Vanity Pork Butchered


Deroy Murdock's col in the Wash Times takes aim at vanity pork:

It is tough for politicians to oppose projects named after their colleagues. It's one thing to block questionable funds for the Johnstown Cambria County Airport. It's quite another to turn thumbs-down on the John Murtha Airport when big, bad John himself is standing 10 feet away on the House floor, glowering at you.

This Kim Jong-ilish egomania causes envious politicians to think, "I sure would love my own airport." So, they covet their own taxpayer-funded baubles. And the logrolling continues.    

Vanity pork also is foolish because projects bear the names of politicians who do foolish things.

Embarrassed Georgia legislators are trying to rename the Cynthia McKinney Highway. The erratic Democratic congresswoman lost her House seat last year after smacking a U.S. Capitol police officer who dared ask for her ID card. She also accused Al Gore of having a "low Negro tolerance level."

Ohio University renamed the Robert W. Ney Center for Health and Physical Education when the former Ohio Republican congressman was jailed on federal conspiracy charges….

This obnoxious practice violates House Rule XXI.6: "It shall not be in order to consider a bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report that provides for the designation or redesignation of a public work in honor of an individual then serving as a member, delegate, resident commissioner, or senator." Alas, asking Congress to obey its own rules is like expecting teenagers not to party while the parents are away for the weekend.

If nonpresidents must be dead for five years before appearing on postage stamps, one must be equally dead before having his name on any federally funded public work. Presidential libraries should be exempt since they advance scholarship, usually commencing while former chief executives are still live.

Otherwise, let's honor politicians posthumously, not while they are retired, and certainly not while they are in power. 

More here.

Fair reader, what publicly funded Ozymandian monstrosity has yet to be built? The Denny Hastert History of Donuts Museum and Gift Shoppe? Fill in the blank…