For every government action, there will be a reaction by the public. The government then takes a further action to counter the public's reaction—and the cycle begins again.
Getting an issue on the political agenda to be addressed by Congress; part of the first stage of the policymaking process.
Blue Dog Coalition
A caucus that unites most of the moderate-to-conservative Democrats in the House of Representatives.
A method of restricting the production of a harmful substance. A cap is set on the volume of production, and permits to produce the substance can then be traded on the open market.
Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
An agency established by Congress to evaluate the impact of proposed legislation on the federal budget.
Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards
A set of federal standards under which each manufacturer must meet a miles-per-gallon benchmark averaged across all cars or trucks that it sells.
Public policy concerning issues within a national unit, such as national policy concerning health care or the economy.
A monetary policy that involves stimulating the economy by expanding the rate of growth of the money supply. An easy-money policy supposedly will lead to lower interest rates and induce consumers to spend more and producers to invest more.
All actions taken by the national government to smooth out the ups and downs in the nation's level of business activity.
Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)
The most important body within the Federal Reserve System. The FOMC decides how monetary policy should be carried out by the Federal Reserve.
The use of changes in government expenditures and taxes to alter national economic variables.
An increase in the average temperature of the Earth's surface over the last half century and its projected continuation.
A gas that, when released into the atmosphere, traps the sun's heat and slows its release into outer space. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major example.
In the context of health-care reform, a requirement that all persons obtain health-care insurance from one source or another. Those failing to do so would pay a penalty.
An economic theory proposed by British economist John Maynard Keynes that is typically associated with the use of fiscal policy to alter national economic variables.
A joint federal-state program that provides healthcare services to low-income persons.
A federal government program that pays for health-care insurance for Americans aged sixty-five years or over.
Actions taken by the Federal Reserve Board to change the amount of money in circulation so as to affect interest rates, credit markets, the rate of inflation, the rate of economic growth, and the rate of unemployment.
national health insurance
A program, found in many of the world's economically advanced nations, under which the central government provides basic health-care insurance coverage to everyone in the country. Some wealthy nations, such as the Netherlands and Switzerland, provide universal coverage through private insurance companies instead.
The procedures involved in getting an issue on the political agenda; formulating, adopting, and implementing a policy with regard to the issue; and then evaluating the results of the policy.
The total amount of money that the national government owes as a result of borrowing; also called the national debt.
In the context of health-care reform, a government-sponsored health-care insurance program that would compete with private insurance companies.
A special type of legislation not subject to filibuster in the Senate. A reconciliation act must deal only with taxes or spending and in principle should reduce the federal budget deficit.
Energy from technologies that do not rely on extracted resources, such as oil and coal, that can run out.
State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
A joint federal-state program that provides health-care insurance for low-income children.