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Public Policy: The Basics Mr. Stroman AP Government.

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Presentation on theme: "Public Policy: The Basics Mr. Stroman AP Government."— Presentation transcript:

1 Public Policy: The Basics Mr. Stroman AP Government

2 What is Public Policy? The process by which government decides what our greatest needs and problems are, and how to solve them Main objectives: – Solving social problems (ex. poverty) – Countering threats (ex. terrorism, war) – Pursuing an objective (helping poor, sick, old, etc.) We will talk about three main types of public policy – Economic policy (taxing and spending) – Domestic policy (social programs like Social Security, Medicare) – Foreign and defense policy (foreign relations, protecting America’s national security)

3 How is Policy Made? Whether or not a certain policy passes depends on the issue-attention cycle, as the public can become bored and lose interest Legislators will often use incrementalism, a slow and gradual approach, to make policy rather than a sudden and punctuated approach

4 Policymaking Steps Defining the role of government – Which politicians will want a more active government? Agenda setting – Identifying social and economic problems, redefining them into political issues, and ranking them in order of importance – For instance, poor people may place greater importance on welfare policy, while the rich may place more importance on tax cuts – When a policy affects a lot of people, it will be ranked high and get politicians’ attention

5 Policymaking Steps – Though, oftentimes, those with the most money have their concerns placed high on the agenda – A momentous event (war, oil embargo, etc.) can also set the agenda

6 Policymaking Steps Policy formulation and adoption – Legislative process, executive orders, rules made by regulatory agencies, Supreme Court precedent Policy implementation – Puts policy into effect by enforcement through the appropriate agency (timetables and rules) – Accounting for unintended consequences (ex. three- strikes law) Policy evaluation – Does a policy work? Have unintended consequences caused problems? Provides feedback to policymakers


8 Obstacles to Policymaking Government has many policymaking centers – Federalism/separation of powers Unfortunately, in their intention to prevent tyranny and corruption, the Framers created a system that causes policy fragmentation, in which many pieces of legislation deal with parts of policy problems but never deal with the entire problem – For instance, the War on Drugs has at least 75 Congressional committees with some type of jurisdiction – This requires policy coordination. Interagency task forces can iron out problems between competing agencies, and Congress can use its oversight powers to change jurisdictions

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