Republicans who like free trade so much they want to SUBSIDIZE it 

I like Jim Sensenbrenner, and I particularly liked when he called out Chrysler for green lobbying, but his rhetoric supporting corporate welfare is upsetting. Here’s what Sensenbrenner has put out to celebrate a billion-dollar subsidy for a coal project that had been imperiled by environmental considerations:

I’m pleased with the unanimous vote of approval to build an Indian power plant, which will lead to hundreds of jobs for Milwaukee-area residents. I hope this vote symbolizes a new direction for the Obama Administration, where policies promote American economic growth rather than ship jobs overseas.

But the vote held by Export-Import Bank officials was not whether “to build an Indian power plant,” it was whether to use the full faith and credit of the United States to subsidize the building of the power plant, thus putting U.S. taxpayers at risk if this power plant — like the one Enron built last decade on Ex-Im loans — stops paying.

So when Republicans attack Obama for destroying jobs, they mean two things: Obama’s regulations are destroying jobs, and Obama’s not subsidizing enough jobs. Believers in the free market don’t believe government subsidies create jobs.

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Timothy P. Carney

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