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56 Cards in this Set

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Powers of Congress
Found in Article 1; Section 8. Power to: collect taxes to provide for the "general welfare".'Declare War. Raise army and navy. Borrow and Coin Money. Regulate Interstate Commerce. Create federal courts. Establish rules for the naturalization of immigrants. "Make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers."
Powers of the House
Power of Impeachment (to bring formal charges against the president, vice president, and other "civil officers" of the national government)
All Revenue Bills must originate in the House, but Senate must approve.
Powers of the Senate
Power to Try Impeachment (with the Chief Justice presiding). Need 2/3rds majority to confict.
Power to approve major presidential appointees (supreme court justices)
Power to approve treaties (need 2/3rds approval)
Symbolic Representation
Efforts of members of Congress to stand for American ideals or identify with common constituency values.
Filibuster
Extended debate to block a vote as a way to limit or derail the majority party from passing bills.
Cloture
A vote to end a Senate filibuster; requires a 3/5ths majority, or sixty votes.
Redistricting
Process of dividing states into legislative districts.
Gerrymandering
Redistricting to benefit a particular party.
Coattail Effect
The coattail effect is the tendency for a popular political party leader to attract votes for other candidates of the same party in an election.
Pork-Barrel Spending
Special projects and funding for Congress members' districts or states.
Casework
Legislative work on behalf of individual constituents (voters) to solve their problems with government agencies and programs.
Elite (or trustee) View of Democracy
Government Leaders ought to do what they believe is best for the overall interests of the nation.
(Not to be responsive to uninformed public opinion.)
Progressive (or Jacksonian) View of Democracy
Government policy ought to reflect public opinion as closely as possible.
(That's real democracy)
Ideological thinking
A consistent pattern of opinion about politics that stems from a core belief or set of beliefs.
Motor Voter Law of 1993
Aimed to increase voting registration by: Allowing citizens to register to vote when applying for a driver's license.
Party identification (Party I.D.)
A generally positive orientation toward a party.
Prospective voting
Basing voting decisions on well-informed opinions and consideration of the futre consequences of a given vote.
Valence issues
Issues on which most voters and candidates share the same position.
Position issues
Issues on which the parties differ in their perspectives and proposed solutions.
Wedge Issues
A controversial issue that one party uses to split the voters in the other party.
Hard Money
Campaign funds donated directly to candidates; amounts are limited by federal election laws.
Soft Money
Unregulated campaign contributions by individuals, groups, or parties that promote general election activities, but do not directly support individual candidates.
Sources of Public Opinion
Genetics, Group Influences and Socialization, Partisanship, Ideology, and Self-Interest
Rational Ignorance
The state of being uninformed about politics because of the cost in time and energy.
Social Captial
Connections among individuals, two kinds:
Bonding: Tightens connections within a group (religious ethnic) (in-group trust, cooperation)
Bridging: Fosters connections across groups (different religions or ethnic groups come together and work together.
Polarization
Greater ideological (liberal v. conservative) differences between the parties and increased ideological consensus within the parties.
Capitalism
Industry owned and dictated by private companies and individuals, following the doctrine of Laissez-Faire.
Keynesian (Demand-Side) Economics
Government should engage in Deficit Spending (and also cut taxes) during economic downturns.
-Stimulate consumer demand (spending) to get economy moving.
Supply-Side Economics
Importance of directly stimulating production part of economic equation, as opposed to consumer-demand side.
Tax cuts for businesses, wealthy individuals, and capital gains.
Efficiency
Aim of producing greater output for a given input.
Equity
Ensuring that the outcome of economic transactions are fair to each party
Externalities
an externality is a cost or benefit which results from an activity or transaction and which affects an otherwise uninvolved party who did not choose to incur that cost or benefit.
Ex: Pollution
Federal Debt
Government debt (also known as public debt, national debt) is money (or credit) owed by any level of government to creditors.
Federal Deficit
an excess of the federal government's spending over its revenue; "federal deficits can cause inflation".
Federal Reserve Board
(the central bank of the United States; incorporates 12 Federal Reserve branch banks and all national banks and state-chartered commercial banks and some trust companies) "the Fed seeks to control the United States economy by raising and lowering short-term interest rates and the money supply"
Mixed Economy
Most industries owned privately, but some owned and operated by the government.
Examples: Mines, post office, railways, etc...)
Fiscal Policy
Government attempts to maintain economic stability, steady growth via taxing and spending decisions.
Monetary Policy
Attempts to maintain economic stability, steady growth via manipulation of the amount of money in circulation.
Laffer Curve
A theory about the relationship between economic activity and rate of taxation.
"Stave the Beast"
is a political strategy employed by American conservatives in order to limit government spending by cutting taxes in order to deprive the government of revenue in a deliberate effort to force the federal government to reduce spending.
Redistrubutive Policies
Policies that shift resources form the "haves" to the "have-nots".
Distrubutive Policies
Policies funded by the whole taxpayer base that address the needs of particular groups.
Regulatory Policies
Policies designed to restrict or change the behavior of certain groups or individuals.
Social Welfare Policies
Public policies that seek to meet the basic needs of people who are unable to provide for themselves.
Means-tested Programs
Social programs whose beneficiaries qualify by demonstrating need.
Social Insurance Program
Programs that offer benefits in exchange for contributions.
Entitlement Program
A federal program that guarantees benefits to qualified recipients.
Social Security
A social insurance program under which individuals make contributions during working years and collect benefits in retirement.
Medicare
The federal government's health insurance program for the elderly and disabled.
Medicaid
A federally sponsored program that provides medical care to the poor.
Temporarty Aid to Needy Families
A welfare program of block grants to states that encourages recipients to work in exchange for time-limited benefits.
Progressive Tax
Taxes whose rates increase with income.
Regressive Tax
Taxes that require poor people to pay a higher proportion of their income than do the well off.
Capital Gains Tax
A tax levied on the returns that people earn from capital investments, like the profits from the sale of stocks or a home.
Flat Tax
A tax system in which all people pay the same percentage of their income.
Consumption Tax
A plan in which people are taxed not on what they earn, but on what they spend.