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Tea Party Favorite Rand Paul Will Take Earmarks—Tea Party Getting Knifed Already

Kentucky Senator-elect Rand Paul, a Tea Party and libertarian favorite,  has switched his position on earmarks less than a week after winning election.

From a Wall Street Journal report on Mr. Paul—

“In a bigger shift from his campaign pledge to end earmarks, he tells me that they are a bad “symbol” of easy spending but that he will fight for Kentucky’s share of earmarks and federal pork, as long as it’s doled out transparently at the committee level and not parachuted in in the dead of night. “I will advocate for Kentucky’s interests,” he says.”

How about that Tea Party? You’re already getting knifed by one of your own.

I’m sure though that these Tea Party folks are not surprised. Rand’s father, Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, loves earmarks as well.

These people don’t have the courage of their convictions.  They want others to accept cuts while they rack up federal dollars.

The photo below of many different throwing knives, is just a small metaphoric sampling of the varying ways Tea Party backed candidates will be sticking it to supporters over the next two years.  (Photo by Oosoom.)

Of course, no Tea Party supporter  I’m aware of has refused federal benefits.  It’s all about other people’s pain.  It’s all about personal anger at a changing world and a changing nation.

Government has a purpose in people’s lives. The Tea Party knows this, but they are more hung-up on punishing people they don’t like than on having an honest discussion on the matter.

November 9, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Republicans Love Earmarks As Much As Liberals Like Myself Love Big Government—The Yang Of Truth And The Yin Of Hypocrisy

Despite all the talk we hear about Texans not wanting the federal government in their lives, Texas gets a great deal of money in federal earmarks. Many of these earmarks are sought by Republicans.

From the Houston Chronicle

“Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s status as a Washington insider proved politically toxic in her bid for governor — but those same skills reaped more than a billion dollars this year for Texas cities, universities, medical centers and military installations. Hutchison’s prolific use of earmarks placed her third among the Senate’s 100 members, behind only California Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. ..A 17-year Senate veteran who serves on the powerful Senate Committee on Appropriations, Hutchison continues to capitalize on her capital connections by inserting 166 special spending requests worth more than $1.2 billion into the federal government’s 2010 budget, which runs through Sept. 30, according to data collected by the nonpartisan watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense.. Overall, Texas raked in $1.6 billion for projects sought by its members of Congress. That total swells to $1.8 billion when earmarks requested solely by the White House, mostly for military projects, are added. Houston-area lawmakers are among the most prolific fans of the earmark in the Texas delegation, totaling about $322 million in this year’s budget. They sponsored or co-sponsored 85 of the 573 Texas earmarks. Five of the top seven Texas earmarkers come from Houston, led by Democratic Rep. Gene Green and Republican Rep. John Culberson.”

This is all good to hear. As a liberal, I support the use of government funds to benefit the lives of our people. It is reassuring to know that this common sense position is one held by office holders and citizens across the political spectrum.

As has been reported before, so-called libertarian Congressman Ron Paul of Texas loves earmarks. Mr. Paul goes on about not wanting federal dollars, but he goes after the money just like a liberal.

Congressperson John Culberson, who I’m sorry to report is my own Representative, once said the stimulus package was meant to turn America into France.

Yet based on the article above, Mr Culberson, just like Mr. Paul, loves to bring federal dollars to Texas.

What is behind this apparent duality?

Below are examples of dualities.

I think that for Senator Hutchinson, Rep. Paul and Rep. Culberson, the chart should be updated to show the Yang of a truthful person and Yin of a hypocrite.

The same can be said of all Republicans in Texas who take the money from Washington.

These Republicans may win elections in Texas for the time-being, but it is big government liberals like myself who enjoy the ongoing role of the federal government in the lives of Texans and in the lives of people all across our great federal union.

April 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Democrats, Republicans, Texans & All People Like Earmarks—Because Earmarks Are Good

Here is a link to a Houston Chronicle story about the widespread good done by federal earmarks in the Houston-area and in Texas.  

Our government has the right and the responsibility to promote the general welfare.  

Earmarks return taxpayer money back to the people in form of help for needed projects that would otherwise go undone, and in the form of the jobs these projects create. 

Here is some of what the story says–

•Earmarks are bipartisan. Sen. Hutchison was the state’s most successful proponent of such spending in 2007, bringing home $254 million in projects. Every other Texas lawmaker in Congress except one, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas, sought them.

•Military and water projects accounted for nearly 85 percent of the funding of Texas’ earmarks. The military projects included the construction of barracks and other facilities designed to improve the lives of the troops. The water projects included flood-control and dredging programs….

The state won 18 earmarks worth about $6 million for a variety of cultural projects, including the Pearl Fincher Arts Museum in Spring, the Audie Murphy American Cotton Museum in the North Texas town of Greenville and a museum marking the site of a World War II prisoner-of-war camp in the Central Texas community of Hearne.

Other earmarks included agricultural research programs, such as a $242,000 project for bee studies at the Agriculture Research Service in Weslaco in Central Texas and a $111,000 grant for dairy and goat research at Prairie View A&M University.

Don’t be ashamed to tell friends and family that you support earmarks. Earmarks help people in all walks of life and all across the United States.

March 25, 2008 Posted by | Houston, Politics, Taxes---Yes!, Texas | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Senator Ted Stevens’ Conception Of Earmarks Mirrors An Aspect Of Henry Clay’s “American System”

Alaska Senator Ted Stevens is known as a champion of Congressional earmarks for his home state of Alaska. He has been criticized for what is often termed “pork ” by those who oppose his appropriations.

Senator Stevens is unrepentant.

According to The 2008 Almanac of American Politics, Mr. Stevens said this about the federal money to Alaska—

Congress has not awakened to the fact that we’ve got a state with one-fifth the land in this country. My mission is to try to make Congress understand that the promise of statehood is that we should have the ability to establish a workable private-enterprise economy in the areas that want it. And that’s basically 90% of the state.” 

This argument mirrors one aspect of the “American System” championed by Henry Clay of Kentucky in the first half of the 19th Century.

Clay advocated public money for roads, canals and other improvements to help build the American economy. One can see an analogy between Clay’s America, still a frontier in many respects, and Stevens’ Alaska in 2007.   

Click here to read about what the Erie Canal did for New York State.

I favor the idea of earmarks. While no doubt some are wasteful, I support the expansion of the role of the federal government and the allocation of government money into local communities across the country. This is a core mission of American liberalism and we should be proud of the fact that people are being helped and jobs are being created. That is what tax money is for.

November 14, 2007 Posted by | Books, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment