Ron Paul, Earmarks, and the Fox News Attack Dogs
I've just decided I'm voting for Ron Paul for president, even if I have to write him in. I've written about him here several times before, but the latest attack on him proves that the liberals and conservatives from the "establishment" are running more scared than ever. Ron Paul is gaining traction in the Presidential race, and so the attack dogs are out. And "conservative" ones at that!
Ron Paul reported recently that he requested about $400 million in pork spending in Congress for this year. He's the devil, right? He is the biggest hypocrite on the face of the earth right? Not so fast. I don't think so. Let's look at some facts surrounding the issue, not just the once that Fox News wants you to know.
Try a Google search with the words "Ron Paul 400 million earmarks" (without the quotes), and you will find an interesting phenonenon. Brit Hume from Fox News reported Congressman Paul's declaration, and then hundreds of bloggers picked up on that one story. They are incensed! They are outraged! They are...well, not so fast.
Have you ever been a member of congress? Can you imagine that you would never request money to be allocated for anything? I always thought I wouldn't request unconstitutional things, but I don't know.
An earmark may or may not be pork. In other words, it may be something that the constitution actually allows, and then again it may not be.
Here are some quick facts about EarmarkGate:
It's not all for shrimp! Holy cow, what a sound bite society we live in!
Everyone requests earmarks. Except for apparently John McCain. You wouldn't be doing your job if you didn't request earmarks (i.e. helped determine what spending goes on in Congress, especially if you are in the House of Representatives.) I know my senators and congressman here in Utah are very proud of the earmarks they request, even though they are of the porkish variety.
Ron Paul is one of the few who has divulged his earmark requests. As of a couple weeks ago, very few members of congress had even responded to requests that they do so. Nearly a hundred have specifically said that they would not release that kind of information. And nearly 300 have not even responded to the requests. Barack Obama requested almost the same dollar amount in earmarks as Ron Paul, but nobody is dogpiling on him. Obama requested that money be allocated to ensure that Asian carp cannot enter the Great Lakes, while Ron Paul requested nurturing and protection of the US shrimp industry. Sounds pretty similar.
Here is a summary of Congressman Paul's earmarks. They include funding:
- To allow the Food and Drug administration to do antibiotic testing of seafood
- For research into Athsma
- Several of which are for the Army Corps of Engineers to design for and protect various harbors, shorelines, ports, river deltas, ship channels, and bayous in the Galveston, Texas area
- For cancer research
- For $25,000 to fund a Children's Identification and Location Database
- For the Texas maritime training program.
- To fix bridges, state highways, and interstate freeways in Texas. Oh my gosh, you've got to be kidding me! ;-)
- For the Matagorda Episcopal Health Outreach Program. Here's what that is... (Be careful, you might be offended...not.)
- For Vanadium Safety Readiness
- For the Nursing Education Doctoral Program, etc. at the University of Texas
- Ah, here's the one we've all be hearing about--money to research shrimp fishing in the Gulf coast area. Wow, that's brazen!!! But it gets worse. The last one is...
- Money for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to study Wild American Shrimp Marketing. Well, um, he should be impeached!!!
Can you people please settle down a little bit? Is it worse for Ron Paul to have requested them than for anyone else? No. Especially that I can hardly find a page on here that is a pork-type earmark. And it turns out that the shrimp industry is largely in the public domain, and it makes sense to study it and protect it for the general welfare of America.
So Brit Hume of Fox News, would you like to apologize? I didn't think so. Because Ron Paul is not the establishment's man.
And they're scared crapless of him.