Government October Notes
Wendy Weber Current Events HW #2
The article link: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/06/mitch-mcconnell-may-offer-short-term-debt-ceiling-extension-following-pressure-from-biden.html
Building upon last week's Current events homework, there is another update on the debt ceiling and its extension. Up until last week, Democrat leaders were making an effort to pass bills that would aid in infrastructure payments. Now Mitch Mcconnell has offered a short-term suspension of the U.S. debt ceiling to avert a national default. This will take the weight off the shoulders of both parties for the time being, but later on I think that this will be an issue. The price of the dollar has been on a downward spiral since covid halted production, businesses, and consumption. Since the dollar is worth less, there has been a noticeable inflation in prices of daily goods and services. One other issue that is ongoing but has not been brought up in this article is the unemployment rate, being 5% in our country. This number is lower than it has been, but still does not change the fact that many people are reliant on government benefits even though the government is not even able to support themselves financially. As you stated at the beginning of the year, history does repeat itself and if we continue at this rate, there will be another depression that will take a toll on this country and its ability to defend itself.
Current Events Homework for 10/15/21
Find out who your local (borough), city, state and federal representatives are right now. Use the attached link. Then tell what some of the representatives have done or say they will do for you by going to their websites. Choose any 3 reps in local, city, state or the federal gov't.
My local borough representative currently is Eric L. Adams. Adams has worked to expand the MTA and the routes taken to the overall transit network. He launched the Utica Avenue Task Force to advise the MTA on expanding and increasing ridership. He has even created a free out of station transfer for riders who previously had to pay 2 fares while transferring between the L and 3 trains at Brownsville. He has also been working with the MTA in order to have New Yorkers using the train system easily for out-of-station transfers.
My city representative currently is Bill de Blasio. He has worked to implement universal Pre-K. This means that all New Yorkers would have publicly funded Pre-K. Taxes would also be increased for all residents. This program was implemented to combat the absence of parents, since many work full time jobs. It has also been proven that children who are in school for longer pursue further education. Many parents have to go back to their workplace, and universal Pre-K would offer an opportunity to be less worried about the wellbeing of their children while working.
My state representative currently is Kathleen C. Hochul. Governor Hochul has recently lifted covid restrictions since 70% of New Yorkers above the age of 18 have received the first dose of the vaccine. She has also implemented the use of the excelsior pass, that serve as proof for an individual’s covid vaccination status. It also keeps track of covid test results.
My federal representative currently is Joseph R. Biden.
Homework due 10/20 Read Pg 78-88 Pg 89 # 1 AND 5
Q1) Why might some argue that the organization of the Senate is undemocratic?
A1) Some may argue that the organization of the Senate is undemocratic because there are always only two representatives, despite the fact that every state has a varying population. However, this doesn't make sense since the senate was created as a body in which the States would be represented as co equal members and partners in the Union.
Q5) How did the principle of federalism resolve the issue of national versus States’ rights?
A5) The principles of federalism resolved the issue of national versus States’ rights since it constructed the federal arrangement, with a division of powers, as a compromise. It was an alternative to both the system of nearly independent States, loosely tied to one another in the Articles of Confederation, and to a feared, powerful central government.
Wendy Weber Current Events 10/22/2021
Find an article about President Biden's Build Back Better Plan/ Infrastructure Plan. Write a paragraph or two about the proposal. Be ready to discuss in class tomorrow.
I read a short article on what the infrastructure plan is and how it will impact New Yorkers' lives. The infrastructure plan is a 3.5 trillion dollar bill that would be used towards repairing roads, bridges, tunnels and many other structures nationwide. The Build Back Better Act was the promise that they made regarding climate change, child care, affordable housing and immigration. This also means that the taxes on businesses and the rich would be increased to compensate for the increase in national debt. There is still debate on the cost of the entire bill. The bill will be revisited in December since there is no definitive conclusion that can be reached.
Now moving on to how it may affect New York residents, childcare expenses will be limited. Child tax credits will be provided, with a balance of 300 dollars a month at maximum. For seniors instead of promoting senior homes, home healthcare will be focused on. More healthcare benefits will be provided to Medicare clients too. Free education will be available to more, with 2 years of preschool, and 2 years of community college being available to all Americans. There will be new emission restrictions that will work to combat climate change.
Homework due 10/25 Read Pg 90-97 Pg 98 # 2 and 3
Q2) What is the purpose of the Bill of Rights?
A2) The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to set out the constitutional guarantees of freedom of belief and expression, of freedom and security of the person, and of fair and equal treatment before the law.
Q3) Woodrow Wilson called the Supreme Court “a constitutional convention in continuous session.” What did Wilson mean by this?
A3) Wilson called the Supreme Court “a constitutional convention in continuous session” since they are constantly interpreting and applying laws in the Constitution in ways that accommodate the changing American standard.
Homework due 10/26 Read Pg 99-108 Pg 108 # 1, 4 and 5
Q1) How does the Supremacy Clause impact disputes among States or between States and the National Government?
A1) The Supreme Clause joins the National Government and States into a single government unit, which is the federal government. It is called the “linchpin of the Constitution” and is the reason our complicated federal system is able to work. The supreme clause works as a law for everybody to follow for disputes between states. The national government does have more power over state governments and in most cases, the national government wins.
Q4) Anna wanted to apply for a license to become a lawyer in the State of Alabama. Would she apply to the federal or State government for the license? Why?
A4) In the case that Anna wanted to apply for a license to become a lawyer in the State of Alabama, she would have to apply to the state government for the license. Reserved powers are powers that the constitution does not deny to the states. The Constitution states that states have the reserved power to require a license for various careers.
Q5) What approach did the Framers of the Constitution use to limit the powers of the National Government, and why was that approach successful?
A5) The Framers of the Constitution limited the National Government's power by the approach of Separation of Powers, as well as checks and balances to keep each branch from gaining too much power. Checks and balances prevent one branch from taking over the entire government.
Homework Due 10/27 Read Pg 109-120 Pg 120 # 1 and 2
Q1) The Constitution requires the National Government to “guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,” but the Supreme Court has refused to define the term “Republican Form of Government.” Why is this the case?
A1) The Supreme Court has refused to define the term “Republican Form of Government” because the constitution does not define this. It means that the structure is a representative government. The court believes that the issue is political and not legal, so it would be right to leave it for state and National governments to decide.
Q2) Would it be legal for Congress to allow a territory of the United States to become a full State on the condition that it chooses a new governor? Why or why not?
A2) It would not be legal based on a Supreme Court decision that states that congress can’t compromise the independence of a state. Congress also states that they can not compromise the state's ability to manage its own internal affairs.
Wendy Weber Sub lesson Tuesday: Read the link on Supreme Court case McCullough v Maryland. Explain the case. Then Explain how the Elastic Clause (Necessary and Proper Clause) is used in the decision to justify the creation of the National Bank.
The case was about banks being taxed. Maryland passed legislation to impose taxes on the Second Bank of the United States two years after the creation. However, the cashier of the Baltimore branch named James McCulloch refused to pay this tax to the government. This caused the state to bring this issue to court, stating that they were unconstitutional since the Constitution does not state that the government is obligated to charter a bank. The court concluded that congress has the power to incorporate the bank. They also stated that Maryland could not tax the property of the national government employed in the execution of constitutional powers. This means that the states have no power by taxation to impede upon constitutional laws set by congress. It states that Congress's powers do not have to be explicitly stated in the constitution. The elastic clause or the necessary and proper clause is used in the decision to justify the creation of the National Bank because it grants congress the power to pass all necessary and proper laws that will help them carry out the enumerated list of powers.
Wendy Weber - Read the slide titled Article 1 Section 9 and 10. Choose 2 items listed in Section 9 and write why they are the most important powers to you.
Two items listed in Section 9 are that Congress can’t deny due process, and that they can’t pass any direct taxes on the people. Congress not being able to deny due process is important to me since it allows for fair judicial treatment. It ensures that people are innocent until proven guilty, which shows how people who lose their life, liberty and property and people who have been charged for criminal offenses. Congress not being allowed to pass any direct taxes on the people is important to me since taxes are on practically every item that can be purchased. Since they are set by the states, depending on the location, taxes may be lower. This ensures that Congress is not solely in control of how much money they can get from purchases.
Wendy Weber Sub work for Friday
Read Slide for Article 1 Section 9 and 10 again.
Add another thing you would ban Congress from being able to do.
Add another thing you would ban the States from being able to do.
I would ban Congress from coining a new currency. It would prevent the government from being able to have control over all of the money that has been put out into the public. There should also be a limit to the amount of new money that they can print, especially with the possibility of inflation, and an economic depression that can follow.
I would ban States from having trained militias and any sort of non-government affiliated body of protection. Although section 10 states that they can have trained militias, with the presence of an army, a navy, and military power present in the government, it is not necessary. Additionally, it may be harmful in the case of the military coming to that state since there can be conflicting commands.