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Seminar in American Political Economy and Public Policy
GOVT 374
Fall 2022
Section: 01  

This seminar will focus on the long-term fiscal challenges facing the United States. The US exited World War II with a record level of debt (106 percent of GDP) but within three decades, the debt-to-GDP ratio had fallen by almost 80 percent. As a result of significant changes in taxation after 1981 and the growth of mandatory entitlement spending, the national debt began to grow significantly and is projected to exceed 200 percent of GDP within the next few decades. By that time, interest payments on the debt will be the largest component of federal spending. Absent policy change, the trust funds supporting Medicare and Social Security will become insolvent, placing greater pressure on public finances. This seminar will explore the normative and practical implications of the debt, the political economy of taxation, the growth of entitlements, and the ways in which polarization has undermined the congressional budgetary process. We will conclude with a discussion of competing reform proposals.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS GOVT
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (GOVT)(GOVT-American)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on FEB-21-2024
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