Your Tax Dollars Put Their Names in Concrete

Lawmakers refuse to face widespread 'edifice complex'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2008 6:33 PM CDT
Your Tax Dollars Put Their Names in Concrete
Robert Byrd is such a prodigious namer that some have mockingly suggested he rename his state "West Bydginia."   (AP Photo)

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?” (More pork barrel spending stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.