Friday, July 08, 2016
Legislators in New Jersey haven't come to an agreement to raise the fuel tax in order to pay for road and bridge repair. In response to inaction, the governor has shut down all non-essential road and bridge projects in the state. There are hundreds of them. This is an old political and negotiation tactic, which was -- and maybe, still is -- known in Washington DC circles as the Washington Monument Ploy. When Congress threatened to cut the National Park Service budget, the agency immediately made preparations to shut down the Washington Monument. This would create ill-feeling and political pressure from tourists on the Mall -- something Congress does not want. The Park Service learned to protect its money through tricks like that. The governor of New Jersey is no less a student, but he has gone one step further in the tactic and turned political pressure on the New Jersey Statehouse to its highest level. The betting is he will get his way.