Why Government Cannot Be Run Like a Business

“As Mises explains (pp. 46-47),…

The objectives of public administration cannot be measured in money terms and cannot be checked by accountancy methods. . . . In public administration there is no connection between revenue and expenditure. The public services are spending money only; the’ insignificant income derived from special sources (for example, the sale of printed matter by the Government Printing Office) is more or less accidental. The revenue derived from customs and taxes is not “produced” by the administrative apparatus. Its source is the law, not the activities of customs officers, and tax collectorsIt is not the merit of a collector of internal revenue that the residents of his district are richer and pay higher taxes than those of another district. The time and effort required for the administrative handling of an income tax return are not in proportion to the amount of the taxable income it concerns.”