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View Full Version : Other: The Ole Earmark Debate




Brick-in-the-Wall
12-05-2011, 08:27 PM
So on another forum I criticized Newt Gingrich and one of his supporters fired back with this. I remember reading about this, tried to search on here, but didn't find a good response to this.

Any links or rebuttals to help me out?


http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/07/ron-paul-texas-federal-spending-pork

For better or worse, Paul has always cauterized his anti-government views with old-fashioned cronyism. Knowing that most appropriations bills will pass despite his nay vote, he often loads them with earmarks. In this way, he has managed to please both small-government conservatives and pork-loving constituents. From 2008 through 2010, Paul won nearly $125 million in earmarks, most of them for spending in his district. Last year, he was one of just four House Republicans who refused to abide by their party's voluntary earmarks ban. Trying to justify his projects in a 2009 Fox News interview, Paul said, "If they are going to allot the money, I have a responsibility to represent my people." Asked to elaborate on Paul's position, his spokeswoman pointed to a statement on Paul's website arguing that eliminating earmarks "would further consolidate power in the already dominant executive branch and not save a penny."

I don't have all the info yet, but am hoping to get it soon--this isn't an isolated thing w/him. I'm hearing more and more that he does this A LOT. He's very adept at loading a bill that he knows will pass w/earmarks for his district and then voting no on it--that way he looks good for voting against it, but he's part of the Washington game as much as anyone. Worse to me is that he positions himself as being against this stuff--if true, it makes him a hypocrite of the worst degree.

If you don't like motherjones, try the LA Times. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/03/ron-paul-defend.html

Maybe the LA Times is too liberal. Try Cavuto. http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/your-world-cavuto/2009/03/11/rep-ron-paul-defends-his-earmarks-spending-bill

As I said, I'm waiting on more of this stuff, and will post it when/if I get it.

Flame on, suckers.

If he was simply earmarking for his district, it would be one thing. What I have a HUGE problem with is him earmarking for his district on a bill he knows will pass, then voting against it and taking a faux position of anti-government garbage. It's dishonest at the very least--what's more accurate is it's the beltway disease at it's worst.

Feeding the Abscess
12-05-2011, 08:30 PM
It's not cronyism if the earmarks aren't contributors to his campaign.

It's thieving the thieves.

If everyone took Ron's approach, there would be no earmarks or appropriations spending; it'd all be voted down.

Pick your favored answer.

Spikender
12-05-2011, 08:33 PM
http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?310712-Ron-Paul-and-quot-pork-barrel-spending-quot (http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?310712-Ron-Paul-and-quot-pork-barrel-spending-quotl")

This thread is about the same thing, it's covered in depth here.

Zippyjuan
12-05-2011, 10:38 PM
This is one issue where I have problems with Ron's statements. He likes to say he never voted for any earmarks (to imply that he is opposed to them) and then in the same statement says that it is good that he gets earmarks. If he thinks it is good to get the government to spend more money in his district he should not be afraid to vote for them. It comes off as sounding typical polititian hypocracy and can turn off people who might otherwise vote for him.

Ron on "Meet The Press" in 2007:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22342301/ns/meet_the_press/t/meet-press-transcript-dec/

MR. RUSSERT: When I looked at your record, you talked about big government and how opposed you are to it, but you seem to have a different attitude about your own congressional district. For example, "Congress decided to send billions of dollars to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Guess how Ron Paul voted. `Is bailing out people" that choose--"that chose to live on the coastline a proper function of the federal government?' he asks." And you said no. And yet, this: "Paul's current district, which includes Galveston and reaches into" the "Brazoria County, draws a substantial amount of federal flood insurance payments." For your own congressional district. This is the Houston Chronicle: "Representative Ron Paul has long crusaded against a big central government. But he also" "represented a congressional district that's consistently among the top in Texas in its reliance on dollars from Washington. In the first nine months of the federal government's" fiscal "2006 fiscal year," "it received more than $4 billion." And they report, The Wall Street Journal, 65 earmark-targeted projects, $400 million that you have put into congressional bills for your district, which leads us to the Congressional Quarterly. "The Earmark Dossier of `Dr. No.' There isn't much that" Ron--Dr. "Ron Paul thinks the federal government should do. Apparently, though, earmarks" for his district "are OK. Paul is the sponsor of no fewer than 10 earmarks in the water resources bill," all benefiting his district. The Gulf Intercoastal Waterway: $32 million. The sunken ship you want to be moved from Freeport Harbor. The Bayou Navigation Channel. They talk about $8 million for shrimp fishermen.

REP. PAUL: You, you know...

MR. RUSSERT: Why, why would you load up...

REP. PAUL: You got it completely wrong. I've never voted for an earmark in my life.

MR. RUSSERT: No, but you put them in the bill.

REP. PAUL: I put it in because I represent people who are asking for some of their money back. But it doesn't cut any spending to vote against an earmark. And the Congress has the responsibility to spend the money. Why leave the money in the executive branch and let them spend the money?

MR. RUSSERT: Well, that's like, that's like saying you voted for it before you voted against it.

REP. PAUL: Nah! Come on, Tim. That has nothing to do with that.

MR. RUSSERT: If, if, if you put it in the bill and get the headlight back home...

REP. PAUL: No, I, I make the request. They're not in the bills.

MR. RUSSERT: ...and then you, then you know it's going to pass Congress and so you, you don't refuse the money.

REP. PAUL: Well, no, of course not. It's like taking a tax credit. If you have a tax credit, I'm against the taxes but I take all my tax credits. I want to get...

MR. RUSSERT: But if you were true...

REP. PAUL: ...the money back for the people.

MR. RUSSERT: If you were true to your philosophy, you would say no pork spending in my district.

REP. PAUL: No, no, that's not it. They steal our money, that's like saying that people shouldn't take Social Security money.

Feeding the Abscess
12-05-2011, 10:48 PM
This is one issue where I have problems with Ron's statements. He likes to say he never voted for any earmarks (to imply that he is opposed to them) and then in the same statement says that it is good that he gets earmarks. If he thinks it is good to get the government to spend more money in his district he should not be afraid to vote for them. It comes off as sounding typical polititian hypocracy and can turn off people who might otherwise vote for him.

Ron on "Meet The Press" in 2007:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22342301/ns/meet_the_press/t/meet-press-transcript-dec/

He doesn't view it as being good that money is being spent in his district.

He views it as good that he is stealing money from the federal government and giving it to his district. This is completely consistent with libertarian philosophy, as articulated most eloquently by Walter Block. The implication that one can't have anything to do with government must logically conclude with you committing suicide, lest you come into contact with anything that falls under government jurisdiction.

Zippyjuan
12-06-2011, 12:40 AM
He views it as good that he is stealing money from the federal government and giving it to his district.
You seem to be saying that stealing money from the government (taxpayers) is OK.

Is that any better than getting a sweetheart deal for say a defense contractor who overbills the government for parts? The $10,000 toilet seats? The Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska? The money would be spent anyways- right? Rather than try to set an example and fight it, I'll get what I can for mine?

Paul Fan
12-06-2011, 04:06 AM
Check out pages 16-20 of this IMMA paper for a fairly comprehensive discussion of earmarks. Www.instituteformoremediaaccuracy.org

freefromchains
12-06-2011, 04:16 AM
I thought Russert did get the better of him on that particular exchange at the time.

vechorik
12-06-2011, 07:12 AM
Is this over-simplified statement still accurate?

"Earmarks are complicated, but as I understand it
money is set aside to spend. States vie for that
money. If money isn't spent, then Obama gets to
spend it any way he wishes. Dr. Paul is just trying
to prevent him from getting a "blank check."

(for blogging purposes, I mean)

Feeding the Abscess
12-07-2011, 09:12 AM
You seem to be saying that stealing money from the government (taxpayers) is OK.

Is that any better than getting a sweetheart deal for say a defense contractor who overbills the government for parts? The $10,000 toilet seats? The Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska? The money would be spent anyways- right? Rather than try to set an example and fight it, I'll get what I can for mine?

Yes, I am saying that stealing money from the executive to return it to the taxpayers - even if it's not given back in kind to those who contributed to those funds - is a better way of operating government than having the executive decide what goes where, and by what amount.

Obviously, the best way to go would be to not even have this choice. And Ron's Paul's approach does both, it takes power away from the executive and also rejects the bill with a no vote.

musicmax
12-07-2011, 09:36 AM
Is this over-simplified statement still accurate?

"Earmarks are complicated, but as I understand it
money is set aside to spend. States vie for that
money. If money isn't spent, then Obama gets to
spend it any way he wishes. Dr. Paul is just trying
to prevent him from getting a "blank check."

(for blogging purposes, I mean)

This is a good distillation of Paul's position. And I say that even though I am anti-earmark and think Russert won the '07 exchange.