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Take Home Lessons The federalist language of the constitution is flexible, and the Supreme Court is the chief interpreter. American federalism has been.

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Presentation on theme: "Take Home Lessons The federalist language of the constitution is flexible, and the Supreme Court is the chief interpreter. American federalism has been."— Presentation transcript:

1 Take Home Lessons The federalist language of the constitution is flexible, and the Supreme Court is the chief interpreter. American federalism has been more about practical results than about any kind of ideological purity. Traumatic events in the body politic have decided the great issues of federalism with even greater force and finality than have the decisions of the Supreme Court. The historical trend has been for the federal balance to shift toward the central government.

2 14th Amendment, §1 [1868] 4 All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

3 1st Amendment [1791] 4 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

4 14th Amendment, §1 [1868] 4 All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

5 Take Home Lessons The federalist language of the constitution is flexible, and the Supreme Court is the chief interpreter. American federalism has been more about practical results than about any kind of ideological purity. Traumatic events in the body politic have decided the great issues of federalism with even greater force and finality than have the decisions of the Supreme Court. The historical trend has been for the federal balance to shift toward the central government.

6 Questions to Ponder Is this tipping of the balance toward the central government a good thing or a bad thing? Does it make us more democratic or less democratic? Does it make us more equal or less equal? Does it make us more free or less free? And who is “us”?

7 American Federalism Today

8 Hint: When reviewing data, always think about the metrics.

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11 Actual Spending as of Nov. 2010: $900 billion. Probable life-time cost: $2-3 trillion.

12 A Short Lesson on Economic Forecasting: The Federal Budget Surplus over the Next 10 Years Graphics from the New York Times, 2009

13 Annual budgetary surpluses are projected to grow steadily – reaching $1 trillion per year over the space of 10 years. Note: 10 years from 2001 is The budget is in surplus, and those surpluses are projected to grow steadily, reaching $1 trillion per year by the year 2011.

14 The 2001 Bush tax cuts have reduced the surplus and are projected to eliminate the surplus altogether in the short run, but surpluses are still projected to rise to about $700 billion per year by 2011.

15 Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq push the nation into deficit spending, but annual surpluses are still projected to be near $500 billion by 2011.

16 Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq prove to be vastly more expensive than anticipated. Annual deficits are now projected through the end of the decade, but those deficits are projected to shrink over time bringing the nation back to a balanced budget by 2011.

17 Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continue to be vastly more expensive than anticipated, but economic growth is robust. Annual deficits are still projected for most of the decade, but those deficits are projected to shrink over time bringing the nation back to a modest surplus by 2011.

18 Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continue to be vastly more expensive than anticipated, but economic growth is robust. In hindsight we know that we were experiencing a housing bubble and that a banking crisis was imminent. Without the foresight to anticipate the effects, annual deficits are still projected for most of the decade, but those deficits are projected to shrink over time bringing the nation back to a modest surplus by 2011.

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20 War in Iraq is winding down but war in Afghanistan is heating up. Almost no one is aware of the impending economic catastrophe. Annual deficits are still projected to shrink, leaving the nation with a modest surplus by 2011.

21 Late in 2008 the economy implodes. Housing prices plummet. The banking system, which has appeared enormously profitable throughout the decade is revealed to be essentially bankrupt. The federal government spends and the Federal Reserve Bank creates trillions of dollars in an effort to save the banking system and avoid a second Great Depression. Short-term deficits are (in this case literally) off the chart. Yet as recently as 2009, the projected deficit for 2011 was only about $300 million. Actual deficit: $1,480 million.

22 Which Brings Us to the Present Who were the winners and losers from this decade of economic policymaking? What is the present state of the federal deficit? What are we doing to deal with it? What are the take-home lessons from this review of economic forecasts?

23 Budget Surplus/Deficit SOURCE: Congressional Budget Office (2011)

24 Federalism

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27 Assignment #4 As a supplement to "Chapter 10: the News Media" in Patterson, read "FOX NEWS INSIDER: 'Stuff Is Just Made Up'" by Eric Boehlert. Analyze this article following the instructions and sample template for "an analysis" on the main page of the syllabus."FOX NEWS INSIDER: 'Stuff Is Just Made Up'""an analysis"main page Briefly summarize the author's conclusions and premises/reasons. Then discuss the quality of the argument. In doing so, focus on what you believe is most important, being sensitive to what you have learned from your writing text about distinguishing what you say from what they say. Your primary mission is to answer the question "What makes this argument persuasive or unpersuasive?" Sample Template: "The primary conclusion of X's article is _______. In support of that conclusion, X argues _______." I am generally persuaded/unpersuaded by X's argument. [Here you would explain why.]"


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