John Hoeven, Entitlement Hypocrite?

LA Times columnist David Lazarus has ferreted out a bit of hypocrisy in the Republican ranks on entitlements. He notes that some Republicans – including Senators John Hoeven and Orrin Hatch – are against universal health care paid for by taxpayers but for universal internet service paid for by taxpayers.

How do they square the contradiction? It’s a good question Lazarus apparently tried to ask both Hatch and Hoeven, but didn’t get an answer from either.

You can read his whole column here.

Lazarus, of course, is for both universal health care and universal internet access but his larger point is a good one. Should the government be providing things like subsidies for internet and universal health care, or shouldn’t it? Because you can’t have it both way.

“Government ‘help’ to business is just as disastrous as government persecution,” wrote Ayn Rand, and I think that applies in this example. The justification for rural broadband access (keep in mind that most of these areas are already served by telephone-based internet) is wasteful for a lot of reasons. First, many of these rural areas are emptying out about as fast as broadband infrastructure is built to them. Were they growing communities, the private sector would invest in serving them.

Second, other technologies (such as wide-area wireless networks, cell phone networks and even satellite internet access) are crowded out of these markets. These technologies are improving all the time, and could serve rural areas were the government not paying some ISP’s to lay cable out to these areas.

In other words, this sort of government spending is just plain unnecessary.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Camsaure

    Hoeven a hypocrite? Say it aint so. Are not all progressive/liberals hypocritse?

  • VocalYokel

    It’s the same old song out of the Beltway.

    When the other guy spends money in his district he is buying votes and engaging in pork barrel politics.

    When I do it I am investing in infrastructure and responding to the needs of my constituents.

    When I vote for government intervention in one area while voting against it in another, I am not two-faced, but simply voting ‘my conscience.’

    Film at 11…

  • opinionated

    The real hypocrite is Dalrymple… him and his you can borrow money($30,000 at 1%) to fix your home from the bank of North Dakota and if you stay in the home for 5 years you only have to pay 1/2 back…. He wants to turn the UND fight back over to the school board and he wants to hand out 1/2 a billion dollars….. is this vote-buying or is this dude just a true RHINO?

  • splined

    Yes absolutely.  Mr. Hoeven has now come out in support of enhancing the multibillion dollar federal crop insurance scam with still greater profit guarantees for the wealthiest farmers among us.  This safety net phillosophy has nearly destroyed rural  communities since it has resulted in legislation guaranteeing a huge and perpetual prosperity for the wealthiest farmers and impossible competition for most smaller farmers and those with no income guarantees.

  • whowon

    2012 Agriculture Appropriations – Vote Passed (69-30, 1 Not
    Voting)The Senate passed this “minibus” bill making appropriations for the
    Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Transportation, and Housing and
    Urban Development. The bill provides the five departments with $128 billion in
    discretionary funds for the 2012 fiscal year, which began on October 1, 2011.
    House and Senate conferees have begun meeting to work out a compromise
    bill.Sen. Kent Conrad voted YES……send e-mail
    or see bio
    Sen. John Hoeven voted YES……

  • whowon

    moore “discretionary funds” John? Send him an e-mail, I did.

  • whowon


  • whowon

    Direct payment subsidies are awarded to farmers based on the amount of
    crops planted in past years. The fixed annual income payments are not
    tied to market considerations such as commodity prices, yields, or
    demand. reported on Plains daily…

    In addition to cuts to direct payment subsidies, the
    deficit reduction plan also targets federal crop insurance and land
    conservation programs. All in all, over $33 billion in agricultural cuts
    are proposed for the next 10 years in the President’s plan.

    From 1995 to 2010, the government paid nearly $16 billion dollars to Minnesota and North Dakota in direct payment subsidies.

  • Hal687

    Yep, that is a good point.  How do you explain yourself Senator Hoeven?

  • two_amber_lamps

    I cannot understand some of these ND “conservatives”….  policy positions that make as much sense as a shrieking #OWS supporter.  Come on Hoeven, if you want to be considered conservative, do a little research on the topic and form your opinions based on logic and reason, not some stupid emotional response that will garner you votes during the next election cycle.