Public Policy

  1. Purposes of Policymaking
    • Solving a social problem
    • Countering threats
    • Pursuing an objective
  2. Issue-Attention
    Requires policymakers to act quickly, before the public becomes bored and loses inerest.
  3. Incrementalism
    • 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.
  4. 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
  5. Policy Fragmentation
    • 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.
  6. Departments/Agencies of Economic Advice
    • The Council of Economic Advisors
    • The National Economic Council
    • The Office of Management and Budget
  7. The Office of Management and Budget
    • Responsible for initiating the budget process.
    • The director meets with the president to discuss policy initiatives.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Mandatory Spending
    Required by law, such as entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, etc.
  12. Discretionary Spending
    • Not required by law and include defense, education, highwasys, resesarch grants, and all government operations.
    • These are the primary targets for budget cuts.
  13. General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
    • Evolved into the World Trade Organization.
    • 125 members of the WTO account for 97% of world trade.
  14. NAFTA
    • 1994
    • Effectively eliminated all tariffs from products flowing between U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
Card Set
Public Policy
Princeton Review