At the federal level, the two categories of budgetary expenditures are entitlement and discretionary spending.
Current law provides rights to spouses of retirement plan participants. Protections are stronger in defined benefit (DB) plans than in defined contribution (DC) plans.
In addition to setting standards with respect to the minimum wage, overtime, and other factors affecting worker pay, the federal government also sets standards for workplace health and safety.
Most states and localities generate a significant portion of state and local revenue from the taxation of retail sales. Such taxes are attractive because they are relatively easy to administer.
Block grants and unfunded mandates are two government budgetary practices that can have significant implications for lower levels of government.
Federal and state governments have tried to change budget rules to control government spending. Budget rules have also been used to impose fiscal discipline.
How to improve the tax code is the subject of much debate. Proponents of reform often call for increasing fairness and simplicity. But people define those concepts in different ways.
Policymakers use the tax system to raise revenue and to promote social policy goals. For example, tax breaks may be provided to encourage home ownership.
The mainstay of local taxation is the tax on real estate, known as the property tax. It is used to fund an array of critical state and local services, most notably public schools.
Under the U.S. Constitution, people are entitled to compensation when a government takes their property. This is known as a taking.