Domestic Policy


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Domestic Policy

  1. 1. Domestic Policy
  2. 2. The Cost of Crime to Americans
  3. 4. Cracking Down on Crime <ul><li>Felony —A serious criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for at least one year or by death. </li></ul><ul><li>Mid-80’s, politicians began to respond to increasing crime rates by passing new sentencing laws, typically called “three-strikes-and-you’re out” laws. </li></ul><ul><li>These laws require that judges sentence any individual who is convicted of a third felony to life in prison. </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>California, one of the first to pass these laws, has seen reduced crime rates. </li></ul><ul><li>7% of all criminals commit between 50% & 70% of all crimes. </li></ul><ul><li>On the negative side, can lead to murder. Marijuana offenders 4X (times) more likely to be arrested. </li></ul>
  5. 6. Eliminate Poverty <ul><li>Poverty Line ---The income level that is used to determine who fall into the poverty category. </li></ul><ul><li>Current Poverty Line: </li></ul><ul><li>Single: $9,310 </li></ul><ul><li>Family of four: $ 18,850 (2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Originally based on the cost of a nutritionally adequate food plan designed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>Determined by multiplying the cost of the food plan by three, on the assumption that food expenses take approx. 1/3 of a poor family’s income. </li></ul><ul><li>The New Poor </li></ul><ul><li>Traditionally, the poorer segments of our population </li></ul><ul><li>have been minorities, older people, & women. </li></ul><ul><li>New groups are women who head households & </li></ul><ul><li>children. </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>Single females who head households: </li></ul><ul><li>1960---10% 2000---25% </li></ul><ul><li>Nearly 33% of female householders w/o husbands </li></ul><ul><li>are living in poverty. </li></ul><ul><li>Add African American female head of households, </li></ul><ul><li>the number jumps to 44%. </li></ul><ul><li>Change to Hispanic, the number is 50% </li></ul>
  8. 9. The Homeless <ul><li>Lack of information </li></ul><ul><li>Some government officials claim that the total number of homeless people is small & that most of these people are mentally ill. </li></ul><ul><li>Organizations that work to help homeless people, however, claim they number from two to three million. </li></ul><ul><li>Research has revealed that most are not mentally ill. </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>Some claim 600,000 homeless, 1/3 of those being mentally ill. </li></ul><ul><li>20% of homeless are families. </li></ul><ul><li>Help is given through classes in parenting classes, & assistance in getting employment & disability benefits. </li></ul>
  10. 11. Attacking Poverty <ul><li>Social Security ---A government program of required saving financed from payroll taxes imposes on both employers & employees. Workers pay for social security while working & receive benefits after retirement. </li></ul><ul><li>***Projected to fall short in 2042 or about five years before people born in 1987 will be scheduled to retire.***** </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>Created in 1953. </li></ul><ul><li>When the insured worker dies before retirement, benefits go to the survivors, including widows & </li></ul><ul><li>children. </li></ul><ul><li>Special benefits provided for disabled workers. </li></ul><ul><li>Over 90% of all employed persons in the U.S. are covered by Social Security. </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>Paid as payroll taxes, which employers withhold from paychecks & send to the government. </li></ul><ul><li>These are regressive taxes , meaning the rate is the same for everyone. </li></ul>
  13. 14. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) <ul><li>Established a nationwide minimum income for older persons & persons w/disabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>SSI is financed & administered by the U.S. government. </li></ul><ul><li>Founded in 1974. </li></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>Welfare </li></ul><ul><li>Passage of the Welfare Reform Act in 1996—states </li></ul><ul><li>gained more responsibility for establishing welfare </li></ul><ul><li>rules & managing the welfare program. </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. government gives grants to the states---Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). </li></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><li>U.S. government has placed several restrictions on those who receive TANF benefits. </li></ul><ul><li>*After two years, welfare recipients may continue to receive benefits only if they are working either in a public service job or in the private sector. </li></ul><ul><li>*TANF benefits can be paid for a maximum of five years. </li></ul><ul><li>*States are allowed to deny TANF benefits to unmarried teenage mothers. </li></ul>
  16. 17. Food Stamps <ul><li>Government issued coupons that can be used to purchase food. </li></ul><ul><li>Available for low income individuals & families. </li></ul><ul><li>Workers who are on strike & even some college students are eligible. </li></ul><ul><li>Cost—25.8 BILLION </li></ul>
  17. 18. Financing Domestic Policy <ul><li>Taxes </li></ul><ul><li>Federal tax </li></ul><ul><li>Income tax---- Progressive tax ---the higher the income, the higher the tax rate. </li></ul><ul><li>Each U.S. income earner must file a tax return, which is a form that shows the tax that is owed. </li></ul><ul><li>Businesses pay corporate income taxes. </li></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><li>Congress places an excise tax on the making, selling, & using of certain goods & services. </li></ul><ul><li>Estate tax must be paid on the assets of a person who has died. </li></ul><ul><li>Gifts of over $10,000 in one year are subject to a gift tax. </li></ul><ul><li>A custom duty is a tax laid on goods brought into the U.S. from another country. </li></ul>
  19. 20. <ul><li>Interest —a charge paid for borrowing money, & is usually a % of the amount borrowed. </li></ul><ul><li>Government makes money from people borrowing money. </li></ul><ul><li>Money also brought in from copyrights and trademarks. </li></ul><ul><li>Government is allowed to spend more money than it brings in-----called a deficit . </li></ul><ul><li>Our federal budget did not have a surplus of money between 1969 & 1998. </li></ul>
  20. 21. Cleaning up the Environment <ul><li>1969/Oil well explosion/Santa Barbara </li></ul><ul><li>Congress passed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). </li></ul><ul><li>Required that an environmental impact statement be prepared for every major federal action, showing the extent to which the action would affect the quality of the environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Also authorized the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). </li></ul>
  21. 22. Global Warming <ul><li>A gradual increase in the average temperature throughout the world due to the so-called greenhouse effect. </li></ul><ul><li>The greenhouse effect —The trapping of heat inside the earth’s atmosphere. </li></ul><ul><li>Scientists disagree over the extent & nature of this development. </li></ul>