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September 20, 2005

The newly-initiated PorkBusters blog-campaign to find waste in the federal budget is a good idea, but it won't do a lick of good unless the people who actually appropriate the money can be persuaded or pressured not to do so.

I would therefore propose an appropriations rule (or perhaps even a law) which might have a positive effect for the national budget: prohibit the naming of any federally-funded project after any living person. If that's too extreme, prohibit naming them after any serving legislator. Removing the self-aggrandizement motive for federal spending might rein in some of the more extreme spenders' projects for which we all have to foot the bill.

One could start, for instance, with the projects brought to us by the King of the Swineherds, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV).

Byrd is so notorious for his ability to bring home the bacon (as well as sausage, tenderloin, pancetta, Boston Butt, chops, baby back ribs, ham, and crispy rinds) for his home state that he has his very own tribute page at the website of Citizens Against Government Waste.

How many of the West Virginia projects below would not have been paid for with federal tax dollars (read, our money) if there was no incentive for a certain Senator to use them as campaign ads?

  • Robert C. Byrd National Technology Transfer Center
  • Robert C. Byrd Highway
  • Robert C. Byrd Federal Correctional Institution
  • Robert C. Byrd High School
  • Robert C. Byrd Freeway (what, having only a highway wasn't good enough?)
  • Robert C. Byrd Center for Hospitality and Tourism
  • Robert C. Byrd Science Center
  • Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center of West Virginia
  • Robert C. Byrd Cancer Research Center
  • Robert C. Byrd Technology Center at Alderson-Broaddus College
  • Robert C. Byrd Hardwood Technologies Center, near Princeton
  • Robert C. Byrd Bridge between Huntington and Chesapeake, Ohio
  • Robert C. Byrd addition to the lodge at Oglebay Park, Wheeling
  • Robert C. Byrd Community Center, Pine Grove
  • Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarships
  • Robert C. Byrd Expressway, U.S. 52 near Weirton
  • Robert C. Byrd Institute in Charleston
  • Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing
  • Robert C. Byrd Visitor Center at Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
  • Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse
  • Robert C. Byrd Academic and Technology Center
  • Robert C. Byrd United Technical Center

Really, it could just as easily be any Senator... any one at all... but when a target just walks into the crosshairs, it seems so wrong not to pull the trigger.

[In a strictly metaphorical sense, of course.]

Posted by Russ at 09:06 AM, September 20, 2005 in Politics

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What, no Robert C. Byrd Naval Base?

Posted by: Thibodeaux at September 20, 2005 11:28 AM

If WV weren't landlocked....

Posted by: Russ at September 20, 2005 11:30 AM

"(as well as sausage, tenderloin, pancetta, Boston Butt, chops, baby back ribs, ham, and crispy rinds)"


Posted by: Stephen at September 20, 2005 07:16 PM

I could understand it if there were the "Byrd-Brain Academy." or the "Bobbie Byrd Alzheimer's... err....ummm.....oh, dammit, pbpbpbppbpbppp...."

Posted by: brad at September 21, 2005 12:10 PM

Just for the record, I think you may mean U.S. 22, which runs through Weirton, WV and is called the Robert C. Byrd Expressway. U.S. 52 is closer to, I believe, Huntington.

Posted by: Angelique at September 22, 2005 03:38 AM