Josh Harkinson, writing for Mother Jones:
As a libertarian, Paul says he opposes federal disaster relief, but one of Paul’s staffers told me that his office has shepherded hundreds of FEMA claims, ensured the reconstruction of the county’s seawall, and won federal funding for an extensive beach nourishment project. Indeed, between 1999 and 2009 (the most recent year available), federal spending in Galveston County quadrupled to more than $4 billion. In 2009, the county received $14,707 per resident, topping average per capita federal spending in 46 of the 50 states. Paul earmarked some $60 million for projects in and around the city that year.
These local projects illustrate a central irony of Ron Paul’s career: Even as the 12-term congressman has become the Cassandra of governmental overreach, he has enabled a deepening dependence on the federal government at home. Paul, who last week announced that he will retire at the end of 2012, will on one hand be remembered as “Dr. No,” the politician who always voted “nay” on new spending, and on the other, as “a politician like all the rest,” as Galveston GOP precinct chair Josh Daniels described him to me last week, noting that Paul’s Janus-faced approach to federal spending “just doesn’t sit well with me.”