and when you're done watching this explain to me when Ron Paul of Dr. No fame became the champion of the Republican party? He has used the party to get elected, he has voted against them, and though he is certainly a conservative he has attacked the party repeatedly. Now sudden;y he is worried about how the party will do in the elections. Is this an example of Ron Paul pandering to the base? Or just more of his messianic ego run amok? This has to be the most hypocritical moment of the entire debate. Ron Paul, defender of the party.
Lew Rockwell.com has a piece by Ron Paul on our aging infrastructure. He doesn’t mention pigeon poop, which is highly acidic and may have contributed to the collapse, but he does mention some things that are a little troubling. It’s true that our highway system has some issues, and actions are already being implemented to address these issues.
I guess the most bothersome thing about this article is it’s timing. Let’s just pluck the flavor of the day from the tree, and blame everyone else for what’s happening. The fact is maintaining the highway system is incredibly expensive, and tax revenues alone are not up to the challenge. Much of the system is over 40 years old, and decrying “ribbon cutting” as the cause for its condition is verging on scandalous. While its true that the occassional bridge to nowhere ends up on a budget, the vast majority of highway dollars are spent on…well…highways. If you don’t believe me when is the last time you went anywhere and weren’t hampered by road construction? These projects aren’t cheap, and recent efforts to tie in private enterprise is showing promise, as will an increase in the gas tax.
The Trans Texas Corridor section of the article is downright erroneous, and goes against some of his most prominent beliefs. This is a case of state government and free markets working together to improve the quality of life from a safety and economic standpoint. It has nothing to do with NAFTA, as Cinta is a Spanish based company. His allegation that this is phase one of a NAFTA Superhighway is unsubstantiated, and therefore political rhetoric.
What is factual is that this route doesn’t pass through Ron Paul’s districts, as one of the alternate route’s (I-69) did. This means no revenue from the Trans Texas Corridor will directly affect his district, and in light of the fact that he sought funding for I-69 as recently as this year, it would not be a huge leap of logic that Ron Paul is unhappy with the route.
Further Cinta is not only paying for a massive section of the corridor, (the section they will receive toll revenue from), but is also required to maintain it. This while splitting toll revenue with the state on a sliding scale that will reach 50% prior to the end of the contract. If someone offered to build you a businesss, maintain it, and give you half the proceeds, would you feel it was a bad deal? Thought not.
This article may be the first time I’ve ever felt Ron Paul was not only wrong, but hypocritical. His free market stance and strong state government position is a matter of public record. But calling for government oversight seems to be more big government interjection in a state issue. Why is Ron Paul making unsubstantiated allegations, and calling for federal oversight of a state issue? Maybe because like one of my readers once said, Ron Paul is for his freedom, and against mine.
It would appear on the surface that Ron Paul isn’t the small government libertarian we all thought, well, you all thought he was. It rather looks like he’s been out chasing the appropriations pig with the rest of our elected officials. In the last quarter (based on the dates of his funding requests) Ron Paul has made 65 requests for earmarks.
Giving credit where credit is due I’ll say thank you Ron, for having the decency to release to the voters how you wish to spend their money. That said, I’m from Indiana, and don’t see why a libertarian would want my money to investigate, construct, maintain or organize Texas’s eastern shore infrastructure. Nor why a man that believes in the free market would want me to subsidize the shrimp industry. Each and everyone of these earmarks is a state issue, and I think it is disengenuous for him to rail against a federal “cash cow” while he suckles from its teat.
His request forms (which appear to be cover letters) don’t generally say how much he is requesting. They just state what he is requesting money for. His requests seem reasonable unless you listen to how he feels the federal government should work.
My personal problem with earmarks isn’t really about the money. It’s about the fact that supporting local pet projects with federal funds is merely a way of keepig yourself in office. Trust me when I tell you that his list of projects all but ensure’s that Galveston will vote Ron Paul. Man, he hooked up Galveston. If you don’t believe its just buying votes from your local constituents, look how long that fossil Robert Byrd(yeah, former KKK man robert byrd) has remained in office by bringing home the bacon to West Virginia?
It’s wrong…any way you slice it. It’s even more wrong to be a hypocrite about it, and Ron Paul has moved into the hypocrite category on the earmark issue. I guess he ne needed to keep his job, so he sold out his beliefs. fair enough
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