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22 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Budget
A policy document allocating burdens (taxes) and benefits (expenditures).
Deficit
An excess of federal expenditures over federal revenues
Expenditures
Federal spending of revenues. Major areas of such spending are social services and the military.
Revenues
The financial resources of the federal government.
Income Tax
Shares of individual wages and corporate revenues collected by the government.
Sixteenth Amendment
The constitutional amendment adopted in 1915 that explicitly permitted Congress to levy an income tax.
Federal Debt
All the money borrowed by the federal government over the years and still outstanding.
Tax Expenditures
Defined by the 1974 Budget Act as “revenue losses attributable to provisions of the federal tax laws which allow a special exemption, exclusion, or deduction.”
Social Security Act
A 1935 law passed during the Great Depression that was intended to provide a minimal level of sustenance to older Americans and thus save them from poverty.
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 expenses.
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 Wildavsky, “Most of the budget is a product of previous decisions.”
Uncontrollable 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Congressional Budget Office
A counterweight to the president’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Advises Congress on the probable consequences of budget decisions and forecasts revenues.
Budget Resolution
A resolution binding Congress to a total expenditure level, supposedly the bottom line of all federal spending for all programs.
Reconciliation
A congressional process through which program authorizations are revised to achieve required savings. It usually also includes tax or other revenue adjustments.
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
Appropriations Bill
An act of Congress that actually funds programs within limits established by authorization bills.
Continuing Resolution
When Congress cannot reach agreement and pass appropriations bills, these resolutions allow agencies to spend at the level of the previous year.