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Purposes of Policymaking
- Solving a social problem
- Countering threats
- Pursuing an objective
Requires policymakers to act quickly, before the public becomes bored and loses inerest.
- A slow, step-by-step approach to making policy.
- This is done because policy making can have unforeseen results and can touch off bitter disputes.
Steps in Policy Making
- 1: Define the role of government in solving social and economic problems.
- 2: Set the agenda, which identifies the social and economic problems and redefines them into political issues, adn ranks them in order of importance.
- 3: Policy formulation and adoption
- 4: Policy Imiplementation
- 5: Policy Evaluation
- Many pieces of legislation deal with parts of policy problems but never deal with the entire problem.
- A result of the dispersed power over policy making.
Departments/Agencies of Economic Advice
- The Council of Economic Advisors
- The National Economic Council
- The Office of Management and Budget
The Office of Management and Budget
- Responsible for initiating the budget process.
- The director meets with the president to discuss policy initiatives.
Congressional Budget Committees
- House Ways and Means Committee: Deals with the taxing aspects of the budget.
- Authorization Committees: in both houses, these decide what programs Congress wants to fund.
- Appropriations Committees: in both houses decide how much money to spend for those programs that have been authorized.
Budget Reform Act of 1974
- Created the Congressional Budget office, with budget committees in both the House and Senate.
- The congressional committees set their own revenue and spending levels.
- Negotiations then take place among the White House and the two houses of Congress in an effort to get one budget that's acceptable for everyone.
- If a budget is unable to be reached by the beginnning of the fiscal year, then a government shutdown will ensue.
1990 Budget Enforcement Act
- An effort to stramline the budget process and make it easier to arrive at a compromise budget.
- Categorizes government expenditures as either mandatory or discretionary spending.
Required by law, such as entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, etc.
- Not required by law and include defense, education, highwasys, resesarch grants, and all government operations.
- These are the primary targets for budget cuts.
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
- Evolved into the World Trade Organization.
- 125 members of the WTO account for 97% of world trade.
- Effectively eliminated all tariffs from products flowing between U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Social Insurance Programs
- Domestic insurance programs in which employers and employees pay taxes.
- Because individuals pay into these programs, the benefits derived are considered by the public to have been earned, and therefore results in little debate over a citizen's right to Social Security
Public Assistance Programs
- Not perceived as earned.
- Result of a condition and a government responsibility to help the needy.
- Recipients not required to pay into the system but get something out.
- Considered a "handout" to the lazy, so initiatives have concentrated on forcing prople on public assistance to either seek work or enter work-training programs.
Social Security Qualifications
- Retirees 65 and older, who receive COLA (cost of living adjustments) to help maintain their standard of living if inflation exceeds 3%.
- The permanently disabled.
- Medicare, which provides for citizens 65 and older.
- Medicaid, which provides for the low-income demographic, and is jointly funded by federal/state.
- The "temporarily" unemployed.
Movement to Reduce Welfare Roles
- Abolishing Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), replacing it with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Requiring adults to find work within two years or be cut off.
- Placing a lifetime limit of five years for welfare eligibility, although it is possible to het a waiver if a recipient is actively seeking work.
- Prohibiting aliens from receiving assistance.