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73 Cards in this Set

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ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION
The authority of administrative actors to select among various responses to a given problem. Discretion is greatest when routines, or standard ooperating procedure, do not fit a case
AMICUS CURIAE BRIEFS
Legal briefs submitted by a :friend of the court" for the purpose of raising additional points of view and presenting information not contained in the briefs of the formal parties. These briefs attempt to influence a court's decision
APPELLATE JURISDICTION
The jurisdiction of courts that hear cases brought to them on appeal from lower courts. These courts do no review the factual record, only the legal issues involved. Compare jurisdiction
ARMS RACE
A tense relationship beginning in the 1950s between the Soviet Union and the United Staes whereby one side's weaponry became the other side's goad to procure more weaponry
BALANCE OF TRADE
The ration of what is paid for imports to what is earned from exports. When more is imported than exported, there is a balance-0f-trade deficit.
BUDGET
A policy document allocation burdens (taxes) and benefits (expenditures)
CABINET
A group of presidential advisors not mentioned in the Constitution, although every president has had one. Today the cabinet is composed of 14 secretaries and the attorney general
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
An agency created after World War II to coordinate American intelligence activities abroad. It became involved in intrigue, conspiracy, and meddling as well.
CIVIL SERVICE
A system of hiring and promotion based on the merit principle and the desire to create a nonpartisan government service.
CLASS ACTION SUITS
Lawsuits permitting a small number of people to sue on behalf of all other similarly situated people
COLD WAR
War by other than military means usually emphasixing ideological conflict, such as that between the United States and the Soviet Union from the end of World War II until the 1990s
CONCURRING OPINION
an opinion written by one or more justices who agree with the judgment reached by the majority of the Court justices, but for different reasons. A case may have one or more concurring opinions.
CONTAINMENT DOCTRINE
A foreign policy strategy advocated by George Kennan that called for the United States to isolate the Soviet Union, "contain" its advances, and resist its encroachments by peaceful means if possible, but by force if neccessary
COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISORS
The CEA. A three-member body appointed by the president to advise the president on economic policy
COURTS OF APEAL
Appellate courts empowered to review all final decisions of district courts, except in rare cases. In addition, they also hear appeals to orders of many federal regulatory agencies.
CRISIS
a sudden, unpredictiable, and potentiall dangerous event requiring the president to play the role of crisis manager
DEREGULATION
the lifting of restrictions on business, industry, and other professional activies for which government rules had been establised and that bueeaucracies had been created to administer
DETENTE
A slow transformation from conflict thinking to cooperative thinking if foreign policy strategy and policymaking. It sought a relaxation of tensions between the superpowers, coupled with firm guarantees of mutual security
DISSENTING OPINION
an opinion that disagrees with the court's disposition of the case
DISTRICT COURTS
The 91 federal courts of original jurisdiction. They are the only federal courts in which no trials are held and in which juries may be emapneled
EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT
A relief from the Social Security tax for working, low-income individuals.
ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS
A federal program that guarantees a certain level of benefits to persons or other entities who meet requirements set by law, such as Social Security, farm price supports or unemployment benefits. It thus leaves no discretion with Congress on how much money to appropriate, and some entitlements carry permanent appropriations.
ENTITLEMENETS
Policies fir which expenditures are uncontrollable because Congress has in effect obligated itself to pa X level of benegits to U number or recipients. Each year, Conress' bill is a straightforward function of X level of benegits times the Y number of beneficiaries
EUROPEAN UNION
An economic alliance of the major Western European nations, offen called the Common Market. The EU coordinates monetary, trade immigration, and labor policies
EXECUTIVE ORDERS
Regulations originating from the executive branch. Executive orders are one method presidents can use to contorl the bureaucracy; more often, though, presidents pass along their wishes throgh their aides.
EXPENDITURES
Federal spending of revenues. Major areas of such spending are social services and the military
FEDERAL DEBT
All the money borrowed by the federal government over the years and still outstanding.Today the federal debit is more than $8 trillion
FEMINIZATION OF POVERTY
Tendency of increasing number of women and children among the poor
FOREIGN POLICY
A policy that, like domestic policy, involves choice making, but additionally onvolves choices about relations with the rest of the world. The president is the chief initiator of foreign policy in the United States.
GOVERNMENT CORPORATION
A government organization that, like business coirporations, provides a service that could be provided by the private sector and typically charges for its services. The U.S. Postal Service is an example.
GS(GENERAL SCHEDULE) RATING
A schedule for federal employees, randing from GS 1 to GS 18, by which salaries can be keyed to rating and experience.
HATCH ACT
A federal law prohibiting government employees from active participoation in partisan politics
IMPEACHMENT
The political equivalent of an indictment in criminal law, prescribed by the Consitution. The House of Representatives may impeach the president by a majority vote for "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors
INCOME
The amount of funds collected between any two points in time.
INCOME DISTRIBUTION
The "shares" of the national income earned by various groups.
INCOME TAX
Shares of individual wages and corporate revenues collected by the government. The first income tax was declared unconstituional by the Supreme Court in 1895, but the 16th amendment explicitly authorized congress to levy a tax on income.
INCREMENTALISM
The belief that the best predictior of this year's budget is last year's budget, plus a little bt more (in increment.) According to Aaron Wildavsky, "Most of the budget is a product of previous decisions"
INTERDEPENDENCY
Mutual dependency, in which the actions of nations reverberate and affect one another's economic lifelines.
INDEPENDENT EXECUTIVE AGENCY
The governent not accounted for by cabinet departmens, independent regulatory agencies, and government corporations. Its administrators are typically appointed by the president and servce at the the presidents pleasure. NASA is an example.
INDEPENDENT REGULATOR AGENCY
A government agency responsible for some sector of the economy, making and enforcing rules supposedly to protect the public interest. It also judges disputes over these rules.
INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (IRS)
The office established to collect federal income taxes, investigate violations of the tax laws, and prosecute tax criminals
IRON TRIANGLES
Entitles composed of bureaucratic agencies, interest groups, and congressional committees or subcommittees, which have dominated some areas of domestic policymaking. Iron triangles are characterized by mutual dependency, in which each element provides key services, information, or policy for the others.
ISOLATIONISM
A foreign policy course followed throughout most of our nation's history, whereby the United States has tried to stay out of other nations' conflicts, particularly European wars. Isolationism was reaffirmed by the Monroe Doctrine
JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
The commanding officers of the armed services who advise the president on military policy
JUDICIAL ACTIVISM
A judicial philosophy in which judges make bold policy decisions, even charting new constitutional ground. Advocates of this approach emphasize that the courts can correct pressing needs, especially those unmet by the majoritarian political process.
JUDICIAL IMPLEMENTATION
How and whether court deciosios are translated into actual policy, affection the behavior of others. The courts rely on other untis of government to enforce their decisions
JUDICIAL RESTRAINT
A juducial philosophy in which judges play minimal policymaking roles, leaving that strictly to the legislatures
JUSTIVIABLE DISPUTES
A constraint on the courts, requirng that a case must be capable of being settled by legal methods
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 separation of powers
LIVING CONSTITUTION
s a theory for interpreting the United States Constitution, which premises that the Constitution is, to some degree, dynamic
MAJORITY OPINION
The opinion of the majority
MEANS-TESTED PROGRAMS
Programs that provide cash or services to people who meet a test of need based on income and assets.
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 exepenses
MERIT PRINCIPLE
The idea that hiring should be based on entrnace exams and promotion ratings to produce administration by people with talent and skill.
NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL (NSC)
An office created in 1947 to coordinate the president's foreign and military policy advisers. Its formal members are the president, VP, secretary of state, and secretary of defense, and it is managed by the presidents national security assistant
NORTH ATLANTTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION
NATO - Created in 1949, an organization whose members include the US, Canada, most western European nations, and Turkey, all of whom agreed to combine military forces and to treat a war against one as a war against all.
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 appointess and hundreds of skilled professionals. The OMB performs both managerial and budgetary funtions, and although the president is its boss, the director and staff have considerable independence in the budgetary process.
OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT
The office in charge of hiring for most agencies of the federal government, that uses elaborate rules in the process
ORGANIZATION OF PETROLEUM EXPORTING COUNTRIES
OPEC - An economic organization, consisting primarly of Arab nations, that controls the price of oil and the amount of oil its members produce and sell to other nations. The Arab members of OPEC caused the oil boycott in the winter of 1973-1974
ORGINAL INTENT
A view that the constitution should be interpreted according to the original intent of the framers. Many conservatives support this view
PATRONAGE
One of the key inducements used by party machines. A patronage job, promotion, or contract is one that is given for political reasons rather than for merit or competence alone.
PENDLETON CIVIL SERVICE ACT
Passed in 1883, an Act that created a federal civil service so that hiring and promotion would be based on merit rahter than patronage
POCKET VETO
A veto taking palce when Congress adjourns wihtin 10 days of having submitted a bill to the president, who simply lets it die by neither signing it nor vetoing is.
POLCY 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 operation, ongoing program.
POLITICAL QUESTION
A doctrine developed by the federal courts and used as a means to avoid deciding some cases, orincipally those involving conflicts between the president and Congress
POVERTY LINE
A method used to count the number of poor people; it considers what a family would need to spend for an "austere" standard of living
PRECEDENT
How a similar court case has ben decided in the past
PRESIDENTIAL COATTATILS
The situation occuring when voters cast their ballots for congressional candidates of the president's party because they supoort the president recent studies show that few races are won this way
PROGRESSIVE TAX
A tax by which the government takes a greater share of the income of the rich than of the poor - for example, when a rich family pays 50% of its income in taxes and poor family pays 5%
PROPORTIONAL TAX
A tax by which the government takes the same share of income from everyone, rich and poor alike - for example, when a rich family pays 20% and a poor family pays 20%
REGRESSIVE TAX
A tax in which the burden falles relatively more heavily upon low-income groups than upon wealthy taxpayers. The oppositve of progressive tax, in which tax rates increase as income increases
REGULATION
The use of governmental authority to control or change some practice in the private sector. Reulations pervade the daily lives of people and institutions.
REVENUES
The financial reources of the federal government. The individual income tax and Social Security tax are two major sources of revenue.