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58 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
What are the three purposes of policy making?
solving a social problem
countering threats
pursuing an objective
What are the four p's of policy?
prohibit (ex. polygamy)
protect (ex. environment)
promote (ex. tax deductions)
provide (ex. direct benefits such as roads, libraries, hospitals)
Why can policy making be frustrating?
it often depends on fickle and unpredictable public opinion
What is the issue-attention cycle?
policymakers must act quickly, before the public becomes bored and loses interest
What is incrementalism?
slow, step-by-step approach to making policy
What is the first step in policy making?
defining the role of government in solving social and economic problems
What is agenda setting?
determines social/economic problems, redefines them in political issues, ranks them in order of importance
Why do the poorest people in the United States have the least political power?
those with the most money have the most direct access to policymakers, placing thier issue high on the agenda
What are ways that policy can be formulated and adopted?
most difficult is through legislative Congress
easiest may be executive orders from president
rules from regulatory agencies
precedent-setting SC decisions
What is policy implementation?
it puts the policy into effect by enforcement through the appropriate government agency
What is one of the major concerns with policy making?
unforeseen consequences such as the three-strike rule has ended most plea-bargains, causing overloaded courts, judges, and jails -turns out to be more expensive than planned
What is the final step in policy making?
policy evaulation- it provides feedback to policymakers, allowing modifications and terminations if the problem has been solved
What is policy fragmentation?
multiple access points (governments that are local, state, national- executive, legislative,judiciary, bureaucracy) results in many pieces of legislation dealing with parts of policy problems but never the whole thing
Due to the importance of the economy, what is in a politician's self-interest?
to make policies that will increase people's standard of living
What are mixed economies?
capitalist free-market systems in which both government and private industry play a role
What do laissez-faire economists believe?
government should never become involved in economic issues, believe that free markets are governed by laws of nature that shouldn't have gov. intervention
What do Keynesian economists believe?
government can smooth out business cycles by influencing the amount of income individuals and businesses can spend on goods and services- accomplished by fiscal and monetary policy
What is fiscal policy?
government action of either lowering or raising taxes, such as building highways or hospitals
What is deficit spending?
spending funds raised by borrowing rather than taxation
What is the supply-side school of economic thought?
inflation is caused by too many dollars chasing too few goods- if supply is raised, the cost of these goods will decline; gov. should cut taxes and spend $$$ on domestic programs to stimulate greater production
What does the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) have to do with monetary policy?
the Fed supplies the credit, but the gov. controls it and supply of money in circulation
What is one way monetary policy be implemented by the Fed?
manipulating reserve requirement (raises/lowers amount of money banks are required to keep on hand)
What is another way monetary policy can be implemented by the Fed?
manipulating the discount rate (raises/lowers interest banks pay to the Fed for borrowing money- lowering discount rate will lower the interest rates for consumer loans)
What is a third way monetary policy can be implemented by the Fed?
manipulating open market operations, since the Fed is the one who buys and sells United States government bonds
From which departments and agencies does the president receive advice about the state of the economy from?
Council of Economic Advisers
National Economic Council
Office of Management and Budget
Secretary of the Treasury
What is the difference between fiscal and monetary policy?
fiscal has to do with the budget, monetary has to do with the supply of money
How does initiating the budget process start?
Director of the OMB is responsible for initiating the budget process who shares thoughts with president- president shares his priorities and these departments get more $ than others, budget is written up and submitted to Congress and goes to three committees
What is the House Ways and Means Committee?
it is the committee that deals with the taxing aspects of the budget
What are authorization committees?
decide what programs Congress wants to fund (seen in both houses)
What are appropriations committees?
decide how much money to spend for those programs that have been authorized (operate in both houses)
What is the Budget Reform Act of 1974?
created out of yearly budget problems, it created the Office of Management and Budget as well as the Congressional Budget office, with budget committees in both the House and the Senate
Where does the split in fiscal policy occur?
each house's budget committee sets their own revenue and spending levels, then negotiations amongst president and Congress to try to get one budget acceptable to everyone
What did the 1990 Budget Enforcement Act do?
it was an effort to streamline budget process and make it easier to arrive at a compromise budget, categorizes gov. expenditures as mandatory or discretionary
What is mandatory spending?
required by law, to fund programs like entitlement programs (i.e. Social Security, Medicare, pensions, etc.)
What is discretionary spendign?
spending on programs that are not required by law, include defense, education, highways, research grants, all gov. operations -primary targets for budget cuts to balance budget
What is the balance of trade?
ratio of imported products to exported products
What is a trade deficit?
it occurs when imports exceed exports, cause wealth to flow from a nation- these nations often impose a limit on imports - the country that would export products to the first country can take retailiation through high import taxes, eventually results in trade wars
What is the North American Free Trade Agreement?
US, Canada, Mexico signed agreement effectively removing import tariffs from one another's products in an effort to promote free trade between them -opposed by some b/c it fears jobs will be sent to cheap Mexico -supported by others who claim that a richer Mexico will purchase more American products and reduce immigration due to prescence of jobs
A dramatic change in the way society perceives role of government happened in which century?
in the 20th century, with the start of gov. programs in the 1930s Great Depression to the Great Society programs of the Johnson administration which expanded gov. welfare (but eventually were cut)
What are social insurance programs?
national insurance programs that both employers and employees pay taxes into, Social Security is a 'right' b/c people have paid money into it
What are public assistance programs?
not perceiveved as earned because they are result of condition and gov. responsiblity to help needy and because receipients don't pay into the system
What is Social Security?
an entitlement program mandated by a law that states that the gov. must pay benefits to all who qualify
What is one category of folks who receive Social Security?
retired workers and thier survivors age 65 and older, entitled to a cost of living adjustment if inflation rates exceed 3 percent- these put a strain on the ability of the trust fund to meet its obligations
What is another category of people who receive Social Security?
permanently and totally disabled citizens, includes learning disabled and those dependent on drugs and alcohol
What is another category of those who receive Social Security?
Medicare- provides government assistance to people over 65 for health care, if people pay additional tax on thier Social Security benefit, Medicare Part B will pay 80% of doctor's bills
What is the last category of people who receive Social Security?
those out of work receive temporary unemployment insurance, usually $200 a week for 26 weeks, during which the person normally has to find a job
Despite efforts, what has remained a perpetual problem for policymakers at both national and state levels?
poverty, 1st programs to reduce it were in 1930s Social Security, especially the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)
What are supplemental public assistance programs?
in addition to AFDC, they help the disabled and aged who are living at or near poverty line
What are food stamps?
recipients receive coupons to help pay for food to improve the diet and increase the buying power of the poor
What is the Welfare Reform Act?
effort to reduce # of people living on public assistance, federal and state gov.s pay for welfare programs, but fed. pays for most through block grants, intended to force people to find and thus reduce welfare roles
How is the Welfare Reform Act accomplished?
abolishing AFDC -affected 22% of families w/ kids in US
requiring adults to find work w/in 2 years, or be cut off
placing lifetime limit of 5 years on welfare, although extension is possible
prohibiting aliens from receiving assistance
What is the gross domestic product?
the nation's total of goods and services produced in a year, 17% of it is spent on health care- US has most expensive health care system in the world and is the only country w/out a national health service
What are some problems with health care insurance?
high cost -at least $5,000 and rising faster than cost of living
primarily b/c of cost, 30% of population is w/out health care insurance
What is some of the irony surrounding the efforts to solve the two issues of universal health care and its costs?
voters want increased coverage, but aren't willing to pay for it except the 'sin taxes' on alcohol and tobacco but that doesn't generate enough revenue
another issue is whether the health benefits should be a government or privately administered program
What did Clinton try in his first administration that was ultimately doomed?
attempted health care reform that called for universal coverage and strict cost controls- would have increased taxes and placed cost-cutting limits on types of procedures allowed
What are some incremental changes to health care that have been possible since the defeat of Clinton's idea?
workers who change/lose jobs can keep health insurance for extended period of time
companies can't deny coverage for pre-existing conditions
mental health programs are covered same way as surgical procedures
new moms and infants are guaranteed a 48-hour hospital stay
What do many taxpayers believe?
That taxes are too high (US tax burden is 12th lightest out of 13 most industrial nations), government is too big, and there is too much waste in federal programs
What will happen to Social Security and health care benefits in the years to come?
greater resources will be needed to pay for these programs, or beneifts will have to be cut