View Full Version : Ron Paul's support of pork projects

11-11-2007, 03:10 AM
I recently made the argument that Ron Paul supports pork spending because he believes that if the government takes money from his constituency he might as well ask for it back. This is the response I got:

'I think that is a cop out. His standard practice is to earmark pork on a bill that is going to pass then vote against it so he can say he never voted for an increase in spending. His argument that not earmarking increases the power of the executive branch is really weak as well.

I read something about in order to prevent tarriffs he voted for subsidies for Texas shrimpers. That goes completely against the small government pro trade ideals he proclaims.

I was intrigued by Ron Paul, and would have considered voting for him. After looking at his voting record and his political maneuvers I saw what he was. The man is a politician who talks an appealing game, but does not practice what he preaches.'

I read where he supported subsidies for Texas shrimpers as well and I thought that was an odd position for Dr Paul to take. Particularly troubling was his stance that seemed to be anti-free trade with foreign countries and pro subsidizing uncompetitive US industries.

He also seemed to think that a big problem was our government's over regulation. Does Paul really think a concerned consumer advocate group can keep a specialized industry like the shrimping industry in check?

I will be converting to Republican to support Paul in the primaries. I've donated once, I plan on donating on Sunday 11/11/07 (through purchase of a book) and on the day of Tea Party 07. I try to spread the word and feel like even if we have our disagreements, Paul is a very principled and in general our country and world will be better for it.

11-11-2007, 03:40 AM
Welcome to the Forums.

I'll try to address these in order, but always encourage people to visit the excellent Ron Paul Library (http://www.ronpaullibrary.com) to read RP in his own words.

First, RP has NEVER voted for a budget that is not balanced, meaning that he will always vote against a budget that contains an earmark (so he is not subtly and sneakily voting no only on bills that contain his earmarks).

Second, his arguments re: earmarking being the alternative to allowing the executive branch to decide where the money gets spent are strong. The options are: (1) vote for the same level of spending and leave it to the President to decide how to allocate the funds, or (2) vote for the same level of spending and leave it to the representatives of the people to decide how to allocate some of the funds.

RP has repeatedly said that he sees earmarks as a small problem compared to the tax-and-spend crisis in D.C. The real solution to our $9 trillion national debt is not to worry about how members of Congress try to steer tax dollars back to their districts via earmarks, but to return to the limited federal government that the Consitution requires.

Third, I have no idea what the tariffs versus subsidies for shrimp farmers argument is supposed to represent. Here (http://www.ronpaullibrary.org/document.php?id=625) is a link to a Ron Paul speech to the House on the U.S. government subsidizing foreign shrimpers while overregulating American shrimpers, but it does not appear to call for subsidizing American shrimpers.

Here's (http://www.jarbobayoutimes.com/fisherman.html) some information on the bill introduced by RP re: shrimpers:

"Domestic shrimpers up and down the Texas Gulf coast have been
devastated by cheap imported shrimp," Paul stated. "Congress needs
to remove the burdensome regulations that make it so difficult for
our shrimpers to make a profit, but we also need to eliminate
foreign aid subsidies to the nations that compete directly with our
shrimp industry. It's unconscionable that a struggling shrimper in
south Texas has to pay taxes that subsidize his foreign

Paul introduced the "Shrimp Importation Fairness Act" in January
2003 to help level the playing field between the foreign and
domestic shrimp industries. The bill places a moratorium on costly
federal regulations that hamper the domestic industry, while ending
taxpayer subsidies to seven countries responsible for nearly 70% of
the imported shrimp consumed in the U.S.

The above appears to be right in line with RP's principles, which include removing federal regulations and involvement from our lives and getting rid of foreign aid.

11-11-2007, 03:41 AM

I am an LSU grad and I like it too!

I am always amazed when people try to dig up dirt on Dr. Paul and all they can come up are such things as are in your post!

I am no expert in some of the areas you discuss. However, the idea that Ron Paul is "anti-free trade with foreign countries" is totally erroneous. Have you ever listened to one of his speeches? He always talks about how he is for free trade. The thing is he is not for the type of so called free trade that we got from NAFTA or CAFTA, because those are not free trade.

11-11-2007, 06:40 AM
The important point is that he is a elected as a Congressman, which means he has to represent the people of his district. Thats why he earmarks the bills. Because he is Dr. No he votes against it. I completly agree with him in this point. A principled man often has difficult decision to make, and the genius of Dr. Paul is how he resolves this conflicts.

The response made me a little bit angry. It's fine if he doesn't agree Ron Pauls position in this particular area, but COME ON. Not only has Ron Paul to be the second coming of Thomas Jefferson, now he has to be the second coming of Jesus to be electable. One issue voters...

11-11-2007, 07:41 AM
Thanks for the great replies. This will help my discussion with my reluctant Ron Paul supporter/basher. I'm still a little uncomfortable about removing regulations so that shrimpers can compete with the irresponsible practice of foreign shrimpers (many foreign countries aren't exactly stewards of the environment). I suppose regulation could occur at the state level, but I kind of doubt private industry will be effectively policed by concerned citizens or themselves.

This is a separate issue and a concern of mine, probably not the guy I'm trying to win over to Ron Paul's side.

Totally agree about the one-issue voter comment above. Simply based on Paul's superficial presence in the debates and in response to pointed questions, I think it is obvious that Paul is far and above the most responsible representative of the people of the US. Digging deeper, with an open mind, I believe further solidifies that belief in Paul.

Goldwater Conservative
11-11-2007, 11:20 AM
I'm guessing this person is deciding between not voting, voting third party, or voting for Ron Paul, because if it's Ron Paul versus any other candidate, Ron Paul wins. I don't understand these people that want to vote for an entire list of issues they can agree with. Why not focus on the big picture issues of the day? As much as I hate pork-barrel spending, it's a drop in the bucket compared to military spending, the Big Three entitlement programs, and interest on the debt.

I find it perfectly acceptable for someone to vote against spending money, but then when it's spent steering it to their constituents. It's the same as a poor person making use of government programs... like the Doctor says, they've paid into the system and have certain expectations. They have every right to make use of the benefits if they're already there.