Via Theo Spark, a story which could easily be adapted to describe any number of national or local government departments. The tale of the night watchman.
Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert.
Congress said, "Someone may steal from it at night." So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.
Then Congress said, "How does the watchman do his job without instruction?" So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.
Then Congress said, "How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?" So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people. One was to do the studies and one was to write the reports.
Then Congress said, "How are these people going to get paid?" So they created two positions: a time keeper and a payroll officer then hired two people.
Then Congress said, "Who will be accountable for all of these people?" So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.
Then Congress said, "We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $918,000 over budget, we must cut back" ... so they laid-off the night watchman.Quite apt, I thought, for a day when we're voting on which set of clowns will be ballsing everything up for the next four years.