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  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by Diane Katz Ex-Im Bank and the Bigger Fight Against Cronyism

    Few Americans know much about the Export-Import Bank, and yet this obscure government agency is currently the focus of intense debate in the nation's capital. So what gives? At the most practical level, lawmakers must decide whether to reauthorize Ex-Im's charter, which expires on Sept. 30. The bank provides taxpayer-subsidized financing to foreign firms so they can buy…

  • Commentary posted June 6, 2014 by Diane Katz Kill the Export-Import Bank

    Rare is the issue that unites Michigan’s Democratic Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow with their chamber’s most conservative members. But when federal subsidies to foreign firms threaten American jobs, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle find common cause—and rightly so. Taxpayers should not be financing overseas business ventures that undercut U.S. companies. The…

  • Issue Brief posted June 2, 2014 by Diane Katz Export–Import Bank: Cronyism Threatens American Jobs

    The Export–Import Bank (Ex–Im) funnels billions of taxpayer dollars each year to overseas businesses for the purchase of American products. This subsidized financing is supposedly a win-win proposition for exporters and their customers abroad. But rare is a subsidy that does not produce disparity elsewhere. In the case of Ex–Im, the losers include domestic companies that…

  • Commentary posted May 29, 2014 by Diane Katz Dodd-Frank and regulation gone rogue

    A bit of wisdom was actually uttered on Capitol Hill last week. The nation’s chief securities regulator told the House Committee on Financial Services that it was “extraordinarily important” for policymakers to “listen to the expertise” of professionals before running regulatory roughshod over industry. Unless her words are heeded, regulations spawned by the Dodd-Frank…

  • Issue Brief posted April 29, 2014 by Diane Katz The Export–Import Bank: A Government Outfit Mired in Mismanagement

    Advocates of the Export–Import Bank (Ex–Im) are lobbying Congress for reauthorization by claiming that its taxpayer-subsidized financing is a safe—and lucrative—investment. But even a mountain of rhetoric cannot bury the facts: The bank is beset by mismanagement, dysfunction, and risk, all of which have been documented for years by Ex–Im’s own inspector general and the…

  • Commentary posted April 21, 2014 by Diane Katz A case for ending corporate welfare

    Authorization for the Export-Import Bank expires Sept. 30, and Congress must decide whether to renew the charter of the taxpayer-funded outfit. Proponents claim that “Ex-Im” is needed to fill gaps in private financing, which might sound plausible if not for the roster of monster corporations that pocket most of the subsidies. That list includes: • Boeing, the world’s…

  • Issue Brief posted April 11, 2014 by Diane Katz U.S. Export–Import Bank: Corporate Welfare on the Backs of Taxpayers

    Congress will soon debate the fate of the U.S. Export–Import Bank (Ex–Im), which doles out financing to favored corporations and credit to foreign governments. Proponents claim that such taxpayer bankrolling creates jobs and fills “gaps” in private financing.[1] In fact, the bank is a conduit for corporate welfare beset by unreliable risk management, inefficiency, and…

  • Commentary posted April 3, 2014 by Diane Katz, James L. Gattuso Red tape rising: Five years of regulatory expansion

    In his State of the Union address earlier this year, President Obama vowed to wield his executive powers when faced with congressional resistance to his legislative agenda: "America does not stand still - and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation ... that's what I am going to do." This provocative declaration was startling in its…

  • Backgrounder posted March 26, 2014 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Red Tape Rising: Five Years of Regulatory Expansion

    In his January 2014 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama vowed to wield his executive powers when faced with congressional resistance to his legislative agenda, stating: “America does not stand still—and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation … that’s what I am going to do.”[1] This provocative declaration was…

  • Commentary posted March 25, 2014 by Diane Katz EU's cheesy food fight stinks to high heaven

    The European Union (EU) regulates the curvature of cucumbers, the contour of radish “shoulders” and the arc of pea pods. We should not be surprised, then, by Brussels’ recent demand that American cheese makers refrain from labeling their products as “feta,” “mozzarella,” “parmesan” or any other appellation of European origin. One might reasonably wonder whether cheese…

  • Issue Brief posted March 19, 2014 by Diane Katz Clumsy Regulation Puts Insurance at Risk

    The Senate Banking Committee convened this week to examine recent moves by federal regulators against insurance companies. There exists considerable confusion on and off the Hill about Washington’s place in what has always been the states’ regulatory domain—confusion produced by lawmakers’ careless crafting of the Dodd–Frank statute. Absent a congressional fix,…

  • Issue Brief posted February 21, 2014 by Diane Katz No Retreat on Flood Insurance Reform

    The House is slated next week to decide whether taxpayers will continue to subsidize flood insurance for private property. The pending legislation would rescind reforms adopted in 2012 to stem the debt incurred by the government’s unworkable insurance scheme. But a variety of legislative alternatives exist that would assist flood-prone property owners without foisting the…

  • Commentary posted December 31, 2013 by Diane Katz Dodd-Frank Unleashes Predatory Mortgage Regulations

    The mortgage market will undergo radical change on Jan. 10, when virtually every aspect of home financing will be commandeered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The consequences of government overreach for creditors and borrowers will be all too predictable—more costly products and services, fewer options and, worst of all, the erosion of economic freedom. The…

  • Issue Brief posted December 31, 2013 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz The 10 Worst Regulations of 2013

    The year 2013 will be remembered for many things, not least the miles of red tape that were imposed on Americans. It has been a very busy year for regulators, who imposed new dictates on everything from the food people eat to the loans they obtain and the health insurance they buy (or lose). Which are the worst new rules? There are so many choices, and there is no…

  • Commentary posted December 23, 2013 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz The 10 worst regulations of 2013

    There are many things 2013 will be remembered for, not least the miles of red tape that were imposed on Americans. It has been a very busy year indeed for regulators, who imposed new dictates on everything from the food we eat to the loans we obtain and the health insurance we buy. Which are the worst? There are no objective standards to measure such things, but here is…