Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk - A weekly Column

Your Taxes Subsidize China

August 14,  2006    

Each year the people of the United States write a check to subsidize China, one of the most brutal, anti-American regimes in the world. Lately it has been in vogue for everyone in Washington to eagerly denounce the egregious abuses of the Chinese people at the hands of their communist dictators. Yet no one in our federal government has been willing to take China on in any meaningful way.

Very few people realize that China is one of the biggest beneficiaries of American taxpayer subsidies.  Thanks to the largesse of Congress and the President, China enjoys subsidized trade and the flow of US tax dollars into Beijing's coffers.

I offered an amendment before the House of Representatives last month that would have ended the $4 billion subsidy our nation quietly gives China through the US government's Export-Import Bank. The bank underwrites the purchases of goods and services by the Chinese government and others around the world. Unfortunately, only a minority of Democrats or Republicans supported my measure. Apparently, many members of Congress are happy to bash China, but donít mind lending her U.S. taxpayer money at sweetheart interest rates.

Some of your money went to fund a nuclear power plant in Shanghai owned by the China National Nuclear Corporation, a state-run company.  Many US-based multinational corporations benefit directly from Export-Import Bank subsidies to China, including Boeing, Westinghouse, and McDonnell Douglas.  So itís not hard to understand that business trumps the feelgood rhetoric condemning China.

There is no constitutional authority for Congress to make loans to any country, and certainly no basis for giving away the hard-earned cash of Americans to communist leaders who brutalize their women and children with forced abortions, and persecute Christians for their faith.

In reality, there is very little the federal government can do about conditions in China. Under our Constitution, the federal government simply does not have the authority to point a gun at Chinese leaders and force them to respect the principles of liberty. It just doesn't work that way.

I believe that by engaging the Chinese people, opening personal dialogue, and seeking to change their hearts and minds, we soon will see that regime collapse. The laws of economics dictate that a communist system cannot stand for long. But in the same way, I firmly believe there is a higher law which dictates that people exposed to the principles of liberty will not for long allow themselves to remain shackled to an oppressive government.  Economic freedom, i.e. capitalism, now has a strong foothold in China.  The Chinese people may soon demand political, religious, and personal freedom as well.  But in the meantime letís stop sending tax dollars to support a government we claim to despise.