government.txt

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yenttirb
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49765
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government.txt
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2010-11-15 20:41:27
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The Presidency;The Congress,the President,and the Budget: The Politics of Taxing and Spending;The Federal Bureaucracy
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  1. 22nd Amendment
    passed in 1951, the amendment that limits presidents to two terms of office.
  2. Impeachment
    the political equivalent of an indictment in criminal law, prescribed by the constitution. The house of representatives may impeach the president by a majority vote for "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
  3. Watergate
    The events and scandal surrounding a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in 1972 and the subsequent cover-up of White House involvement, leading to the eventual resignation of President Nixon under threat of impeachment
  4. 25th Amendment
    Passed in 1951, this amendment permits the vice president to become acting president if both the vice president and the president's cabinet determine that the president is disabled. The amendment also outlines how a recuperated president can reclaim the job.
  5. cabinet
    A group of presidential advisors not motioned in the Constitution, although every president has had one. Today the cabinet is composed of 13 secretaries and the attorney general.
  6. National Security Council
    An office created in 1947 to coordinate the president's foreign and military policy advisors. Its formal members are the president, vice president, secretary of state, and secretary of defense, and it is managed by the president's national security advisor.
  7. Council of Economic Advisors (CEA)
    A three-member body appointed by the president to advise the president on economic policy.
  8. Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
    An office that grew out of the Bureau of the Budget, created in 1921, consisting of a handful of political appointees and hundreds of skilled professionals. The OMB performs both managerial and budgetary functions. See also Congressional Budget Office.
  9. veto
    The constitutional power of the president to send a bill back to Congress with reasons for rejecting it. A two-thirds vote in each house can override a veto.
  10. pocket veto
    A veto taking place when Congress adjourns within 10 days of submitting a bill to the president, who simply lets it die by neither signing nor vetoing it.
  11. presidential coattails
    The occur when votes cast their ballots for congressional candidates of the president's party because they support the president. Recent studies show that few races are won this way.
  12. War Powers Resolution
    A law, passed in 1973 in reaction to American fighting in Vietnam and Cambodia, requiring presidents to consult with Congress whenever possible prior to using military force and to withdraw forces after 60 days unless Congress declares war or grants an extension. Presidents view the resolution as inconstitutional.
  13. legislative veto
    The ability of congress to override a presidential decision. Although the War Powers Resolution asserts this authority, there is reason to believe that, if challenged, the Supreme Court would find the legislative veto in violation of the doctrine of seperation of powers.
  14. crisis
    A sudden, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous event requiring the president to play the role of crisis manager.
  15. budget
    a policy document allocating burdens (taxes) and benefits (expenditures).
  16. deficit
    An excess of federal expenditures over federal revenues
  17. expenditures
    federal spending of revenues. Major areas of such spending are social services and the military.
  18. revenues
    the financial resources of the federal government. the individual income tax and Social Security tax are two major sources of revenue.
  19. income tax
    shares of individual wages and corporate revenues collected by the government. The 16th amendment explicitly authorized Congress to levy a tax on income. See also Internal Revenue Society.
  20. federal debt
    all the money borrowed by the federal government over the years and still outstanding. Today the federal debt is about $55.6 trillion.
  21. tax expenditures
    revenue losses that result from special exemptions, exclusions, or deductions on federal tax law.
  22. Social Security Act
    A 1935 law passed during the Great Depression that was intended to provided a minimal level of sustenance to older Americans abd thus save them from poverty.
  23. Medicare
    A program added to the Social Security system in 1965 that provides hospitalization insurance for the elderly and permits older Americans to purchase inexpensive coverage for doctor fees and other health expenses.
  24. incrementalism
    the belief that the best predictor of this year's budget is last year's budget, plus a little bit more (an increment). According to Aaron Wildasky, "Most of the budget is a product of previous desicions."
  25. uncontollable expenditures
    expenditures that are determined not by a fixed amount of money appropriated by congress but by how many eligible beneficiaries there are for a program or by previous obligations of the government.
  26. entitlements
    policies for which congress has obligated itself to pay X level of benefits to Y number of recipients. Social Security benefits are an example.
  27. House Ways and Means Committee
    The house of representatives committee that, along with the Senate Finance Committee, writes the tax codes, subject to the approval of Congress as a whole.
  28. Senate Finance Committee
    The Senate committee that, along with the House Ways and Means Committee, writes the tax codes, subject to the approval of Congress as a whole.
  29. Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974
    An act designed to reform the congressional budgetary process. Its supporters hoped that it would also make Congress less dependent on the president's budget and better able to set and meet its own budgetary goals.
  30. budget resolution
    a resolution binding the congress to a total expenditure level, supposedly the bottom line of all federal spending for all programs.
  31. reconciliation
    a congressional process through which program authorizations are revised to achieve required savings. It usually also includes tax or other revenue adjustments.
  32. authorization bill
    an act of congress that establishes. continues, or changes a discretionary government program or an entitlement. It specifies program goals and maximum expenditures for discretionary programs.
  33. appropriations bill
    an act of congress that actually funds programs within limits established by authorization bills. Appropriations usually cover one year.
  34. continuing resolutions
    when congress cannot reach agreement and pass appropiations bills, these resolutions allow agencies to spend at the level of the previous year.
  35. patronage
    one of the key inducements used by machines. a patronage job, promotion, or contract is one that is given for political reasons rather than for merit or competence alone. Compare civil service and the merit principle.
  36. Pendleton Civil Sevice Act
    Passed in 1883, an Act that created a federal civil service so that hiring and promotion would be based on merit rather than patronage.
  37. civil service
    a system of hiring and promotion based on the merit principle and the desire to create a nonpartisan government service.
  38. Hatch Act
    a federal law prohibiting government employees from active participation in partisan politics.
  39. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
    The office in charge of hiring for most agencies of the federal government, using elaborate rules in the process.
  40. GS (General Schedule) rating
    a schedule for federal employees, raging from GS 1 to GS 18, by which salaries can be keyed to rating and experience.
  41. Senior Executive Service (SES)
    An elite cadre of about 9,000 federal government managers, established by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, who are mostly career officials but include some political appointees who do not require Senate confirmation.
  42. bureaucracy
    according to max weber, a hierarchial authority structure that uses task specialization, operates on the merit principle, and behaves with impersonality. Bureaucracies govern modern states.
  43. independent regulatory agency
    a government agency responsible for some sector of the economy, making and enforcing rules to protect the public interest. it also judges disputes over these rules. the interstate commerce commission is an example.
  44. government corporation
    a government organization that, like business corporations, provides a service that could be provided by the private sector and typically changes for its services. The U.S. Postal Service is an example. Compare independent regulatory agency and the independent executive agency.
  45. independent executive agency
    the government not accounted for by cabinet departments, independent regulatory agencies, and government corporations. Its administrators are typically appointed by the president and serve at the president's pleasure. NASA is an example.
  46. policy implementation
    the stage of policymaking between the establishment of a policy and the consequences of the policy for the people whom it affects. Implementation involves translating the goals and objectives of a policy into an operating, ongoing program. See also judicial implementation.
  47. administrative decision
    the authority of administrative actors to select among various responses to a given problem. Discretion is greatest when routines, or standard operating procedures, do not fit a case.
  48. standard operating procedures
    better known as SOP's, these procedures are used by bureaucrats to bring uniformity to complex organizations. Uniformity improves fairness and makes personnel interchangeable. See also administrative discretion.
  49. street-level bureaucrats
    a phrase coined by michael lipsky, referring to those bureaucrats who are in constant contact with the public and have considerable administrative discretion.
  50. regulation
    the use of governmental authority to control or change some practice in the private sector. Regulations pervade the daily lives of people and institutions.
  51. command-and-control policy
    according to charles schultze, the existing system of regulation whereby government tells business how to reach certain goals, checks that these commands are followed, and punishes offenders. Compare incentive system.
  52. incentive system
    according to Charles Schultze, a more effective and efficient policy than command-and-control; in the incentive system, marketlike strategies are used to manage public policy.
  53. executive orders
    regulations originating from the executive branch. Executive orders are one method presidents can use to control the bureaucracy.
  54. iron triangles
    a mutually dependent relationship between bureaucracies agencies, interest groups, and congressional committees or subcommittees. Iron triangles dominate some areas of domestic policymaking.

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