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Thread: Ron Paul: Earmarks Are Not the Problem

  1. #1

    Ron Paul: Earmarks Are Not the Problem

    http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives...t-the-problem/

    Last week President Trump urged Congress to reassert its constitutional authority to direct how federal agencies spend taxpayer dollars. Ironically, many constitutional conservatives and libertarians disagree with the president. The reason is, President Trump wants Congress to reassert its authority by bringing back earmarks.

    Earmarks are line items in spending bills directing federal agencies to spend federal funds on specific projects in a representative or senator’s district or state. Congress ended the practice of earmarks several years ago after a public outcry fueled by a widespread misunderstanding of the issue.

    Earmarks are added to spending bills after the spending levels have been determined. Therefore, earmarks do not increase federal spending. What earmarks do is limit the federal bureaucrats’ ability to decide how to spend taxpayer money.

    When I served in Congress, I was amazed when self-proclaimed constitutionalists complained about how earmarks prevented funding of federal bureaucrats’ priorities. These “constitutionalists” seem to have forgotten that the Constitution gives Congress sole authority over deciding how taxpayer dollars should be spent.

    My support for earmarks in Congress did not add one penny to the spending in the bills. I believed that some of the tax money sent to Washington should actually make it back to Congressional districts rather than remain in the hands of Washington bureaucrats. In the end, I always voted against final passage of the bloated spending bills.

    Some call earmarks a gateway drug to big spending. They point to how congressional leadership denied earmarks to members unless the members voted for big spending and other anti-liberty legislation. It is true that congressional leadership used earmarks to reward and punish members. During my years in Congress, earmarks for my district were stripped from bills in an (unsuccessful) attempt to make me stop voting against unconstitutional legislation.

    Congressional leaders do not need earmarks to reward or punish members. They can, for example, deny plum committee assignments to those who refuse to toe the party line, or discourage donors from supporting them.

    Presidents can still use the promise of federal funds to influence congressional votes. “Presidential earmarks” were crucial to passing Obamacare, and President Trump has threatened to withhold aid from states whose senators oppose his agenda. The removal of earmarks has given the president even greater influence over the legislative branch!

    The fact that there are more representatives and senators willing to vote against big government than in past years has nothing to do with the lack of earmarks. Instead, the liberty movement has led to more liberty-minded members being elected to the House and Senate.

    While the ideas of liberty are growing in popularity, the majority of the people and certainly most politicians still believe the US government should run the economy, run the world, and run our lives. This misplaced faith in big government, not the presence of earmarks, is why most politicians vote for big spending. No politician ever said, “Now that I can’t receive earmarks, I am abandoning my support for the welfare-warfare state.”

    Earmarks are a way for elected representatives to ensure their constituents’ tax dollars are spent in a manner that matches constituent priorities. Earmarks do not by themselves expand government. Those who oppose earmarks should work to stop so many Americans from demanding government-provided economic and personal security. Earmarks are not the cause of runaway spending, and removing them has done little or nothing to shrink government and regain our liberties.
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  3. #2
    Thanks, Ron Paul- I've explained this a million times to so-called conservatives.
    There is no spoon.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Ender View Post
    Thanks, Ron Paul- I've explained this a million times to so-called conservatives.
    Ditto. I read this earlier today.
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Ender View Post
    Thanks, Ron Paul- I've explained this a million times to so-called conservatives.
    This is one area where I am not sure Ron has it right. You might need to explain it to everyone who has a sub-forum here.





    https://jones.house.gov/press-releas...arrel-spending

    "“Nothing Will Fill the Swamp Faster Than Earmarks”

    http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/91791-on-earmarks-rand-paul-is-not-following-in-fathers-footsteps I don’t accept the proposition that earmarks are the only way to have money for your community. ... Earmarks represent a lot of what is broken in the system.”

  6. #5
    Largely , they do not matter , because 99 percent of all bills should not be voted for in the first place due to other harmful content . If you do not vote for them , does not matter what is in them . While I oppose earmarks , they are likely the least of your worries in a major bill . If anyone read the bills they would know .

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by oyarde View Post
    Largely , they do not matter , because 99 percent of all bills should not be voted for in the first place due to other harmful content . If you do not vote for them , does not matter what is in them . While I oppose earmarks , they are likely the least of your worries in a major bill . If anyone read the bills they would know .
    That is true but you are missing the point. Those bills get passed because earmarks are used as currency to buy votes on bills that are often unpopular.. While the cost of the earmarks is small, the cost of the bad bills that pass is large.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Krugminator2 View Post
    That is true but you are missing the point. Those bills get passed because earmarks are used as currency to buy votes on bills that are often unpopular.. While the cost of the earmarks is small, the cost of the bad bills that pass is large.
    Ron addressed that point, and bad legislation continued to get passed, sans earmarks.
    "The Patriarch"

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    Not going to happen.
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    The man did not think clearly. It was almost as if he had brain cancer of something.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    Ron addressed that point, and bad legislation continued to get passed, sans earmarks.
    Hardly (in relative terms) anything got passed under Obama when Republicans took the House and hardly anything is passing now even with both houses and the presidency. It was historic in ineffectiveness. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2014/04/10/president-obama-said-the-113th-congress-is-the-least-productive-ever-is-he-right/?utm_term=.061bd926aecb

    An ineffective Congress is an effective Congress. Right now you have beautiful dysfunction.

    The reason people want earmarks back is to get Congress to get more things to pass, which is the exact thing I don't want. For example,

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/artic...y-re-overrated
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/...ing-back-pork/
    https://www.vox.com/2015/6/30/886486...-pork-congress
    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-oe-...209-story.html



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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Krugminator2 View Post
    That is true but you are missing the point. Those bills get passed because earmarks are used as currency to buy votes on bills that are often unpopular.. While the cost of the earmarks is small, the cost of the bad bills that pass is large.
    The cost of earmarks as far as increasing the budget is nothing. It's using money that is already allocated. The smart move is to attach earmarks to a related bill that is going to get passed. You can still vote against that bill and get the earmark.
    go small or go home
    Taxation is Theft

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Krugminator2 View Post
    This is one area where I am not sure Ron has it right. You might need to explain it to everyone who has a sub-forum here.





    https://jones.house.gov/press-releas...arrel-spending

    "“Nothing Will Fill the Swamp Faster Than Earmarks”

    http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/91791-on-earmarks-rand-paul-is-not-following-in-fathers-footsteps I don’t accept the proposition that earmarks are the only way to have money for your community. ... Earmarks represent a lot of what is broken in the system.”
    "Earmarks" is budget money that will go directly to the Executive Branch to spend as the President chooses, UNLESS they are earmarked by the legislative branch for uses and needs in specific areas or states.

    THIS is why Ron Paul supported them. He felt it was better to give his constituents back some of their tax-money for needs in the state than to let the Executive branch grab it and use it for whatever.
    There is no spoon.



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