1. Budgeting is an activity that spans the private and public sector. Provide an in-depth discussion of the similarities and the differences between private and public sector budgeting.

2. Discuss federal budgeting cycles, identify the participants in the various stages of the budget cycle, and discuss the interrelationships between those actors. How do these cycles compare to state and local budgeting?Bottom of Form

3. Discuss the politics of mandatory spending and entitlements within the context of national budgeting. Argue for or against significant changes in existing entitlement programs and in the current budgeting process, especially in light of the economic issues of today.

4. Evaluate and contrast the primary taxes used at national, state, and local level. Evaluate them as to the taxing philosophy behind them and defend one of these approaches as the “fairest” taxing approach.

5. From ideological and practical perspectives, discuss the relationship of fiscal and monetary policy to the federal budgeting process, and the impact of the dramatic changes in fiscal policy currently being debated.

6. Particularly at the federal level, procurement and contracting have had social elements inserted into the process to provide opportunities for various demographic groups to provide services to the government.  Discuss the pros and cons of “social contracting” and consider its impact on efficiency of the process.

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8. Discuss and evaluate the various budget formats and approaches covered in class, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each.

9. Accounting of governmental budgeting processes has become ever more critical.  Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the various accounting approaches.

10. Capital budgeting is widely used at state and local level, but it is not used in the same way at the federal level. Define capital budgeting and discuss how it is used at state and local level, and make an argument for or against its use at the national level.

11. One of the costliest things any organization must fund is its human resource costs.  In the Federal Government in particular there have been a number of efforts to streamline personnel management, to reduce personnel costs and to contain costs through such efforts as contractors and in having governmental organizations compete with private entities for the provision of necessary services even services traditionally reserved to government employees, argue for or against the process competition between government employees and private entities as a way to reduce costs and improve efficiency. 

12. Risk management has taken on an even greater importance in government.  Discuss risk management from an internal and external perspective, and explain why it is related to and important in the budgeting process.

13. Presidents do not have the line item veto authority that many state governors have. Although Congress once passed a law giving the President (Clinton Administration) that power, the Supreme Court overturned the law as in inappropriate surrender of legislative authority. As a result, it would like take a Constitutional Amendment to give such power to future presidents. Discuss the wisdom of such an amendment, including the pros and cons both of the amendment, the shift of power to the executive such an amendment would create.
14. Discuss congressional budgeting, both as legislated and as actually carried out–include the key processes and players. How does this process compare to state and local legislative processes?

15. Discuss the history of and power shifts relating to legislative budget reform in the last century. Considering this historical development, discuss the likely future of this struggle for power over the budgeting processes of the nation.

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