… is from page 159 of Tom Bethell’s 1998 book The Noblest Triumph: Property and Prosperity Through the Ages :
Federal spending [in the U.S.] keeps on rising for the same reason that utility consumption keeps on increasing in master-metered buildings. Congress itself is “master metered,” because taxpayers, like the residents of our apartment building, are all “billed” at the same rate, whether or not federal projects are financed in their districts. The point is that the federal tax code is the same in all states. This encourages all legislators to behave like energy hogs – to siphon from the common pool as fast as they can (that is, to vote for most spending bills).