Not long ago, a lawmaker had to be dead to put his or her name on something, but these days every two-bit representative in Congress has a building, bridge, or monument, complains John Fund in the Wall Street Journal. These “honors” are almost always paid for with tax dollars, but rarely get voted down; vanity seems to enjoy wide bipartisan support.
A proposal to prevent such excesses—the “Edifice Complex Prevention Bill”—died in committee on an 11-3 vote. Its author, Arkansas Rep. Dan Greeenberg, argued that “using taxpayer money to build temples to ourselves as public servants is dangerous.” When it was voted down, one legislator took him aside. “Now tell me the truth,” he said, “wouldn't you like a building named after you?”