Here’s a wonderful example of Los Angeles city government at work.
The city wants to close a disused pedestrian tunnel under Sunset in Silver Lake which has become a cesspool of graffiti, litter, etc.
LA anticipates the cost of doing so will be $160,000.
I guarantee a private contractor could close the thing up for $80k and still make a 50% margin (eg that the actual cost of closing the tunnel is around $40k).
Obviously, relative to the size of the city budget, that $80k difference (between $160k and $80k) is not a lot of money.
But the budget is not a monolith; it’s an aggregation of thousands of little projects and programs just like this one. And if this one is any indication, there’s an awful lot of waste going on.