Assignment 1: Policy Brief
Due Week 2 and worth 180 points
The Federal Budget and how it gets made is a complex and lengthy process that has important implications for Federal and State agencies. Obviously, funding for each agency is going to affect that agency’s budget. Likewise, federal funding for social programs, education, and other programs such as disaster relief affects how states fund those programs in their own budgets. Using the e-Activity from Week 1, “2017 America First – A Blueprint to Make America Great Again”, compare the federal budget with the budget of one of the departments listed below and note how they are interconnected.
- “Department of Energy”
- “Department of Commerce”
- “Department of Defense”
- “Department of Education”
- “Department of Homeland Security”
- “Social Security Administration”
In a two- to three-page paper (not including cover and reference page), address the following:
- Summarize the mission and budget of the department you selected.
- Does the proposed budget of the department you chose include policy actions to reduce the deficit in the near future?
- Does the proposed budget put the government on a path to reduce the federal debt within a decade to a sustainable percentage of GDP?
- Does the proposed budget align revenues and spending closely over the long term?
- Does the proposed budget restrain major entitlement programs or introduce changes in spending and tax policies that will have cumulative beneficial fiscal effects over time?
Your assignment must follow these requirements:
- Include a short introduction and use the questions as section headers.
- Please include at least three references, not including the president’s budget and the budget of the department of your choice (peer-reviewed not required, as most of your sources will be within the last one to three years).
- Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
- Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
- Analyze the basic skills and tools needed for budgeting for public sector agencies and / or departments.
- Evaluate a budgeting system at any governmental level.
- Analyze the scope and sequence of budgeting in terms of sources of revenues, purpose of government expenditures, budget cycles, budget preparation, and debt administration.
- Analyze the steps required for budgeting, such as preparing a budget, making a financial plan, conducting a cost-benefit analysis, and making budget decisions.
- Use technology and information resources to research issues in public budgeting and finance.
- Write clearly and concisely about public budgeting and finance using proper writing mechanics.