The term budget refers to an estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time. Most nations have budgets that outline the plans of the government within the consequent fiscal year. The Congress in the US creates a new budget for the nation every year in a process known as appropriations process (Berg and Skogley 76). After creating the budget, the Congress must then pass a law that is signed by the president authorizing the government to spend the money through the authorization bill. The difference between the authorization and appropriations bill is that the former allows for spending over several years and does not have to be enacted annually.
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A budget is used as the tool that can analyze the performance of the government. The process of budgeting is never easy and is marred with a lot of challenges. This process is hampered by some obvious challenges, which include but are not limited to the system’s complexity, dynamism, and uncertainty. In addition, budget making requires that the budget estimates be made way before the budgetary draft is prepared.
These estimates may not be accurate sometimes thereby posing the challenge of making correct budgetary allocations (De Morgan 43). The process of budget making may suffer several backlashes when politicians in the Senate and Congress keep rejecting it and sending it back for review.
The presence of long-term and short-term deficits is a major backlash to the preparation of the national budget. This scenario might arise through an imbalance between revenue and spending, aging of the population whereby many people are retiring and asking for retirement benefits, tax cuts, and unforeseen wars (Bendor, Taylor, and Gaalen 1051). In addition, sometimes the politicians tend to derail the process of budget making and approval by politicizing matters.
In this case, Congress representatives from opposing parties may use the sittings that are meant for slicing the budget to make personal attacks against each other further derailing the process. Party politics are also very influential and can be manipulated by politicians for political reasons. For example, politicians may attach appropriations to certain controversial bills to make sure the chances of these unpopular laws being rejected by voters are slim (Aftergood 17).
Varying economic philosophies are also a major hindrance to proper and smooth budget making because some people may raise opposition to the process simply because they do not understand some of its aspects well.
A black budget is defined as a budget that is allocated for a nation’s classified and other secret operations such as corporations, societies, and national departments among others. These classified expenses include military and other highly confidential expenses. It is important for citizens of the US to have adequate information about the black budget (Fogarty 447). This knowledge can assist the citizens to have confidence and trust in the budget-making process and the utilization of their national resources.
When details about the black budget are exposed, all details about the national budget are exposed; hence, a nation’s resources are accounted for up to the last dollar. In such a situation, chances of pilfering national resources are slim and unlikely. A revelation of the black budget is also important in helping the nation assess its preparedness to combat crime and defend its territory (Doyle 36). Citizens may feel more secure when their government funds their security channels more openly as they will feel more protected.
Aftergood, Steven. “Government Secrecy and Knowledge Production: A Survey of Some General Issues.” Secrecy and Knowledge Production 9.14 (2009): 17. Print.
Bendor, Jonathan, Serge Taylor, and Roland Gaalen. “Bureaucratic Expertise Versus Legislative Authority: A Model of Deception and Monitoring in Budgeting.” American Political Science Review 79.04 (2005): 1041-1060. Print.
Berg, David, and Gerald Skogley. Making the Budget Process Work, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc Pub, 1995. Print.
De Morgan, Augustus. A Budget of Paradoxes, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Print.
Doyle, Kate. “The End of Secrecy: US National Security and the Imperative for Openness.” World Policy Journal 16.1 (2009): 34-51. Print.
Fogarty, Brian. “The Strategy of the Story: Media Monitoring Legislative Activity.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 33.3 (2008): 445-469. Print.