Ron Paul was completely hypocritical in calling Rick Santorum "fake" while discussing earmarks in last night's debate. With very little effort, it is easy to find that Ron Paul is no stranger to earmarks himself.
In 2011 Paul requested earmarks totaling $157 million, one of only four GOP House members to request earmarks. These included but were not limited to:
- $500K to widen a barge channel
- $4 million for visitor information stations, sidewalk repair, wheelchair ramps, and landscaping in Galveston, TX
- $1 million for sidewalks, wheelchair ramps, street signs, pedestrian lighting, bike racks, benches and trash cans in League City, TX
- $1.2 Million for a child day-care center
In 2010, he requested fifty-four earmarks, which totaled $398,460, 640, which included $2.5 million for trash cans, bike racks, and decorative street lighting in Baytown, TX. There were also $4.5 million requested for the Wharton County Youth Fair, $150,000 to create sustainable wetlands, $105 thousand to reduce the drop-out rate and enhance educational attainment in Victoria, TX, just to name a few. These and many others are all on Ron Paul's website (click here for link).
Whether you consider these earmarks a good use of taxpayer funds is not the point. I don't think that all earmarks are waste or pork. It is a case-by-case basis. The issue is the disingenuousness of Ron Paul holding himself up as a paragon on Congressional earmarks, and berating his opponents, while being guilty of doing that which he condemns.
What's worse is that he uses deception to hide his use of earmarks. Ron Paul will submit earmark requests and have them attached to legislation of which is passage is a certainty. Then when the bill comes up for a vote, Ron Paul will either abstain, or vote against the bill. In this way he can claim that "I've never voted for an earmark", while bringing home the pork to his district.
If anyone is "phony" on earmarks it is Ron Paul and his attempted deception of constituents and supporters.