidies goes to BIGGER businesses.

  26. Richard,

    I am confused. You are ok with crony capitalism when practiced by a state government but not the federal government?

    As for the question you posed, I guess it depends on the individual business, but General Electric and Boeing, just to name two, are certainly looking elsewhere.

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