What’s wrong with a little pork?

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Mr. Singleton suggests that pork spending is relatively trivial compared to our government’s more serious offenses, and I’m inclined to agree.

In fact, I might even go a step further. Is there anything wrong with a pragmatic libertarian Congressman bringing pork back to his district? I’m inclined to think not.

After all, if your district selects you as its representative for the purpose of protecting it from the federal government, it seems to me you have two primary duties: (1) minimize government theft from (and regulation of) your constituents, and (2) to the extent that the government does steal from your constituents, get as much as you can back.

The ideal way to accomplish goal #2 would be to just get everyone a tax refund in direct proportion to what they paid, but that’s impossible. So if instead, you can bring some pork project that will at least benefit many of your taxpaying constituents in some way, why not do it?

If a criminal gang were stealing money from people in your town, and the townsfolk hired you to get their money back, would you give up just because you found the gang had already spent the money or would you try to take something of equal or lesser value back from the gang that might be useful to the town? To me, the correct choice is obvious.

11:44 am on February 22, 2006