A (Very) Modest Proposal

Shouldn’t Congress bar federal funds from being spent on any project named after a current elected official? I mean, I realize that legislating against the self-interest of the legislators isn’t the most likely thing, so maybe let’s rephrase that – shouldn’t challengers pick up this suggestion? One of the enduring temptations for the Robert C. Byrds of the world, after all, is to seek out federal funds for projects in their states and districts that will be named in their honor. How does this not horrify anyone who even pretends that these folks are guardians of our money? What possible argument could be made, openly, for opposing such a proposal?

7 thoughts on “A (Very) Modest Proposal”

  1. I would go further. Politicians must be:
    – Dead 10 years before they can get their name on any facility or building or monument or statue
    – Dead 50 years before they can get their likeness on any currency

  2. Best idea I’ve heard in a long time. As great a guy as Tip O’Neil was, I sided with our useless Governor Romney in naming the Big Dig tunnel the ‘Liberty Tunnel.’ Of course Romney lost, like has on everthing for the last three years..but I digress.
    Though I am sure many conservatives out there see it as fitting that such a ‘fat, bloated and out of control’ public works project is named after the former speaker.

  3. Coyote,
    No argument with your idea. However, speaking for the Navy I’d add our ships to your list. In the last couple decades we have added USS Reagan, USS Carl Vinson, USS Stennis, USS Jimmy Carter, and will soon add USS George H.W. Bush to the fleet while their namesake was still alive. SHOULD NOT HAPPEN! I won’t debate the merits of the individual politicians but none of them should have been so honored while living.
    I don’t know if any of those guys bet on baseball, but here in Cincinnati we drive on Pete Rose Way because we named a street after a guy while he still had a chance to embarrass us.

  4. I don’t mind naming our battleships and such after national figures while they are alive. I think it’s nice that they can enjoy the distinction.

  5. There is a big difference between naming a road or project after a retired official or athlete, and having things named for folks with the power to distribute federal or local funding for those projects. It may be in poor taste to do the former, but the later it is potentially corrupt.

  6. How about not allowing District Attorneys and Attorney Generals to run for any Legislative or Executive Office for 5 or 10 years after serving?

  7. In metro Atlanta where I live, there is a section of a significant Eastside highway designated “Cynthia McKinney Parkway” complete with exit sign on I-285 (I as in INTERSTATE HIGHWAY). This honor was conferred upon Ms. McKinney while she was an incumbent Congresswoman and a candidate for re-election. Not being at all clear on the process by which these “designer” label names are awarded for highway segments, bridges, interchanges, etc., but assuming that some government employees must be involved at some level, I always wondered why the Hatch Act didn’t apply.

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