Branches of Government Paper - USA Essay Example
The forefathers of the United States had a great vision and saw that there was a need within the government to be divided into different branches - Branches of Government Paper introduction. Before this was done, this was the first time that a democratic system was put into place from scratch all at once. The three branches that were created were the legislative, judicial, and executive branches. Reverting back to other countries and kings that had abused power, the four fathers created these three branches so that a greedy and strong president wouldn’t have the power to take over the system, instead there would be checks and balances procedures that would be put into place.
These three branches are co-equal in the since of power that each one has over the other. In order for a law to be passed, the president of the United States must sign the laws approval. If Congress has supermajority when passing a law, it may be approved if not then it has to be signed by the president. Laws may be found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and have the laws vetoed. The Supreme Court justices are nominated by the president and then approved by the Senate.
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This is an honored job to have within the justice system, once the individual is honored by receiving a seat in the Supreme Court justice, they are appointed for life so they don’t have to be worried about re-elections. These three branches of government are designed to interact smoothly with each other and keep a checks and balances structure among them. The legislative branch is the most populated with elected officials.
The legislative branch is responsible for taxation, enacting legislation, power to promote general welfare, and the power to declare war. The executive branch mainly consists of the commander in chief. Any legislation that has been written by Congress will be signed by the president or vetoed by the president. The judicial branch is made up of the nine judges elected by the president of the United States, which has the power to decide the constitutionality of legislation.
Through checks and balances the judicial branch “checks in” with the legislative branch to say that a law they passed is “unconstitutional” and may be discarded. The president can then veto votes from the legislative branch which then can be overridden and made into law. I believe that the overall success of the three branches was enough to have a structured government that has thrived over the last 200 years. The system of checks and balances are the key means that the three branches use to maintain institutional power.
It is important that these three branches of government have a continuing balance of power among them. If this doesn’t happen, a weaker branch won’t have the ability to fight off the stronger two. From my own research and from watching the news over the last 10 years I saw the Bush administration take advantage of the three systems. Some of this is due to the war against terrorism, but the Bush administration never tired in its drive to usurp congressional control of funding.
In a particularly egregious case, political appointee Thomas Scully, then the head of the Medicare and Medicaid agency, threatened to fire Medicare’s chief actuary, careerist Richard Foster, if he met Congress’ request to provide his projected costs for Bush’s proposed drug coverage legislation (Williams, 2004). Medicare was and still is a big issue in America. Thomas Scully was the head of Medicare and actually threatened Richard Foster, the chief actuary if he met with Congress and told them how much his estimates were going to be for the Bush Medicare drug legislation.
This is an example of one branch cheating the system and not working together like how the checks and balances were designed to do. Robert Pear reported in the Sept. 8 New York Times that a legal ruling found that “Scully’s threats to the actuary were ‘a prime example of what Congress was attempting to prohibit’ when it outlawed ‘gag rules’ (Williams, 2004). A gag rule forbids discussing a particular topic by members of the legislator. Checks and balances are undermined when requests to federal employees are made to exercise their central constitutional process.
I believe that there are many instances where special interests come into play in politics. A lot of what the general public knows is what we hear in the news stations. Some of that information is altered and twisted depending on the news channel. Most people focus on the politicians, their policies, and not the institution. I think that over the last quarter century there have been so many changes that the public hardly notices the slow deterioration of the government. When the colonist settled in America they were coming from what they knew as
English rule. There were some that were for in favor of federalists and some that were anti-federalist. Given the relationship that the new colonies had with England, some of those were learning towards a large scale government, and were scared of too many individual states having their own governing powers would cause havoc. The anti-federalists wanted to go with the idea of individual states rights because they could take care of their own easier and knew what their people needed and wanted better than the federal government.
Those were times of many new exciting changes in America. Nowadays, some Americans are not even aware of how America was created and what the four fathers did for our country. The economy has played a detrimental role on our country and its individual states. Majority of our states are not in such ruins financially that the federal government has to step in and bail out the states. Large scale government may not have been the best bet for America and its ideas for solving our financial needs. I believe in our system that the four fathers have created.
To come up with a plan over 200 years ago for a country that was judge being built was a lot to take on. We are now the most powerful country in the world, in large part due to the way our government is set up. I don’t see a need for change our three branches of government. I think that it was a very efficient and effective system that was created and it will never be changed. References Williams, W. (2004). No balance in branches of government. Seattle pi. Retrieved from http://www. seattlepi. com/opinion/192818_williams29. html