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It is Very Easy to be Generous with Taxpayer's Money

Ron Paul was one of Ronald Reagan's earliest supporters. So why on earth would he vote against awarding a Congressional Gold Medal to Ronald and Nancy Reagan? Read what Dr. Paul himself said and I think that whatever your political persuasion, you will agree with him.

The following is Dr. Paul's statement:

  • Dr. PAUL: Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 3591. At the same time, I am very supportive of President Reagan's publicly stated view of limiting the federal government to it's proper and constitutional role. In fact, I was one of only four sitting members of the United States House of Representatives who endorsed Ronald Reagan's candidacy for President in 1976. The United States enjoyed sustained economic prosperity and employment growth during Ronald Reagan's presidency.

  • I must, however, oppose the Gold Medal for Ronald and Nancy Reagan because appropriating $30,000 of taxpayer money is neither constitutional nor, in the spirit of Ronald Reagan's notion of the proper, limited role for the federal government.

  • Because of my continuing and uncompromising opposition to appropriations not authorized within the enumerated powers of the Constitution, I would maintain my resolve and commitment to the Constitution--a Constitution, which only last year, each Member of Congress, swore to uphold. In each of these instances, I offered to do a little more than uphold my constitutional oath.

  • In fact, as a means of demonstrating my personal regard and enthusiasm for Ronald Reagan's advocacy for limited government, I invited each of these colleagues to match my private, personal contribution of $100 which, if accepted by the 435 Members of the House of Representatives, would more than satisfy the $30,000 cost necessary to mint and award a gold medal to Ronald and Nancy Reagan. To me, it seemed a particularly good opportunity to demonstrate one's genuine convictions by spending one's own money rather that of the taxpayers who remain free to contribute, at their own discretion, to commemorate the work of the Reagans. For the record, not a single Representative who solicited my support for spending taxpayer's money, was willing to contribute their own money to demonstrate their generosity and allegiance to the Reagan's stated convictions.

  • It is, of course, very easy to be generous with the people's money.

You can view this statement on Dr. Paul's Congressional website.

Ron Paul did the same thing when Congress voted for the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor for Rosa Parks. You'll no doubt hear about this sometime in the near future, and hear it twisted by venomous opponents to mean that Dr. Paul is against equal rights, against civil rights, or worst of all, that he is a racist.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

When (not if) you hear such things (for as his popularity increases, the rotten-egg-throwers will inevitably emerge), remember his reasoning why: The Constitution does not authorize the Federal government to appropriate tax funds to honor anyone with a gold medal.

Ron Paul offered to spend his own money to honor Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, and a number of other outstanding human beings who have received the Congressional gold medal. He invited all other members of Congress to join him to put their own money where their votes were. Sadly, few if any did. They found it much easier to spend the taxpayers money.

Which just goes to show, to paraphrase Dr. Paul: it is very easy to be generous with the taxpayers money.

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This reminds me of one of my

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

"Generosity is a virtue for individuals, not for governments. When governments are generous it is with other people's money, other people's safety, other people's future."

It is from P.D. James' The Children of Men, a fantastic read.