This suggests it is a matter of principle,
No doubt. But what’s the principle?
If it’s something like “The U.S. government should be as efficient as possible in spending what it steals from innocent victims,” I can’t see why that principle is worth defending or acting on. The primary problem isn’t profligacy; it’s the stealing.
The money he sends back only delays the theft and destruction that has to occur for the government to continue
No, it doesn’t. It is not as if the IRS is going to collect $100,000 less in taxes or the Treasury is going to issue $100,000 less in government bonds thanks to the windfall. It’s not as if government returns surpluses back to taxpayers when they have surpluses; they just look around for new things to spend the extra money on.
Well I didn’t see this was just for his office budget, but if he inflated the value of staff labor just because he had extra money lying around he would be abandoning his market principles.
What market principles? In my view, there is no way whatsoever to live up to “market principles” when you are distributing stolen loot. All government spending is by definition a command economy, not a market economy, and no price that Paul chose to pay for labor or goods in his office budget, whether small or large, would be a “market” price, because (as Mises teaches us) there’s no way for a command economy to approximate market outcomes.
but you’re acting like what the Fed spends money on is worse than what Paul would spend money on locally
The money went to Treasury, not to the Federal Reserve. In any case, what the U.S. government spends money on is definitely worse than what Paul would have spent it on locally. Paul’s spending would merely be wasteful. The U.S. government’s spending is actively evil and destructive; it goes towards imprisoning, surveilling, hurting, maiming, and killing innocent people, both within the United States and abroad.
Paul spending money that is neither his nor should be spent is central planning as well.
Yes, I agree. There’s no way around central planning when government allocates money. All you can do is get the money away from government as quickly as possible — and, preferably, try to get it into the hands of some those net taxpayers it was originally stolen from. But that’s precisely why Paul shouldn’t give the money back to Treasury for more government allocation.
But I get what you’re saying and it’s not a bad thought, he could have paid himself the $100,000 and spent it at every business in town or something…
I think that would be better than giving it back to Treasury, but the best thing for him to do would be to just give it away directly to randomly selected net taxpayers without demanding any consideration in return.
He can’t keep the money. If he doesn’t use it, it must be returned to whatever general office staff budget is in place, since the books have to be balanced out.
I’m aware. What I’m suggesting is that it would be better for Ron Paul to use it on something wasteful but non-destructive, rather than giving it back to the U.S. government, which will use it for something both wasteful and destructive.
Maybe if the featherbedding gets too egregious, it would make it difficult for Ron Paul to keep his government job. But then, I’m not especially interested in figuring out ways to help Ron Paul keep his government job.
Maybe I’m not understanding OP’s point?
Maybe not. If it helps, my primary point is that it’s misleading (and indeed stupid, if not dishonest) to describe paying $100,000 back to the U.S. Treasury as “paying back the American people.” What it is, is paying back the American government, which is a different entity, and one which happens to be antagonistic towards, and parasitic on, the “people” it claims to rule.
That’s a pretty massive leap in logic to suggest that Ron Paul’s fiscal conservatism is aiding bankers.
I didn’t say it’s aiding bankers. I said it’s aiding the U.S. government. (The U.S. government, of course, does aid bankers — hence my mention of them — but it also does lots of other things. Like blowing up Afghan children.)
So in an essence, you’re faulting Ron Paul for sticking to his ‘guns’ (Being an honest politician).
No; I’m faulting those who claim that giving stolen money back to the pirate who originally stole it is a form of “honesty.” There is no “honest” way for any politician to spend tax monies; the only thing to do is to get them out of political hands.