Government Electric: Exports 

What: Export subsidies.

How GE lobbies for it: Immelt's friendship with Obama is key here, as the CEO has repeatedly made sales on the White House's tailwinds. Also GE's lobbyists, including Linda Daschle, work for more subsidies from the Export-Import Bank.

How Obama pushes them: Obama has vowed to double U.S. exports in five years. To this end, his Ex-Im has shattered records for subsidizing U.S. exports. Also, Obama's embassy officials have continued the Bush-era (and probably Clinton-era) practices of working as salesmen for large U.S. exporters.

How GE benefits from them: In the past two years, GE has benefitted from $830 million in Ex-Im subsidies and $1.54 billion in direct loans -- yes, $1.54 billion -- from Ex-Im. The Wikileaks dump about embassies and Boeing revealed one case of President Bush working as salesmen for GE jets -- a "letter advocating for two U.S. companies, Boeing and General Electric (GE), bid for the upgrade of Saudi Arabian Airline (Saudia) and the Royal fleet, to King Abdullah in Jeddah...."

Also, Immelt's sale of turbines to India came on a trade mission with Obama. And right after Obama told Putin that he wouldn't do an Eastern Europe missile shield, Immelt went in to cut some deals with Putin.

How you suffer: American taxpayers bear the risk on Ex-Im loans and guarantees. The loan guarantees suck private capital away from other less politically connected businesses.

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Timothy P. Carney

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