Controlling Public Expenditure: The Theory of Expenditure Limitation

Wildavsky, Aaron. "Controlling Public Expenditure: The Theory of Expenditure Limitation." OECD Journal on Budgeting. Vol. 2, No. 4, 2003.  

“What don’t I mean by expenditure limitation? This paper is not about why governments should choose to limit spending. If governments wish to increase spending, that is obviously their prerogative. Moreover, they are, on the evidence, very good at it. Governments need no advice on doing what comes naturally. There need be no solution when there is perceived to be no problem.

The problem of expenditure limitation exists only when there is a public will but not et a public way to hold down spending. For whatever reason, governments may wish to redice the rate of spending increases or to hold spending to a fixed level (either absolutely or in proportion to national product or national income) and find themselves frustrated.”

– Excerpt.