Wes Wilcox

White Paper Proposal 1

3/31/13

There are several policy issues that currently plague the United States. The areas that these policy debates cover are both vast and important. However, it can be argued that none is more important than the current debate this country is having over how to balance its federal budget. Since the financial crises of 2008 and the Great Recession that ensued, this country has exhausted its financial resources to such an extent that funding the federal government and therefore keeping it operating has become a huge obstacle. However, this policy debate does not only affect the governmental sector of this country.  The long-term solution to reducing the deficit and balancing the federal budget will affect all areas of society and business. With that said, it is certain that balancing the federal budget will include several measures that will benefit some and be a detriment to others. Some of these measures will include new tax brackets and extreme budget cuts on services such as welfare that will most certainly make several people displeased. With these points taken into account, one must look at how the United States has come to find itself in this type of situation. Just twelve years ago the United States had a surplus of $127.3 billion. However, just eight years after this surplus we had the largest deficit in 2009 in the form of $1413 billion.

After beginning the process of identifying sources for my white paper, I first wanted to find a source that dealt with how the government is being affected by this debate over balancing the national budget. In particular, I wanted to first find a source that would provide information on the affects balancing the budget would have on government programs. I thought this was important because the United States government is the largest employer in the country. Consequently, any budget cuts on government programs would potentially affect thousands of government employees. After doing some research, I came across an article in the Journal of Federalism entitled “The State of American Federalism 2010-2011: The Economy, Healthcare Reform and Midterm Elections Shape the Intergovernmental Agenda.” This article is interesting because it discusses the federal deficit and the various budget cuts that are being made by state and local governments because of the current “gridlock” that the federal government is currently in. The article argues that state and local governments have started to take matters into their own hands because of the policy debate which exists between Obama’s administration and Congress that has made the Federal government unable to make any definitive decisions. Thus, this article is unique because it not only discusses the affects of the policy debate and budget cuts at the Federal level, but also at the state and local level as well.

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