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Political Science Final


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Balanced Budget
A Federal budget in which spending and revenues are equal
Bargaining strategy
direct negotiations the White House conducts with other political actors, such as members of Congress and leaders of interest groups, that attempt to reach mutually beneficial agreements
Blanket Primary
direct primaries in which voters may cast ballots for candidates of any party but may vote only once for each office
Bush Doctrine
A policy, announced by President Bush = U.S. would target terrorist groups and the states that aided them
Budget Deficit
Amount by which government spending exceeds government revenues in a year
Budget Surplus
amount by which government revenues exceed government spending in a year
set of government agencies that carry out government policies
designation that refers to the collective body of individuals appointed by the president to head the executive departments
closed meeting of members of a political party to discuss matters of public policy and political strategy, and in some cases, to select candidates for office.
Closed Primary
direct primaries in which voters register their party affiliations b4 Election Day
procedure to stop a filibuster, which requires a supermajority of 60 votes
Concurring Opinion
statement from one of more Supreme Court justices agreeing with a decision in a case but giving an alternative explanation for it
Congressional Budget Office
agency in charge of assisting Congress in reviewing and coordinating budget requests to Congress
Conservative Coalition
appears when majority of southern Democrats votes with a majority of Republicans against a majority of northern Democrats
Constituent Service
Favors members of Congress do for constituents, usually in the form of help
emphasized need to prevent communist counties from expanding the territory they controlled (Soviet Union)
Corporate Welfare
Government subsidies of tax breaks of questionable value to private corporations
Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)
increase in Social Security or other benefits designed to keep pace with inflation
Critical elections
elections that disrupt party coalitions and create new ones in party realignment
Direct Primary
election in which voters and not party leaders directly choose a party’s nominees for political office
Divided Government
type of government experienced when the president is of one party and the other party has a majority in at least one house of Congress
Duverger's Law
Generalization that if a nations has a single-member, plurality electoral system, it will develop a two-party system
Electoral College
body of electors, whose composition is determined by the results of the general election, that chooses the president and vice president
Entitlement Programs
require the government to pay a benefit directly to any individual who meets the eligibility requirements the law establishes
tactic of stalling a bill in the Senate by talking endlessly about the bill in order to win changes or kill the changes
Flat Tax
income tax system in which taxable income is taxed at the same percentage rate regardless of the taxpayer’s income
Free Trade
economic policy that holds that lowering trade barriers will benefit the economies of all the countries involved
decision states make to move their primaries and caucuses to earlier dates to increase their impact on the nomination process
Drawing congressional district boundaries to favor one party over the other
process by which growing economic relations and technological change make countries increasingly interdependent
Going Public Strategy
direct presidential appeals to the public for support. Presidents use public support to pressure other political actors to accept their policies
Homeland Security
programs and initiatives designed to make it harder for terrorists to attack targets on American soil and to minimize the consequences of any attacks that do occur
Independent expeditures
Funds raised and spent without contact with the supported candidate
Independent Regulatory Commissions
promote the public interest by writing and enforcing rules that regulate the operations of some sector of private industry (consumer products safety commission)
Independent Agencies
all other types of federal agencies not part of any executive department, and their leaders lack the cabinet-level status of department secretaries
avoiding formal military and political alliances with other countries
Issue Networks
groups/people in and out of government who interact on a policy issue on the basis of their interest and knowledge rather than just on the basis of economic interests
Judicial Activism
overturn laws and make public policy from the federal bench
Judicial Review
Supreme Court to review and overturn decisions made by Congress and the president
Legislative Courts
administrative courts that Congress establishes
Line-item veto
ability of an executive to delete or veto some provisions of a bill, while allowing the rest of the bill to become law
Majority Opinion
document announcing and usually explaining the Supreme Court’s decision in a case
Midterm Election
Congressional elections that take place midway through a president’s four-year term
Monroe Doctrine
says the U.S. will resist further European efforts to intervene in the affairs of the Western Hemisphere
Approach in which three or more countries cooperate for the purpose of solving some common problem
National Debt
total amount of money the federal government owes to pay for accumulated deficits
National Interest
idea that the U.S. has certain interests in international relations that most Americans agree on
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
military alliance founded in 1949 for the purpose of defending Western Europe from attack. Members of NATO include the U.S., Canada, and 24 European countries
Open Primary
direct primaries in which voters may choose which party primary they will vote in on Election day
Original Intent
theory that judges should interpret the Constitution by determining what the Founders intended when they wrote it
Party Dealignment
trend in which voter loyalties to the two major parties weaken
Pocket Veto
power of the president to veto a bill passed during the last ten days of a session of Congress simply by failing to sign it
Police-Patrol Oversight
Congressional oversight hearings designed to take a wide-ranging look for possible problems
Policy Oversight
efforts by congress to see that the legislation it passes is implemented, that the expected results have come about, and whether new laws are needed
Political Cleavages
Divisions in society around which parties organize
Por-Barrel Spending
legislation that appropriates government money for local projects of questionable value that may ingratiate a legislator with his or her constituents
Progressive Tax
those with high incomes pay a higher % of their income in taxes than those with low incomes
Proportional Representation System
legislators are elected at large and each party wins legislative seats in proportion to the number of votes it receives
redistribution of seats in the House amount the states, which occurs every ten years following the census, so that the size of each states delegation so proportional to its share of the total population
Regressive Tax
tax system which those with high incomes pay a lower percentage of their income in taxes than those with low incomes
Revenue Neutral
quality of any tax reform plan that will neither increase nor decrease government revenue
Rule Adjudication
determining whether an agency’s rules have been violated
Rule Administration
core function of the bureaucracy – to carry out the decisions of Congress, the president, or the courts
Senatorial Courtesy
practice a president follows in choosing a nominee for a district or appeals court judgeship
Senority Rule
congressional norm of making the member of the majority party with the longest continuous service on a committee the chair of that committee
power of self-rule
Third World
to mean the developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America
Truman Doctrine
announced by President Truman that the U.S. would oppose communist attempts to overthrow or conquer noncommunist countries
change in membership of Congress between elections
tendency of the U.S. to act alone in foreign affairs without consulting other countries
Unit Rule
winner-take-all system which requires that the candidate with the most popular botes receive all of that state’s electoral votes
World Trade Organization
International trade agency that began operation as the successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
Writ of Certiorari
Supreme Court order for a lower court to send it the records of a case – the first step in reviewing a lower court case

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