What Eric Cantor could learn from Ron Paul
Adorers and haters of Tea Party protesters at least agree that the federal government is spending a lot of money. But as liberals ignore conservative shrieks, both Democratic and Republican members of Congress are cutting back on those smaller and oft-mocked parcels of spending known as earmarks.
Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) hasn’t accepted an earmark in four years, a stance that has been growing in popularity. As a candidate for governor in 2009, Virginia's Bob McDonnell opposed accepting $125 million in stimulus funds for the unemployed. Govs.Bobby Jindal (R-La.), Rick Perry (R-Tex.) and others also said no thanks to stimulus funds.
The governors generally had good reasons for rejecting stimulus dollars: to protect their cash-strapped states from the burden of continuing social programs once the federal funds ran dry. But Cantor's unwillingness to take earmark money is a different story. Sure, some earmarks are wasteful, but many fund core government functions approved of by Republicans.
Even Rep. Ron Paul, hero of Libertarians, requested 14 earmarks this year -- largely to fund transportation and infrastructure projects in his district. So perhaps Cantor should consider whether a principled stand is more important than returning some tax money to his constituents.
Paige Winfield Cunningham is an investigative reporter and managing editor at Old Dominion Watchdog. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.
Paige Winfield Cunningham
| April 22, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: HotTopic, Local blog network | Tags: Eric Cantor, Ron Paul, Tea Party, earmarks, stimulus
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