Chap.: Policy Analysis (2002)
Chap.: Models of Politics (2000)
Chap.: Policymaking Process (2000)
Chap.: Criminal Justice (2000)
Chap.: Health and Welfare (2000)
Chap.: Education (2000)
Chap.: Economic Policy (2000, 2002)
Chap.: Tax Policy (2000-2015 -- 3 versions)
Chap.: International Trade and Immigration (2000)
Chap.: Environmental Policy (2000)
Chap.: Civil Rights: Elite and Mass Interaction (2015; 2000)
Chap.: American Federalism
Chap.: Defense Policy (2002)
Chap.: Homeland Security: Terrorism (2004)
Chap.: Policy Evaluation (2002, 2000)
Policy-public policy is whatever government chooses to do or not to do/ a projected program of goals, values and practices.
-today people expect government to do a great many things for thempolicy analysis involves
-understanding the causes and consequences of policy decisions improves our knowledge of society
-policy studies helps us learn about the linkage between social and economic conditions in society
-policy studies incorporate the ideas and methods of economics, sociology, anthropology, psycology, history, law and public
-public policy can be studied for political purposes to ensure that the nation adopts the "right" policies to achieve the "right" goals
-policy analysis is finding out what governments do, why they do it and what difference, if any it makes
-learning about the consequences of public policy is often referred to as policy evaluation
1. a concern with explanation rather than presumptionfindings of general relevance.
2. a rigorous search of the causes and consequences of public policy
3. an effort to develop test general propositions about the causes and consequences of public policy and to accumulate reliable
-questionable that policy analysis can ever "solve" America's problems
-policy analysis cannot offer solutions to problems when there is no general agreement on what the problems are
-it cannot solve value conflicts
-policy analysis is one activity for which there can be no fixed programs
1. Models of Politics - used to simplify, identify certain aspects, understand and explain policies
A. Institutional Model
1.) Elite and Mass Opinions and Race
Public policy appears to reflect the attitudes of elites rather than masses, and national policy has shaped mass opinion more than mass opinion has shaped national policy.
A.) Black-White Opinion Differences
Relatively few whites believe that there is much discrimination in society, while most blacks believe discrimination is very prevalent. However, both whites and blacks believe that having Mr. Obama as our president will improve race relations.
Civil rights policy is not a response of the gov’t to the demands of the white majority.
B.) Majority Opinion Lags Behind Policy
White majority opinion generally follows public policy rather than leads it.
C.) Elite—Mass Difference
Affluent, well-educated whites are concerned with discrimination and are most willing to have contact with blacks, while uneducated and less privileged whites tend to have a negative view.
Support for civil rights will continue to come from the educated and affluent white people.
2.) The Development of Civil Rights Policy
The initial goal in the struggle for equality in America was the elimination of discrimination and segregation practiced by governments, particularly in voting and public education.
A.) The 14th Amendment
The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868.
The language of the 14th Amnt. and its historical context leave little doubt that its original purpose was to achieve the full measure of citizenship and equality for A.A’s (African Am.cans).
Congress even tried to legislate equal treatment, restaurants, hotels, and public transportation in the Civil Rights Act (1875), but the Supreme Court (SC) declared it unconstitutional in 1883.
Eventually Reconstruction was abandoned; the national gov’t was not prepared to carry out the long and difficult task of really reconstructing society in the eleven states of the former Confederacy.
The S.C agreed on the compromise of separate but equal doctrine.
This separate but equal doctrine became the SC’s interpretation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896).
Although the SC declined to overrule the segregationist interpretation of the 14th Amnt, it began to order individual blacks to white public universities when evidence indicated that separate black institutions were inferior or nonexistent.
Leaders of the newly emerging civil rights movement in the 1940s and the 1950s were not satisfied with court decisions that examined the circumstances in each case to determine if separate school facilities were really equal.
They wanted a complete reversal of the separate but equal interpretation of the 14th Amnt. and a ruling that the laws separating the races were unconstitutional.
The civil rights groups chose to bring suit for desegregation to Topeka, Kansas, where segregated black and white schools were equal in buildings, qualifications, salaries of teachers, and other tangible factors.
The objective was to prevent the Court from ordering the Court from ordering the admission of blacks b/c tangible facilities were not equal and to force the SC to review the doctrine of segregation itself.
D.) Brown v. Topeka
The SC rendered its historical decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, in 1954.
Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children.
Brown v Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas was the 1st great step toward racial justice in the 20th century and was handled by the nonelective branch of the fed.al gov’t—which is worth noting. The decision was made by a judicial elite, not by their ppl. or their elected representatives.
3.) Mass Resistance to Desegregation
Although the SC had spoken forcefully in the Brown case in declaring segregation unconstitutional, politically, the battle over segregation was just beginning.
The SC, as we know, must depend on other branches of the fed.al gov’t and the on the states to enforce the law of the land.
A.) Segregated States
In 1954 the practice of segregation was widespread and deeply ingrained in Am.can life.
The SC struck down the laws of 21 states and DC in a single opinion,
opening the way for extensive legislation, obstruction, and delay by states that chose to resist.
B.) State Resistance
Refusal of a school district to desegregate until it was faced with a federal court injunction was the most common form of delay.
Those states that chose to resist desegregation were quite successful from 1954-1964.
C.) Presidential Use of Force
The historic Brown decision might have been rendered meaningless had Pres. Dwight Eisenhower not decided to use military force in 1957 to secure the enforcement of a federal court order to desegregate Little Rock’s Central High School.
Pres. John E. Kennedy also used federal troops to enforce desegregation at the University of Mississippi in 1962.
D.) Congress and the Power of Politics
Congress entered the civil rights field in support of court efforts to achieve desegregation in the Civil Rights Act 1964.
Title VI (6) provided that every fed.al department and agency must take action to end seg. In all programs or activities receiving fed.al financial assistance.
Thus, states and communities faced administrative orders from the fed.al executive agencies threatening loss of fed.al funds for noncompliance.
E.) Unitary Schools
The last legal excuse for delay in implementing school desegregation collapsed in 1969 when the SC rejected a request by Mississippi school officials for a delay in implementing school desegregation in that state.
The effect of the decision was to eliminate any further legal justification for the continuation of segregation in public schools.
4.) Racial Balancing in Public Schools
Nationwide, roughly 2/3s of all black public school pupils attend schools with a black majority.
In some large cities where blacks make up the overwhelming majority of public schools, ending racial isolation may require city students to be bused to the suburbs and suburban students to be bused to the core city.A.) Federal Court Intervention5.) The Civil Rights Movement
Fed.al district judges enjoy wide freedom in fashioning for past or present discriminatory practices by governments.
In the important case of Swan v Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Board of Education (1971), the SC upheld
• The use of racial balance requirements in schools and the assignment of pupils to schools based on race
• “Close scrutiny” by judges of schools that are predominately of one race.
• Gerrymandering of schools attendance zones as well as “clustering” or “grouping” of schools to achieve equal balance
• Court-ordered busing of pupils to achieve racial balance.
However, the SC was careful to note that racial imbalance in itself is not grounds for ordering these remedies, unless it is also shown that some present or past gov’t action contributed to the imbalance.
In the absence of any gov’t actions contributing to racial imbalance, states and schools are NOT required by the 14th Amnnt. to integrate their schools.
Racial isolation continues to characterize public schools in many of the nation’s largest cities.
B.) An End to Racial Balancing
Racial balancing in public elementary and secondary schools may be coming to an end.
The SC has allowed lower federal courts to dissolve racial balancing plans even though imbalances due to residential patterns continue to exist.
While important victories for the civil rights movement were being recorded in the prevention of discrimination by gov’ts, particularly in the Brown case, the movement began to broaden its objectives to include the elimination of discrimination in all segments of Am.can life, private as well as public.
The fed.al courts could help end discrimination by state and local governments and school authorities, but only Congress, state legislatures, and city councils could end discrimination practiced by private owners of restaurants, hotels, ect.A.) The Montgomery Bus Boycott6.) Public Policy and Affirmative Action
In 1955, the A.A community of Montgomery began a year-long boycott, with frequent demonstrations against the Montgomery city buses over segregated seating.
The dramatic appeal and the eventual success of the boycott brought nationwide attention and led to the creation of the Southern Christianity Leadership Conference in 1957.
B.) Nonviolent Direct Action
Under MLK’s nonviolent leadership the civil rights movement developed and refined political techniques for minorities in Am.can politics.
The purpose of the nonviolent direct action is to call attention, or “bear witness,” to the existence of injustice.
There should be no violence in true civil disobedience, and only “unjust” laws are broken.
C.) Martin Luther King Jr.
In 1963 a group of Alabama clergymen petitioned MLK, Jr., to call off mass demonstration in Birmingham.
When arrested in his demonstrations he answered, “In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law as the rabid segregationist would… One who breaks the law must do it ‘openly, lovingly,’ and with a willingness to accept the penalty.
It is important to note the MLK’s tactics relied on an appeal to the consciences of white elites.
D.) “I Have a Dream”
The culmination of the nonviolent philosophy was a giant, yet orderly, march on Washington, held in 1963.
In response Pres. Kennedy sent a strong civil rights bill to Congress, which was passed after his death—the famous Civil Rights Act of 1964.
E.) The Civil Rights Act of 1964
The C.R Act of 1964 passed both houses of Congress by better than a 2/3s favorable vote; it won overwhelming support from both party members of Cong.
It ranks with the Emancipation Proclamation, the 14th Ament., and Brown v Topeka as one of the most important steps toward full equality for blacks in Am.ca.
F.) The Civil Rights Act of 1968
Discrimination in the sale and rental of housing was the major civil rights problem on which Congress took action.
The prospects for a fair housing law were not very good at the beginning of 1968. However, when MLK, Jr., was assassinated on April 4th, the mood of Congress and the nation changed dramatically.
The gains of the early c.r’s movement were primarily gains in opportunity rather than in result.
Racial politics today center on the actual inequalities b/t whites and minorities.A.) Continuing Inequalities7.) The Supreme Court and Affirmative Action
The problem of inequality is often posed as differences in the “life changes” of whites and minorities.
The civil rights movement of the 1960s opened up new opportunities for black Am.cans, but equality in opportunity is not the same as equality in result.
B.) Opportunity v. Results
Most Am.cans are concerned more with equality of opportunity than equality of results.
C.) Equal Opportunity v. Affirmative Action
The earlier emphasis of government policy was nondiscrimination, but gradually the goal shifted from the traditional aim of equality of opportunity to affirmative action to establish “goals and timetables” to achieve equality of results between blacks and whites.
The Affirmative Action programs were developed by fed.al executive agencies that were authorized by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to develop rules and regulations.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has carries the notion of affirmative action beyond fed.l contractors and recipient of fed.l aid into all sections of private employment.A.) The Bakke CaseThe following still be be outlined:
The SC held that the objectives of
• To “reduce the historical deficit of traditionally disfavored minorities in medical schools and medical professions”
• To “counter the effects of societal discrimination,”
• To “increase the # of physicians who will practice in communities currently underserved”
• To “obtain the edu.l benefits that flow from an ethically diverse student body.”
were legitimate and that race and ethnic origin may be considered in reviewing applications to a state school without violating the Equal Protection Clause.
However, the SC held that a separate admissions program for minorities with a specified quota of openings that were unavailable to white applicants did violate the EPC
B.) Affirmative Action as a Remedy for Past Discrimination
According to the SC, it would be “ironic indeed” if the CR Act used to prohibit voluntary, private race-conscious efforts to overcomes the past effects of discrimination.
C.) “Strict Scrutiny”
In 1995, the SC held that racial classifications in law must be subjected to “strict scrutiny,”
meaning that race-based actions by gov’t must be found necessary to remedy past proven discrimination, or to further clarify identified legitimate and “compelling” gov’t objectives.
D.) Aff. Action in Higher Edu.ion
The SC ruled in 2003 that diversity may be “a compelling gov’t interest.”
However, programs to achieve diversity must be “narrowly tailored” to the purpose. The must not establish race as the “decisive factor” in university admissions.
E.) California’s Proposition 209
Supporters of the “California CR Initiative” argued that this initiative leaves all existing federal and states civil rights protection intact. It simply extends the right of specially protected groups to all the state’s citizens.
The court reasoned that the Constitution allows some race-based preferences to correct past discrimination, but not prevent states from banning racial preferences altogether.
8.) Public Policy and Hispanic Americans
9.) The Constitution and Gender Equality
10.) Public Policy and Gender Equality
11.) Abortion and The Right to Life
12.) Public Policy and Sexual Orientation
13.) Public Policy and the Disabled
"Civil Rights policy is a response of a
national elite to conditions affecting a minority of Americans rather than
a response of national to majority sentiments."
Mass Opinion Differences
Most whites believe that there is little discrimination toward blacks
Blacks believe that they are not treated equally in employment, housing, etc.
White majority opinion only changed after civil rights policy has been implemented
Poor, uneducated whites posses the least favorable attitudes toward blacks
Well educated, successful whites are more concerned with discrimination and more eager to socialize with blacks
A majority of whites believe we have enough regulations against discrimination
Civil Rights policy reflects the views of Congress, the president and the Supreme Court
exp.: 14th Amendment
exp.: Civil Rights Act of 1875, passed by Congress but declared unconstitutional in 1883
Mass Resistance to Desegregation
The branches of government get involved to enforce civil rights policy
exp.: Civil Rights Act of 1964 - COngress threatens segregated school, with loss of federal financial assistance
exp.: 1957 - President Eisenhower uses military force to integrate Little Rock's Central High School
Suppose to end racial isolation in public schools
Mass reaction - white children sent to private school, by parents
End result - schools end up more segregated than before
Civil Rights Movement
Supported equality of opportunity
Ability to be able to develop one's talents and abilities
Supports equality of results
Sharing of incomes, jobs and material rewards, regardless of someone's economic position
Not supported by the white mass
Supreme Court Cases
States vs Paradise (1987)
50% black quota system for promotions in the Alabama Dept. of Public Safety upheld
Purpose to correct past discrimination
Richmond vs Crosen (1989)
Questioned affirmative action
Minority set aside program in Virginia violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment
1880's feminism centered on the protection of women in families
Early 20th century feminism concentrated on women's suffrage
1970's feminism focused on the ERA to the Constitution
Failed - was not ratified by 38 states
Civil Rights Laws
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - prevents racial and sexual discrimination in hiring and promotions
Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act Amendment of 1974 - prohibits sex discrimination in credit transactions
Title IX of the Education Act Amendment of 1972 - bars discrimination in admissions, housing, rules, financial aid,
pay and staff recruitment
Three main propositions:
-Crime fighting strategy is deterrence:
to make cost of committing crime greater than benefits
- Strategy focuses on:
1. certainty- crime= costly punishment- Argues that American justice is not a deterrent - lacks swiftness, certainty and severity.
2. swiftness- justice must be swift
3. severity- it has to be harsh
- Author argues that crime is down and that it can be attributed to, crackdowns, community policing and longer prison sentences.
[BUT Steven Leavitt's "Freakonomics" thesis: teen street crime declined in 1990s partly owing to abortions among poor single women in 1980s.]
- Makes point that juvenile crime is on the rise and attributes it to their lax punishment. He feels as though in the juvenile sector there is an absence of deterrence
1. Social Heterogeneity- Dye makes the point that crime ends up paying off in the criminals' eyes.
2. Socialization and Control
3. Irrational Crime
4. Innate Aggression
5. Deterrence vs. Liberty
[Liberal and conservative critics of anti-poverty programs argue over estimates of poor.] [Latent poverty: those 20% who would be poor without govt benefits.] [Feminization of poverty: 2/3 of poor are in single-mom families -- half of those live in poverty. Especially common in black and hispanic communities.] [Poverty based on income, not wealth, so elderly poor may have assets.]
[Human capital theory: poor have low productivity] [Inadequate demand, economic stagnation -- implies solution is growth.] [Discrimination: blacks earn less than whites at same educational level.] [Culture of poverty, present oriented]
deinstitutionalization decriminalization of vagrancy and addiction failure of community care.]
access issue prescription drug coverage issue nursing home care issue cost inflation defensive medicine. managed care patients' rights
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A) Resolve racial conflicts and build an integrated societyII. Battling Over the Basics
B) Inspire patriotism and good citizenship
C) Provide Values
D) Various forms of recreation and entertainment
E) Reduce conflict
F) Basically everything except educate
A. Citizen groups that have an interest in educationIII. Educational Groups1. ParentsB. Public Strongly Support:
3. Employers1. The 3 "‘r’s"C. SAT scores
2. Enforcing minimum standards with testing
3. Testing teachers for mastery of basic skills1. SAT scores where declining due to more students taking the testD. Global Comparison
2. College Board recentered scores in 1996 to boost scores
3. Now more than 500 students a year make a perfect 16001. Performance of 500,000 U.S. 13 year olds tested compared with 42 nations was 28 in math and 17 in science.E. Nation at Risk
2. The top nations had a cultural value for education and is valued in the family1. 1983 report by National Commission on Excellence in Education (A Nation at Risk) recommended a back to the basics reformF. Testinga. Minimum high school curriculum of 4 years of English, 3 yrs of math, 3 yrs of social science, and ½ year of computer scienceb. 4-6 yrs of foreign language beginning in elementary school
c. standardized testing for achievement
d. more homework, a 7 hr school day, and a 200-220 day school year
e. reliable grades and standardized tests for promotion and graduation
f. "performance based" salaries for teachers1. Minimum Competence Testing (MCT)a. test used for the need of remedial education or requirement for promotion or graduationG. Teacher Testing
b. about ½ the states require these test and are usually on 8th or 9th grade lv
c. Educators fear this will start teaching to the test education
d. some charge the test are racially biased1. NEA opposes all teacher testing, but the AFT willing to accept competency testing only for new teachers
A. Citizens vs. Professionals1. Citizens are often pitted against professional educators about education policy
A. Public UniversitiesVIII. Groups in higher education1. 3/4 of college students go to public colleges or universitiesB. Federal Aid1. State government carries the major burden of higher educationC. Student Assistance
2. Fed government directly assists many college students through grants and loans1. Pell GrantsD. Research money is given to large Universities for scientific research
2. Stafford Loans
3. Perkins Loan
4. Work Study
5. Most financial aid is given to middle class students
A. Separation of church and state comes from first amendment
B. Does not prohibit adoption of programs that help all children
C. Prayer is unconstitutional in almost all ways
Incrementalism in fiscal and monetary policy
Fiscal policies- decisions about taxing, spending,
and deficit levels, determined
mostly by the President and the Office aof Budget and Management
Monetary Policies- decisions concerning money supply
and interest rates ,
determined by the Federal Reserve
Fiscal and Monetary policies are made incrementally,
meaning that modest
changes are made, and according to what was policy was used the preceeding year.
-Incrementalism provides very good short term predictions of government policies
-Policy makers do not have the time , energy or information ro review budgets every year
Economic Theories as Policy Guides
Classical Theory -
-market economy that self adjusts
-maximum productive, and stable if govt. leaves it alone
-If there are more workers than there is demand, then wages will fall. But, businesses will want
more workers at lower wages - thus employment is ended.
-If demand falls, business inventories will rise and prices will be reduced to sell, until demand
picks up again
-Great Depression of the 1930's challenged popular confidence in classical economics
-economic stability is a product of fluctuations in demand
both unemployment and lower wages reduced the demands
-only govt. can take necessary steps to expand demand by spending more and lowering taxes
-to counter inflationary and recesionary trends, the govt. would take opposite steps
-attention to long term economic growth is more important than short-term manipulation of demand
-economic growth increases overall supply of goods and services and thereby holds down prices
-standards of living are improved with the availability of more goods and services at stable prices
-free market is better equipped to bring about lower prices and more supplies
-govt. is the problem
-high taxes penalize hard work, creativity, investment, and savings
-govt. regulations should be minimized to increase and supply rather than demand and consumption
-assumes that the suply of money in the economy heavily influences supply, demand, and prices
(general performance of the economy)
-Therefore, the govt., or primarily the Federal Reserve controls them money in inflationary and
-most independent of all executive agencies
-expand or contract the money supply through its oversight of the operation of banks in
in the Federal Reserve system
-No members ever removed
The Performance of the American Economy
Gross Domestic Product
-nations total production of goods and services for a single year valued in terms of market prices
-sum of all the goods and services that people purchase
-measures the performance of the economy
The unemployment rate is the percentage of the
civilian labor force who are
looking for work or waiting to return to or begin a job
Inflation erodes the value of the dollar because higher prices purchase fewer goods and services
Fragmentation in Budget Making - the OMB and the Congressional Budget Office are supposed to bring together requests and fit them into the whole.....the segmentation helps to secure political aggreement on the budget as well as reduce the burden of red tape in the process
-are determined by past policies of Congress and represent commitments in future federal budgets
-provide classes of people with legally enforceable rights to benefits
-account for over half of govt. spending
-The President, through the Office of OMB has the key responsibilty for formulating the budget
-The OMB sends out ceilings and floors to agencies, in which they take requests
-After budgets are compiled, are sent to the Capitol, where reviewed by the Congressional Budget
office, and house and Senate committees
-Congressional approval is divided into thirteen seperate appropriations bills, covering broad
categories of spending
Appropriations acts provide money for spending.
Line item veto
IN order to avoid shutdowns, Congress grants "continuing
authorizing agencies to keep spending money for a specified period of time
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-economic policy is exercised through
fiscal policies: decisions about taxation, spending and deficit levels
monetary policies: money supply and interest rates
-decided by federal spending levels
-fiscal and monetary policies have small changes at existing levels
-goals of economic policy
growth in economic output and standards of living, full and productive
employment of the nations work force and stable prices with low inflation
-this type of policy making is an example of incrementalism because it uses last years spending to decide present years budgeting
-Theories used in this type of policy making:
macroeconomics: tries to explain economic cycles and to prescribe
governmental policies to counter inflation and recession
classical: view market economy as self adjusting mechanism
Keynesian: economic stability product of fluctuations in demands, written into employment act of 1946-promotes "maximum employment production and purchasing power"
- Reagan used Supply side economics - long term growth is more important than short term demand- free market is better equip than government to bring lower prices and supply and demand
- Clinton used Enterprise Economics- government is responsible to stimulate growth- and invest in
- Monetarist Economics- stability can be achieved only by holding rate of money and economic growth at the same pace
-govn’t spending has grown because of "Uncontrollable benefits" ex:
- Social Security is the largest item in the budget while Medicare and
Medicaid are the fastest growing
-Burden of Debt ( p. 229) goven’t spends more than it recieves in revenues and this drives up the debt..things that cause this:
- Formal Budgetary Process & Spending Agencies p.234
OMB in the executive office- has key responsibility for budget preparation (president has no formal powers over taxing and spending
house and Senate budget committees- they established the CBO to review presidential budget after submission to congress
Appropriations Act- provides money for spending, nothing can be spent w/o it
Appropriations Committees- used for specific appropriations in both houses
(more in the house than the senate)
Revenue Act-House committee on ways and means and the senate finance
committee work mostly with taxation
Continuing Resolutions and "Shutdowns"- any govn’t agency that does not pass an appropriations act may not take money from the treasury and is obligated to shut down continuing resolutions allows a way around this
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Thomas Dye 14/e, Ch.: Tax Policy: Battling the Special InterestsInterest Groups and Tax Policy
Condensed by Blair Casebere, Fall 2015To the interest group theory, Public policy = the equilibrium in the struggle between interest groups.The Federal Tax System
The public interest is best served by a tax system that is universal, simple, and fair.
The federal tax system is the opposite: nonuniversal, complex, and unfair.
The inefficiency, complexity, and inefficiency of the tax laws can be attributed largely to organized interest groups.The fed.al gov’t derives its revenues from a variety of sources from individual tax income to Social Security and Medicare payroll deductions.Individual Income TaxesPersonal income tax is the fed.al government’s largest source of revenue.Tax expenditures: Title of tax revenues that are lost to the fed.al gov’t b/c of exemptions, deductions, and special treatments in tax laws.
The fed.al income tax was passed by Congress (Cong.) in 1914 having a top rate of 7% and less than 1% of the population (pop.n) had a high enough income to pay it.
Today personal income is taxed at 6 separate rates based on income level. The highest rate is 35% and the lowest rate is 10%.
On or before April 15th each year, all income-earning Americans must report their taxable income to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) on its Form 1040.
½ of Americans personal income is not taxed due to the distinguishment between adjusted gross income and taxable income.
Fed.al tax laws allow many reductions in adjusted gross income.Most working families pay no personal income taxes, although Social Security taxes are deducted from their paychecks, and most of these families are also able to receive an earned income tax credit (EITC)—a direct payment to low-income taxpayers who have deducted exceeding the standardized amount.Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT): Requires taxpayers to compute a separate AMT tax in addition to their “regular” income tax.
About 75% of all taxpayers take the standardized deduction; the 25% who itemize are middle- and upper-income taxpayers who have deductions exceeding the standardized amount.
Part of what complicates tax laws is that anThe AMT was designed to ensure that higher income taxpayers with many exclusions and deductions pay a minimum tax.Who Pays Federal Income Tax?
But in recent years Congress has acted annually to protect many middle-class taxpayers from the AMT.
In addition to the multiple means of tax avoidance (legal means), an “underground economy” that is the home to tax evasion (illegal means of dodging taxes) costs the fed.al gov’t many billions, 15% of all taxes due.
For those who are paid by cash, there is a strong incentive to underreport their income.
ex: drug dealing
Hiding income becomes more profitable as tax rates rise.The six brackets of incomes that determine personal income tax, in addition to exemptions for families and EITC for low-income earners, removes most of the tax burden from the middle- and low-income Americans (Am.cans)Social Security TaxThe 2nd largest source of federal revenue is social insurance payroll taxes, such as Social Security (S.S) and Medicare.Corporate Income Taxes
Employers pay half of these taxes directly and withhold half from their employees’ wages.
The Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASD) tax (part of S.S) does not apply to incomes above $106,800 or nonwage incomes such as rents or prophets. (? Unfair tax)
Workers, therefore, feel that they are receiving benefits as a right rather than a gift of the gov’t.
Current taxpayers are paying more than 85% of benefits received by current retirees.The corporate income tax provides about 13% of the fed.al gov’t total income.Estate and Gift Taxes
Religious, charitable, and edu.al orgs.s, and labor unions, are exempt from corporate income taxes, except for income they may derive from “unrelated business activity.”Taxes on property left to heir is one of the oldest forms of taxation in the world.Excise Taxes and Custom Duties
However, as the large baby-boom generation of voters reaches the age when their parents die and leaving them estates, political pressure is building against the estate tax.Fed.al excise taxes on so-called-luxury items, such as gasoline, cover 4% of the total fed.al revenue.Taxation, Fairness, and Growth
Custom taxes cover another 1% of tot. fed. rev.High marginal tax rates discouraged work and investment; economic growth is diminished when individuals face tax rates of 50% or more on additional income they’ve earned from working, investments, or savings.Deciding What’s Fair.A central issue in tax politics is which income group must devote that largest proportion of their income to the payment of taxes.The Argument for Progressivity
Most taxes take more money from the rich, but a progressive or regressive tax is distinguished by the %ages of income takes from various income groups.
The fed. income tax has a progressive structure in which taxpayers are taxed through the brackets their income falls into.Defenders of the progressive taxation generally take the stance of the marginal utility theory: each added dollar of income is slightly less valuable to an individual than the preceding dollars. Hence, the added $s of income tax at higher rates without violating equitable principles.UniversalityUniversality: All types of income should taxed at the same rates.Economic Growth
(The top marginal rates on capital gain(; profit from the buying and selling of ANY asset) is only 15%.)
But reforms argue that tax laws should be used to promote social policy objectives by granting a wide array of tax preferences.High tax rates discourage economic growth.Politics and Tax Rates
According to supply-side economists tax cuts do not necessarily create gov’t deficits, but instead would encourage ppl to work and start up new businesses because they could keep a larger chunk of the money when they earn it, and their increase in work would consequently cause an increase in gov’t rev.
Authur Laffer’s diagram.
Pt. A. take no taxes = 0 revenue
Pt. B. take entire wages = 0 revenue
Pt C. Optimum Rate
A little past pt. C, is Pt. D. Prohibitive Rate (declines the economy)Tax Reform 1986Preferential Treatment for Capital Gains
President Reagan offered this reform bill as a tradeoff –a reduction in tax rates in exchange for the elimination of many tax breaks.
To make up for lost revenue, many exemptions, deductions and special treatment were reduced or eliminated.
Under the H. Bush the “trickle-down economics” was ridiculed as something that would slow the economy.
Pres. Bill Clinton’s plan the reduce deficits on major tax increases on upper-income Americans.
So-called targeted tax exemptions and deductions remain very popular in DC.
Some cynics might argue that politicians enact high taxes to inspire interest groups to seek special promotions by making campaign contributions and otherwise providing for the comfort of lawmakers.
When W. Bush came into office we followed supply-side econ.ics.
The Bush tax package chipped away at taxes on capital gain, reducing them from 20 to 15%.
President Obama (Ob.) campaigned on a promise to lower taxes on the middle class and to raise taxes on the upper-income Am.cans—which would make the Tax Code more progressive.
With taxes of $400 to individuals with incomes under $75, 000 and $800 to families with incomes under $150,000 Pres. Ob. fulfilled his campaign promise.
Critics argue that income redistribution inspires class conflict.H. Bush restored Preferential Treatment to capital gains by raising the top marginal rate to 31% only on earned income while keeping c.g top rate at 28%.Replacing the Income Tax?
Reb.s urge reductions in capital gain.A flat tax has been suggested over the years.The National Sales Tax
If the marginal utility theory is true, a flat tax seems unfair.A national retail sales tax could replace fed. income tax and remove the IRS completely out of our lives. By taxing sales rather than income, it would penalize consumption rather than production.Encouraging Savings
Also, drug dealers who do not report income would have to pay sales tax for the luxuries he bought.Various provisions in the tax laws currently encourage savings, but excluding savings from taxation all together would raise the issue of regressivity.Reining in the IRSAm.cans pay over $30 billion for the services of tax accountants and preparers, and over $200 billion in hr.s of record keeping and computing their taxes.Simplifying the Tax Code
The tax law contains about 10,000 pages, and the IRS has promulgated over 100,000 pages of rules and regulations.
In 1998, Congress passes a “Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights” that made it illegal for the IRS to establish quota systems for tax collections for its agents and sought to limit harassment of taxpayers and overly aggressive property seizures.The Tax Code will never be simple.
Accountants, Lawyers and Congressmen receive a direct benefit from a complex tax code.
Even if we did simplify the tax code, as in 1986, Interest Group Theory tells us that the complexity would come back over time.
-there is no better illustration of the influence of interest groups in policymaking than nat’al tax policy
-tax laws treat different types of income differently
-unfairness, complexity, & inefficiency of tax laws can be attributed to interest groups
-Tax Reform Act 1986, IGs suffer defeat
Federal Tax System
-total revenues from taxes and fees consistently fail to match total spending by the gov
Individual Income Taxes
- today taxpayers pay more in Social Security taxes than income taxes
Excise and Custom Duties
- progressive tax--high income pay higher percentage of incomes in taxes
- proportionality/flat tax--all income groups pay same rate
- universality--all types of income subject to same rates
- argues that if taxes were reduced, might increase gov revenue bec/ encourage growth
-Economic Recovery Tax Cut Act of 1981
- Tax Reform Act of 1986--reduction in tax rates in place of tax breaks
-many opponents--industry, real estate, multinational corps, oil & gas, labor unions...
Compromising with Special Interest
-key to overcoming opposition of special interests was to offer a tax rate low enough that most people would be willing to give up deductions and preferences
-bipartisan effort against special interests
Clinton,Deficits, and Taxes
- Clinton win on promise to revive econ
- Clinton propose raising taxes on affluent, elderly, corps, &energy
- Clinton and Reps agree to middle class tax cut in 1997
Tax Reform and the Flat Tax
-National sales tax-- replace federal income tax and get rid of IRS; penalize consumption not production
-IRS--"Simplifying tax laws would not only reduce cost of paying taxes but reassure taxpayer that system is fair..It would reduce the power of the IRS... taxpayers bill of rights might strengthen safeguards against arbitrary actions of IRS
Chapter: Tax Policy
Chad Hobbs, 2000
- 1/4 of the world’s total output is sold in a
country other that where is it was made
- US exports 11%--aircraft, computers,-- and imports 12%--automobiles
- Comparative Advantage--what each nation produces best & shift toward making that
- US corps want lower trade barriers around the world--lower US tariffs
- GATT--General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade--regulate international trade
- WTO--World Trade Organization--adjudicate trade disputes among nations
- IMF--International Monetary Fund--facilitate trade by lending
- World Bank--long term loans
- NAFTA--eventual removal of all tariffs between US, Can, and Mex
- Dumping--sale of foreign goods in US markets at prices lower than charged in home--Japanese automobiles
- foreign trade lower US wages
- US corps want immigration for cheap labor
- Immigration Act of 1921--max # immigrants accepted each year
- Immigration and Reform Act of 1986/ Simpson-Mazzoli Act---regulate employers hiring immigrants
- aliens have no Constitutional right to come to US, but once here that have right to due process and equal protection
- US Supreme Court mandate that state and local gov’t can’t exclude immigrants from benefits
- Proposition 187
I. How Policies Are Made:
A. creating an issue, dramatizing it, calling attention
to it, and pressuring government to
do something about it are important political tactics, they are tactics of agenda setting.
B. "nondecision making: occurs when influential
individuals or groups or the political
system itself operates in society.
B. media power:
2. sets the agenda of public discussion
3. Concentrated with a small number of people.
4. Not much diversity in news reporting
2. provide cues to audience on the importance of an issue, personality, or event
3. "Media event" arranged primarily to attract coverage and thus attention
2. influencing attitudes and values toward policy issues.
3. Changing behavior of voters and decision makers
4. Power of tv lies in setting the agenda for decision making
A. policy formulation is the development of policy
alternatives dealing with problems on
the public agenda.
B. The White House: President and the executive
branch are expected to be policy
initiators and Congress the arbitrators
C. Interest groups: formulate their own policy
or do so in association with Congress
D. Legislative Staffs: reflect the general view
of their bosses, they research issues,
schedule legislative hearings, line up expert to testify and write and rewrite bills
E. Think Tanks: policy planning orgs are central
in coordinating points in policymaking;
they bring together corporate and financial institutions, mass media, government officials, and intellectuals to reach a consensus on what action should take place.
B. the open, public, stage of policymaking
C. conclude it is a process of bargaining, competition, persuasion and compromise
D. decisions of the policymakers center around means rather than ends of policy
A. makes relatively little difference in the major direction of public policy whether Dem
or Rep dominate the political scene
B. Implementation and Policy making: all the activities designed to carry our the policies
2. much of the actual policymaking occurs within these orgs
E. Bureaucratic Discretion and Policymaking: most bureaucracy is performing routine tasks but they decide how to apply these tasks.
F. Policy Bias of Bureaucrats: personal beliefs inspire bureaucrats to expand powers, functions, and budgets of their agencies
B. Impressionistic: come from interest groups complaints, legislative hearings, media stories, and citizens complaints - stimulate reform
-each nation must have its own defense policy:
CONFRONTING NUCLEAR THREATS
-Deterrence: maintains nuclear peace, emphasizes 2nd strike capability, psychological defense,
fear of retaliation
-Strategic Weapons: TRIAD defense (ICBMs (Minuteman), sub-based missles (Trident
missles), manned bombers (B-52 bombers)
-"second strike capability"
ARMS CONTROL GAMES
SALT I- (strategic arms limitation talks), 1972 between US and USSR, 1st effort to limit
nuclear weapons and ABS (anti-ballistic missle systems)
SALT II- (1979), "over-all limit" on nuclear launch vehicles(bombers and missiles, but subs
START- (strategic arms reduction talks), reductions in nuclear weapons, equality, verification
with long- and short-term notice
START I- (1991), agreement on long-range missiles
START II- eleminates 1st-strike nuclear attack by beginning to reduce amount and only have
reactionary nuclear defenses
POST COLD WAR NUCLEAR
-minimal deterence- dismantling of all old weapons
-non deterrable threats- terrorists, rougue generals/unauthorized launches, accidental launches
-spread of mass terror weapons- Iran, Iraq, Libya
-Ballistic Missile Defense(aka Star Wars)- weapons in space to be used as defense (i.e.,
lasers/missiles to shoot down incoming missiles/bombers)
NATO AND EUROPEAN SECURITY
-NATO- (north atlantic treaty organization), U.S. and allies, opposed by Warsaw Pact (USSR
and other communist allies)
-collapse of eastern communism- reduced threat on western europe and U.S
-Germany Reunited-balances power in Europe
-USSR crumbles- Soviet Union collapses, Warsaw pact folds
-Middle East- (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria)
-Asia- (Tawain, North Korea)
-punish terrorists and terrorist-sponsered nations
-dissuade other nations from using or supporting terrorists
WHEN TO USE MILITARY FORCE
-protect interests- (support of vital national interests with defined objectives
-sufficient strength to fight/win war
-have support of US people
DETERMINING FORCE FACTORS
-should be threat driven (respond to threats)
-"1&1/2 war readiness"- should be able/ready to fight and win one major war and still have
enough reserves to fight a smaller battle
-investments help defend and deter
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Deterrence assumes rational enemies unwilling to suffer destructionThe War on Terrorism
9/11/01 attacks directed against civilians
Terrorism attacks noncombatants to gain publicity, impose fear.
Democratic leaders are especially vulnerable and must sacrifice some liberties
Global terrorism has increased and become more destructive, supported by states.
Political support for US administration soared in short termDept of Homeland Security
Airlines lost custom, Security provided by new TSA.
USA PATRIOT Act: surveillance unleashed; property seizures; detention without trial; aliens reporting; crime to harbor terrorists; enemy combatants not POWs.
US Supreme Court (2000): detainees entitled to judicial hearing.
Oct 2001 EO: Tom Ridge coordinator of Office of Homeland Security.Fighting Terrorism with Intelligence
2002: new Dept created from: Customs; INS; Border Patrol; TSA; Coast Guard; Secret Service; & FEMA.
Security Advisory System scale from low threat to severe, with required security responses.
Difficult to integrate 200,000 workers from 22 agencies.
FBI, CIA and DOD remain outside, merely coordinated.
Must collect, analyze and disseminate intelligence to consumer agencies.Security versus Liberty
Independent agency: CIA
Agencies within DOD: DIA, NSA, NRO, NIMA, 4 armed services agencies.
Agencies within other depts: State, Energy, Treasury, FBI, Homeland Security.
Director of Central Intelligence.Prepares PDB and NIE reports.Integrating Foreign and Domestic Intelligence
Supervises CIA including covert ops but these consist mostly of economic aid and military training.
Does not supervise other agencies.1947 NS Act banned CIA domestic activities, had only to give info to FBI for enforcement.
Patriot Act permits both agencies separately to conduct domestic surveillance.
FBI has put top priority on counter-terrorism, but prevention may conflict with traditional law enforcement processes and with civil liberties.
War against terrorism will be a long one.
Historic wartime measures have infringed on civil libertiesCivil war suspension of habeas corpusCosts to liberty: surveillance, seizures, detentions, military tribunals, DARPA's data mine.
WW1 Espionage Act and imprisonment of Eugene Debs
WW2 Japanese internment
-Policy evaluation is learning about the consequences of public policy
-Policy evaluation research is the objective, systematic, empirical examination of the effects of policy goals.
Impact of policy is measured through:
-Everything pertaining to policy has to be measured
both symbolically and tangibly.
- Politics used to be: Who gets what, when and how
- Politics has become: who feels what, when and how
- some believe that experimenting with policy idea
is best to do before implementing, but this
beings about some serious questions:
1. Policy evaluation: learning about the consequences of public policy
2. impact of policy
1. target group situation
2. non target groups
3. future as well as immediate conditions
4. direct cost in terms of money and resources devoted to the program
5. indirect cost, societal
3. policy impact is not the same as policy output: impact is concerned with all
variables, output is concerned with monetary and target group production
4. an assortment of long term and short term goals for a program must be
established in order to keep a program on schedule
5. often people rate the effectiveness on the government by programs
implemented but not on the actual on the enforcement of the program
6. public policy has transformed from who gets what, when and how to a focus
7. television has had an impact on public policy by transforming it in to a focus
on appearance to the public
8. because of the transformation and wide coverage of public policy , there has
been a rejuvenation of national pride and support of the American people to the
example: Civil Rights Act 1968
9. Types of public policy reviews:
1. Hearings and reports: public policy administrators are asked to report to
the chief executives on the effectiveness of their program, often they over
exaggerate the progress and under exaggerate the cost
2. site visits: administrators observe the sites of the programs and rate
their management as well as their compliance with guidelines
3. program measure: covers program outputs
4. comparison of professional standards: compares various programs against
each other to determine their effectiveness in out puts
5. systematic program evaluation: done with measuring the effect if the
program was not established
6. before and after comparison: measures the atmosphere of the target
group before the program is establishes and the difference after the program is
7. projected trend line versus post program comparison: takes a period of
time and measures hoe the target group is doing and compares that with the
same amount of time with the program installed, this is effective because it
measures all variables, including the environment change in that time period and
it considers the effect on the target group as well as the non target groups
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