Instructions: This take home final exam will be available via BlackBoard on April 19th.  Hand-in your completed exam during class on May 5, 2016.

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Total Points: 25 Points (or 25% of overall grade)

1. Chapter 6 of the text describes fiscal policy as “the use of government spending and tax policies to influence outcomes” (p. 112) and goes on to describe the importance of fiscal and monetary policy. Compare the fiscal policies of Maryland with two other states. Explain how they finance/pay for social welfare services.  Please describe each state’s fiscal approach (i.e. progressive tax, regressive tax, and proportional/flat tax) and its relationship with social justice (i.e. the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities, NASW, 1999). Differentiate which state has a more socially just/unjust and equitable/inequitable fiscal approach and why. Explain how fiscal policy and social welfare policy is related. [Worth 9 Points]

2. Congress passed the Budget Control Act (2011) that created the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. What was the role of this committee? What were the projected impacts of the Budget Control Act on social welfare programs? What has been the actual impact of the Budget Control Act on social welfare programs? [Worth 6 Points]

3. Op-eds are another tool for educating the general public about important social policy issues. In 600-800 words, write an op-ed to a newspaper about a social policy issue of your choice. Describe the social policy issue and provide a compelling reason (advocate) why you believe the policy should be passed, repealed, receive more or less funding, or if there are better policy alternative than what is currently law (your choice).  Note: Newspapers largely agree that Op-eds which are timely, well-written, and exhibit provocative opinions on topics of local interest are most likely to be published. In other words, ensure that your Op-Ed is timely, well-written, and provocative. [Worth 9 Points]

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