Congressman Paul says no Gold Medal for Arnold Palmer
The lone no vote was, as you might have guessed from the title of this post, none other than former Presidential Candidate Ron Paul, a Republican from Texas. His spokeswoman Rachel Mills explained the decision:
"It is certainly nothing personal against Mr. Palmer. In fact, Congressman Paul admires him greatly. Dr. Paul opposes using public monies for any and all of these gold medals given to private citizens, just on principle. Not to mention, it is unconstitutional to use taxpayer dollars in this way. He even suggested on the House Floor before he voted against Rosa Parks's medal that if it meant so much to the Members of Congress, why not fund the award out of their own pockets? He pulled $100 out of his own wallet, but had no other takers. At a time like this when all budgets are stretched so thin, it seems especially inappropriate to lavish gifts like this on private citizens, as much as he may admire the individual."
Paul's explanation makes perfect sense, and it's yet another example of the reason he's built such a strong, almost cult-like base of support: He stands on principle. Congressional Gold Medals are a waste of taxpayer money -- Who could possibly argue with that?
It's nice to have one person in Washington keeping an eye on our money, even if there are 422 others willing to expand the national debt to buy trinkets for millionaire athletes.