Free Markets, Free People


Paul’s pork

The following was written by Andrew Davis for Conservative HQ. It has been posted here with his permission.

During the 2008 election, Ron Paul became a grassroots icon in his fierce denunciations of Big Government, Big Spending and the federal government’s failure to live by our Constitution.

Unfortunately, his actions don’t match his rhetoric.

According to a Houston Chronicle analysis of the $410 billion dollar spending bill passed by Congress at the end of February, Ron Paul had a role in obtaining 22 earmarks, totaling $96.1 million—making him the pork-leader of Houston’s congressional delegation.

Paul’s office did not respond to comment requests from the Chronicle; however, on Paul’s congressional Web site, it states: “As long as the Federal government takes tax money from [Paul's] constituents, he will make every effort to return that money to his district.”

Comforting logic, consistent with our Constitution? Not really.

This isn’t the first time Congressman Paul has been caught with his hand in the federal cookie jar. In August of last year, a Wall Street Journal article highlighted Paul’s request for 65 earmarks costing nearly $400 million. This included $8 million for marketing shrimp, and $2.3 million for shrimp-fishing research.

At the time, Paul’s spokesperson told the Journal that, “Reducing earmarks does not reduce government spending, and it does not prohibit spending upon those things that are earmarked.”

“What people who push earmark reform are doing is they are particularly misleading the public — and I have to presume it’s not by accident,” the spokesperson added.

Again, not a very convincing logical justification. And, Paul’s spokesperson certainly didn’t explain how marketing shrimp is consistent with the U.S. Constitution.

Paul is far from the top of the list of Big Spenders in Congress, but he isn’t at the bottom either. Earmarks are a small portion of Congress’ overall spending; however, you have to start somewhere to cut spending, and eliminating earmarks is as good of a place as any.

Although Paul ended up voting against the $410 billion spending bill, he still had his hands in the cookie jar. At the end of the day, he’ll end up with taxpayer cash flowing into his district, but can boast about a clean record.

A list of Congressman Paul’s 2009 earmark requests can be found here.

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18 Responses to Paul’s pork

  • His actions never have matched his rhetoric, which is precisely why he never went anywhere .  The band of devoted followers of his this most recent election never really looked closely at what the man actually does one easy given the power.  Sadly, and not all that unlike many other politicians. 

    But perhaps with this in mind, we can be spared the pseudo libertarian affectations that the man is famous for, going forward.

  • I guess you don’t understand his position, it is the pragmatic position.  He has explained this numerous times.

    1. The Budget is created before the earmarks are in place.  ie: They have already determined how much they are going to spend, just not where they are going to spend it.
    2.  Since the amount of $$$ spent is already determined, “earmarks” are part of how the congress decides where to spend it.  He says, if they are going to spend it anyways, my constituents should get their money back.
    3. Eliminating the earmarks or not submitting any, leaves where that money is spent in the hands of UNELECTED bureaucrats.  It does not reduce the budget in anyway.
    4. He votes against the actual budget (how much is going to be spent).

    I think it is pretty clear that what he does enables him to stand on his principles (vote against the budget) and still do the work for his consituents.

    • I guess you don’t understand his position, it is the pragmatic position.

      I don’t give a damn about his stated position, because if in the real world, after the kleig lights are doused and the reporters go home, he’s willing to do a logical dance to get around it, like this, it’s clear he doesn’t give a damn about his stated position, either.

      The man is making allusions to a principled argument, and then clearly demonstrates that he can’t even come close on  following those principles.  The kind of damage such a person generates to the cause is worse than anyone from the Democrat party ever could.  At least Democrats tell you up front what they’re going to do going in, wrong though it be.

      (spit)
      THe guy needs to be gone… even at the expense of a Democrat being put in his place.

      • I agree.

        Walk the talk or STFU and become a democrat (spit).

      • The man is making allusions to a principled argument, and then clearly demonstrates that he can’t even come close on  following those principles.

        Pfft.  If you actually gave a damn about principles, you wouldn’t crouch to lick the arse of every Republican from here to Tuesday.  Henke had you nailed when he described you as “the mirror image of mkultra.”
        You write as if Paul is the only one who’s … oh, how did you put it? … “actions never have matched his rhetoric.”  NO Republican has ever “matched the rhetoric.”  They’ve ALL got their hands in the federal cookie jar.  Everyone of them.  Including your beloved Palin.  To single out Paul as the one who, “generates to the cause is worse than anyone from the Democrat party ever could.” is beyond ridiculous.

        Look, Bryan’s criticism of Paul is more than valid.  He should be called out on his hypocrisy.  And Paul’s justifications don’t hold much water with me.  That said, it strikes me as odd, that out of all the so-called republicans, Paul is the one highlighted for this kind of hypocrisy.  After all, if you were to put him on a scale with all of the other soi-disant small government, fiscal responsibility “Republicans”, Paul would barely register.
        Part of me wants to give some the benefit of the doubt; that Paul is looked upon with favor here and these are just helpful, constructive criticisms.  But most of me wants to remain true to my cynicism as I can’t recall ever reading anything very positive about Paul here.
        As I’ve stated many times before, this is their blog and they can write what they will, but it seems that the only time I read about Paul on this site it’s nothing but criticism, no praise.  And out of ALL of the Republicans, it seems that Paul has a smaller p!ss pot than most.

        As evident from some of his supporters, Paul has his problems.  But Paul also has his virtues.

        Cheers.

        • Pfft.  If you actually gave a damn about principles, you wouldn’t crouch to lick the arse of every Republican from here to Tuesday

          Now, YOU are dancing. Not much of a shock, but there it is.

          Henke had you nailed when he described you as “the mirror image of mkultra.” You write as if Paul is the only one who’s … oh, how did you put it? … “actions never have matched his rhetoric.” NO Republican has ever “matched the rhetoric.”

          Do you even bother to read your own spew? You claim me a Republican expremist, and then come up with this nonsense, in the same para? Come back and you grow a brain, Pouge… a functioning one.

        • By the way, Pouge…

          Who said this:

          Message to John McCain: Shut up. This kind of nonsense is exactly what lost you (and us) the ‘08 race in the first place. It is clear the lesson has not been learned by you. That thing in the basket is your butt, placed there by your own refusal to stand up and be counted as a real conservative. For too many years, you’ve been dragging the Republican party to the left, culminating in the loss of your presidential run. As such, your status as a conservative voice, which was never above the level of shaky to begin with, you have now negated completely. You are now reduced in rank to the status of ‘willing tool’. Shut up, and go away. You’re no longer wanted, nor are you needed. You’re done. Can I make this any clearer?

          can you tell me, and keep it within the confines of :

          If you actually gave a damn about principles, you wouldn’t crouch to lick the arse of every Republican from here to Tuesday. Henke had you nailed when he described you as “the mirror image of mkultra.”

          Come on, punk, let’s hear it.

  • Nice way to mis-state the man’s position
    for those who may get mislead by this article
    Paul’s constituents pay taxes. Earmarks are NOT newly appropriated funds . Earmarks are requested from money thats already been deemed to get spent by the Federal govt
    So his constituents (Who elected him) come to him & ask him to introduce their requests for Federal funding. So he introduces the requests of his constituents & eventhough he disagrees with his constituency its still his job to take their requests to Washington. They do send tax dollars to DC afterall and they want their fair share in taxes theyve paid back.
    Then he votes NO on the spending on principle.
    all said this article is retarded
    its interesting how the zionist paid bloggers & Israeli Firsters are still obsessed with bashing this old cranky man.
    envy and stupidity
    getting scared he may run in 2012?

    • its interesting how the zionist paid bloggers & Israeli Firsters are still obsessed with bashing this old cranky man.

      Your argument is already full of holes, but you really surrender it with this stupid comment.

      • lmao
        my argument is as good as a caddy
        i like how you left it for one comment
        ps/ I really meant that comment you didnt like and I know very well why the personal attacks are so ugly and full of half truths and mis reps

        • I learned a lot about Ron Paul last year. Believe me, the man isn’t all he is cracked up to be. I’m not saying he is a bad guy, I’m just saying that he leaves a lot to be desired considering that he has become the self-appointed spokesman for the Liberty Movement.

          Someone who claims that Congress should abide by Article I, Section 8 while not actually doing it himself, shows a stunning of amount of hypocrisy.

          Please, share more of your conspiracies.

          • @ Jason please see my comment below containing Ron Paul’s video confrontation and read his statement on this
            I will not respond to you if you do not watch that whole video and read his statement from his Congressional website. At least be fair & honest when you criticize and look at the views of those youre criticizing

    • “getting scared he may run in 2012?”

      You’re kidding, right? 

  • ps/ The money belongs to American taxpayers not to the Fed & not to Israel
    how about discussing the $2.6 Billion foreign Aid Pork to Israel every year and the rest of the 10s of Billions to other Nations of the world including Israels enemies?
    why dont you discuss that? or does it not please your master?
    shalom

  • Almost forgot
    this was brought up more than 2 years ago
    heres Ron Paul’s answer when confronted on Meet The Press

    Tim Russert was more confrontational than this hit piece article
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbca34MS8LI

    Heres Ron Paul’s statement on his Congressional website from April 08
    http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec2008/cr041008h.htm

    • I’ve read what he has to say and I’ve seen the video before.

      You’re just another member of the Cult of Ron Paul who refuses to believe that he is being incredibly hypocritical.

  • The reason Paul never did well at the national level is simple.  He lacks the basic leadership skills to lead. And he has generally been unwilling to compromise, except, it appears, on earmarks.

    He’s almost the mirror image of the RINOs like McCain. Except on earmarks.

    PS: you really want to stir up a Paulbot nest with this post? Now we will be reading a bunch of banker/zionist/truther/etc nonsense. 

  • Dr Ron does us PROUD!