AP US GOVERNMENT
LINEBERRY CH 14 – THE CONGRESS, THE PRESIDENT, AND THE BUDGET
TERMS AND CONCEPTS
Please outline the reading and then use the study guide to highlight this information.
1. Budget: A policy document allocating burdens (taxes) and benefits (expenditures). Budgeting is concerned with translating financial resources into human purposes. A budget is also a series of goals with price tags attached.
2. Deficit: An excess of federal expenditures over federal revenue in a fiscal year. In other words, the national government spends more money that it receives in taxes.
3. Revenues: The financial resources of the government. The individual income ...view middle of the document...
10. Tax expenditures (be able to give examples): Revenue losses that result from special exemptions, exclusions, or deductions on federal tax law. The government could send checks for billions of dollars to charities, but instead it permits taxpayers to deduct their contributions to charities from their income—the government encourages charitable contributions. The government could give cash to families with the desire and financial means to buy a home, but instead it permits home owners to deduct from their income the billions of dollars they collectively pay each year in mortgage interest. The government could write a check to all businesses that invest in new plants and equipment. Instead, it allows such businesses to deduct these expenses from their taxes at a more rapid rate than they deduct other expenses. In effect, the owners of these businesses, including stockholders, get a subsidy that is unavailable to owners of other businesses.
11. Social Security Act: A 1935 law passed by Congress under FDR during the Great Depression that was intended to provide a minimal level of sustenance to older Americans and thus save them from poverty.
12. Medicare: A program added to the Social Security system in 1965 that provides hospitalization insurance for the elderly and permits older Americans to purchase inexpensive coverage for doctor fees and other health expenses.
13. Incrementalism: A description of the budget process where the best predictor of this year’s budget is last year’s budget, plus a little bit more (an increment). According to Aaron Wildavsky, “Most of the budget is a product of previous decisions.”
14. 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.
15. Entitlements: Policies for which Congress has obligated itself to pay X level of benefits to Y number of recipients. Social Security benefits are an example.
1. What are the major sources of federal revenue and in what proportion?
The major sources of federal revenue are the personal and corporate income tax, social insurance taxes, and borrowing. Individual income taxes make the largest contribution to federal revenues, but more than a third comes from social insurance taxes.
2. What is the difference between a progressive tax and a flat tax? What do you think a regressive tax would be?
The difference between a progressive tax and a flat rate tax is that a progressive tax progressively grows in amount in relation to the amount the annual income is; whereas a flat tax gives everyone the exact same rate to be taxed on, to make it fair, although some people argue progressive taxing is fairer because taxes should be based on what the income is. A regressive tax would be those that have higher incomes have to pay fewer taxes and those with lower incomes have...