Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 04/22/2010

What Eric Cantor could learn from Ron Paul

By Paige Winfield Cunningham
LOCAL BLOG NETWORK

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.

Dems voted to ban earmarks for for-profit companies, while the GOP has sworn off them entirely for one year.

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.

By Paige Winfield Cunningham  | April 22, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network  | Tags:  Eric Cantor, Ron Paul, Tea Party, earmarks, stimulus  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: You can't always see a driver's disability
Next: What next for D.C. voting rights? Don't say 'only statehood'

Comments

Although you are right that Ron Paul asks for earmarks but it is not because he is not principled. In fact, earmarks are more constitutional than say letting the executive branch decide where that money is spent. Afterall, it is the legislators that have the right to allocate how the money is spent not the executive branch.

Posted by: kshutur | April 21, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Although you are right that Ron Paul asks for earmarks but it is not because he is not principled. In fact, earmarks are more constitutional than say letting the executive branch decide where that money is spent. After all, it is the legislators that have the right to allocate how the money is spent not the executive branch.

Posted by: kshutur | April 21, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Earmarks are the nickels and dimes of the federal budget. Politicians who think they are demonstrating their devotion to fiscal responsibility by zeroing on earmarks are simply being devious -- as per usual.

Ron Paul isn't insulting our intelligence by pretending that banning earmarks will tackle the deficit.

Posted by: carolm62 | April 22, 2010 2:32 AM | Report abuse

Jindal (and other Republican officeholders) did "refuse" stimulus money, then campaigned around their states with huge, Publishers Clearing House type checks, championing the awarding of those same stimulus funds and implying they came from them. I know not mentioning this was an oversight.

Posted by: kstack | April 22, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Some earmarks are necessary. They have funded valuable research in the past, and still do. But earmarks increased ten-fold after the Republicans gained control of Congress in 1995. That introduced considerable waste and abuse.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | April 22, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

kstack @ April 22, 2010 6:44 AM wrote "Jindal (and other Republican officeholders) did "refuse" stimulus money, then campaigned around their states with huge, Publishers Clearing House type checks, championing the awarding of those same stimulus funds and implying they came from them."

That is in line with the Republican stance on earmarks:

1. Palin is against them but did not return the $250million for the bridge to nowhere;
2. a well-known 'opponent', of earmarks secured an earmark for about $20million, then signed the pledge opposing earmarks.
3. on different lines, it is interesting to note that many of those who signed the term limits statement of the 'contract with america' in 1994 are still in office today.

Just food for thought.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | April 22, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

This is a bit off topic, but Ron Paul is a sell out who now claims that he never questioned whether al Qaeda really attacked The United States on September 11, 2001. Don't ask me what he was threatened with. I will leave that to your imagination.

Posted by: markoller | April 22, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I actually prefer Ron Paul's position that EVERY dollar of the budget should be earmarked. Earmarks don't increase the budget, they simply designate where the money is spent. This is the proper role of our legislative branch. Unearmarked money gets spent by unelected people in the executive branch.

So consider this: when Republicans refuse to earmark funds in the budget over the next 3 years, they are basically saying they want Obama to decide how the money is spent.

Posted by: specsaregood | April 22, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

The entire budgeting process is cleverly constructed so that you can only object to the overspending at the cost of hurting your own constituents, because spending levels are set BEFORE the first earmark is proposed.

Similarly, the monetary process is cleverly constructed so that the Fed and Congress can point fingers at each other as being the reason inflation and deficits are occurring.

Posted by: Fazsha | April 23, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company