Reducing Federal Government’s discretionary Powers and Balanced Government Budget

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Limiting the federal government's discretionary power and ensuring a balanced budget

The term "discretionary power" refers to the ability of the federal government to grant authority to government bodies and allow them to take different acts within the bounds of their specific mandate. According to Findlay and Henham (2010), these powers are conferred by statute or delegation with the understanding that they will be used in line with the law. In order for public administrators to use their expertise and experience in creating solutions for specific government tasks, it is crucial that flexible decision-making capabilities be provided. Government personnel have been given the authority to decide on matters pertaining to government operations, yet there have been several instances of of the misuse of the discretionary powers. On the other hand, balanced government budget refers to the budget levels where the revenues generated equals the expenditure incurred in a given financial year. In other research analysis, the balanced budget may refer to the situation where the revenues are higher than the expenditure (Findlay & Henham, 2010). Having a balanced budget provides the government with the stability in interest rates, investments, and savings, and fastens the economic growth of the nation.

Discretionary powers

The advocacy position regarding discretionary powers

The delegation of discretionary powers provides the administrative bodies with the flexibility of conducting government functions through a faster and more technical manner. Through conferring the powers to a delegated body, the sense of responsibility arises where these bodies dispense regulated actions in a responsible manner knowing that they will be held accountable. This liberty also allows the administrative bodies to exercise critically their technical skills acquired in the particular field to provide decisions that have been keenly evaluated (Findlay & Henham, 2010). In addition, the provision of discretionary powers enhances the speed of conducting government functions through the involvement of the public administrators, who have a limited scope of conducting their activities.

Criticism of discretionary powers to the government

The aspect of ‘ultra vires,' which means the use of power beyond the scope of authority given is a common issue arising due to providing discretionary authority to public administrators. Under certain circumstances, the administrative bodies may overuse the authority given to either manipulate or perform actions beyond the limitations given to them. The misuse of the power is a major challenge under discretion since it may be used to satisfy the intentions of the public officials, even though it may not be the will of the people. Furthermore, the provision of discretionary power leads to the difficulty of controlling such bodies because these bodies have a flexible authority to dispense actions under means that deem fit for them. On the other hand, some delegated bodies may provide sub-delegation of their discretionary powers thus misusing the discretionary powers granted to them. Under the delegation of discretionary powers, an administrative body is restricted to sub-delegate its powers unless prescribed by the law (Findlay & Henham, 2010).

My position regarding discretionary powers

The government should provide discretion of power that is limited by a particular scope of authority, which gives the administrative bodies the power to conduct individualized decisions that are guided by the law. Indeed, we agree that the government cannot operate single handedly since is a vast body and needs the help of other administrative bodies to dispense the government functions to the society. However, the scope of authority given to the bodies should be limited through various means such a providing a code of conduct prescribed under the delegated laws, which illustrate the maximum scope of authority guiding these bodies. Secondly, the government can set up regulatory bodies to conduct inspections and ensure that such administrative bodies granted with the discretionary powers are functioning under the restrictions prescribed by law. Therefore, it is evident that the administrative bodies should be granted limited authority to eliminate abuse of power and misuse of the authority given.

Balanced government budget

Advocacy position for balanced government budget

Every economy strives to either maintain a balanced budget or raise a surplus revenue. This is because a deficit in budget results to the federal debts and increases the cost of living, thus hindering the growth of the economy. For this reason, a balanced government budget results to a decrease in the interest rates, which is an essential factor for local and foreign investments (Gootzeit, 1987). Most investors analyze the interest rates level to know how profitable their investments will become. For lower interest rates, the level of accessing loans for capital goods will be enhanced thus promoting growth and more revenue for the economy.

A balanced government budget reduces trade deficits and allows more exports from the industrial and technological zones (Stone, 2015). When the government incurs a balanced budget, it propels economic growth through regional development thus boosting the productivity of the country. For this reason, the amount of goods available for exports increases thus recording a positive balance of payments. This further propels the long-term economic growth and enhances improvement in government dispensation of services and public goods.

Critical view of the balanced government budget

Despite the advantages of enhancing economic growth and the positive balance of payments, it occurs that enforcing a balanced budget is difficult due to the uncertainty in the cash flows to be generated in that financial year. A balanced government budget depends on the income cash flows generated and the expenditure, which is difficult to maintain and estimate the amount. This is because the motive of money as described by Keynes indicates that money can be used for transactionary, precautionary, and speculative purposes (Gootzeit, 1987). The government may have set a particular fixed budget for transactionary purposes, but may still incur costs due to the cyclical economic changes and uncertainty that may arise during the financial year. This makes it hard to estimate and maintain a particular level of balanced budget.

My position on balanced government budget

Enforcing a balanced government budget, which is composed of either equal or surpluses, is an important factor for the economy since it ensures a smooth run in economic growth. The gradual growth of the economy provided by a balanced budget eliminates the economic shocks that may arise due to excessive surplus, which may result in a depression (Stone, 2015). When there is an excess surplus in the economy, money increases in households, thus leading to inflationary effects and devaluation of the currency. However, when the balanced budget is maintained, such shocks are eliminated thus promoting a smooth growth that attracts more investments in the country. Furthermore, a balanced government budget ensures a positive balance of payments where the exports exceed the imports. Such activities enhance regionals growth and promote industrialization development. In addition, the balanced government budget promotes surplus thus limiting government debts that may arise from over spending.


Findlay, M., & Henham, R. (2010). Transformed Process through Enhanced Discretionary Power. Beyond Punishment: Achieving International Criminal Justice, 148-187. doi:10.1057/9780230250567_6

Gootzeit, M. J. (1987). Adam Smith on Balanced Budget Government Spending. History of Economics Society Bulletin, 8(02), 27. doi:10.1017/s1042771600001277

Stone, J. A. (2015). Do Balanced-Budget Rules Increase Growth? Bulletin of Economic Research, 68(1), 79-89. doi:10.1111/boer.12038

February 01, 2023

Government Economics


Political Science Finance

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