week 234 ag1

Federal Budget Activity

This week we learned about how laws get made by the legislative branch of our government. One of the biggest laws that regularly gets made by Congress is the Federal Budget.. The Federal Budget is a law that spells out how the government will spend its money. This is a huge power that Congress has that is often called, “The Power of the Purse.” If the Congress doesn’t give the government money to do something in the Budget, the government won’t have the resources do what it might want to do.

Part 1 – Create Your Budget

To create your budget, you must use the website: The Debt Fixer

Note: if the CRFB Debt Fixer website is not working, you may use the Federal Balancing Act: An Interactive Budget Simulation website in its place. You are still required to turn in screenshots of your choices.

Once you are at The Debt Fixer website and ready to begin click the “next” button. (Use the images below to help you navigate the site.)

Begin to make your budget selections by selecting various check boxes. Click the “i” icon next to each line item if you want more information about any particular budget line item.

Once you have sufficiently addressed each of the specific budget line items and arrived at the tab labeled “results,” click the printer icon beneath the text that says “Print and follow the on-screen instructions detailing how to export your results as a .pdf document.

Do not forget to also submit your essay. You can upload multiple files in a single assignment submission. If you need help with this please contact your student advisor or instructor.

It is strongly recommended that you use the Chrome or Firefox web browser for this activity. If you are having trouble getting your final results to display or are having difficulty exporting your final results as a PDF file, please try the following steps:
(1) Use the Chrome or Firefox web browser.
(2) Take and upload screen shots of your budget selections to Blackboard along with your essay for this assignment.
(3) Contact your instructor to make alternative arrangements.

Part 2 – Federal Budget Activity Reflection Essay

In at least 500 words answer the following questions:

Provide a justification of the budget choices you made within one of the following categories: Defense, Domestic, Social Security, Healthcare (you may NOT choose to focus on the categories labeled: “Budget Path,” “Other,” “Revenue,” or “Tax Expenditures”). In this defense you must address possible counter arguments to the budget decisions you made. If you are spending more under this category how are you going to get new revenue or gain public support for more deficit spending? If you are cutting funds – what are you going to do with these surplus funds?

Discuss how this assignment impacted your understanding of the budget process, and the debates between the parties and within Congress have regarding the federal budget? Do you think anything should be done to streamline the current budget process?

Discuss how difficult this would have been to do this activity as a group project – what budget issues would have been contentious? How could you have come to a compromise?

Don’t forget to upload your pdf file of the budget as well as the text of your essay in your assignment submission. Both parts of this assignment at once must be submitted for grading.

View your assignment rubric.

Creating and Argument: The Electoral College

This week we learned about the presidency, the powers of the presidency, and the unique way our president is elected via the Electoral College. In this assignment you will be guided in creating a complete argument regarding whether or not you think the Electoral College should be kept or eliminated.

This activity will be useful practice in how to create and present and thoughtful argument. The ability to create and communicate a thoughtful argument will help you out in future studies and in any career.

Your essay must be at least 500 words long.

Follow these steps to create an argument in the form of an essay:

Step 1

In one or two very clear sentences state whether or not you think the Electoral College should be kept or eliminated. This is called writing a thesis statement.

Step 2

In three paragraphs describing three (3) arguments that support your position regarding the Electoral College. Give each argument one paragraph. Do not just list three arguments in support of your position regarding the Electoral College. You must tell the reader why each of your three arguments supports your position on the Electoral College.

Step 3

In three paragraphs describe three (3) arguments that go against your position regarding the Electoral College. This is called addressing counterarguments. Give each counterargument one paragraph. Describe the counterargument and then tell the reader of your essay why that counterargument should be dismissed.

Step 4

Write one paragraph concluding your essay. Restate your initial position on the Electoral College. And review the one or two arguments that you found to be the most compelling in support of your position.

Step 5

Write a reference list. In any good argument you will present your ideas but then include evidence from credible external sources to support your ideas. Always include a reference list.

In outline form your paper should look like this.

1.Introduction: Thesis statement of your position regarding the Electoral College.

2.Three arguments supporting your position.

a.Describe argument 1 and why it supports your position.

b.Describe argument 2 and why it supports your position.

c.Describe argument 3 and why it supports your position.

3.Three counter arguments opposing your position.

a.Describe counter argument 1 and why it is not sufficient.

b.Describe counter argument 2 and why it is not sufficient.

c.Describe counter argument 3 and why it is not sufficient.

4.Conclusion paragraph.

Please note: APA formatting and citations rules apply to this and all essays in this course.

As with all weekly written assignments, submit your work as an attached file. Double-space your paper and use 12 point Times New Roman as your font.

View your assignment rubric.

Supreme Court Ruling Analysis

The Supreme Court is made up of nine justices who are responsible for deciding whether or not laws are in line with the U.S. Constitution. These individuals serve life-long appointments once they are nominated by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate. Below is a list of some of the most controversial decisions in the last few decades by the Supreme Court. These cases are often mentioned by politicians during campaigns because the issues are still debated, even after the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Write an essay analyzing one of the following key Supreme Court rulings:

National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius

District of Columbia v. Heller

Roe v. Wade (abortion rights)

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

Obergefell v. Hodges

Your essay must be at least 500 words long.

Answer these questions to complete your analysis of your selected Supreme Court ruling.

Tell the reader which of the five key Supreme Court ruling you selected to analyze.

What was the law being challenged in the case?

Tell me any of the states or government entities that were part of the case.

Who was the Petitioner in the Case?

What was the Petitioner’s argument?

Who was Respondent?

What was the Respondent’s argument?

What part or parts of the Constitution were discussed in the case?

Why were those parts of the Constitution discussed in the case?

What was the final Supreme Court ruling

oWhat was the final score of the case was (for example 5 to 4 or 7 to 2 or some other combo that, in most cases, adds up to 9)

oWhat was the date that the case was decided?

oWhich side won, was it the petitioner or the respondent?

oWhat did it mean that this particular side won?

This is the most important part of the assignment: how does this case currently impact your life and the lives of Americans? Explore the political and electoral consequences of the ruling. Don’t just say, for example in the case of Roe v. Wade, women can now have abortions because only a small percent of the population is of childbearing potential – how did the case impact everyone else more generally? Think about how even this current or most recent presidential election was impacted by the ruling you have analyzed.

Provide a reference list.

Please note: APA formatting and citations rules apply to this and all essays in this course.

As with all weekly written assignments, submit your work as an attached file. Double-space your paper and use 12 point Times New Roman as your font.

View your assignment rubric.

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