The governmental systems in the United States - federal, state, county, and local - are quite easy to understand, that is, if you grew up with them and studied them in school. One foreign expert complained, for example, that the complexity of just the cities' political and governmental structure is "almost unbelievable." The "real Chicago," he explained ", spreads over 2 states, 6 counties, 10 towns, 30 cities, 49 townships, and 110 villages. Overlaid upon this complex pattern are 235 tax districts and more than 400 school districts..."
There are, however, several basic principles which are found at all levels of American government. One of these is the "one person, one vote" principle which says that legislators are elected from geographical districts directly by the voters. Under this principle, all election districts must have about the same number of residents.
Another fundamental principle of American government is that because of the system of checks and balances, compromise in politics is a matter of necessity, not choice. For example, the House of Representatives controls spending and finance, so the President must have its agreement for his proposals and programmes. He cannot declare war, either, Without the approval of Congress. In foreign affairs, he is also strongly limited. Any treaty must first be approved by the Senate. If there is no approval, there's no treaty. The rule is "the President proposes, but Congress disposes." What a President wants to do, therefore, is often a different thing from what a President is able to do.
Complete the following text with the verbs from the box, using them in the appropriate form.
| to divide;
|| to manage;
|| to warrant;
| to be based on;
|| to follow;
|| to provide;
| to track down;
|| to deal with;
|| to cross;
| to be put;
|| to be enforced;
|| to involve;
| to break;
|| to be established;
|| to be presented.
The whole system of American government a)_________ the principles b)_________ in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The people believe that the government should c)_________ a framework of law and order in which they are much the same pattern as the federal left free to run their own lives.
The state governments d)_________ government. Each has a governor as the chief executive, with power e)_________ among the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches. State governments
f)_________ such affairs as maintaining order, educating children and young adults, and building highways. The federal government g)_________ national problems and international relations and with regional problems that h)_________ more than one state. Laws affecting the daily lives of citizens i)_________ by police in the cities and towns. Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - the famous FBI - j)_________ criminals who k)_________ state borders or who l)_________ federal laws.
Before an accused person can m)_________ on trail for a serious crime in a federal court -or in the courts of many states - the case must n)_________ o)_________ to a grand jury of private citizens who decide whether there is enough evidence of probable guilt p)_________ a trial.
Find in the texts the English equivalents for the following words and expressions
- избирательный округ;
- объявлять войну;
- международный договор;
- одобрение Конгресса;
- внешняя политика;
- глава исполнительной власти;
- проводить в жизнь закон;
- поддерживать правопорядок;
- выслеживать преступников;
- быть строго ограниченным;
- представить дело на рассмотрение жюри присяжных заседателей.
Answer the questions.
1. What are the basic principles which are found at all levels of American government?
2. How do you understand the saying: "The President proposes, but Congress disposes"?
3. Who is the chief executive in each state?
4. What laws do the local police enforce?
Cost of Government
The average cost of all governments - federal, state and local - to each man, woman and child in the United States is $4,539 a year. About two-thirds of all taxes collected go to the federal government.
The individual income tax provides the federal government slightly less than half its revenues. A person with an average income pays about 11 per cent of it to the government; those with very large incomes must pay up to 50 per cent. Many states also have their own income taxes. Many other taxes - on property, entertainments, automobiles, etc. - are levied to provide funds for national, state and local governments.
Federal government spending for defence purposes, including military help to other nations, has fallen as a portion of total government expenditures from 58.7 per cent in 1958 to 25.7 per cent in fiscal year 1981. The remaining
74.3 per cent of the federal budget has gone into public welfare programmes, development of water and land resources, public health and education. As a result of the expansion and increased costs of government services, the national debt has increased greatly since World War II.