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A policy document allocating taxes and benefits expenditures


An excess of federal expenditures over federal revenues


Federal spending of revenues. Major areas of such spending are social services and the military.


financial resources of the federal government. Individual income tax and Social Security tax are two major sources of revenue.

Income Tax

Shares of individual wages and corporate revenues collected by the government. 16th amendment alows congress to levy a tax on income.

16th Amendment

The Constitutional amendment adopted in 1913 that explicity permitted congress to levy an income tax.

Federal Debt

All money borrowed by the federal government over the years and still outstanding.

Tax Expenditures

Revenue losses that result from special exemptions, exclusions, or deductions on federal tax law.

Social Security Act

1935 law passed during the Great Depression that was intended to provide a minimal level of sustenance to older americans and thus ave them from poverty.


Program added to the Social Security system in 1965 that provides hospiltalization insurance for the elderly and permits older americans to purchase inexpensive coverage for doctor fees and health expenses.


Belief that the best predictor of this years budget, is last years budget plus a little more.

Uncontrollable Expenditures

Expenditures that are determined not by a fixed amount of money appropriated by congress but by how many eligible beneficiaries there are for a program or by previous obligations of the government.


Policies for which congress has obligated itself to pay X Level of benefits to Y Numbers of rexipients.

House ways and means committee

House of Representatives committee that, along with the Senate Finiance Committee, writes the tax codes, subject to the approval of Congress as a whole.

Senate Finance Committee

The Senate committee that, along with the House ways and means, writes the tax codes, subject to the approval of Congress as a whole.

Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974

An act designed to reform the congressional budgetary process. Its supporters hoped that it would also make congress less dependent on the presidents budgets and better able to set and meet its own budgetary goals.

Congressional Budget Office

Advises Congress on the probable consequences of its decisions, forecasts revenues, and is a counterweight to the presdients OMB.

Budget Resolution

Resolution binding congress to a total expenditure level, supposedly the bottom line of all federal spending for all programs.


Congressional process through which program authorizations are revised to achieve required savings.

Authorization bill

Act of congress that establishes, continues, or changes a discretionary govt program or an entitlement. Specifies program goals, and maxium expenditures for discretionary programs.

appropiations bill.

act of congress that actually funds programs within limits established by authorization bills.

continuing resolutions

when congress cant reach agreement and pass appropriations bills, these resolutions allow agencies to spend at the level of the previous year.

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