There is much debate about the best way to organize taxes. In your opinion, what is the fairest tax plan and why?

In order to help you understand the ramifications of national crises, budget cuts, and the political effects of fiscal policy, you’ll play the following simulation game and report on your experience.

1. Go to the EconEd National Budget Simulation game.  2. For the purposes of this activity, you will be playing a role, so these are not necessarily your individual preferences.

You will play this simulation as if you were a liberal Democrat.

3. Based on your role, choose which functions will receive a cut in spending. Attempt to cut spending by at least $150 billion. Keep track of which functions you cut and by which percentage you cut them. Note that each spending category has a “?” icon to provide you with more information if you need it.

4. Answer the following questions and submit your answers as Assessment 7.06. Remember, you should answer them according to the role you were assigned in Step 2. Please be sure to copy and paste the questions into your assessment.

1.     What programs did you choose to cut and why?

2.     What groups (students. Elderly, poor, veterans, etc.) will be impacted by these cuts?

3.     If you had the chance to raise taxes to restore the programs you cut, would you take that action? Why or why not?

4.     What is one spending category that you absolutely feel should not be touched? What is your justification?

5.     Overall, do you feel it is important to limit the federal deficit? Why or why not?

Visit some policy sites:

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Visit one of the policy web sites listed at on the Lesson page and select a policy initiative that has been implemented in the last 10 years. Research the initiative and then answer the following questions. An example of a policy might be an environmental regulation or an initiative to improve education.

Go to the Discussion area and respond to the following:

1. Summarize the policy initiative.

2. How did the policy come into the public agenda?

3. How was the policy formulated?

4. What competing interests supported/opposed the policy?

5. What agencies implemented the policy?

6. “American public attention rarely remains sharply focused upon any one domestic issue for long.” Evaluate this statement, making sure to discuss how it relates to the policy initiative you researched.

Now respond by either agreeing or disagreeing to the following statements made by students. Explain.

1. Summarize the policy initiative.

-The policy I chose was from The Heritage Institute on relations with other nations, based on a Visa Waiver Program. The main goal was to reward those countries that share information with the U.S. instead of punishing those that do not.

2. How did the policy come into the public agenda?

-The policy came into the public agenda after the most recent debate sparked by Donald Trump brought up the issue of immigration and international relations.

3. How was the policy formulated?

-The policy of VWP was formulated after analysts saw that countries should be rewarded for sharing vital information about immigration patterns and what not, and it would serve to improve the overall relation and trust between the U.S. and those countries.

4. What competing interests supported/opposed the policy?

-Other competing interests like the Trump administration had supported the policy because it benefitted his views a bit by making him seem like a more diplomatic president but his end goal is still the same to target the issue of illegal immigrants and the sharing of information between countries.

5. What agencies implemented the policy?

-The Government Accountability Office had implemented the policy.

6. “American public attention rarely remains sharply focused upon any one domestic issue for long.” Evaluate this statement, making sure to discuss how it relates to the policy initiative you researched.

-This statement is very true of society today, because multiple issues exist in the broad spectrum and are always able to be discussed, but the degree in which people examine it will vary over time. For example, educational safety has always been a big issue, but it has been pushed into the background until recently when school shootings have begun to be more frequent and the issue of gun safety was finally addressed at the federal level.

Now respond by either agreeing or disagreeing to the following statements made by students. Explain.

1. Summarize the policy initiative.

This policy initiative is from The Heritage foundation.  The goal of the policy is to provide more income for the average working American.  It states that this can be done in tow steps.  First, the temporary tax cuts which have been implemented by Congress need to be made permanent.  Second, Congress needs to expand expensing to all investments, with permanent tax cuts.  With both of these methods used, the amount of extra income the average American would receive would be double what it currently is.

2. How did the policy come into the public agenda?

Congress has already made tax cuts which has allowed the average American to make about $3000 extra each year. 

3. How was the policy formulated?

The policy was formulated on the basis that what Congress was doing was already good, although with further inspection, it could be made even better and be able to benefit Americans more.

4. What competing interests supported/opposed the policy?

Americans workers and businesses support this policy because it allows businesses to invest more money into America and to be able to provide higher wages to workers, also it causes workers to want to work harder because they earn more money.  Overall, the workforce as a whole largely supports this policy.  Congress opposes this because they have already implemented a temporary tax cut which they have done intentionally.  They would not support this policy because the policy requires a permanent tax cut which Congress is not ready to implement.

5. What agencies implemented the policy?

This policy was proposed by Parker Sheppard and Adam Michel.

6. “American public attention rarely remains sharply focused upon any one domestic issue for long.” Evaluate this statement, making sure to discuss how it relates to the policy initiative you researched.

I feel that this statement is not true.  There are many problems in today’s society and many Americans want to find solutions to them.  The economy for example is one problem that every American can relate to.  Everyone wants to make money and everyone wants to be able to make as much as possible of it.  As seen in the policy that I researched, it is possible to add upon a preexisting policy to make it better in order to increase the amount of money that Americans make annually.  If Americans see how easily it is to make their income better through minor policy changes, Americans will focus on the issue for a long time, unlike what the quote above says.

Answer TWO of the following (4-5 sentences):

· There is much debate about the best way to organize taxes. In your opinion, what is the fairest tax plan and why?

· Many theories exist about the best way to keep our economy running smoothly. Evaluate the use of laissez-faire, Keynesian and supply-side economics as approaches to stimulating the economy.

· What is a monopoly? What has the government done to prevent monopolies? Should the government regulate monopolies more? Why or why not?

· How does the United States compare to other countries regarding tax rates? Does this influence your opinion of taxes here? Why or why not?

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