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The Laws of Government Waste


  • Some departments are born wasteful, some achieve wastefulness, and some have wastefulness thrust upon them.

  • A program expands to make complete use of the money available.

  • Forget the goal; it's the paperwork that counts.

  • When in doubt, set up a committee.

  • Every bureaucrat rises beyond his level of incompetence.

  • When things go wrong, stonewall.

  • If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing wastefully.

  • Time is money; more time is more money.

  • When trimming expenses, go for the pennies, not for the pounds.

  • Ask not what you can do for the government; ask what the government can do for you.

  • If government money can be misappropriated, it will be.


[Contributed by BS Bhatnagar, Principal of the Indian School, Muscat, in The Week, June 2, 2002]