About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fair Is Fair: Ron Paul's Position On Earmarks Is NOT Hypocritical

Ron Paul is getting beat up about his position on earmarks. Despite voting against spending bills, Ron Paul earmarks the spending in such bills for his district.

Prof. William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection criticized Paul in his blog, pointing to this: "Video of Tim Russert taking on Ron Paul over earmarks, and doing the job the Fox News folks didn’t do last night."

I posted the following comment at Legal Insurrection:

Russert WAS confused.

Say Congress votes to appropriate $19-billion to build homes somewhere in the US.
Ron Paul votes against the bill on principle: He doesn’t believe the Constitution authorizes the government to build houses.

Still, Paul knows the bill will pass despite his “no” vote. So he says to his colleagues, if you’re going to use tax money taken from my constituents to build houses, I’m going to make damn sure some of those houses are built in my district.

Guess what? If Ron Paul doesn’t insert that earmark for his district, $19-billion is still going to be spent on building houses in the U.S., although the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development gets to decide where. It’s very possible no houses will be built by HUD in Paul’s district, especially if the President, through HUD, wants to punish Paul for his principled no vote.

Paul’s position is rational. See this article which further explains the contrarian view on earmarks:

In essence, Paul is sort of beating the big government Congressmen at their own game and thumbing his nose at the Executive Branch at the same time.

What’s the alternative? Vote against spending bills AND have no money returned to your constituents? How could a small government Congressman be re-elected if his constituents know they will never, ever receive a dime back in federal appropriations despite continuing to be taxed through the nose?

Getting rid of anti-big government Congressmen would be easy for a conniving Progressive President.

Russert’s point on term limits is just as mistaken. How does a Congressman advocate term limits if he voluntarily term limits himself out of office? We all know that incumbents regularly get re-elected. We also know that Congress runs on a seniority system. Those who oppose term limits would get re-elected time and again and have all the power. Those who advocate term limits could never gain enough seniority and power to see an anti-term limit bill passed.

The game is rigged by the big spending, entrenched establishment.


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