AP US Government : Enactment of Public Policy

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US Government

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Public Policy

The Hyde Amendment ____________.

Possible Answers:

prohibits Congress from setting its own rate of pay and wage structure

prohibits employers from refusing to hire someone on the basis of gender discrimination

prohibits the use of certain Federal funds to pay for abortions

allows the President to declare war without the consent of Congress

allows Congressmen to engage in insider trading by opening certain loopholes

Correct answer:

prohibits the use of certain Federal funds to pay for abortions

Explanation:

The Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision first passed in 1976, in the aftermath of the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade (1973), which had legalized abortion. The Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of Federal funds to pay for abortions, except in very specific circumstances (such as rape or when the woman's life is endangered by the pregnancy). Because it only focuses on restricting the availability of Federal funding, the Hyde Amendment disproportionately targets extremely poor women.

Example Question #1 : Enactment Of Public Policy

A Federal government program designed to provide money to states so that they can improve access to education within their state is an example of __________.

Possible Answers:

a categorical grant

a block grant

the Exclusionary Rule

a budget resolution

amicus curiae briefs

Correct answer:

a block grant

Explanation:

A block grant, as opposed to a categorical grant, is when the Federal government provides a sum of money to state or local governments with very few strings attached. In a block grant the, state and local governments have a lot of leeway with how exactly they can spend the grant money, whereas in a Categorical Grant the money must be spent in a very constrained manner, which is determined at the Federal level. A grant designed to help states improve access to education within their states is a relatively broad purpose. A categorical grant trying to achieve the same thing would likely say something more like "a Federal government program designed to provide money to states to improve access to education by conducting a specific type of research to see how better to meet the needs of students." A categorical grant is more specific and strict than a block grant.

Example Question #2 : Enactment Of Public Policy

Antitrust policies are intended to __________.

Possible Answers:

undermine the laws surrounding Prohibition

facilitate interstate commerce

guarantee the job security of striking workers

prevent the government from breaking up cartels

ensure competition and prevent monopolies

Correct answer:

ensure competition and prevent monopolies

Explanation:

United States antitrust laws are designed to prevent businesses from forming monopolies or cartels and to ensure that competition is allowed to flourish. The most notable pieces of legislation that relate to antitrust laws are the Sherman Act of 1890 and the Clayton Act of 1914.

Example Question #2 : Enactment Of Public Policy

How does Medicaid differ from Medicare?

Possible Answers:

Medicaid is designed to provide healthcare for poor Americans, whereas Medicare is designed to provide health benefits for senior citizens.

Medicaid is designed to provide health benefits for senior citizens, whereas Medicare is intended to provide healthcare for working-class Americans.

Medicaid is offered free to all U.S. citizens, whereas Medicare is intended to provide health benefits only to the very poor.

Medicaid was established during the Johnson administration, whereas Medicare was set up as part of the sweeping health care reforms of President Obama.

Medicaid is considered unconstitutional but necessary, whereas Medicare is supported by a constitutional amendments.

Correct answer:

Medicaid is designed to provide healthcare for poor Americans, whereas Medicare is designed to provide health benefits for senior citizens.

Explanation:

Medicaid, enacted into United States law in 1965, is designed to provide healthcare to poor Americans who would otherwise be unable to afford health care coverage. Medicare, enacted in the same piece of legislation during the Johnson administration, is designed to provide health benefits to senior citizens. Taken together, these two government programs may be understood as part of the widespread extension of social welfare that took place in the United States during the 1960s.

Example Question #4 : Enactment Of Public Policy

Protectionism is __________.

Possible Answers:

the economic policy of protecting striking workers from losing their jobs

the economic policy of ensuring that the United States supports free trade around the world

the political policy of protecting government representatives from slander and libel

the economic policy of protecting the national economy from excessive imports

the economic policy of ensuring that small businesses have the opportunity to compete with larger corporations

Correct answer:

the economic policy of protecting the national economy from excessive imports

Explanation:

Protectionism is an economic policy designed to protect the national economy from being overrun by imports. This is primarily achieved through tariffs and other restrictions on imports into the country. Protectionism has been enforced at various times throughout United States history, particularly in the early years of the nation. The policy runs in direct contrast to free trade which is more recently the dominant economic policy of the nation.

Example Question #5 : Enactment Of Public Policy

Affirmative action is __________.

Possible Answers:

a policy designed to protect the national economy from international competition

a concept deemed unconstitutional during the Clinton administration

a concept generally favored by the contemporary Republican Party

a policy designed to provide compensation or advantages to a previously disadvantaged social group

a policy designed to favor working-class students at the expense of wealthier students

Correct answer:

a policy designed to provide compensation or advantages to a previously disadvantaged social group

Explanation:

Affirmative Action is the name given to the government policy, or any legislation related to the policy, which is designed to give special compensation or advantages to a social, religious, or ethnic group that has previously been disadvantaged. The idea is to try and correct for longstanding social ills against certain groups within society by granting them special dispensation. It first appeared as part of the Wagner Act issued during the 1930s and has been a controversial part of United States’ government policy ever since.  

Example Question #3 : Enactment Of Public Policy

A progressive income tax involves __________.

Possible Answers:

the tax rate on an individual increasing as the income of the individual increases

a tax that is issued at a fixed rate for all individuals regardless of income level

a tax that is only levied on corporations and not small businesses

the tax rate on an individual decreasing proportionally as the income of the individual increases

a tax that is only levied during times of war or great national catastrophe

Correct answer:

the tax rate on an individual increasing as the income of the individual increases

Explanation:

A progressive income tax involves an increasing tax rate for people as their incomes (and thus ability to pay) increase. It is generally seen as an important way to correct the natural social and economic imbalances of a capitalist society. The United States income tax has always been progressive, namely through the use of income tax brackets. However, it has become substantially less progressive in the past 50 years.

Example Question #7 : Enactment Of Public Policy

Police see a car swerving on the freeway late at night. After they pull over the car and see that the driver is drunk, they get a law passed which states that it is illegal for everyone to drive cars past 12 am. This solution violates which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Congruent and proportional

Bill of Attainder

Rule of law

Ex post facto

Due process

Correct answer:

Congruent and proportional

Explanation:

Police see a car swerving on the freeway late at night. After they pull over the car and see that the driver is drunk, they get a law passed which states that it is illegal for everyone to drive cars past 12 am. This solution is NOT congruent and proportional. The concept of congruency and proportionality states that solutions must be congruent and proportional (suitable, balanced, and correlative) to the problem at hand. Banning all citizens from driving past 12 am is not a congruent and proportional solution. A better, congruent and proportional, solution would be issuing a breathalyzer test to all cars swerving on the highway late at night.  

Example Question #4 : Enactment Of Public Policy

Five days ago you drove 65 mph on the freeway. This week, the speed limit was changed to 55 mph. If a police officer gave you a ticket for driving 65 mph last week, which of the following would be in violation?  

Possible Answers:

Preferential treatment

No ex post facto law

Habeas Corpus

No bill of attainder

Preemption

Correct answer:

No ex post facto law

Explanation:

Ex post facto laws mean "after the fact." If you were driving 65 mph five days ago, even though the speed limit has been changed to 55 mph, it is not lawful for any law enforcement officer to issue you a ticket. Any illegal actions that were committed before the enforcement of the law cannot be punished.  

Example Question #9 : Enactment Of Public Policy

A brief, warrantless pat down of a person is acceptable under which exception? 

Possible Answers:

Suspicion

Stop and frisk

Good faith

Exclusionary rule

Self- incrimination

Correct answer:

Stop and frisk

Explanation:

Brief, warrantless pat downs are permitted by stop and frisk. Stop and frisk is when a police officer, when given reasonable suspicion, can stop an individual and conduct a pat down. Reasonable suspicion and good judgment/observation on the officer's behalf allows for these warrantless pat downs.  

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