American Government Homework Nine

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American Government.
Ninth Homework (optional - skip to the Tenth Homework at this point)

Read the chapter on “Interest Groups,” pp. 159-63 in the textbook. Then complete and self-grade the multiple choice questions.

Then read the first two pages of “Civil Liberties,” pp. 169-70 in the textbook.

Questions 1-9 are worth 3 points each.

1. People hired and paid by interest groups to try to influence congressmen and the president are called __________.

2. “Pacman” was the first hugely popular video game, in 1982. In politics, “PAC” means something else. What is it, and what is its significance?

3. A “revolving door” is used in the lobby of large hotels. What does it mean in politics?

4. Name two interest groups you would support, and two you would oppose.

5. President Bush signed a federal law banning partial birth abortions. What clause in the Constitution would you cite as justifying this exercise of federal power?

Questions 6 and 7 are based are based on this excerpt from the Economist, “The King of K Street,” p. 34 (Nov. 8, 2003). “K Street” is the location of the offices of the lobbyists who try to influence the federal government. (Note the British spelling of “favor”.)

In an article in the Washington Monthly this summer, Nicholas Confessore argued that the Republican Party is in the process of absorbing K Street into its political machine in much the same way as Franklin Roosevelt and his heirs once used government to the Democrats’ advantage. In its glory days, the Democratic Party used its grip on the machinery of government to dole out largesse to loyal constituencies (the poor, the old and, eventually, racial minorities) and also to provide jobs for its own foot soldiers. Now the Republican Party is using its sway over both K Street and the wider business community to build a private-sector equivalent of Roosevelt’s machine. It hands out government contracts to businesses that favour its causes. It provides its most loyal foot soldiers, from congressional aides to congressmen, with a pot of gold on K Street when they retire. ... Woodrow Wilson once complained that “the government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy.”

6. If Woodrow Wilson felt that way in the 1910s, how do you think he would feel if he were alive today?

7. Do you think the Republican Party should try to build a political machine based on lobbyists?

8. What is "incorporation doctrine"?

9. Can an actual photograph contain a political bias? Can a melody itself, without any connection to words, have political bias? Explain.

Extra Credit (worth 5 points each):

10. Schools are allowed to issue tax-exempt bonds to raise money. Lobbyists obtained the same benefit for sports stadiums, so that they can be built more cheaply with tax-exempt bonds (i.e., lower interest rate on the loan used to build it). Would you favor this tax break for stadiums? For schools?

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