70 terms

Unit 5 Vocabulary

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Agenda setting
The stage of the policy-making process during which problems get defined as political issues
Aggregate demand
The total income that consumers, business, and government wish to spend for goods and services
Appropriations committees
Committees of Congress that decide which of the problems passed by the authorization committees will actually be funded
Authorization committees
Committees of Congress that can authorize spending in their particular areas of responsibililty
Balanced Budget Act (BBA)
A 1975 law that promised to balance the budget by 2002
Budget committees
One committee in each house of Congress that supervises a comprehensive budget review process
Budget deficit
An individual, business or government budgets more spending than there is revenue available to pay for the spending, over a specific period of time
Budget Enforcement Act (BEA)
A 1990 law that distinguished between mandatory and discretionary spending
Business cycles
Expansions and contractions of business activity, the first accompanied by inflation and the second by unemployment
Congressional Budget office (CBO)
The budgeting arm of Congress, which prepares alternative budgets to those prepared by the presidents OMB
Consumer price index
A primary measure of inflation determined by the increase in the cost of products compared to a base year
Corporate income taxes
The tax a corporation pays on its profits: separate from individual taxes
Cost benefit analysis
A study that compares the costs and benefits of a policy proposal to society for providing a public good
Council of economic advisers
A group that works within the executive branch to provide advice on maintaining a stable economy
Deficit financing
The Keynesian technique of spending beyond government income to combat an economic slump. Its purpose is to inject extra money into the economy to stimulate aggregate demand
Deregulation
A bureaucratic reform by which the government reduces its role as a regulator of business
Discretionary spending
In the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990, authorized Expenditures from annual appropriations
Distributive policies
Government policies designed to confer a benefit on a particular institution or group
Economic depression
A period of high unemployment and business failures; a severe, long-lasting downturn in a business cycle
Elementary and secondary education act of 1965 (ESEA)
The federal government's primary law to assist the nations Elementary and Secondary schools. It emerged as part of President Lyndon Johnsons great society program
Entitlements
Benefits to which every eligible person has a legal right and that the government cannot deny
Excise tariffs
A consumer tax on a specific kind of merchandise
Federal reserve system
The system of banks that acts as the central bank of the United States and controls major monetary policies
Fiscal policies
Economic policies that involve government spending and taxing
Fiscal year
The 12 month period from October to September 30 used by the government for accounting purposes. It is named for the year in which it ends
Foreign policy
The general plan followed by a nation in defending and advancing its national interests, especially its security against foreign threats
Fragmentation
In policy-making, the phenomenon of attacking a single problem in different and sometimes competing ways
Graduated income tax
A tax on personal income in which the tax rate increases as income increases: in other words, the tax rate is higher for higher income levels
Great Depression
The longest and deepest setback the American Economy has ever experienced. It began with the stock market crash on October 24, 1929, and did not end until the start of World War 2
Great society
President Lyndon Johnson's broad array of programs designed to redress political, social, and economic equality
Gross domestic product (GDP)
The total value of the goods and services produced by a country during a year
Head start
A preschool program designed to help poor children get ready for kindergarton
Individual income taxes
A tax on a persons earnings
Inflation
An economic condition characterized by price increases linked to a decrease in the value of the currency
Import tariffs
Restricted imports by increasing the price of goods and services purchased from overseas and making them less attractive to consumers
Incremental
The process of increasing in size, number, quantity, or extent
Incremental Budgeting
A method of budget making that involves adding new funds onto the amount previously budgeted
Issue attention cycle
The movement of public opinion toward public policy from initial enthusiasm for action to realization of costs and a decline in interest
Issue definition
Our conception of the problem at hand
Keynesian theory
An economic theory stating that the government can stabilize the economy-that is can smooth business cycles-by controlling the level of aggregate demand, and that the level of aggregate demand can be controlled by means of fiscal and monetary policies
Mandatory spending
In the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990, expenditures from annual appropriations
Means-tested benefits/non-means tested benefits
Conditional benefits provided by government to individuals whose income falls below a designated threshold/Benefits provided by government to all citizens, regardless of income; Medicare and social security are examples
Medicaid
A need-based comprehensive medical and hospitalization program
Medicare
A health insurance program serving primarily persons 65 and older
Monetarists
Those who argue that government can effectively control the performance of an economy mainly by controlling the supply of money
Monetary policies
Economic policies that involve control of, and changes in the supply of money
New deal
The measures advocated by the FDR administration to alleviate the Depression
Nonprofits
Organizations that are not part of a government or business and can't distribute profits to shareholders or to anyone else
North American free trade agreement
Agreement signed by the United States, Canada, and Mexico in 1992 to form the largest free trade zone in the world
Office of Management and budget (OMB)
The budgeting arm of the Executive office; prepares the presidents budget
Pay-go
The requirement that any tax cut or expansion of an entitlement program must be offset by tax increase
Policy evaluation
Analysis of public policy so as to determine how well it is working
Poverty level
The minimum cash income that will provide for families basic needs; calculated as three times the cost of a market basket of food that provides a minimally nutritious diet
Progressive taxes
A system of taxation whereby the rich pay proportionately higher taxes than the poor; used by governments to redistribute wealth and thus promote equality
Public assistance
Government aid to individuals who can demonstrate a need for that aid
Public policy
A general plan of action adopted by the government to solve a social problem, counter a threat, or pursue and objective
Redistributional policies
Policies that take government resources, such as tax funds, from one sector of society and transfer them into another
Regulation
Government intervention in the workings of a business market to promote some socially desired goal
Sales tax
General tax on sales transactions, sometimes exempting food and drugs
Social insurance
A government-backed guarantee against loss by individuals without regard to need
Social security act
The law that provided for Social Security and is the basis of Modern American Social Welfare
Social welfare programs
Government programs that provide the minimum living standards necessary for all citizens
Stagflation
The joint occurrence of slow growth, unemployment, and inflation
Subsidies
A grant or contribution of money, especially one made by a government in support of an undertaking or the upkeep of a beneficial project
Supply-side economics
Economic policies aimed at increasing the supply of goods; consists mainly of tax cuts for possible investors and less regulation of business
Transfer payment
A payment by government to an individual, mainly through social security or unemployment insurance
Temporary Assistance for needy families act (TANF) children
A 1996 national act that abolished the longtime welfare policy, gives the states much more control over welfare policy
Think tank
A nongovernmental organization that seeks to influence public policy through research and education
War on poverty
A part of Lyndon Johnsons great society program, intended to eradicate poverty within 10 years
Welfare state
A nation in which the government assumes responsibility for the welfare of its citizens by providing a wide array of public services and redistributing income to reduce social inequality