In a sense, government budgets are the original source of corruption. In many industries, it’s vastly easier to persuade a legislator to give you a tax break for $100 million than it is to actually make an extra $100 million – so the temptation of getting money for relatively little effort has made corruption commonplace and has burdened the government with large amounts of excess spending (which is, almost always, unwisely distributed). In turn, the increasing ease with which corruption can be accomplished has resulted in a steadily accelerating drain on government budgets – all of the tax breaks, subsidies, and regulatory gimmicks and exceptions add up, especially when so little of it has a significant return-on-investment.
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