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September 19, 2018 

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ASSUMPTION: An initial condition or statement that sets the stage for an analysis by abstracting from the real world. Assumptions are important to economic theories and economic analysis. Some assumptions are used to simplify a complex analysis into more easily manageable parts. These establish idealistic benchmarks that can be used to evaluate real world conditions. Other assumptions are used as control conditions that are subsequently changed to evaluate the effect of the change. The use of ceteris paribus assumptions in comparative statics analysis is an excellent example.

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BALANCED-BUDGET AMENDMENT: A proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would constrain total government spending to be less than or equal to total tax collections. Such an amendment would effectively eliminate the federal deficit, which results when the spending exceeds taxes. The logic behind such an amendment is to prevent discretionary use of fiscal policy, which is often blamed for political business cycles and the resulting problems of inflation and unemployment. It is also touted as a way to limit the size of the Federal government.

     See also | government | budget deficit | budget surplus | government purchases | taxes | transfer payments | fiscal policy | political business cycle | conservative | money supply rule | automatic stabilizers | inflation | unemployment |


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AD VALOREM TAX

A tax specified as a percentage of the price or value of a good, service, asset, or other activity. Ad valorem taxes tend to be broad based, imposed on activities such as income and retail sales. In fact, the two most important ad valorem taxes are income taxes and sales taxes. People pay a percentage of their incomes in income taxes or a percentage or the value of their purchases in sales taxes, regardless of the amount of time spent working or the quantities of goods purchases. An alternative is a per unit tax, with is a tax specified as a percentage of the physical quantity of a good.

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