If your profit model requires you to lobby Congress to increase the taxpayers' exposure to debt, do you still consider yourself a capitalist?

That's my question for Boeing, General Electric, Westinghouse, Caterpillar, and the other businesses currently pushing Congressto increase the credit ceiling of the federal subsidy agency called the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Bloomberg News reports:


The U.S. Export-Import Bank, which helps big exporters such as Boeing and Caterpillar make foreign sales, might have to stop operations unless Congress raises its $100 billion "exposure cap," U.S. government and business officials said on Friday.

Current law limits the amount of credit exposure the bank can hold to $100 billion. In recent years, the bank has been funding new projects faster than old loans have been repaid.

"If we don't get an increase in the exposure cap, we will reach our limit in the next few months at the current pace of operation," Phil Cogan, a spokesman for Ex-Im, told Reuters.

John Hardy, president of the Coalition for Employment through Exports, told reporters he hoped Congress would raise the cap as part of an omnibus spending bill lawmakers are trying to pass in coming weeks.

And President Obama, that scourge of the special interests and champion of the little guy? He's sure to push for a higher credit line for Boeing's Bank, as part of his European-style industrial policy.