Americana: Good Idea, on Paper

Paperwork is to Government what, say, breathing is to the governed. So there was considerable skepticism in October 1975 when Congress and President Gerald Ford decided to try to curb the proliferation of official forms, reports and studies by creating a Commission on Federal Paperwork. With their franchise due to expire next month, the commission's 14 members have spent $1 million less than their $10.5 million anticipated budget. With the aid of 200 full-time staffers, they prepared 35 reports—totaling 550 pages. Among their discoveries: the federal bureaucracy spends billions each year just...

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