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POLSC431: Public Policy Process

Unit 3: Policy Implementation, Budgeting, and Evaluation   The final three aspects of the public policymaking cycle involve the implementation, budgeting, and evaluation of policies.  Policy implementation concerns the carrying out of policies once they have been created—a function that is generally performed by the federal bureaucracy but also falls to a number of agencies, institutions, and even courts in some cases.  The choices of how public policies are enacted and whether policies are enforced uniformly or selectively directly impact the effectiveness of these policies; thus, legislators often attempt to influence how policies are carried out by trying to reform bureaucracy.  Traditional public administration in the United States since the late 19th century, when civil service reform resulted in the end of the so-called spoils system, has been largely apolitical and focused on effective delivery of services to citizens but is often criticized as bloated and inefficient—often leading to attempts to streamline the federal workforce as a means of trying to cut public spending without cutting public services.
 
The question of how to pay for the public policies that have been implemented is especially important to Congress, state legislatures, and local governments throughout the country that must pay for the services that their citizens demand while keeping taxes at levels those same citizens are able to afford.  The process of setting the budget also indicates national priorities as it demonstrates which policies we see as vitally important and which are negotiable depending on costs and current conditions.  Budgeting also involves trade-offs—most easily demonstrated through budget simulations—where each dollar cut in taxes is one less to spend on new military technology and each dollar spent on new military technology is one less to spend on public housing.  Another option available to Congress that is not to state and local governments is running a federal budget deficit, or spending more money than was taken in through taxes, resulting in an ever larger debt while eliciting heated debates throughout Congress and society.
 
Comprehensive public policy evaluation is a relatively recent phenomenon that has largely grown out of attempts to improve on policy delivery as well as a desire among some to undue long-standing policies that they see as entrenched or which they disagree about for fundamental political reasons.  There are various types of evaluations that are carried out regularly, such as audits by internal and external sources, as well as one-time attempts to determine the effectiveness of policies over the short and long terms.  All these forms of evaluation are meant to measure whether the costs of a particular policy are justified by the benefits that it seems to provide for the public as well as to determine which policies should be continued as they are, which ought to be re-evaluated, and which should be terminated.  The process of evaluation is also the beginning of the next cycle of creating new public policies, as reports on the effectiveness of existing public policies form another basis for policymakers to judge what belongs on their next year’s agenda.  

Unit 3 Time Advisory
This unit will take you approximately 3.5 hours to complete. 

☐    Subunit 3.1: 0.5 hour

☐    Subunit 3.2: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.3: 0.5 hour 

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the studentwill be able to: - Discuss and identifyvarious key concepts in the process of American public policy implementation and evaluation. - Identify key actors and agencies involved in public policy implementation and evaluation. - Describe various decision frameworks used by policymakers in implementing and evaluating public policy. - Identify key actors and agencies involved in the public policy budgetary process and in balancing the federal budget as well as key concepts, such as deficits. - Analyzethe various political, social, economic, military, legal, and ethical goals and cultural values that form the basis of budgetary decisions.

3.1 Putting Public Polices into Practice: Implementation   - Reading: Ramapo College: Dr. Wayne Hayes' : “Public Policy Cycle: Implementation” Link: Ramapo College: Dr. Wayne Hayes' : “Public Policy Cycle: Implementation” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, read this entire webpage, and then follow the links at the bottom to read about other implementation processes.
 
This reading should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.2 Paying for Public Policies: Budgeting   3.2.1 Overview of Public Policy Budgets   - Reading: Ramapo College: Dr. Wayne Hayes': “Public Policy Process: Budgets” Link: Ramapo College: Dr. Wayne Hayes': “Public Policy Process: Budgets” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, read this entire webpage, and then follow the links at the bottom to read about other budget issues.
 
This reading should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.2 Simulating the Budget   - Web Media: Nathan Newman's: “National Budget Simulation” Link: Nathan Newman's: “National Budget Simulation” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, read the instructions on this webpage, and then play both versions of the game.
 
You should spend approximately 30 minutes on this resource.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.3 The U.S. Federal Budget   - Reading: ThisNation.Com: “The Federal Budget” Link: ThisNation.Com: “The Federal Budget” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read this entire webpage, which introduces the U.S. federal budget.
 
You should dedicate approximately 30 minutes to studying this resource.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.4 Budget Deficits   - Web Media: Khan Academy’s “Government’s Financial Condition” Link: Khan Academy’s “Government’s Financial Condition” (YouTube)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and watch the above video (approx. 10 minutes), which discusses the difference between U.S. debt and operating costs and how the government’s large financial obligations (i.e. entitlement spending) can create burgeoning deficits.
 
Viewing this video and note-taking should take approximately 15 minutes.

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/). It is
attributed to the Khan Academy.
  • Lecture: Learner.org: Economics U$A: Episode 12: “Federal Deficits” Link: Learner.org: Economics U$A: Episode 12: “Federal Deficits” (Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and select the VoD icon next to “Federal Deficits” to watch this entire video (approximately 29 minutes) on the concept of federal budget deficits.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: Khan Academy’s “Deficit and Debt Ceiling” Link: Khan Academy’s “Deficit and Debt Ceiling” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and watch the above video (approx. 10 minutes), which provides an overview on the basics of the federal deficit, debt, and the debt ceiling.
     
    Viewing this video should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to the Khan Academy.

3.3 Analyzing the Effectiveness of Public Policies: Evaluation   - Reading: Ramapo College: Dr. Wayne Hayes' : “Public Policy Cycle: Evaluation” Link: Ramapo College: Dr. Wayne Hayes' : “Public Policy Cycle: Evaluation” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, read this entire webpage, and then follow the links at the bottom to read about other evaluation issues.

 This reading should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.   
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.