Sei sulla pagina 1di 3


Briefly describe how the rise of the social service state and the rise of the national security state have increased the scope of government. Were these necessary developments? Explain. Cold War = permanent military establishment and expensive military technology o military industrial complex - close relationship between military hierarchy and the defense industry 1960s-early 1980s: defense expenditures decreased while social welfare expenditures doubled Rise of national security state: increased government scope in research, development, procurement of military hardware, cost of advanced technology, etc. Biggest slice of budget pie: social service state: helps poor, elderly, needy o Social Security Act - 1935 (Roosevelt, New Deal) o 45 million Americans receive Social Security checks o Medicare - health care for elderly o Medicaid - health care for poor o Social Security + Medicare = 1/3 federal budget Necessary? Liberals favor social programs, conservatives favor defense spending (idk this is really opinion??) 2. Explain what is meant by Social Security being a contract between generations? What is the major challenge to the Social Security system over the next several generations? intergenerational contract: money is taken from working members of population and spent on the retired members with the expectation that once those workers retire, they will get money from the new generation of working members biggest challenge: less young people supporting more old people - becomes harder and harder to finance o result of 1) demographic shift (lower birth rate = less young people) and 2) higher life expectancies (more old people live longer) 3. Describe the role of incrementalism and uncontrollables in the budget process and what alternatives have been offered for each. Is incrementalism necessary for an efficient bureaucracy? In what sense are uncontrollables really uncontrollable? Why, or why not? Incrementalism: the idea that the best predictor of this years budget is last years budget plus a little bit more (an increment) o Usually agencies can expect at least the budget they had the previous year o Debate over budget is over how large the increment should be Uncontrollables: stuff that must be paid - 2/3 of federal budget o Result from policies that make some group automatically eligible for some benefit o Also includes stuff like paying interest on the national debt Alternatives: budget reform process in which all programs are compared (prob not going to happen though, this is too hard to accomplish since federal budget is MASSIVE) Incrementalism is not necessary, but it is the easiest way to operate Uncontrollables are uncontrollable in the sense that it is really difficult to change the policies o you would have to modify the formula o also lots of people would get pissed at you ex: people talk about raising the eligibility age for medicare since people are living longer anyways and it would save a shit ton of money but lots of old people got angry and lots of them live in Florida so nobody wants to piss them off 4. Who is responsible for preparing the president s budget, and how has this process evolved? What sort of calendar is followed in this process? Do you see any noticeable flaws in this system? Explain. Office of Management and Budget - prepares Presidents budget with Presidents input Before 1921, all agencies sent in their budget requests to the secretary of the treasury, who forwarded them to Congress, Presidents played a limited role Then Congress passed Budget and Accounting Act which required Presidents to submit a budget and created the Bureau of the Budget to help them

1970s Nixon reorganized Bureau of the Budget into the OMB Timeline: o Spring - OMB develops initial budget, gives guidelines to agencies o Summer - Agencies submit budget estimates o Fall - OMB review each agencys proposed budget o Winter - President finalizes Required to be submitted to Congress the first Monday in February o Then everything starts over again !! Flaws: OMB wields a lot of influence, mandatory deadline can cause process to be rushed at last minute

5. Identify the participants and explain the process of budget making in the United States government. interest groups, federal agencies, OMB, the President, tax committees in Congress (House Ways and Means + Senate Finance Committee), Senate and House Budget Committees, Congressional Budget Office (CBO = Congressional version of OMB), subject-matter committees (i.e., specific committees who want their interests to have funding), Senate and House appropriations Committees (people who actually dole out funding), Congress as a whole, General Accounting Office (GAO audits/monitors once budget is in effect) Process: o President proposes budget, sends to Congress o CBO reviews it, sends report to Senate/House Budget Committees other committees also look at it o Senate and House agree on one budget - called a concurrent resolution o House considers appropriations bills o Congress as a whole combines appropriations with budget o Everybody votes on final thing 6. Compare the role of the president with the role of Congress in the budgetary process. Who do you believe has the greater influence and why? Congress has greater influence b/c President only suggests a budget, in the end it is Congress who actually votes on it 7. How were most federal jobs obtained up until the late- nineteenth century? What was the key event that prompted the federal government to start the civil service? What is the civil service based upon, and what are its strengths and weaknesses? Explain. Used to be system of patronage - people were hired based on political loyalty/connections/donations Pres. James A. Garfield was assassinated by a guy named Charles Guiteau because the President wouldnt give him a job, so when VP Chester A. Arthur became President, he pushed for the passage of the Pendleton Civil Service Act (1883) which created the federal civil service Civil service system is based upon peoples merit Strengths: people hired based on if they have the correct skills, mostly fair Weaknesses: hard to fire people, because they wanted to protect government employees from getting fired for political reasons 8. What is the plum book, and what is its role in staffing the federal bureaucracy? How do its offices differ from those staffed through the civil service? How do the people who serve in plum book jobs differ from civil service employees? Explain. Plum book: Congresss list of top federal jobs available for direct presidentia l appointment, so President conducts a nationwide talent search for qualified personnel whose political views align with the Presidents People with plumb book jobs do not last as long as regular civil servants, who often are more familiar with the agency/more experienced/and will last longer

9. Identify, describe, and give examples of the four basic types of bureaucracy in the federal government. Cabinet Departments o Each of the 14 departments is headed by a secretary except Department of Justice - headed by Attorney General o Each department has unique mission and is further divided into bureaus Regulatory Agencies o Each has responsibility for some sector of the economy o Makes and enforces rules designed to protect public interest o Examples: Federal Reserve Board - oversees banks Federal Communications Commission - oversees tv/radio Security and Exchange Commission - oversees stock market o Governed by a small commission (5-10 ppl) who are appointed by Pres. and confirmed by Senate for fixed terms, cannot be easily fired Government Corporations o Provide a service that could be handled by the private sector, but usually charges at cheaper rates o Examples: Tennessee Valley Authority Postal Service Amtrak Independent Executive Agencies o Rest of the government basically o General Services Administration - governments landlord, handles buildings, office supplies, etc o National Science Foundation o NASA 10. Why is policy implementation left to the bureaucracy? What are some of the principal causes of implementation breakdown? What improvements do you think could be made to lessen the likelihood of such breakdowns? Explain. Congress announces goals of a policy in broad terms, sets up an administrative apparatus, and then leaves the bureaucracy to work out details; policies are rarely self-executing Implementation breakdown: o Program design - sometimes the policy just sucks o Lack of clarity - Congress doesnt put enough detail into the legislation o Lack of resources o Administrative Routine - often have to follow a standard operating procedure which save time, bring uniformity, but can be perceived as red tape o Administrators Dispositions - a lot of decisions are left up to individual actors when rules are not clear o Fragmentation - sometimes responsibility is dispersed over many agencies and its difficult to tell who has jurisdiction over what