U.S. loans Brazil $105 million for tourist attraction

aquariumAccording to data released by the Congressional Budget Office Friday, since October 1, the beginning of fiscal year 2013, the U.S. has borrowed 43 cents of every dollar it has spent. That being the case, why are we loaning $105 million to the Brazilian state of Ceara so that they can build a fancy aquarium?

The U.S. will have to borrow $48.3 million in order to loan the money to Brazil.

The transaction is being handled through the U.S. Export-Import Bank, an agency of the federal government. The aquarium sounds nice though.

“An anticipated tourist attraction, the aquarium will boast four floors housing 25 large tanks containing approximately 15 million liters of water and showcasing 500 marine species and 35,000 individual specimens,” the Export-Import Bank said in a press release.

“The aquarium will also feature interactive exhibits, two 4D cinemas, one 3D cinema, and an educational platform dedicated to the research and preservation of aquatic life along the Brazilian coastal regions,” said the U.S.-government-controlled bank. “When completed, Acquario will rank as the largest aquarium in the Southern Hemisphere and the third largest in the world.”

As beautiful as it is, one still has to wonder why we’re borrowing $48.3 million so that Brazilians can enjoy an aquarium.

This isn’t the first time we’ve loaned borrowed funds to Brazil. Back in August of 2009, we loaned $2 billion so that China could engage in offshore oil exploration off the Brazilian coast. Kinda’ boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

I’m not the only person who can’t make sense of this whole cockamamie “borrow money only to loan to someone else” scheme. As reported by CNSNews.com:

When the reauthorization legislation was debated in Congress, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) offered an amendment that would have terminated the bank by prohibiting it from engaging in new loans, loan guarantees or any other form of financing after May 31, 2013. After that date, the bank would have been permitted only to fulfill the obligations into which it had already entered. Lee’s amendment failed, however, and the Senate voted 78-20 to reauthorize the bank. The House had earlier voted 330-93 for reauthorization.

“We need to end the corporate welfare that distorts the market and feeds crony capitalism,” Lee said during Senate debate on the bank. “The corporations that largely benefit from the Ex-Im Bank should have no trouble marshaling their resources to compete in today’s economy. If they are struggling, then they are most likely not deserving of taxpayer help; and if they are turning billions in profit, then they clearly do not need taxpayer-subsidized loans.”

It’s nice to know everyone in Congress hasn’t gone off the deep end.

Read more at CNSNews.com.


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