Congress lays an egg on budget renewal/Export Import Bank

It has been a tough few weeks in the Albuquerque area, but for a nation that has only seen modest economic growth since a challenging recession, Congress’s budget deal is extremely troubling for a number of reasons, but mostly because it blows through the budget caps imposed under sequestration. This tool was imposed in March of 2013 when the Obama Administration and Congress could not agree on a budget. Despite a hue and cry over supposed harms to the economy, the sequester had little apparent impact from the date of its imposition in March of 2013 (as seen below).

In part, the trivial impact of the sequester is due to the fact that it simply wasn’t that big of a deal when placed within the context of the US economy:

Of course, liberals see government growth as an inherently good thing, so President Obama has been trying to get rid of the sequester since it was imposed. And, for some reason, outgoing Speaker John Boehner and many Republicans, rather than passing a fiscally-responsible budget and seeing if Obama would veto it, thus shutting down government, decided to wave the white flag in surrender of even modest fiscal restraint and spend more money. New Mexico’s Congressional delegation was split along ideological lines with Lujan-Grisham and Lujan supporting the agreement and Congressman Pearce opposing it. Congressman Pearce deserves a great deal of praise for opposing this terrible agreement. A list of the 79 Republicans who abandoned fiscal constraint to support the deal can be found here.

Unfortunately, the budget deal wasn’t the only damage inflicted upon taxpayers this week. The Export-Import Bank which had been slated for elimination was resurrected. This time New Mexico’s entire House delegation voted to renew the FDR-era corporate welfare machine. The gist of what the Bank does is to subsidize US exports using American tax dollars so foreign businesses (and governments) can purchase US products. Amazingly, New Mexico’s entire Congressional delegation supported renewal despite the Bank’s trivial impact on New Mexico-based businesses (as seen below):

While the left talks a good game about ending “corporate welfare,” the Export-Import bank often subsidizes environmentally-destructive projects in foreign nations like this one in India as reported by the LA Times.

A full roll call of that vote can be found here. The Senate is expected to follow suit by renewing the Bank.