Budgets and Policies

I.    Public Policies

    A.    Definitions

    B.    Varieties

II.  Stages

    A.    Agenda Setting

    B.    Formulation

    C.    Adoption

    D.    Implementation

    E.    Oversight

III.    Types of Domestic Policies

    A.    Regulatory (Environmental Complexities)

    B.    Distributive

    C.    Redistributive

IV.    Authorization and Appropriation

    A.    Authorizations

    B.    Appropriations

    C.   "Back Door" Spending

V.    Budgeting in Congress (Timetable)

    A.    The 1974 Budget Act

    B.    Concurrent Budget Resolutions

    C.    Graham-Rudman-Hollings Plan (Bowsher v. Synar, 1986)           

            [The law's most important feature was a schedule for reducing the federal budget deficit to zero by 1991. It fixed a maximum allowable deficit for each fiscal year. If Congress and the president failed  to adopt a budget that met the target, the law called for across-the-board spending reductions in most federal programs. Responsibility for determining whether the budget satisfied this requirement was given to the Comptroller General, who is the head of the General Accounting Office (an agency that does research and investigations at the behest of Congress). The comptroller also had the authority to order the across-the-board spending cuts needed to lower the deficit to the required level.]

    D.    Budget Enforcement Act of 1990 (PAYGO Rules and their demise)

    E.    Deficits, Surpluses, and the National Debt (2002 Report)

    F.     Current Debt of the U.S.

    G.    Role of the President in the Budgeting Process

VI.    Conclusions.

    A.    Profiles in Courage or Political Expediency

    B.    Zero Sum Game Budgeting & Acerbating of Political Conflicts

Key Web Sites

The Budget Process

Impact of National Debt

Glossary of Federal Budget Terms

The Government Dollar