Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., estimates that the cost of the signs will be $6 million to $20 million. The GOP thinks the signs are political, and have called them "a public relations campaign" and "blatant self-flattery."
It's a fine line: Every city and burgh in America has signs that welcome people to their local park, and then a listing of the current governor, mayor and council members underneath, as if they personally planted the trees there. They are pointlessly political. Republicans, clearly, are not volunteering to give those up.
Obama's stimulus signs don't carry his name or any Democrat's name, merely that the project is funded by the act.
You could argue that by trying (and failing) to get the Senate to ban the signs, Republicans are trying to keep the success of the stimulus a "secret" from Americans who might have gotten jobs because of it.
On the other hand, it is nice to literally see your tax dollars at work for a change.
And finally: They're having the exact same debate in Australia:
EVERY school receiving money as part of the Federal Government's stimulus will need to advertise the fact on roadside signs that stay up after the next election, under rules made public yesterday.
The Opposition's education spokesman, Christopher Pyne, said the new rules on signage showed the Government's desire for self-promotion. ''If there was any truth in advertising, the Government should include the fact that they have plunged the country into $315 billion in debt and $57 billion in deficit on each of these roadside signs.''