A Candidate Willing to Change His Mind

Isn’t that what the media wants? A candidate who is bold enough to admit he has changed his mind? Well, we have a mind change and it is a really significant one. Governor Rick Perry has decided to oppose the Export-Import Bank, which is up for renewal in Congress.

For those who don’t know, the Ex-Im is a cess pool of waste, fraud, and abuse that some American companies with the right connections use to subsidize their businesses. It is not at all popular with every American business and some see it as a threat. But many of the richest businesses in the country are subsidized by the Ex-Im, which in turn frees up their money to pay off members of Congress to keep the thing going.

In 2012, Governor Rick Perry supported the Ex-Im, but he has had a change of heart that is not only compelling, but should be deeply persuasive for Republicans sitting on the fence.

Next month, the bank comes up for reauthorization again—but this time I can’t get on board. I have been deeply disturbed by recent revelations of corruption and bribery at the institution. On April 13 the Justice Department announced that a former Ex-Im loan officer, Johnny Gutierrez, had pleaded guilty to accepting bribes on 19 separate occasions from people with interests before the bank. Michael McCarthy, Ex-Im’s acting inspector general, has told Congress that there are 31 corruption and fraud investigations into the bank still pending.

Those at Ex-Im who have abused the public trust must be pursued to the full extent of the law. But it may be that the best way to mend Ex-Im is to end it. Here’s why.

One of the biggest challenges America faces is sluggish economic growth. This is complicated by an absurdly complex tax code, which is riddled with lobbyist-driven loopholes and saddled with the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world. The ever-expanding federal debt—fueled by ever-rising federal spending—is another major challenge, particularly because we can’t grow our way out of this $18 trillion hole. A third challenge is an explosion of new regulations, thanks to ObamaCare, the Dodd-Frank law and President Obama’s out-of-control executive branch.

That’s just the beginning. Go read the whole thing.