When it comes to Big Business, Boeing they don't get much bigger than Boeing. The aerospace and defense contractor employs more than 170,000 in the U.S. and around the world and boasts profits in the tens of billions of dollars on an annual basis. It makes logical sense, then, that President Obama would be eager to garner support from Boeing CEO Jeff McNerney for his plans to raise taxes on the wealthy -- and that's just what he's doing.
On Wednesday, Obama appeared with McNerney at the Business Roundtable for a fiscal cliff discussion where the Boeing CEO eagerly introduced the president. McNerney serves as Obama's export czar and Obama holds the record for receiving Boeing's biggest donation of campaign cash ever. And as Tim Carney noted yesterday, it's no coincidence why Obama and Boeing are so chummy:
The Export-Import Bank is a taxpayer-backed agency that finances U.S. exports, primarily though loan guarantees.
You'd think the bank would spread the money around to nurture up-and-coming businesses. You'd be wrong, very wrong.
In fact, President Obama's export subsidy agency funneled 82.7 percent of its taxpayer-backed loan guarantees to just one exporter: Boeing. Out of $14.7 billion in long-term loan guarantees in fiscal year 2012, $12.2 billion subsidized Boeing sales, according to Ex-Im's annual report issued last week.
Welcome to the "New Economic Patriotism," where the big get bigger and taxpayers bear the risk.
In his remarks today, President Obama desperately tried to win over support from other big businesses in remarks which outlined his opposition to the GOP's counter-proposal and accused Republicans of holding the economy hostage:
"I am passionately rooting for your success, because if the companies in this room are doing well, then small businesses and medium-sized businesses up and down the chain are doing well," he said. "Obviously the global economy is still soft. Europe is going to be in the doldrums for quite some time... Everybody's looking to America because they understand that if we're able to put forward a long-term agenda for growth and prosperity that's broad based here in the U.S., that confidence will increase not just here in the U.S. but will increase globally."
But, he argued, "what's holding us back [from that goal] right now, ironically, is a lot of stuff that is going on in this town. And I know that many of you have come down here to try to see, is there a way that we can break through that logjam."
"Nobody wants to get this done more than me," he said.
I beg to differ -- I am very eagerly awaiting a time when we can all stop saying "fiscal cliff."