Right-Wing Media Falsely Claim Obama Donor Received Taxpayer LoanAugust 17, 2012 10:02 AM EDT ››› ZACHARY PLEAT
Fox & Friends, the Daily Caller, and the Drudge Report are falsely charging that a businessman that has supported President Obama and Vice President Biden is receiving a taxpayer-financed loan to expand his business overseas. In fact, the loan comes from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which does not use taxpayer funds, and exists for the purpose of helping "U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets" overseas.
The Daily Caller charged:
In late July, John Hynansky -- a longtime friend of Vice President Joe Biden, and a major donor to Biden's campaigns as well as President Barack Obama's -- was awarded a $20 million taxpayer loan to build a foreign-car dealership in Ukraine.
Drudge highlighted this false claim with the headline, "Biden's 'good friend' receives $20M federal loan to open luxury car dealership -- in Ukraine." And Fox News also hyped this claim with co-host Gretchen Carlson saying: "Talk about friends in high places. A major donor to President Obama's campaign getting $20 million in taxpayer money to build a luxury car dealership in the Ukraine."
However, the claim that this loan uses taxpayer money is false. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation states that it is "the U.S. Government's development finance institution" and "helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets." While it receives administrative funding from Congress, OPIC "operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers" and has actually reduced the federal budget deficit for 34 consecutive years:
Are OPIC services U.S. taxpayer-funded?
OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. In fact, it generated net income of $269 million in Fiscal Year 2011, helping to reduce the federal budget deficit for the 34th consecutive year.
Indeed, during the early 1980s, OPIC returned the taxpayer money used to start up the agency to President Reagan. At the time, Reagan praised OPIC for helping advance the cause of economic freedom in the world.
The Daily Caller, Fox, and Drudge also highlight Hynansky's political contributions and relationship to Biden, but at no point do they present evidence that these donations or his friendship with Biden had any effect on his loan application.