If your accountant told your family that you are spending 40 percent more than you are earning and that your borrowing limits have been reached, how would you cut your expenditures? Would you stop buying food and not pay your mortgage and utilities, or would you first cut out entertainment, such as movies, sports events, cultural performances, nice restaurants and vacation trips? Rational people would do the latter, but government bureaucrats often do the equivalent of the former. This is known as the Washington Monument Ploy, which got its name when a national parks director shut down the Washington Monument and Grand Canyon for two weeks in 1969 to protest budget cuts, rather than cutting administrative costs, deferring maintenance and curtailing new projects.When faced with a need to cut budgets, the Washington Monument Ploy - or stunt - is the political tactic of shutting down the most visible, popular and/or valuable government service while leaving less important and less appreciated government activities untouched. This is designed to pressure legislators to appropriate more funds for the more popular government service.
Deficits, Promises and Destiny ; Averting the Washington Monument Ploy
Many businesses find that over the years they have allowed some fat to grow in their operations. During recessions or periods of increased competitive pressure, businesses realize they must cut costs drastic...