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Different policy analysis frameworks exist for particular intended purposes. One policy analysis may be good for a particular purpose and not another. Similarly there exist different world views or paradigms for different policy analysis. This paper will summarize Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief Act of 2011. The act is a recently enacted public law that seeks to advance human rights, and social and economic justice. The paper will also ascertain the policy framework and paradigm used in the formulation of this policy. In addition the paper will propose an alternative policy framework and approach to deal with the limits of the first one.
“Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief Act of 2011” seeks to advance human rights and social and economic justice. This policy provides incentives for job creation and tax relief amongst other provisions. The Middle Class Job Creation and Tax Relief was introduced as a bill in the legislature on ninth December two thousand and eleven. As a bill it passed House amended on December two thousand and eleven. On seventeenth December two thousand and eleven the bill passed senate amended. A conference report was then filed in the house on sixteenth February two thousand and twelve. The bill officially became a public law and a policy on twenty second February two thousand and twelve (Office of Management and Budget, 2012).
The Tax Relief and Job Creation policy for the middle class has many provisions. This policy provides extension of payroll reduction of tax. The new policy provides for 2% reduction in employment tax for self employed individuals and employees. The job creation act of 2010 is to extent through the remainder of 2012 (Mindy, 2012).
The Middle Class Job Creation and Tax Relief Policy of 2012 also advocates for unemployment benefit continuation. The act also advocates for the improvement of unemployment benefit continuation program. The policy calls for reforms in unemployment compensation. The act requires laws on compensation in states for them receive the grants. For an individual to receive unemployment compensation in any week in the states for example, they have to fulfill several conditions according to this policy. The unemployed claimant has to actively seeking work, available for work and be able to work (Office of Management and Budget, 2012).
The Middle Class Job Creation and Tax Relief Act of 2012 stipulate that unemployment compensation program should endeavor to create jobs and hence promote work. The policy directs the secretary of labor to coordinate with as much as ten states and conduct project demonstration. The demonstrations should then be tested and evaluated. This will help in speeding up reemployment for those qualify for unemployment compensation. The Middle Class Job Creation and Tax Relief Policy of 2012 policy also states; the state should obtain finances from the federal for its short-time compensation plan. The act also directs the states to set up self- employment support program. This program is aimed at providing individuals with an allowance to start self employment program. The policy also allows a partaker of the self-employment program freedom to end such participation (Hoefer, 2012).
Middle Class Job Creation and Tax Relief Policy of 2012 act also provide for medical care extensions. Section 508 hospital reclassification was to continue up to thirty first march two thousand and twelve. Temporary payroll tax cut was to continue up to the end of 2012. The policy proposed episode-based or bundled payment to physicians for services such as treatment of one or more chronic diseases. These chronic diseases outlined include diabetes, heart failure or cancer. Doctors performing medical device implantation were also to be paid through episode or bundled payment. The controller general was also directed to examine institutions administering private, insurance cover or group health plans. These institutions were to adjust physician payment rates on the basis of efficiency and quality (Jimenez, 2012). Furthermore, these private health institutions were needed to improve their care delivery activities.
Other changes in the health care extension included expansion of qualifying individual program up to the end of 2012. The total amount accessible for the same program also extends to the end of 2012. The Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief policy of 2011 policy also extended another health program; transnational medical support to December 31, 2012. The public policy reduces medical clinical laboratory charges by 2% effective s from 2014 onwards. The act also increases federal employee pension contribution by 2.3% for those who have less than 5years creditable civilian service (Office of Management and Budget, 2012).
There are three major policy analyses: process, product, performance analysis (Chambers, 2007). In formulating the “Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief Act of 2012” used process policy analysis. The agenda setting and implementation described below characterize process policy analysis. This policy focuses on the existing problems and the existing responses to these challenges. This is evidenced by the fact that in the formulation of the policy, the point of focus was on technical methodological and sociopolitical variables. The social variables considered in Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief Act of 2012 addressed issues that affect the society. To be specific the policy addressed the problem of the unemployed. In addition the policy aims at increasing access to medical health. The policy also dealt with the issue of remuneration of heath workers (Mindy, 2012).
To be specific the issues addressed by the “Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief Act of 2012” stemmed from a political concern. The issues dealt with by the policy are politically motivated. This is shown by the fact that the issues presented in the policy came from the politicians. The issues had to be addressed in the parliament. The bill passed through several stages before becoming a public law or policy. The bill passed through the House amended on December 9, 2011. The bill also passed senate amended on December 17, 2011. This was followed by a conference report filed in the house on February 9, 2012. The bill officially became a legitimate policy on February 22, 2012. This process demonstrates the dynamics of formulation the Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief policy of 2012(Mindy, 2012). One of the major focus of this dynamic as demonstrated is political the political variables.
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The Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief policy of 2012 also focused on the social variable as is always the case with process policy analysis. This policy focused on the societal needs. The policy aims at addressing societal problems. The problem in focus was the issue of high tax rate. The second issue concerned unemployment. The third area of focus was peoples’ access to health facilities. The fourth agenda was the exploitation by private health institutions. The last area of area of focus was change on some methodology of payment of health workers. These issues as much they were social but they were also politically driven (Jimenez, 2012).
The Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief policy of 2012 policy addressed the above issues in several ways. In solving problems associated with heath the act stipulates provision for medical care extensions. Provisional payroll tax cut was to carry on up to the end of 2012. To solve the issue of high tax rate, employment tax was reduced by two percent for employees and those in self employment. To solve the issue of unemployment the Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief Act of 2012 proposed both temporal and long term solutions. The policy proposed continuation of the job creation act of 2010. Furthermore, the new act emphasizes on not only continuation but also improvement of unemployment benefits.
The Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief Act of 2012 also advocates for formulation of policies on unemployment benefits within states before they can receive grants. In particular the policy stipulated a prerequisite for receiving unemployment compensation. The policy states that for an individual to receive unemployment compensation in any week he or she has have been actively seeking work, available for work and be able to work. The policy also stipulates that unemployment compensation program should endeavor to promote work through creating jobs. It is important to note that the Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief Act of 2012 not only set agendas but also directs action to be taken by various stakeholders. This is a characteristic of a process policy framework (Gupta, 2007).
Some of the actions the Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief Act of 2012 policy directs are short lived while others are long term. The policy instructs the secretary of labor to conduct project demonstration in collaboration with up to ten states. The demonstrations projects are to be tested and evaluated. Implementation of these actions will help speed up reemployment to those who meet the requirements for unemployment compensation (Mindy, 2012). In addition the actions will go along way to help states implement laws on reemployment effectively.
The Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief Act of 2012 directs states to obtain funds from the federal government for its short period compensation program. The new act also directs the states to start self- employment support programs. This program gives an opportunity to persons with an unemployed compensation allowance to start self employment program. The policy also gives a partaker of the self-employment program liberty to end such involvement. (Sec. 2183) of the Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief policy of 2012 directs the secretary to make use of the available resources in conjunction with the Labor department and administrator of the small business. The secretary is also to ensure funds for entrepreneurial training is made available to members of self-employment support program (Office of Management and budget, 2012).
Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief policy of 2012 instructs secretary health and human services to give bundled or episode-based payment to medical doctors when handling special services such as management of one or more chronic sicknesses. These ailments include diabetes, cancer or heart failure. The secretary of health and human services was also directed to apply such considerations to doctors whenever they were performing medical device implantation to patients.
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Similarly the Controller General was also instructed to examine private institutions offering insurance cover or health services. The Controller General was to ensure these private institutions adjusted doctors’ payment rates focusing on quality and efficiency. Furthermore, these private health institutions were needed to improve their care delivery activities.
Paradigm of the Process Policy Analysis
Similar to any research the policy analysis framework are founded on varied sets of ideologies or paradigmatic perceptions and assumptions. The different paradigms range from being objective to subjective. They also range from maintaining status quo to demanding radical change (Grupta, 2007). A critical analysis of Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief policy of 2011 reveals the use of interpretive paradigm. The world view assumes that the world is orderly similar to the rational paradigm. However, the interpretive paradigm emphasizes on understanding of relationships and varied perspectives. The understanding of the later phenomenon gives inter-subjective meaning possible. To interpretive paradigm subjective and interpretive constituents of a policy are very important. Interpretive paradigm takes a circular, political, or power oriented approach to the product and process analysis (Grupta, 2007).
Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief policy of 2012 takes an interpretive approach. This policy focuses on a political approach. The Tax relief and Middle Class Job Creation Act was formulated from a political context. Political interests fueled the proposal, discussion and enactment and implementation of this policy. Furthermore, the terms of the policy have taken an interpretive approach. The issues addressed by the Middle Class Job Creation and Tax Relief policy are contextual. The problems identified and addressed by this policy are not general but affect a certain group of people. In the context, the policy addresses the problem of the unemployed, those receiving medical attention and the medical doctors.
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The Middle Class Job Creation and Tax Relief Act of 2012 recognizes that people have different problems which need specialized policies to deal with them. The policy is able to identify that the employed and the unemployed have varied needs. The needs are to be solved using different approaches (Chambers 2007). The unemployed according to the Middle Class Job Creation and Tax Relief Policy of 2012 are to receive unemployment compensation. They are also to receive entrepreneurial training and funds so that they can be self employed. However, when the problem touches the whole group, the policy covers all those members. An example of this caliber in Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief policy of 2011 is the in the reduction of 2% employment tax. High tax on employees had affected the entire middle class group.
Justification of the Process Policy Analysis Framework
In the context ofThe Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief Act of 2012 the process policy applied was the best to be used. This is because the problems Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief Act of 2012 was addressing were political in nature. Process policy analysis best addresses these politically entrenched problems (Jimenez, 2012). The problem involved issues such as of equity in distribution of resources. The society in question had people who were unemployed. These people therefore needed to be helped deal with these problems. Still there were patients who were being exploited by the private health facility providers, they needed to be protected. Medical doctors also needed to be motivated as they perform their demanding tasks. The doctors needed better pay in the private sector as well as better and motivating ways of being paid. The advocates of the oppressed group of people are politicians.
The process policy analysis was also suitable to for The Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief policy of 2012 because of its relevance. There was need for problem identification, formulation of the agenda and action accompanying the policy (Grupta, 2007). The process policy analysis used to form and enact The Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief Act of 2012 was very useful. Problems were not only identified but also a significant amount of time was used to discuss the problems. The bill passed through the House, Senate and a conference report written about it. The whole process followed by the bill before become a law is important because it removes any bias and prejudice in the final policy.
The use of process policy analysis has both gains and losses. The process policy used the interpretive paradigm. The interpretive paradigm is advantageous in that it is able to identify the exact problem of part or the whole society and how to deal with them (Hoefer, 2012). In short the process policy analysis method does not use trial and error. The users of these policies are therefore assured that there are most likely to be relevant to their users. One of the examples of process policy analysis framework is the Jansson’s policy analysis structure. This framework is important in focusing matters which may need background information. Such a framework is beneficial in examining policies such as the progress of state or federal bills legislation process. The framework is also of prime importance since it outlines the political give and take which led to the formulation of certain bills. The process policy framework is also important because it gives alternative recommendations and solutions.
A disadvantage of the process policy analysis is that it makes assumptions of how choice of policy are made. This is especially with Jasson’s policy analysis framework. The assumption is dangerous, especially in a politically charged environment (Chambers, 2007). This is because in certain context politics determines the choice of policy. Process policy framework brings little or piecemeal change in society. This is because process policy mostly uses interpretive approach which targets only few specific individuals and their problem in the society. The problems of the entire society are not handled. The entire process policy is expensive and time consuming.
Performance policy analysis emphasizes on the pragmatic outcomes of the policy chosen. For this policy, it is interested in both implementation and impact. The functionalist approach on the other hand aims at challenging mass oppression. The approach is therefore aimed at changing the current social order. Radical or progressive framework fights for revolutionary changes in social structure. The fight for social equity by the progressive framework is aimed at destroying the status quo(Hoefer, 2012). The use performance process analysis and radical approach will help deal with the limits of the process policy analysis using the interpretive approach. The most important advantage being that policy will liberate the whole society. This is different from the narrow focus of a process analysis framework in conjunction with the interpretive approach helping only a few members of the society.
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There is hardly a better policy analysis approach than the other. The use of any policy analysis methods depends on intended purpose. This paper has looked at various important aspects of policy analysis. In the first place we choose a recently enacted public policy in the United States which sought to advance human rights and social and economic justice. This was Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief policy of 2012. We outlined some of the contents of this policy. We also analyzed the kind of policy framework and approach used in this policy. We found out that process policy analysis had been used in formulating Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief act of 2012. The paradigm used in formulating the policy was the interpretive approach.
This paper also justified the use of the policy process analysis in Middle Class Job Creation and Tax relief policy of 2011. We also looked at the gains and losses of process policy analysis. An alternative policy framework and approach to overcome the limits of the process policy analysis and interpretive world view was proposed. The alternative policy framework proposed was the performance policy framework. The radical or progressive approach was proposed to be used alongside performance policy analysis.