President - President Reading Assignments: Schmidt,...

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President Reading Assignments: This chapter will compare/contrast the responsibilities, roles, powers, and problems associated with the office of the US Presidency . US Presidency What Role Should the President Play : There are different ideas about how active the President should be in structuring our policy. On the one hand, there is the Taftian or Whig theory of the Presidency which is the more limited view. This suggests that Congress should be the more dominant branch and that the President's powers and responsibilities are limited to those responsibilities and powers explicitly enumerated in the Constitution. President Taft was one of the Presidents who adopted this point of view. To a more limited degree, President Eisenhower did as well. On the other hand, there is the more expansive stewardship theory of the Presidency. In this instance, the President can assume any responsibilities or powers not prohibited to him by the Constitution. Presidents Jackson, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and all Presidents since Lyndon Johnson have take the stewardship view. Responsibilities: Of all the private and governmental positions in the entire world, no position is accorded more responsibility and a more diverse range of roles than the US President. As we shall see, the actual powers of the Presidency do not match up to his/her responsibilities. Nevertheless, the President is charged (unrealistically, it turns out) with responsibility for the state of the US economy; with the security of the US from external threats; with the need to lead US Foreign Policy; with the responsibility to define priorities and policy on a diverse range of domestic issues including the environment, health, education, crime, tax policy, and social justice (to name only some). Some would also have him/her serve as a moral exemplar for the country; a responsibility many feel Clinton has failed. In many respects, the tendency to heap so much responsibility on the US President is analogous to the attitude of some naive football fans (or owners!) toward the Head Coach. It is really unrealistic to make the Head Coach solely responsible for the team's defeats or victories; but this is the individual who will be assessed that blame in the case of defeat or who will claim that credit in the instance of victory. Degree of Power US President has to set American Policy: : Allocating to the Presidency responsibility for a particular issue is not the same as giving the President real power to carry some of these responsibilities out. We will see that the President has much more power in Foreign Policy than he does in Domestic Policy. We will use the
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example of Economic Policy and decisions on the use of military force to illustrate this difference. The President's Ability to Set US Economic Policy:
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President - President Reading Assignments: Schmidt,...

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