A co-worker and I were discussing politics today. When I brought up Ron Paul's name, he mentioned that the congressman from Texas had received congressional earmarks worth $96.1 million from the omnibus he spoke out against1. So, what's the deal? Why would he take part in something he was against? I don't know, but consider how one commenter explained things.
"his fingerprints were on some of the earmarks that helped inflate its cost."
Although it didn't inflate the cost. I read a great analogy on anther blog of a group of office workers that contribute to a "Lunch Fund". As lunch roles around they put up a vote. 9 out of 10 wants to buy pizza. The one person wants chinese. He has a share of whatever the out come is. The spending is already going to happen, whether they order pizza or chinese. Is it fair that just because he didn't "vote" for pizza that he isn't allowed a piece of it? So of course he'll vote AGAINST pizza but can still receive a portion of the pizza for himself to eat. If he didn't earmark a certain amount of slices for himself, he'll end up paying for pizza that he'll never get to eat.
With the spending bill, the cost has been determined. He may know it'll pass regardless of his vote and regardless of this knowledge his tax paying constituents whom which he represents deserve their piece of the "pizza". If he didn't, his tax paying constituents would be furious at the fact that they paid their taxes but received nothing when appropriations were made.
Steve in comments on Ron Paul is still not a libertarian
Whether you agree or disagree, that does explain why someone like Congressman Paul would take advantage of the situation besides his disagreement with the idea in general.
1 Texas lawmakers rip budget, but seek millions
by Stewart M. Powell and Richard S. Dunham.