Earmarks ~ good idea or bad idea?

The Ron Paul Myth –

Vanity | 9/1/11 | Alan Levy

Posted on Thursday, September 01, 2011 2:44:44 AM by Absolutely Nobama –

One of the lies Ron Paul’s more vocal supporters (his army of cyberstormtroopers) will tell you until they’re blue in the face is that the Shame of Texas has a strict constructionist view of the Constitution. They’ll hiss, scratch, and burn a cross on your blog for daring to point out the obvious. In other words, they’re like Chairman Obama’s Drones, big on fascisti passion, small on critical thinking.

Let’s take a stroll down Memory Hole Lane, shall we ? Here is the text of Ayatollah RuPaul’s interview with Neil Cavuto of FOX News back in 2009:

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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Speaking of a lot of money, the battle about the money they’re spending on Capitol Hill and, ironically, this guy is being targeted as maybe spending the most or at least earmarking the most for his constituents. He says it isn’t fair.

But we thought it only fair to give him his due and explain what is going on. I’m talking about Texas congressman and former presidential candidate, Ron Paul.

Congressman, the rap is that you’re a porker, that — that a lot of pork, $73 million-plus, went to your district. Is that true?

REP. RON PAUL, R-TEXAS: Well, it might be.

But I think you’re missing the whole point. I have never voted for an earmark. I voted against all appropriation bills. So, this whole thing about earmarks is totally misunderstood.

Earmarks is the responsibility of the Congress. We should earmark even more. We should earmark every penny. So, that’s the principle that we have to follow and the — and the responsibility of the Congress. The whole idea that you vote against an earmark, you don’t save a penny. That just goes to the administration and they get to allocate the funds.

CAVUTO: Well, then, who — who — who proposes the bridge or the highway or the school? How does that even get in there?

PAUL: I have no idea. But the most important thing is to have transparency.

If you don’t earmark something, then somebody else spends it and there’s no transparency. So, the principle of the earmark is very crucial. But we need more earmarks.

The reason that we don’t have — didn’t have earmarks, you know, in that $350 billion on TARP funds…

CAVUTO: Right.

PAUL: We needed to earmark every single thing. We need to earmark every single thing the Fed does. So, this whole thing, this charade — this is a charade.

CAVUTO: No, no, I understand.

But you know what? It just strikes people as a little weird, Congressman, because, you know, you champion and rail against government waste. And I know you rejected and voted against this package. But, yet, your constituents are going to benefit to the tune of more than $73 million in various projects from this package.

So, it’s kind of like you’re having your cake and eating it, too.

PAUL: But — but, Neil — Neil, you’re — you’re missing the whole point.

The principle of the earmark is our responsibility. We’re supposed to — it’s like a — a tax credit. And I vote for all tax credits, no matter how silly they might seem. If I can give you any of you of your money back, I vote for it. So, if I can give my district any money back, I encourage that.

But, because the budget is out of control, I haven’t voted for an appropriation in years — if ever.

CAVUTO: But would you argue, then, sir, that, when John McCain was here saying the whole earmark thing itself is what’s out of control?

PAUL: Oh, no, no. He — he — he totally misunderstands that. That’s grandstanding.

If you cut off all the earmarks, it would be 1 percent of the budget. But, if you vote against all the earmarks, you don’t cut one penny. That is what you have to listen to. We’re talking about who has the responsibility, the Congress or the executive branch?

I’m saying, get it out of the hands of the executive branch. Just listen again about what I have said about the TARP funds. We needed to earmark every penny. Now we gave them $350 billion, no earmarks, and nobody knows…

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: You’re right about…

PAUL: OK. But then I’m right about the whole issue.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: But are you saying, then — are you saying, then, Congressman, that the moneys that you appropriated, whether for the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, the Texas City Channel, Wallisville Lake, the City of Bay City, that rehab center — that that’s money in the aggregate that you would have called waste?

PAUL: It’s the kind I don’t vote for, because I don’t think the federal government should be doing it. But, if they’re going to allot the money, I have a responsibility to represent my people.

If they say, hey, look, put in a highway for the district, I put it in. I put in all their requests, because I’m their representative.

But, if you put an earmark for a bridge in Iraq, it’s not called an earmark. If you build military equipment in somebody’s city…

CAVUTO: So, you don’t think their requests are wastes? You don’t think their requests are wastes?

PAUL: Well, no, it’s — it’s — it shouldn’t be done. There’s a better way to do it.

CAVUTO: Right.

PAUL: But, if you’re going to spend the money, the Congress has the responsibility. It’s better to spend it on a bridge here than spend it on a bridge in Iraq, and blow it up, and then build it up again.

Those are the kind of earmarks they don’t count.

CAVUTO: All right.

PAUL: So, you have to count…

CAVUTO: All right, Congressman.

http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/your-world-cavuto/2009/03/11/rep-ron-paul-defends-his-earmarks-spending-bill#ixzz1Wg9BNOZX

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Now to be fair to Reichsfuhrer Paul, he does make a lot of sense in some spots in the above interview. He was a 1000% right about TARP and building bridges in Iraq. No one can argue those points, and I applaud him for saying it. (And he also took a shot at the horrid John McLame, so kudos on that, too.) However, as I’ve written in a previous column, his view of public spending is almost Marxist. (Pork spending is in no way, shape, or form a “tax rebate”.)

Not only is that knd of talk Marxist-lite, it’s also something the Father of the Constitution, James Madison, would have vehemently disagreed with.

In 1792, Madison said:

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“If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor;they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, everything, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police,would be thrown under the power of Congress.”

(This statement was made in response to a bill that was proposed in Congress to subsidize cod fishermen. Even in the 1790’s, there were slobs who wanted to “spread the wealth around.”)

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Interesting note: I found this quote in The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History by Thomas Woods, Jr. (Another “Libertarian” who has a fondness for appearing on Iran’s Islamonazi state-run television station, but that’s another rant for another time.) It’s also a book Sheikh Ali-Paul wrote a blurb for. He writes:

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“Knowing our past is essential if we are to preserve our freedoms. Professor Woods’s work heroically rescues real history from the politcally correct memory hole. Every American should read this book.”

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Maybe the good doctor should read this book again. We the People get it, he sure doesn’t.

6 responses

  1. As an attorney who has studied the Constitution I can tell you that the hard fought principle that the legislature, not the ‘King’ or executive, should handle the purse strings and where money is spent was handed down from the Magna Carta. It was a key principle of separation of powers continued in our Constitution. Those manipulating you into thinking bureaucrats behind closed doors with lobbyists are the better people to hand out money which should be given to the executive in a blank check are those who are anti-Constitutional separation of powers. Ron Paul always votes against the unConstitutional spending, every single time. However, if his constituents are going to be forced to pay for a designated sum like $500 billion for ‘stimulus’ he will absolutely, as their representative, try to get some of it back for them. He never sells his vote as others do with earmarks, because even with getting the designation from the pot of funds ALREADY DESIGNATED for the bill, he votes against it.

    The two problems with earmarks are first if they increase spending — and his ALWAYS are drawn from pots of money already designated to be spent in the bill, and second if they cause someone to vote for a bad bill as a sort of legislative kick back. He never votes for the bill.

    So you might apologize to Ron Paul and his supporters.

    1. senator-blutarsky

      excellent, Chris – concise and clear, and it destroyed Levy’s incorrect twist of the issue

  2. parkercountyblog

    Chris, our question is simple and straightforward – Are earmarks a good idea or a bad idea? We spoke neither for, nor against earmarks.

    We often post articles written by others to provide competing points of view. If someone disagrees with the content of this piece, may I suggest you take that up with the author.
    But for now – please don’t shoot the messenger!

  3. I wish everyone was as sure about earmarks as Chris seems to be. I will be the first to admit that Congress should spend the money but also wonder why earmarks are necessary to do that? It seems to us uneducated that a bill should include all spending that is required and the rest should be given back to the people who are funding the proposals. If this money is not spent why is it then ok for the president or senate to put it where they want. Just a stark misunderstanding on my part I’m sure.

  4. Just an fyi…”Alan Levy” is a known web bot programmed to spread establishment divide and conquer bs and disinformation. Ron Paul is exactly right on earmarks. I’m not sure why this issue is seemingly SO hard for people to grasp. It’s really as simple as transparency vs. secrecy. The money is getting spent regardless and we only get to “see” where it goes if it’s earmarked. Making an issue out of earmarks is pure demagoguery. When politicians say they are going to “get rid of earmarks” or “fight earmarks”, they are so full of it, there eyes are brown. They’re either really, really stupid (possible) or trying to pull the wool over your eyes (more likely), which unfortunately seems to work pretty successfully on America’s dumbed-down electorate.

    1. who says it has to spent anyway?

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