This text introduces students to the interrelationship of politics and economics in American public policymaking: how economic concerns have been legislated into law since Franklin Roosevelt's time and how politics (e.g., Washington gridlock) affects the economy and the making of public policy. Students learn how to measure various indicators of economic performance, how the U.S. economy works (domestically and with international linkages), and how and why policymakers act to stabilise an economy in an economic downturn. Additionally, many social insurance programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) are explained and the current fiscal issues concerning current/future costs are treated in some detail. The book concludes with a full chapter case study on the Obama administration's response to the Great Recession and its dealings with Congress; the implementation of the Affordable Care Act is also discussed.
1. An Introduction to America's Political Economy 2. Measuring Economic Performance 3. Fiscal Policy 4. Monetary Policy 5. Deficits and Debt 6. America in a Global Economy 7. Government Regulation and Deregulation 8. Government and Social Provisioning 9. Rising Inequality and the Middle-Class Squeeze 10. The Great Recession