Ideas For Teachers - January 2015

Websites and videos for additional study:

The Constitution and President Obama's Executive Orders

Balanced Budget Amendment

The links above are to established, peer reviewed journals. Peer reviews are the evaluations of work by professional journalists who hold other journalists to standards of truth-in-reporting. SGAP makes a concerted effort to provide links to reliable sources, and to provide links to a balance of left-leaning and right-leaning publications. The links have been shortened for your convenience. Issue # 1 – Do you think President Obama has acted illegally and stepped outside the Constitution with his executive orders (EOs)? See these important EOs:
  • Harry Truman integrates the army, here and here.
  • Eisenhower desegregation, here.
  • FDR's internment of Japanese, here.
If Congress does not approve of a President's executive order, it can sometimes pass a bill to defund the program supporting that order. The President can veto that bill. And Congress, with enough votes, can override that veto. Does the U.S. President always get his way? Does Congress always get its way? Issue # 2 - Should Congress send a Balanced Budget Amendment to the states to be ratified? Supporters of the amendment argue that it would force the federal government to spend responsibly. Critics say such an amendment would slow economic growth, especially during recessions, when tax revenue is down and more people depend on the government for social welfare benefits. If both are at least partially true, what do you think Congress should do? Are other ways available to force responsible spending? Could the amendment be worded to allow for economic downturns?