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Politics of the United States
Mr Kelly Valley Government Unit 7: Executive Branch - Chapters 6 & 7
Terms in this set (92)
Commander in chief
The role of the president as supreme commander of the military forces of the United States and of the state National Guard units when they are called into federal service
A nation's overall plan for dealing with other nations
Head of State
The executive role that symbolizes and represents the people both nationally and internationally.
Head of Government
The executive role that deals with the everyday tasks of running the state, such as formulating and executing policy.
The order in which officials fill the office of president in case of a vacancy (VP, Speaker of House, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, then Cabinet Secretaries in order of their department's creation)
Term of President
Qualifications for President
1. Natural born citizen 2. At least 35 years old 3. 14 year resident
A rule issued by the president that has the force of law
An implied presidential power that allows the president to refuse to disclose information regarding confidential conversations or national security to Congress or the judiciary.
The formal acknowledgment of a foreign government as legitimate.
An executive grant providing restoration of all rights and privileges of citizenship to a specific individual charged or convicted of a crime.
A general pardon for an offense against a government
US v. Nixon
The Supreme Court does have the final voice in determining constitutional questions; no person, not even the President of the United States, is completely above law; and the president cannot use executive privilege as an excuse to withhold evidence that is 'demonstrably relevant in a criminal trial
The power to commit the US to hostilities with foreign nations which per the Constitution is shared between the President and Congress.
War Powers Resolution
A law passed by Congress in 1973 in an effort to set a time limit on the use of combat forces abroad by a president.
Line Item Veto
Law giving president power to veto portions of budget bill; purpose = reduce size of national deficit; declared unconstitutional in Clinton v. City of New York
An amendment to the Constitution, adopted in 1804, that specifies the separate election of the president and vice president by the electoral college.
Advanced Presidential Inaugurations from March 4th to Jan. 20, shortened the "lame duck" period
Amendment that limited president to being elected to 2 terms, or a total of 10 years if they assume the presidency.
Amendment giving the Washington D.C. 3 electoral votes and the residents are allowed to vote in the Presidential election
Adopted in 1967 to establish procedures for filling vacancies in the office of president and vice president as well as providing for procedures to deal with the disability of a president.
Term used to describe a president as an "emperor" who acts without consulting Congress or acts in secrecy to evade or deceive congress
White House Office
Part of the Executive Office of the President that includes the President's key staff and personal advisers
Executive Office of the President
The cluster of presidential staff agencies that help the president carry out his responsibilities. Currently the office includes the Office of Management and Budget, the Council of Economic Advisers, and several other units.
Office of Management and Budget
Executive office responsible for helping the President write the federal budget and monitoring federal spending.
Chief of Staff
Head of the White House Office staff, who has continuous, direct contact with the president
National Security Council
a committee in the executive branch of government that advises the president on foreign and military and national security issues headed by the National Security Advisor
National Security Advisor
Special assistant to the president who directs the National Security Council, often a grooming position for Secretary of State.
Advisory council for the president consisting of the heads of the executive departments.
National Security Agency
NSA - the intelligence agency that is responsible for protecting U.S. government communications and producing intelligence by monitoring foreign communications. It has grown in significance post 9-11 and is at the center of the scandal regarding PRISM.
The main part of the White House, which houses the ceremonial spaces and the private residence on the upper floors.
The 'business' end of the White House, which houses the Oval Office, the Situation Room, and the Cabinet Room.
The 'social' end of the White House, which houses the First Lady's Office and the offices which coordinate the White House events calendar.
Council of Economic Advisors
A three-member body appointed by the president to advise the president on economic policy.
Marginal tax rate
The highest rate of taxes paid on a dollar of a one's income
Effective Tax rate
The actual percentage of a person's income spent to pay taxes
often called the cabinet departments, they are the traditional units of federal administration
Nixon's Vice president, appointed pursuant to 25th Amendment. The only person not voted into the White House as President or VP. Became president after Nixon resigned and then pardoned him.
office under the president with one responsibility- to take office if the president cannot discharge duties; has lots of access and staff, have become more influential over time, more often consulted
A complex structure of offices, tasks, and rules in which employees have specific responsibilities and work within a hierarchy of authority. Government beauracracies are charged with implementing policies.
Employees of a bureaucracy, usually meaning a government bureaucracy
A system of hiring and promotion based on the merit principle and the desire to create a nonpartisan government service.
A system of public employment based on rewarding party loyalists and friends.
Pendleton Civil Service Act
(1883): Did away with the "spoils system" and made the hiring of federal employees merit based.
by Charles Guiteau, highlighted the need for civil-service reform(no more spoils system), which was eventually passed as the Pendleton Act
Independent Executive Agencies
The executive branch not accounted for by cabinet departments, independent regulatory commissions, and government corporations. Its administrators are typically appointed by the president and serve at the president's pleasure. (Ex. NASA and CIA)
Independent Regulatory Commissions
an independent agency created by Congress that regulates or makes rule concerning aspects of the economy and bring violators to court (ex. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the FCC)
A government organization that, like business corporations, provides a service that could be provided by the private sector but often isn't because it would not be profitable. Typically charges for its services. (Ex. U.S. Postal Service, AMTRAK)
Agencies that exist within on of the Executive Departments that are part of the cabinet. (Ex. TSA and FEMA in Dept. of Homeland Security or the Army Corp of Engineers)
Department of Homeland Security
The most recent Executive Department, created by President Bush in 2002 which consolidated 22 federal agencies and nearly 170,000 federal employees.
A tax in which the average tax rate rises with income. People with higher incomes will pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes.
A tax in which the burden falls relatively more heavily on low-income groups than on wealthy taxpayers. The opposite of a progressive tax, in which tax rates increase as income increases.
Tax on individual wages and corporate revenues collected by the government (progressive and graduated). The Sixteenth Amendment explicitly authorized Congress to levy a tax on income.
A tax on wages and salaries (regressive with a cap) to finance mandatory spending programs like Social Security and Medicare. (FICA)
Head of an Executive Department
A tax in which the average tax rate is the same at all income levels.
Federal spending required by law that continues without the need for annual approvals by Congress (ex. Social Security and Medicare). This is the majority of the federal budget.
Spending set by the govt through appropriations bills, including operation expenses &salaries of govt employees (Ex.: defense, environmental protection, education, space exploration)
The amount that federal expenditures exceed federal revenues in a given year.
The total amount of money owed by the federal government.
A certificate of debt (usually interest-bearing or discounted) that is issued by a government or corporation in order to raise money
A government policy for dealing with the budget (especially with taxation and borrowing)
Government policy that attempts to manage the economy by controlling the money supply and interest rates.
Percent of Americans who pay no income tax
Debt as a percent of GDP
Measuring the debt as a function of Gross Domestic Product rather than in the raw dollar amount. Takes into account growth in the economy.
(Federal Insurance Contribution Act) The name given on the paycheck stub for social security and Medicare taxes. The employee pay some of the FICA tax, and the employer pays some of this tax for each employee.
Annual budget in which expenditures equal revenues
Requirement during the mid 1990s that government couldn't create any new spending programs without cutting other spending or raising revenue
An economic philosophy that holds the sharply cutting taxes will increase the incentive people have to work, save, and invest. Greater investments will lead to more jobs, a more productive economy, and more tax revenues for the government.
Federal Reserve Board
Regulatory commission headed by Ben Bernanke that sets fiscal policy and influences the economy by setting federal lending rates which impact the amount of money in the system.
A decline in the value of money or conversely a rise in the cost of goods and services.
An increase in the value of money such that the cost of most goods and services are fall. The opposite of inflation.
a tax on the manufacturing of an item. It is an indirect tax that is passed on to consumers in the cost of the goods (ex. Fuel tax)
Tariffs and duties
Taxes imposed on the importation of goods (ex. tariff on imported cars)
Tax imposed by the federal government on assets left to heirs in a will. Currently applies only to estates over $5.25 million, in Iowa it often impacts farmers and business owners.
a tax imposed on transfers of property by gift during the lifetime of the giver. Excludes first $14,000 in gifts.
Government agencies that operate separate from the executive branch (ex. Environmental Protection Agency)
Devoted to or biased in support of a party, group, or cause
A cooperative effort by two political parties.
Affordable Care Act - ACA
Dangers of the Spoils System
1. Bureaucracy may lack expertise or experience, 2. Frequent turn over of positions, 3. disgruntled office seekers, 4. corruption by office holders
Secretary of State
Handles foreign affairs for the President: currently Rex Tillerson
Advice and Consent Power of the President
Power vested in the U.S. Senate by the Constitution (Article II, Section 2) to give its advice and consent to the president on treaties, nomination of judges, ambassadors and department secretaries.
Calculating taxes using tax table ($10,000 income; $20,000 income; 50,000 income)
$0-10,000 @ 0%
30,001-50,000 @ 20%
50,001- up @ 30%
Article VI - No religious test
No religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
AHCA - American Health Care Act
The replacement plan for Obamacare
A group of people named in state to select the president and vice president
Number of electoral votes
538 total (270 to win the Presidency)
Swing States (votes)
State in which no candidate or party has overwhelming support in securing that state's electoral college votes. Significance: Important for deciding close election results Examples: Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania
Significance of swing states to campaign strategy
Swing states are the focus for time, money, staff and effort
Tasks of the Bureaucracy
Enforcing/implementing the law, rulemaking of creating federal regulations, Adjudicating the enforcement of federal regulations
Separation of powers problem with bureaucracy
because they make, enforce and adjudicate rules
What was the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Bush v. Gore (2000), and what were the results of the 2000 presidential election (both the popular vote and the electoral vote)?
variation in policies creates redundancies and inefficiencies
When appointing executives, who does the president need approval by?
which region of the state is of the state is known primarily for its citrus fruits and vegetables ?
Recommended textbook explanations
Magruder's American Government
United States Government: Our Democracy
Donald A. Ritchie, Richard C. Remy
Magruder's American Government (Florida Student Edition)
Daniel M. Shea
United States Government: Our Democracy
Donald A. Ritchie, Richard C. Remy
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