PUBLIC BUDGETING & FINANCE –
Assessment 2: Spring 2017 [total: 25 points]
I will analyze the quality of your argument, analysis, organization, presentation, and writing
style/ability in grading these assessments. You may use any resource to respond to these essay
questions, other than your classmates. If you use any written, electronic, or other resource,
provide a citation as well as a reference list. I do not care what style manual you use, but be
consistent in your citation/reference format. In other words: Do not use anyone else’s words or
ideas without letting me know that they are not your own. Failure to cite sources is plagiarism
and will result in a grade of “0.” Your work must be typed and double-spaced; number your
pages and put the number of each question by your response.
A. MICRO ESSAYS
Answer five of the following in a page or less each. Define and also give the significance to the
study of public budgeting and finance (1 point each)
1. Budget deficit 2. U.S. debt 3. Municipal bonds 4. Tax expenditure
5. gross receipts tax 6. Income elasticity 7. Economic efficiency
B. MAJOR INTEGRATIVE ESSAYS (10 points each)
Respond to two of the following essay questions. You need to address these questions with
thoughtful ANALYSIS in order to do well. When a question calls for your opinion, support and
defend that opinion. Generally, I challenge you to be creative, and give as many examples as you
can. I don’t care what your opinions are (I mean that I won’t discriminate against you if your
opinions are not the same as mine!); I just want you to tell me why you have them, and, of
course, your reasons must be logical! It is better to err on the side of giving more information
rather than not enough.
1. Compare and contrast the fiscal health of the states of California, Mississippi, and Nevada in
great detail, analyzing the use of particular revenue sources and patterns of spending.
2. Use an online federal budget simulator such as www.fiscalship.org to try to improve the
U.S.’s fiscal choices. Take notes as you go through the simulation; explain all of your choices.
Could you balance the budget? Have you alleviated the debt issue? Why or why not? Review
the consequences of your choices from a public finance perspective: explain the roles/difficulty/
etc. of sourcing revenue and spending patterns in your attempt at balancing the budget.
3.Compare and contrast the fiscal health of three major cities in the U.S. and two other
countries in great detail, analyzing the use of particular revenue sources and patterns of
Your work must be your own.