Ron Paul Earmarks...No Pork Here
Ron Paul on Earmarks:
(Note: continue only if you are interested in my cursory research into the Ron Paul earmarks listed in a recent negative article linked at the bottom of this.)
Ron Paul is 100% for transparency in bills, including earmarks; 100% against self-serving earmarks; 100% for Congress "reading" bills in their entirety. The fact that he also has earmarks attached to his name should be accepted only after noting that his earmarks for his district divert already appropriated $$ from horrendous channels and point them in positive directions. Also, local governance and maintenance of infrastructures locally will only come about after major changes are made in the entire system and that is going to take some time.
I was triggered as many of you have been by the article in a Texas paper trying to make Ron Paul sound like a hypocrite for earmarks attached to his name. For the most part they have to do with buses in cities desperately needing them in order to improve mass transit, helping residents and reducing pollution; health care and providing nurses in critical areas, highway improvements (non-super highway funding.) Often a Ron Paul "earmark" has greater implications than the "mere" name of it. A few of the earmarks that caught my attention were:
8. $3 million to test imported shrimp for antibiotics. (Does anyone think there is a big shrimp industry in Paulâ€™s district?)
The short answer...YES. http://www.jarbobayoutimes.com/fisherman.html
And, I won't provide the links but chemicals and antibiotics in imported shrimp, particularly from China and others involved in aqua-farming as opposed to wild are of great concern. Look it up and I am sure you won't want imported shrimp. The FDA is supposed to check...but they are too busy checking dog food, I guess. This alone should be reason enough to protect "wild" shrimping and ensure that at least those of us in the US of A can have good shrimp caught off the gulf if we want it.
2. $8 million for the marketing of wild American shrimp.
3. $2.3 million for shrimp fishing research.
"Marketing" is a bit of a misnomer here. This in a nutshell has to do not just with shrimp, but with providing huge subsidies to importers of food products resulting in (1) inferior and perhaps unhealthy imports and (2) absolutely "killing" domestic industries...like we have the American farmer. It should be a "case study" for not subsidizing imports at the expense of American industries:
Here is what Ron Paul had to say:
And an interesting article on the "shrimp" issue concludes with:
"The shrimp fracas also was ironic in that it reversed the usual roles in international trade disputes: American shrimpers were cast as the Luddites resisting technological advancement in order to preserve a traditional way of life, while Vietnamese and Chinese aquaculturists represented globalized technological progress. Naturally, the motley anti-globalization delinquents who turn out in such tiresome numbers at every international economic event had nothing to say about this particular dispute, even though it should have plucked their environmentalist heartstrings as well, since aquaculture is a highly polluting industry. Evidently, their brains could not grasp the possibility that Americans might occasionally be the victims of globalization, rather than always its rapacious beneficiaries. Withering shrimping communities, all along the southern coastline of America, could have told them otherwise."
Here is the article:
7. $4.5 million to study the effects of the health risks of vanadium.
Check out the health risks of vanadium in certain mining industries and in fertilizer. Check out the high levels found in some areas of Texas. Think about the greater meaning...to agriculture, informing the public about toxins and their impact on our health. Do you think this kind of information will come from the EPA or the Department of Agriculture?
10. $1.18 million for â€œPersonalized Medicine in Asthmaâ€
I would hazard a guess that the good Doctor has encountered many cases of asthma and pharma-dependent victims. If you know anyone
particularly children whose lives have been altered by mass-marketed inhalers and massive doses of cortisone you know how sad it is. There are non-invasive treatments and just training in personally managing your asthma can bring about amazing results. Read up on the huge increase in asthma due to the pollutants in the air and allergies due to toxins and chemicals in the food. I imagine unnecessary medical trauma saddens Dr. Paul.
9. $10 million to repair the Galveston railways causeway bridge.
I wish somebody had repaired that bridge in Minnesota. The corps of engineers has evaluated this causeway and it is UNSAFE. It is also the access to Galveston Island and much of the surrounding economy is dependent upon it. Senator Hutchinson just got money appropriated not to "repair" it...but to REPLACE it and the money was tied to HOMELAND SECURITY. Perhaps her earmark was to ensure it is replaced in a manner more conducive to the goals of the North American Highway.
Ron Paul also earmarked for maintenance the port of Texas City.
This port was in dire need of maintenance and if you read up on how that city was just about blown away by a tragedy that occurred in 1947, those folks deserve a safe and well-maintained port.
I won't go on, but a brief look at the list of earmarks brings only applause from me. No bridges to nowhere...no land improvements in an area that backs up to his home to improve his property value...no paybacks for contributions. Just an honest Representative trying to see that his district gets their "fair share" until the time when States can take care of States...communities take care of communities. I see much needed infrastructure appropriations; I see concern about health issues; I see concern about the economy in his district. I see an honest Politician/Statesman.
It should be noted that although these were Ron Paul "earmarks" the appropriation bills they were attached to were probably so 'pork of a different kind laden' by the time they went to market or to vote that he couldn't even vote for them. Would take more research to find out.
SHAME on "The Houston Chronicle" and the neocons who prompted this article and SHAME on the uninformed blogger who spread it on the net.