DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE
MORE SAMPLE QUESTIONS FOR FIRST TEST
Note that the tests include all material covered in the course. Sometimes
I discussed matters not outlined in the notes. As an example, consider the remarks
on recent American political history. I wanted to provide some background information
that would make "general-welfare" liberalism, an admittedly abstract idea,
more interesting and relevant. So what should you know?
My main point is that political preferences over the last six
years seemed to have swung back and forth between liberalism (as most
commentators use the term) and conservatism. But in fact these ideas
and policies were actually different manifestations of a common public
philosophy. One way to see the influence of this set of beliefs, values, attitudes,
sentiments, and norms, called general-welfare liberalism,
is to look at the political struggles in the early to
mid 1990s in Washington. First, Democrats took control of
government in 1992 and then Repbulican captured the
House and Senate two years later.
- Republicans who took control of Congress in the 1994 elections
interpreted their victories as (Circle the best response.)
- instructions from the voters to keep a watchful eye on President Clinton.
- a mandate from the people to reduce dramatically the size and role of the
- as evidence that the voters were disgusted with corruption in the White House.
- as proof that negative campaigning works.
Look in your notes for the best answer.
- The "Contract with America" proposed which of these policies
- An increase in entitlement programs and a cut in discretionary spending.
- More money for education and the envrionment but less for government regulation.
A balanced budget, less public regulation, welfare reform
- All of the above.
- Clinton's victory in 1992 was notable because
Democrats controlled both the executive and legislative branches for the
first time since the 1970s.
- Republicans were heavy favorites to win both branches.
- the public wanted more liberal government.
- none of the above.
Democratic control from 1993 to 1995 is notable because
for most of the postwar era one party has controlled the
White House, the other one or both branches of congress.
- The Republican victory in 1994 demonstrates which of these?
- The public demanded smaller, less intrusive government even if obtaining
it meant scaling back environmental protection.
- The public supported the Contract With America.
President Clinton and congressional Democrats were unpopular
mainly because they happened to be incumbents.
- The public accepted President Clinton's economic
policies but not his stands on abortion and crime.
Note that election results are often hard to interpret
as "mandates" or approval of particular programs such
as the Contract With America. In fact, most voters were
only dimly aware of the Contract and did not support
drastic cuts in environmental protection or other programs.
Most important, the president was at the time of the 1994
elections very unpopular as were many members of congress. So the
election is perhaps best interpreted as a reaction against
- Claiming that Bill Clinton did not have
a specific plan for reforming welfare in mind when he ran in 1992, the
lecturer asserts that this situation supports which of
- Clinton couldn't be trusted.
Canidates often pick issues that they believe
will help them win rather than run for office in order to
implement their proposals they have developed previously.
- The public really doesn't care about public policy so
candidates do not have to have well thoughtout policy proposals to win.
- The mass media doesn't report candidates stands on issues, so
why bother thinking about them?
Here are a couple of questions based on the reading in Debt and Deficits.
- Which of these best describes the "crowding out" idea?
- If the government has to borrow a great deal of the nation's savings,
relatively less will be available for private borrowers.
- Government spending crowds out private businesses.
- Government borrowing lowers interest rates.
- Private individuals and companies out compete the government for the
nation's limited savings.
- Read pages 101 to 105 for the answer.
- The authors write, "...the charge that the government deficit is somehow
leaving a shocking to the next generation is toally false." Why?
Because, except for the portion owed to foreigners, the same generation
that pays the debt will also collect it, so the this generation is neither
better or worse off.
- A country as strong and democratic as ours can always count on
foreigners to lend it money.
- No group would be powerful enough to collect on the debt.
- The government has the power to create money (called "fiat
money") and so can always print enough to pay its bills.
- When discussing the federal budget deficits most people refer to "gross deficit."
But according to Bernstein and Heilbroner this amount should be
adjusted by taking into account which of these?
- The amount of debt held by federal agencies.
- Surpluses in state and local governments.
All of the above.
- Read Chapter 7. Try to get the big picture. In particular, the authors
suggest that the deficit is mismeasured. So even if you don't
fully understand each and every idea, you should be able to figure out
that the last option is the best.
Questions? Contact H. T. Reynolds or
Chris Steger, TA
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