The Washington Post reports this morning that:

Lawmakers have inserted a little-noticed provision in the Senate’s $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at providing billions of dollars in emergency assistance to Boeing, the aerospace giant already under fire for deadly safety lapses in its commercial jets, three people with knowledge of the internal deliberations said.

The Senate package includes a $17 billion federal loan program for businesses deemed “critical to maintaining national security.” The provision does not mention Boeing by name but was crafted largely for the company’s benefit, two of the people said.

We can debate the wisdom of this decision. But why should we bail out Boeing when Boeing chief executive David Calhoun said that the company has other options?

In a Tuesday interview on Fox, Boeing chief executive Dave Calhoun said he would not be willing to give the government an equity stake in the company in exchange for a bailout, implying the company would only accept assistance on its own terms…

“If they force it, we just look at all the other options, and we’ve got plenty of them,” Calhoun said.

The Hill reported an identical comment:

“If they force it, we just look at all the other options, and we’ve got plenty of them,” Calhoun said.

If Boeing has “plenty” of options that allow the company to reject this bailout if it doesn’t like the conditions, then we shouldn’t be bailing out Boeing in the first place. Those other options should be pursued first.

Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.