Ron Paul Endorses Pork King Don Young

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

So I was reading the Anchorage Daily News this morning in the tiny Russian village of Ninilchik, and came across this story, first reported in the Fairbanks newspaper:

Former Republican presidential contender Ron Paul has endorsed Don Young in his bid to win an 18th term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Paul, the 72-year-old congressman from Texas whose maverick presidential bid drew wide support in Alaska, sent out a letter to his supporters here urging them to vote for Young.

“Don and I have served together in Congress for many years, and I consider him a friend,” Paul wrote in the letter. “Don has been an outspoken voice against environmental extremists over the years and has strongly opposed the types of federal regulatory overreach advocated in the name of environmentalism.”

Paul and Young are a bit of an odd couple. Paul is a fiscal conservative; Young believes in earmarking federal dollars for Alaska wherever possible. Paul opposes the Iraq war; Young supports it.

It’s a puzzling endorsement. Young has no respect for taxpayers, is being investigated for corruption, and pretty much embodies everything that’s wrong with Washington. His opponent isn’t exactly libertarianism personified, but he is at least in support of earmark reform, and has been endorsed by the Club for Growth (a fact Young is using against him). Young, on the other hand, openly boasts about wasting taxpayer money on Alaskan boondoggles. If Paul and Young are friends, that’s fine. But Young’s an abomination, and deserves to be fired. If I’d given money to Paul’s presidential campaign or to his Liberty PAC, I’d be rethinking my donation right about now.

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34 Responses to “Ron Paul Endorses Pork King Don Young”

  1. #1 |  Michael Chernysh | 

    The great Ron Paul is a sell-out. Wow, I did not see this coming.

    But at 73 years old, things don’t always make sense. Just ask John McCain.

  2. #2 |  Russell Hanneken | 

    Ron Paul is a big fan of earmarks. His justifies them by saying that as long as Washington is taking money out of his district, he’s entitled to try to bring the money back–and anyway, the money’s going to be spent whether he requests his earmarks or not.

    Of course, he’s not actually bringing tax money back to all the taxpayers in his district–he’s giving tax money to politically favored groups. And in doing so, he’s creating new constituencies for government spending (and feeding old ones), thus perpetuating and expanding a corrupt system. And, of course, he’s buying votes for himself.

    I’m tempted to say he’s a sleazy hypocrite, but he probably believes his own rationalizations. Given that he has to both satisfy his own constituents and maintain a donor fanbase in the libertarian movement, he must have a lot of experience coping with cognitive dissonance.

  3. #3 |  hanneken the clown | 

    “Of course, he’s not actually bringing tax money back to all the taxpayers in his district–he’s giving tax money to politically favored groups. ”

    LMAO what a joke of a statement.

    “Of course, he’s not actually bringing tax money back to all the taxpayers in his district” ???? thanks for pointing out the obvious sherlock. Please show me the programs that bring tax money to all the taxpayers.

    Saying “giving money back to politically favored groups” shows you have zero credibility when it comes to issues surrounding Ron Paul.

  4. #4 |  Fred Mangels | 

    I believe Ron Paul has made similar endorsements before. I think he’s pretty much just going along to get along [with his fellow Republicans].

  5. #5 |  Michael Pack | 

    I’ve always considered Paul a bit of a flake.His foreign policy consists of “let’s stay home’,his immigration policy is foolish.Taking money from the federal government is theft and leads to Washington’s influence in the day to day affairs of the states.Many state laws are based on what Congress demands for ‘their’ cash.

  6. #6 |  Dan Lacey | 

    Ron Paul with a pancake on his head.

  7. #7 |  Russell Hanneken | 

    “hanneken the clown,” yes, it is obvious that no government program returns tax money to all taxpayers. So when Ron Paul justifies his earmark requests by saying he’s only bringing money back to his district from Washington, he’s being glib and avoiding an important (and obvious) problem with that rationale. He’s not refunding money to taxpayers. He’s spending it. He’s directing the flow of stolen money away from the politically powerless taxpayers and toward the politically powerful.

    Like I said, I have a problem with that. Thanks to Ron Paul, some people who might not have a vested interest in big government now have such an interest. Maybe Ron Paul can’t stop the money from being spent, but he doesn’t have to actively participate in and reinforce the system of government spoils.

    As for “credibility,” I’m not asking you to take my word for anything. The factual claims I made about Ron Paul were supported by links, and you haven’t disputed the facts anyway.

  8. #8 |  Carl Mintz | 

    What the hell is up with Ron Paul? I can’t believe he’d support someone like that. I don’t know much about Don Young but if he’s not conservatively fiscal, I can’t see Ron Paul supporting him. That’s crazy. Also, how could Ron Paul suppport someone who supports Iraq? That’s crazy too!

  9. #9 |  doctom8175 | 

    which one of you hypocrits sent back your tax “refund”? Paul is known as Dr No for authorizing spending by the federal government…but if the feds are taking our money why the hell wouldnt he support states trying to get it back? He should prefer the feds keep it and spend it on their pet programs??? that doesnt make any sense at all. his logic is internally consistent which is more than i can say for the above commenters.

    proud to have paul as my representative.

  10. #10 |  Russell Hanneken | 

    doctom8175, earmarks are pet programs that the federal government spends money on. They are not programs to return tax payments to their rightful owners.

  11. #11 |  doctom8175 | 

    earmarks are money that goes to a state as opposed to a generic federal program that would go to all states or stay in DC. given the choice, if i were opposed to federal programs, i would oppose those programs that do not go to MY state….how is that not consistent? if yur going to take my money, i would rather you give it back to me for my pet projects than split it on stupid federal policies like NCLB, or offices such as the ONDCP.


  12. #12 |  Russell Hanneken | 

    Do Ron Paul’s earmarks get you your money back, or do they funnel money to politically favored groups whose programs might not even exist if they had to rely on funding from voluntary sources on the market? Why does it matter if those groups are in the same state as you?

    Suppose a bandit rides through Laredo and steals a dollar from all the residents. Then he finds an orphanage inside the city limits and gives it all the money he stole. Is the bandit “giving the money back?”

  13. #13 |  Lee | 

    Arm yourself up and make a stand to stop that bandit from taking your money.

    Let us know how it turns out for your.

  14. #14 |  Russell Hanneken | 

    Lee, either you missed the point of my analogy, or I’m missing your point. Can you explain what you mean?

  15. #15 |  doctom8175 | 

    Russell, no one said anything about it being okay that the feds are taking our money for things they are not entitled to be involved with, especially not Ron Paul…his voting record is a pretty good on that. BUt if the feds ARE TAKING OUR MONEY ANYWAYS…so why wouldnt I want my representatives to bring as much of that money back to my district as possible. Again, money brought back for local pet projexts is money not spent on federal misadventures. How is that not consistent with Ron Paul’s stated objective of limiting federal government? Until the federal government has only enough money to carry out its constitutional mandates then I am in favor of siphoning as much money out of the beltway as is possible.


  16. #16 |  Russell Hanneken | 

    The choice Ron Paul faces is not either he gets his earmarks, or the DEA gets funding. The choice is either he sullies himself with pork barrel spending, or someone else’s pork barrel project gets funded.

    You ask, “if the feds ARE TAKING OUR MONEY ANYWAYS…so why wouldnt I want my representatives to bring as much of that money back to my district as possible?” If the money was stolen from you, what difference does it make whether the recipient lives in your district or outside of it?

  17. #17 |  Frank N Stein | 

    “If I’d given money to Paul’s presidential campaign…”

    Yeah, why on Earth would you have done that, it’s not like you claim to be a (small-l) libertarian…

  18. #18 |  doctom8175 | 

    of course it matters where the money is spent. i would rather money that has already been taken from me (with no hope of getting it back) go to build some stupid bridge to nowhere than to fund another federal program designed to further expand federal power. bridges dont need more money after they are built, unlike federal programs. but I think you are by now missing my point on purpose. Your analogy doesnt even fit well…but if a bandit steals my money, given the choice I would rather he blow it in vegas than use it to hire more bandits. In other words…it isnt that pork is so bad…its that the feds have so much of our money in the first place. I care more about how a rep votes on the taking of the money than how he votes to spend the surplus.



  19. #19 |  Jimi G | 

    Ron Paul, the champion of liberty … who just happens to be a lieutenant in the Great Coercive Machine.

    A million suckers born every minute.

  20. #20 |  Robert | 

    He’s not refunding money to taxpayers. He’s spending it. He’s directing the flow of stolen money away from the politically powerless taxpayers and toward the politically powerful.

    It seems to me he’s attempting to redirect as much money into his district as he can. If the money is going to be spent anyway, why wouldn’t he attempt to get it for his constituents?

    Like I said, I have a problem with that. Thanks to Ron Paul, some people who might not have a vested interest in big government now have such an interest. Maybe Ron Paul can’t stop the money from being spent, but he doesn’t have to actively participate in and reinforce the system of government spoils.

    What is he supposed to do? Tell the people in his district “I’m sorry, since I don’t believe that taxing you so much and spending it isn’t right, so I’m going to make sure that NONE of the money you’re sending to Washington comes back here.”?

    Maybe if enough people in congress voted agains these earmark laden bills in the first place (like Ron Paul does) we wouldn’t have this problem to begin with.

  21. #21 |  JP | 

    Both Young and Parnell hold views that Paul agrees with, and views he does not agree with, and Paul simply picked the person he knows better for his endorsement. I dont get why people are wringing their hands about it. It’s not like Paul endorsed a democrat!

  22. #22 |  Erin | 

    I find this extremely unusual. I still like Ron Paul a lot but I don’t understand this endorsement, I sure as hell would not vote for the guy no matter what Paul said.

    No ones perfect. Match Paul’s record with any other congressman and you have a saint. Its really not a huge deal. Normally his endorsements are pretty good.

    If anyone here never disagrees with Ron Paul than they obviously are just followers. I, for one, will not make any excuse for this terrible endorsement. I will continue to support Paul in areas I agree with him on though…which are many.

    As for the earmarks, not a big deal. At least the money is being spent to benefit taxpayers/districts instead of padding Washington’s pockets. It would be nice if he never spent any but the man does need to be voted back in. You can’t run on “vote for me and I will do nothing for you”.

  23. #23 |  Eric Dondero | 

    The Republican Liberty Caucus endorsed Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, Young’s opponent. In 2006, in the waning days of the election, the Libertarian Party of Alaska even endorsed the Gubernatorial ticket of Sarah Palin and Sean Parnell. Palin had attended two local Libertarian meetings that year.

    So, Ron Paul has gone against both the RLC and the LP at the same time. And on top of that, the libetarian-leaning Club for Growth, founded by former Cato scholar Stephen Moore. Quite an accomplishment for a supposed “libertarian,” like Paul.

  24. #24 |  Paige | 

    You guys are ignoring a very factor in the issue of earmarks:

    If we did away with earmarks, it doesn’t mean that the money appropriated to them won’t be spent. Earmarking is a way for Congress to divide the budget. If earmarks were not made, then the executive branch would be making decisions on how to appropriate money, which is arguably unconstitutional.

    Given this, and the fact that I don’t really see anything repulsive with the argument of “If the money’s going to be spent, and if every other Congressman is making earmark requests, then it’s not fair to my constituents for me not to do it, too,” I understand Congressman Paul’s perspective. However, even as one of his supporters, I disagree with it in principle. Personally, I think everyone should exercise restraint in one’s own district with regard to requesting money if we’re ever going to have serious restraint in spending on macro, but it’s unrealistic that everyone will do so at this point, and it doesn’t make much political sense to risk losing the election back home if your seat and visibility are important to the building of the movement you’re trying to lead. The good news is he’s consistently casting votes against the total appropriations bills and unbalanced budgets, many of which are hugely politically incorrect and for which he gets savaged in the media by opponents at home. He’s not going all the way by not making earmark requests, but again: earmarks aren’t un-Constitutional (and in fact are a more Constitutional way of appropriating money than the alternative, which is basically tyranny of the executive), and he still takes significant political risks by voting against things like the Hurricane Katrina aid in standing up for the principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism.

    I do disagree with his endorsement of Young, but he’s also endorsed candidates who don’t share his views and agenda on other issues. Young may be bad on spending issues, but he’s also been a co-sponsor of Dr. Paul’s Liberty Amendment, which would eliminate the 16th Amendment and Income Tax in its entirety. That’s a pretty big step for someone to take politically. Regarding other candidates he’s endorsed, there’s Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, who is a major supporter of the Iraq War, but who nonetheless share’s Dr. Paul’s views on national soverignty. The country isn’t going to be full of candidates like B.J. Lawson in North Carolina who share Dr. Paul’s views on all of the issues and are good candidates who have a chance of winning, so at this point he’s got to pick and choose to some degree based on people who he deems will be good to work with on certain issues. It’s not perfect, but it’s politically smart, and I would argue necessary at this point. Ron Paul is incredibly principled in the ideas and policies he promotes, but he’s also a shrewd and pragmatic politician who is grounded in reality.

  25. #25 |  Mark F. | 

    Well, it’s a puzzling endorsement. Ron Paul has refused to endorse Mc Cain, so why does he endorse Don Young? Dr. Paul is also friends with Barney Frank, but I don’t think he’d endorse him.

    Anyway, Ron Paul is not always right, but is there anyone better in Congress at the moment?

  26. #26 |  Cynical In CA | 

    “Anyway, Ron Paul is not always right, but is there anyone better in Congress at the moment?”

    If they get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.

  27. #27 |  Doe Man | 

    Gee, give Congressman Paul a little break. Its not like he asked to be transformed into the Messiah of the Libertarian Left Wing.

  28. #28 |  jj | 

    I trust RP’s judgment over anyone’s out there..

    Always logical and truthful..Who else out of DC is?

    I like how he digs up the roots of an insider, he know’s more than you and I of schemes and witchhunts..

  29. #29 |  Goaltender66 | 

    Just food for thought for the “earmarks = money that’s going to be spent anyway…” rationalization.

    Assume I run a government agency trying to get funds. I need $x amount to run my agency.

    In the budget, I am assigned my $x but contained within that appropriation are $y in earmarks in which my agency is required to spend a portion of that $x. Because of this I am now underfunded in other parts of the organization and cannot fulfill my mission.

    So next year…I submit a new funding request that is $x + $y +$z. That way my agency can run properly ($x), handle the shrimp marketing that Ron Paul wants my agency to pay for ($y), and have a little extra from which new earmarks can be drawn from instead of my operating budget ($z).

    In short, the idea that earmarks represent money that is going to be spent anyway isn’t very persuasive. It’s an excuse to lard up a district.

    And speaking of principle…what possible principle allows Ron Paul to claim status as holding true to only Constitutionally-prescribed spending and yet submit earmarks to build a wing on a private hospital? He has a rep as highly principled, but when push comes to shove he has shown himself to be disturbingly mercenary.

  30. #30 |  Old Ben Franklin | 

    Here is the right question. Where do you think the money that Congress has to spend comes from anyway? 1) The FED printing presses (it’s called debasement). 2) Tax loot stolen from you and me. Who do you think spends most of the loot on pork barrel projects? Since there are well over 500+ Democrats and Republicans (combined) in Congress, it should be plainly obvious. Everyone attacks these little also-ran candidates, while the really big crooks (the Democrats and the Republicans) go merrily on their way, spending YOUR money and mine on luxuries and pleasures you and I can only dream about… Again, where do you think they get the money? FROM YOU AND ME. You want more of the same, ie, gas prices up, food prices up, your sons and daughters in foreign wars. Your grandsons and granddaughters in foreign wars. Well, vote for McCain or Obama, and that’s exactly what you’ll get, like it or not. WAKE UP. McCain and Obama don’t care about you or me, except when it’s time to get votes. Then they’ll say anything and promise you anything. McCain and Obama are the real flim-flam operators. What this country really needs in a third party. Who should be it’s candidate, well, let the voters decide, but get that third party. That would be real change!

  31. #31 |  Rick Fisk | 

    Good grief…..

    For one, Ron Paul does not REQUEST any earmarks at all. The earmarks are merely passed along. His CONSTITUENTS request the earmarks and he then honors that request and submits them as amendments or requests to the committee….

    When it comes up for a vote, he votes NO to the spending bill.

    People act like the spending requests are his idea. They’re not. He doesn’t like earmarks but if a spending bill is passed without them, then the distribution of funds are controlled by the agencies and can be spent on virtually anything.

    The earmark thing is a non-issue.

  32. #32 |  Harry Knutsacke | 

    I love the paulbots!

    Great job of playing hide the ball, and y’all fell for it.

    In the fall, Young will be running against….

    “Ethan Berkowitz”

    That’s right, this has nothing to do with earmarks, or the war, it’s about



    Thanks again, paulbots, for joining a long line of bigots, conspiracy theorists, and joo-haters who give libertarianism a bad name…..

  33. #33 |  This pretty much sums up my view on Ron Paul « The right-wing liberal | 

    […] . . before anybody allows him to claim the mantle of libertarian idealistic purity, please explain why it’s okay to endorse Don Young for the House but not John McCain for […]

  34. #34 |  Mike | 

    Wow, talk about unfairly demonizing Ron Paul.

    WTF is this bullshit.

    Ron Paul gave a good reason for why he liked Don Young:

    *he supported the Liberty Amendment, which would bar the federal government from operating any business-type activities and abolish the federal income tax.

    Paul wrote:

    “Few members of Congress have shown the insight to understand the importance of this sweeping legislation to restrain the federal government, and even fewer have shown the courage to co-sponsor this bill,” Paul said. “Don is one of those.”

    This cannot be understated. An amendment to abolish the income tax and prohibit the federal government from engaging in business-type activity (for example the disaster Fannie and Freddie May government-businesses) is tremendous.

    Furthermore, Ron Paul did not endorse Don Young, because of Young’s support for the Iraq war and other programs:…googlenews_wsj

    Richard Viguerie, one of the enduring figures of the far right, pounced on Mr. Paul, attacking him for putting “pork ahead of principle.”

    Yes, Mr. Paul responds to a cry for help from a fellow member of his own party and gets snarled at by another political animal. But Mr. Paul’s not a big booster of Mr. Young, either. Turns out, he deliberately didn’t try to help too much.

    “Representative Young came and asked Dr. Paul for a whole lot of stuff,” said Jesse Benton, spokesman for Paul’s Liberty PAC. “He respectfully declined.”

    So Paul did not endorse him or give him any money from his Campaign for Liberty warchest.

    One more thing, regarding earmarks, they do NOT increase federal spending. Earmarks simply allocate money that has already been designated to be spent.