The federal government is composed of three branches:
LEGISLATIVE: The bicameral Congress, made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives, makes federal law, declares war, approves treaties, has the power of the purse, and has the power of impeachment, by which it can remove sitting members of the government.
EXECUTIVE: The president is the commander-in-chief of the military, can veto legislative bills before they become law, and appoints the Cabinet and other officers, who administer and enforce federal laws and policies.
JUDICIAL: The Supreme Court and lower federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the president with Senate approval, appoints, interpret laws, and can overturn laws they deem unconstitutional.
The United States has operated under a two-party system for most of its history.
For elective offices at all levels, state-administered primary elections choose the major party nominees for subsequent general elections.
The major parties have been the Democratic Party, founded in 1824, and the Republican Party, founded in 1854.
The winner of the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama, is the 44th U.S. president and the first of mixed European and African descent. All previous presidents had been men of European descent.
The largest and the most important Market in the World
The United States of America’s economy is driven by consumers but is troubled by high debt levels.
US is referred to as a Free Market Economy, this is not entirely true, since there are government regulations protecting certain sectors, notably energy and agriculture. It can be more accurately described as a ‘Consumer Economy’.
The most common method for calculating with the PPP method is to use the USA as the base for comparing the price of a basket of goods and when this is done the USA's figures are the same for both PPP and Atlas.
The national Average Per Capita Income using PPP method of USA is $37500.
The U.S. Consumer Price is the price level of consumer goods and services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which started the statistic in 1919, publishes the CPI (Consumer Price Index) to measure the consumer prices on a monthly basis.
The CPI is calculated by observing price changes among a wide array of products in urban areas and weighing these price changes by the share of income consumers spend purchasing them.
IMPORTS of US USA has led the world in imports while simultaneously remaining as one of the top three exporters of the world. US Import goods includes: ☻ Non-auto consumer goods 24.3%; ☻ Production machinery and equipment, 20.7%; ☻ Fuels, 19.0%; ☻ Non-fuel industrial supplies, 13.5%; ☻ Motor vehicles and parts, 13.2%; ☻ Food, feed and beverages, 4.1%; ☻ Aircraft and parts, 1.9%; ☻ Other 3.3%. (2007)
The worst recession in recent decades, in terms of lost output, occurred in the 1973-75 period of oil shocks, when GDP fell by 3.1 percent, followed by the 1981-82 recession, when GDP dropped by 2.9 percent. Output fell by 1.3 percent in the 1990-91 downturn, and a tiny 0.3 percent in the 2001 recession. The 2001 downturn lasted just eight months.
After an expansion that lasted just over six years, the U.S. economy has been in recession since December 2007.
Nowadays there is Contractions (recessions) started at the peak of a business cycle and end at the trough .
In the United States, interest rates are decided by the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve meets eight times a year to set short-term interest rate targets
Interest rates directly affect the credit market (loans) because higher interest rates make borrowing more costly.
By changing interest rates, the Federal Reserve tries to achieve maximum employment, stable prices and a good level growth. As interest rates drop, consumer spending increases and this in turn stimulates economic growth.
During these meetings, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation at the retail level, and Producers Price Index (PPI) which measures inflation at the wholesale level and therefore may also predict future retail prices are significant factors in the Federal Reserve 's decision.
It's the Federal Reserve 's job to maintain that delicate balance. A tightening, or rate increase, attempts to head off future inflation. An easing, or rate decrease, aims to prompt on economic growth.
The federal Government attempts to use both monetary policy (control of the money supply through mechanisms such as changes in interest rates) and fiscal policy (taxes and spending) to maintain low inflation, high economic growth, and low unemployment.
A relatively independent central bank, known as the Federal Reserve, was formed in 1913 to provide a stable currency and monetary policy.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have already cost taxpayers $314 billion, and the Congressional Budget Office projects additional expenses of perhaps $450 billion over the next 10 years.
That could make the combined campaigns, especially the war in Iraq, the most expensive military effort in the last 60 years, causing even some conservative experts to criticize the open-ended commitment to an elusive goal.
The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a nonpartisan Washington think tank, has estimated that the Korean War cost about $430 billion and the Vietnam War cost about $600 billion, in current dollars. According to the latest estimates, the cost of the war in Iraq could exceed $700 billion.
Just for the current fiscal year, the administration has received $107 billion in special appropriations, about $87 billion of which is directly related to military operations, according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.