A. Micro Essays
Define and identify the significance to U.S. public budgeting & finance of five out of the six terms/concepts/cases below in about 1/2 to 1 page each. [1 point each; 5 total]
1. politics 4. revenue bond
2. incrementalism 5. rational choice model of decision making
3. continuing resolution 6. executive budget system
B. Major Integrative Essays Answer TWO of the following questions with as much detail as you can, using as many examples as you can. [10 points each; 20 points total]
7. Public budgeting scholars often extol the merits of the data produced by alternatives to the line-item budgeting system traditionally used in the U.S. Define, describe, compare and contrast line-item budgeting, performance budgeting, program budgeting, and zero-based budgeting in terms of ease of use, clarity, transparency, strengths, weaknesses, and any other criteria you find valuable. If the alternatives to line-item budgets provide good data, why are they not utilized more often? Discuss at length.
8. Compare and contrast the public budgetary process of the U.S. national government with that of at least one other nation over time in great detail. Give your estimation of the economic outlook/prospects for each.
9. Compare and contrast the budgetary processes of the Classical Era and today in the U.S., in great detail.
10. Discuss in great detail capital budgeting in the U.S. compared with at least one other country. Be sure to talk about whether each nation has a capital budget or not, as well as the decision-making processes used to decide what kinds of projects are undertaken and how much of the national economy (GDP) is accounted for by national-level capital spending.
11. Pick an agency (government or nonprofit). Describe the agency and its function, and then give concrete examples of inputs, outputs, and outcomes relevant to the core function of this agency. Which of these three elements does a traditional line-item budget focus on? What kinds of performance measures (outcomes or outputs) will the agency tend to propose? Why? Which (outputs or outcomes) will the principal funder (legislative, executive, or other funder in the case of a nonprofit) attempt to compel the agency to use? Why? Discuss at length.