Polisci Essay, Research Paper
The budget of the United States is a document that announces how much the government will collect in taxes and spend in revenues and how those expenditures will be allocated among various programs. The basic jist of it is how much money the government is going to spend and where it is going to spend it. There are three major areas the government spends this money: the country?s defense, Medicare, and social security. These are called uncontrollable expenditures because they involve contracts already signed, payments like social security that are guaranteed by law, and interest on the national debt that must be paid if the government is to stay in business.
The budget was started in 1921. At this time both the president and congress had pretty much any say in where the money was spent and how much. Much has changed since then.
The Congressional budget Act of 1974 changed this somewhat. The president submits his budget in January. Then budget committees in both the house and senate study the presidents proposal and submit to its house what is called a total budget ceiling and a ceiling for each of several spending areas. By ceiling they mean the top amount they are going to spend on each category. In May the congress adopts these budget resolutions as targets or guides in deciding what to spend in each area. Then a new modified budget is supposed to ?reconcile? the first bill with appropriate amounts to be spent.
After the government tried this for a few years the budget was going up way to fast, now a lot of it had to do with wars in the last 30 years but something still needed to be done. We were spending billions over what we were bringing in. To fight this President Reagen used the first budget resolution in May 81 and ordered senate and house committees to reduce federal spending by about 39 billion in 1982. This didn?t work very well because some wanted spending cut all together and others wanted cutting in certain areas more than others. (Based on who represented what part of the population.) Then in 1985 the Gramm-Rudman Balanced Budget Act changed the process again. This involved creating a plan whereby the budget would automatically be cut until there was no longer a deficit. Each year between 86 and 91 the deficit could not exceed a specified declining amount. Unfortunately no one liked the idea of automatic budget cuts and it did not pass.
This leads us to taxing, and the only other way to make money, as a government is to tax the people of that government. This includes raising taxes on gas, alcohol, tobacco, and the overall tax rate. In the last 10 years our tax rate has grown from 28 % to an astonishing 39.6%.
Every president since about the 30?s has struggled with the budget and it is only going to get worse if we cannot find a better way to deal with it. Federal programs contain countless provisions that automatically cause spending to increase or decrease depending on economic conditions that cannot be foreseen. It has been estimated that a 1% increase in unemployment rate of the country cause the govt. To spend 7 billion more than it had planned due to welfare and unemployment benefits. So you see the budget is a complex and controversial part of our nations government that we will continue to struggle with and the truth is no one really has an straightforward answers so we just have to deal with it as it comes.