Our boss had tons of money to send people on useless courses for years, but not enough to promote two people who deserved it. When asked why, he said, it comes out of different budgets and had to be used (read squandered) for what it was intended.
I had a PHB once that was hardly ever around, when asked about this by his underlings he always told us it was because he was helping us look good to his TBB (Tall Bald Boss) and fighting for our budget and what not. Layoff time came around and even though curiously our boss had spent so much time fighting for us we were the first department hit and got the deepest cuts. Two weeks later our PHB got a promotion. He was sure fighting for something.