Controversial Expenditures

Discussion 2: Controversial Expenditures

Controversy and money often go hand-in-hand, and when paired with public dollars and budgets, the topic becomes even more complicated. Despite controversy, there are times that it is necessary to fund a project or service that may not be politically or publically popular. Identifying and justifying controversial budget issues are useful skills in any role where you may be responsible for a budget. Is the decision to fund a project ultimately for the public good? Did the choice to spend money in one area over another become the lesser of evils? Is the spending necessary due to laws or regulations to provide funds for something for which it is difficult to be sympathetic? As resources become scarce, it becomes even more challenging to justify a controversial project, and yet managers and administrators are asked to do this as a regular part of their job. The ability to be convincing and create a strong and favorable argument in support of a controversial project may be one skill that will keep you on the job and make you an invaluable team member.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the article “Experience, Attitudes, and Willingness to Pay for Public Safety” and consider how public attitudes and experience with public services influence the public’s willingness to fund them.
  • Review the “Activity Statements” document located in the Learning Resources and consider the various types of expenditures that might be viewed as controversial.
  • Select one controversial expenditure from the “Activity Statements” document to use in this Discussion.
  • Think about an argument you might develop to convince the voting public to add this expenditure to the state budget.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post a brief description of the controversial expenditure you selected. Then develop an argument to convince the voting public to add this expenditure to the state budget.

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