Talk:Federal government of the United States

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Duplicate "Powers of Congress" Sections"[edit]

I do not have permission to edit this, but these should be merged. (talk) 12:48, 28 November 2012 (UTC)


The title of the government should be "Government of the United States of America" or "United States of America."

See US Treaties in force for the sovereign signing style. Each treaty is signed by the President or his or her designee for "The Government of the United States of America." Also see the current Treaties Approval information page on the US Senate website at: And the official NATO Treaty:, Articles 10, 11, 13, and 14. Lastly, Article 11 of the currently out-of-force Treaty of Tripoliy 1796-1797

The first and last pages of this treaty also prove my point: This last one is interesting since it is a treaty between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation which again highlights that the sovereigns themselves have agreed to an official name for the recognized government in that country.

Furthermore, USG is an the official abbreviation for the United States Government, which is itself a shortened version of the full title. Internal agencies often use this short hand as highlighted in these two links:

(RmanB17499 (talk) 19:39, 13 March 2012 (UTC)RmanB17499RmanB17499 (talk) 19:39, 13 March 2012 (UTC))

I believe that the use of "federal" in the title here is not in thought that that is the official name of the government, but to disambiguate it from state governments etc, and to allow for some flexibility in scope of the article (Some of the content of the page might not be "on topic on a strict "GoUSA" article). You could likely get some traction though on just adding America to the end of the article. Gaijin42 (talk) 19:43, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't mind the use of federal government, United States, United States of America, etc. And I don't think its vital to actually change the name of the article. I think it would be wise to use the official title once -- at the beginning -- and then stick to the usual shorter versions that almost everyone else uses on a daily basis. Everyone knows when you said Feds or Uncle Sam...And it's just as important that the article mentions that the GoUSA is a federated form with sovereignty at multiple layers (USG, states, and people). It's just a one time, top level thing, I think to mention its official title and then press on with more interesting stuff. — Preceding unsigned comment added by RmanB17499 (talkcontribs) 19:52, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

If you have a specific content change in mind, propose it here and see what reaction you get. Just the snips of the sentences you want changed and to what. Gaijin42 (talk) 19:56, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

I think the first sentence needs clarification or discussion. (I moved the entire first sentence discussion to a separate section in it entirety, below.)

  • I still don't buy that it's the "official" name of the federal government. You've managed to find sources that happen to use "Government of the United States", but that name is appropriate in the given context. If you look here: [1], you'll see that to official government website calls itself "U.S. federal government". Also, the bolded name at the top of the article should match the name of the article, and naming it 'Government of the United States' would be confusing and ambiguous. Finally, please use the preview button before saving changes, as you're breaking the page repeatedly. --CapitalR (talk) 19:23, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
    • Also, those references are fine for this discussion, but don't make sense in the article. It's not clear that their purpose is to provide evidence for the name. Someone first reading the article will be confused as to why there are NATO , Air Force, and Russian Treaties in the first sentence. I think that even if we go with the changed name (which I disagree with), the references are necessary. --CapitalR (talk) 19:26, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

And if you look here, scroll to the bottom left of the screen, you'll find that has a Seal that has "U.S. Government" on top and "United States of America" on the bottom. is nifty, but it's just a web-site and not legally authoritative nor binding. I'd say true authority lies in how the government has presented itself to its peers -- and what its peers at international law have called it. When at the Supreme Court it calls itself the "United States or "the government." I'm all about entity legal names...No Supreme Court case or treaty among one or several countries or tribes has ever called it just the "Federal government" without mentioning that that's just a shortcut or alias to its true name. If i'm incorrect, please find me an authoritative citation that says so. Even the preamble of the Constitution ends with " Constitution for the United States of America." What does a Constitution enable or constitute? It commences a Government of the United States of America. Also see the signing section Article VII and the full title of the head of the executive department in Article II, Section 1 where it specifically entitled the executive as "President of the United States of America."

Agreement or disagreement is fine, but I need legal facts not just mere web-site. I'll concede that one of my cites is just a Senate web-site -- but that's again to show in the deep workings of the government (outside of the treaties themselves) that's how the government views itself and its name.

( (talk) 21:27, 14 March 2012 (UTC)RmanB17499129.24.0.10 (talk) 21:27, 14 March 2012 (UTC))

This is good argument for what is the name of the united states. IT is not an argument about what the official name of the government of the united states is. There is a difference there, and the distinction is one I think you are missing.additionally, your analysis of what the constitution etc constitutes is or/synth (although relatively straightforward or/synth in this case). It may well be that the government itself has no official name, in which case just consensus will rule. The treaty is with "The United States of America", not with "The government of the united states of america", so, I don't really see that as an argument one way or another. Federal Government has clear support from WP:COMMONNAME, but I would support the comprimise we had before of "The Federal Government of The United States of America" Gaijin42 (talk) 21:36, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

See this UK Supreme Court case where the USG is a defendant in a case, too

Please cite an authority that uses another name in an official capacity.

I would also be totally okay with saying the official name of the government is "United States of America" since most contracts are signed by an individual (say IRS officer) for "the United States of America." See the bottom of this ADA settlement agreement (last page) for how they sign payouts, etc.

Common names are well and good and should be used throughout the article, but it should present its full legal entity name at the beginning.

We can agree to disagree. Also let's look at a bill that has been passed by the House, Senate, and signed by the president: S.1710 It specifically is captioned "One Hundred Twelfth Congress of the United States of America" Not a Congress of the US or Congress of the Federal Government or anything else. Further it will say "Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled," I ask anyone to find me a caption that says the government gives itself a different name other than "Government of the United States of America" or "United States of America" in official capacity at the start of any document or end of any contract. Than we can have more than a discussion of ideas -- we can look at cold, hard legal facts. Review George Washington's inaugural address or farewell address -- he did not use the word "Federal" once. I realize that I have pointed out many sources in history, law, international affairs, and contracts. I think the opposing side that argues for another name for the government should at least do the same.

Take out a penny or dollar from your wallet, look at how the government signed that, even. Or the front cover of our American passports.

I'll disagree that it's synthesis or non-original research for the name of the government itself. All these documents were produced by the government or a peer government and signed into law or incorporated into United States Treaties or issued (money) by the sovereign, directly. Therefore, it must be how the sovereign wishes to be titled. (It wrote in its own name). As for the other part of the issue -- the first sentence -- I think that's one for discussion, since it is difficult to define in a single sentence. (See below for first sentence discussion).

( (talk) 21:42, 14 March 2012 (UTC)RmanB17499129.24.0.10 (talk) 21:42, 14 March 2012 (UTC))

I am going to stop responding, because you keep missing my point. All of the sources you are citing (except the UK case above, which does show your point, but is not conclusive) are naming the United States of America itself. The dollar bill does not have the word government on it at all, nor does a passport. nobody has any difference of opinion about what the name of the country is. The question is, does the government itself have an official name. by keeping the "federal government" words out of the quotes in the sentence, we avoid that problem, but if you are going to try to get that part into the quotes, then you do not have consensus for that, and overlinking the first sentence of the page to prove your WP:POINT is disruptive. None of those sources are naming the government, they are naming the country. (Again, with the exception of the UK link, but just because that is a name that is used in a court case does not mean that is the official name of the entity. The UK court is not the arbitrator of what the US government calls itself. Gaijin42 (talk) 23:40, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

The treaty link uses "Government of the United States" and "United States Government" with United States Government having a # lead. Inconclusive. Gaijin42 (talk) 00:25, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

A treaty is made between two or more governments and/or international organizations not between country. A country could have a single nationality or more. One country of say Irish could be divided over more than one nation-state. I think money and passports shows a clear preference when the federal government writes its name, voluntarily, it chooses "United States of America" as its mark. When it executes contracts and agreements it follows the same path. International agreements follow that pattern, too. Therefore the federal government of the United States is either "United States of America" or the "Government of the United States of America.". To contrast, there was a rebellios group of states that joined another government that self titled itself as the "Confederate States of Anerica.". Every time the USG sues in Scotus it uses "United States" even when it is suing a state.

I think great homage and respect should be paid to the name the nation state uses on its official papers, contracts, treaties, and in court documents. If it was the will of the sovereign to call itself the Federal government in official business then it would so. Even the format of bills and laws seem to concur.

I suggest therefore that the federal governments name ought to be listed once at the beginning in its official format as either "United States of America" or "Government of the United States of America.".

See also US v Lopez a Scotus case in 1995 which also undoubtedly had the sovereign write in its own name or better yet how about a us vs potus case as in us v nixon at Scotus:

And again for those that think differently I invite citations...

( (talk) 02:53, 15 March 2012 (UTC)RmanB1749166.147.79.71 (talk) 02:53, 15 March 2012 (UTC))

are you a US citizen? I am asking not to insult etc, but because there are some subtleties about why we call the govt the federal government that may not be obvious to non-citizens. We have many governments that are the US govt, including 50 state governments. In any case, google federal government and notice the many US gov official sites using that term. There are many ways to refer to the govt, and none of them is provably superiorGaijin42 (talk) 03:26, 15 March 2012 (UTC) Yes I am a natural born American from Hackensack, New Jersey. I understand federal government, the Feds, the states, uncle sam, etc are part of our daily conversation. I feel that each legal entity has one only one name at a moment and it should be shown respect. The usg operates continuously with many aliases, short cuts, or abbreviations like USG or the government at Washington, etc. a good article should mention the rich availability of what we call the federal layer of government... But it should also mention in official capacities it's title is stylzed as the united states government or united states of America. I'm also in law school now... So maybe that's why I'm driving hard with clarity. I like that Lopez case for other reasons that have nothing to do with this issue. (RmanB17499 (talk) 03:42, 15 March 2012 (UTC)RmanB17499RmanB17499 (talk) 03:42, 15 March 2012 (UTC))

So my position boils down to this: every legal instrument, bill, law, lawsuit, treaty, currency, coin, passport, visa, contract, agreement or other executing document or legally official paper from the government bears its name as United States of America or the Government of the United States of America. Federal courthouses show up on county tax rolls as owned by the united states and exempt from tax. The government or sovereign has chosen to write its name like that web it tries to do anything of legal import. Please cite an alternative federal law or contract or anything . I don't believe agency names, logos or server names count -- they aren't there to serve as official notice, license, legal tender, or law. I'm citation hungry from the naysayers... Since I think I have strung through a coherent position. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:16, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

It would be improper to entitle the name of the government of Massachusetts as the State of Maschessutts. It among a few of her sister states have selected Commonwealth as part of their official name. It would be wrong to title the Russian government as Russia, the Russian Government or the Government of Russia since it has chosen the name Russian Federation. Either the Russian Federation or the Government of the Russian Federation would be fair. For our government either the United States of America or the Government of the United States of America appears fair.

May I suggest this compromise? "the United States of America (or Federal government)." parentheses are not mandatory and we could even just write "the United States of America or federal government"

I think that's something everyone can live with? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:46, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

I concur with Gaijin42 that RmanB17499 is making zero sense and is apparently trolling. Furthermore, RmanB17499 is clearly unfamiliar with WP:NAME. We don't go with official names, we go with common names. The common name is the federal government of the United States. Enough said. --Coolcaesar (talk) 11:49, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Facts matter. "Facts, schmacts, everyone knows you can prove anything that's even remotely true with facts." ( (talk) 21:50, 19 March 2012 (UTC)RmanB17499129.24.0.10 (talk) 21:50, 19 March 2012 (UTC))

Yes we use common names in Wikipedia for article titles. But refer to say Bill Clinton's page and what does the first sentence start with? His full legal name... ( (talk) 00:13, 31 March 2012 (UTC)RmanB17499166.147.76.226 (talk) 00:13, 31 March 2012 (UTC))

Edit proposal: How about something like the following as the second paragraph after the lead?

The full name of the federal union is "The United States of America." No other name appears in the Constitution, and this name appears on money, in treaties, and in legal decisions in cases to which it is a party (e.g., Charles T. Schenck v. United States). The terms "Government of the United States of America" or "United States Government" (USG) are often used in official documents to refer collectively to the federal-level apparatus of government; in casual conversation or writing, the terms "Federal Government" or (less frequently) "National Government" are commonly used; the terms "Federal" and "National" in agency or program names generally indicates affiliation with the federal government (e.g., Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, etc.). Because the seat of government is in Washington, D.C., “Washington” is commonly used metonymously to refer to the federal government.

It leaves the article using the common name while acknowledging that there is some variance in usage. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:25, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. I added a cite in Marbury v Madison for SCOTUS review of laws. Also, just note Justice Marshall's verbiage in the opinion is quite clear about the name, too.(RmanB17499 (talk) 19:28, 27 April 2012 (UTC)RmanB17499RmanB17499 (talk) 19:28, 27 April 2012 (UTC))

I offered an edit a couple days ago without being aware of this debate about "federal" in the Talk section. My edit has since been reverted (not sure by whom). Anyway, now that I see the debate I can see that there's concern about the names of the country and the national government, even though I don't quite follow the points being made. My edits didn't have to do with the names, but as the Talk section appears to debate them I will throw in my two cents and say that I think we should defer to the Constitution on this, as the Constitution is pretty clear. However, even though the phrase "federal government" is not in the Constitution, it certainly is a common way to refer to the national government and to distinguish it from the governments of the states and other territories. Also, "federal" is used in many official contexts. So it makes sense for a Wikipedia article to explain this point. My edit was meant to communicate this and also to help the article avoid making the claim that the national government is "federal" in nature. That claim would be complicated and would probably best be treated in a separate article on political theory and on U.S. politics. As to political theory: the Constitution says that the Constitution itself (and thus the country and the national government) is created by "the people" rather than by states. The people rejected the Articles of Confederation precisely for being too "federal," when what they wanted was "a more perfect Union." As of 2014, most of the states are the results of processes created by the national government, not the other way around. So, simply stating that the Government of the United States is "federal" doesn't inform the reader very well. As to U.S. politics: the characterization of the U.S. Government as "federal" in nature risks injecting U.S. politics into the article, as the emphasis on federalism and states rights has generally been part of internal political debates. The first serious case was when the New England states objected to the war on Britain and the attempted conquest of Canada, although the better known case is the long-running objection of the southeastern states to the national government's involvement in the questions of slavery and subsequently of the civil rights of African-Americans. Again, although some elements of this debate (like nullification and secession, which the New England states pioneered) have been disposed of, the overall debate needs careful treatment, probably in a separate article and not in the article that describes the institutional set-up of the USG. Jsryanjr (talk) 00:15, 29 November 2014 (UTC)


I removed a large paragraph set from the opening, which more rightly belong in constitutional history or the separate article on American federalism. This article is conceived as merely a light overview description of the Government of the United States and its basic structure. I also made sure to include the proper name of the government and include just a sentence or two, with citations, about the very general historical character of the Government of the United States of America. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:20, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

The title to the page should be Federal Government. Not Federal government. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:51, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

The term federalism needs a link to <a href="/wiki/Federalism" title="Federalism">federalism</a> --Jehretnd90 (talk) 13:18, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Change to Legislative Branch section[edit]

I took out the inaccurate and very misleading clause that the "Constitution doesn't specifically mention committees" and replaced with a citation from Article I of the U.S. Constitution from which Congress derives its powers to set all rules for its proceedings, which includes the formation of committees. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:29, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Removal from "Cabinet, executive departments, and agencies" section[edit]

I've removed the following paragraph from the "Cabinet, executive departments, and agencies" section because while I'm sure that the Section 300 reports filed by government departments and agencies are important, I'm not exactly sure why it should be discussed in an article meant to explain the US federal government. This paragraph just seems out of place and too much information.

"By law, each agency must submit an annual Section 300 report to the President's Office of Management and Budget.[1] This is part of a larger set of more extensive annual requirements called Circular A-11. Section 300 specifically covers planning, budgeting, acquisition, and management of capital assets. The details on how agencies collect and share information and how they are upgrading and improving their information technology decisions are becoming increasingly important. Within Section 300 there is a special exhibit called Exhibit 53 which gives extensive details on agency information technology investments. These investments make up most of the information technology investments from the annual budgets. For the fiscal year 2008's budget, that spending exceeds $66.4 billion.[2]"

Ltwin (talk) 04:01, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Circular NO. A–11 PT. 7 Planning, Budgeting, Acquisition, and Management of Capital Assets" (PDF). OMB Circular No. A–11 (2008). Executive Office of the President Office of Management and Budget. 2008-06. Retrieved 2008-07-28.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ "Report on Information Technology (IT) Spending for the Federal Government For Fiscal Years 2006, 2007, and 2008" (Press release). May 2007. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 

"Judicial branch" section needs trimming[edit]

The "Judicial branch" section is longer than it needs to be. The reason for this is that it repeats information. Can someone please work on this section. Ltwin (talk) 04:21, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

One candidate for trimming is the following: "Congress, with the approval of the President, retains the power to re-organize or even abolish federal courts lower than the Supreme Court. They are limited by the Constitution to determining the quantity of judges on the Supreme Court." The second sentence here is confusing as it seems to contradict the first. Might it be deleted with an increase in clarity and brevity? DavidMCEddy (talk) 01:36, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Concur with your suggestion. As a lawyer, I had to think about it twice, then I finally understood the second sentence. I can see how most laypersons would simply find that sentence so confusing as to ignore it altogether. --Coolcaesar (talk) 07:28, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

I've begun the cleanup of this section. --nrv023 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:56, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Citation sparseness[edit]

I'm sorry to say it, but this article needs way more citations before it will meet GA. I can't even verify the court system! I'm not trying to fight with anyone. I know you've put in tons of work and with just a little more this can be a great article. Awg1010 (talk) 06:36, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Secretary of State[edit]

Why is there a section on the Secretary of State in the Executive branch section when there's no section on any other Secretaries? (talk) 09:24, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

The same reason as everything on wikipedia. Some wikisperg decided it would be so and would get SO MAD if you changed it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:46, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Agree. There should not be a separate subsection here on the Secretary of State. Just another appointed position. Student7 (talk) 11:47, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

No, not just another appointed position. Yes, the SoS is appointed by the President, but the SoS, in practice, is the most powerful member of the executive branch of the US government after the President. The VP is only more "powerful" on paper. The post of SoS is not like the rest of the cabinet members. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:54, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Strongly disagree. In terms of several objective measures, such as budget and number of employees controlled, HHS, DoD, and VA are much, much more powerful than State. Look at it this way---if State employees were go to on strike for a few days (speaking hypothetically), most Americans really wouldn't mind, except for the few million overseas or about to travel overseas. If HHS employees were to go on strike, there would be massive protests and riots in every city when millions of beneficiaries of HHS programs (e.g., Medicare) discover their benefit cards don't work any more. --Coolcaesar (talk) 14:18, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Lead should summarize the article[edit]

I'm moving most of the text of the lead to a new section called 'history'. According to the MOS (see MOS:LEAD), the lead should summarize the article. It shouldn't be introducing a topic that is not mentioned anywhere else in the article. LK (talk) 05:49, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

See Also: link to 'War Economy' article[edit]

Please also see discussion on US DoD talk page for this - 2010 US Gov annual report shows total revenues of c.2 trillion dollars, 2010 DoD report shows budgetary resources of 1.2 trillion dollars. — Preceding unsigned comment added by BrekekekexKoaxKoax (talkcontribs) 16:08, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Reform in the United States[edit]

I considered creating the article Reform in the United States but instead chose to start a section here. It was reverted as inappropriate, unreliably sourced, and misleading. What about it is any of those three things? Thanks. Jesanj (talk) 20:21, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Here is the text of the section:

Reforming the operations of the U.S. government are the goal of political parties, thinktanks, lobbyists, groups, and individuals. However, reform can be politically difficult. The U.S. government has been described as a system "in which minority interests can marshall numerous and powerful defenses to block major changes not supported by powerful and well-mobilized majorities."

There's no cite for the first and second sentences. The quote comes from a 1994 commentator in an article, not about reform generally, but about healthcare reform, although I ackowledge that the quote is about reform generally. The section is inappropriate because it adds virtually no value to the article and is clearly POV. It's unreliably sourced because it comes from a think tank commentator.--Bbb23 (talk) 20:32, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Well then we could attribute it to him more directly. There's no question that would be reliably sourced. I'm fine with taking out the other two sentences until sources are located. I thought they were reasonable though. Simple statements don't need in line citations. Did you think there was anything unreasonable? Jesanj (talk) 20:47, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
It's essentially a political comment from a political commentator. Citing it to Aaron at Brookings would be less misleading, but I still don't like using it as a source. The first sentence is generic - what value does it have? Even the second sentence has little value. Minor reforms are easy. More difficult reforms are more difficult. So what? But it's the quote that's most objectionable because it states a clear POV of the commentator. I don't see how it can be salvaged. I'm also not quite sure what you want to accomplish by creating a new section in the article as by giving it a standalone section you automatically give it more weight.--Bbb23 (talk) 21:04, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I think you're wrong when you say it added "virtually no value". A reform section discussing its general characteristics helps explain, functionally, how the United States government operates. Think about it this way. Dictators can decide what they want to do. Reform in a dictatorial country is going to be a lot easier if the dictator agrees with you. The author was noting that in democracies, reform is rarely revolutionary, unless preceded by war or financial crisis. He mentions parliamentary politics. But the author singles out the United States government, by saying Under the U.S. governmental system, in which minority interests can marshall numerous and powerful defenses to block major changes not supported by powerful and well-mobilized majorities, such change is inconceivable. This definitely reflects the author's POV. However, do any reliable sources disagree with this opinion? That is required in order for the text to have been POV. I'd like to see those sources if they exist. Thanks. Jesanj (talk) 21:07, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Good point with simple vs. complex reforms. However, I'd say the term is overwhelmingly used in cases of something big. What am I trying to do? It's simple. We have a fair number of articles on specific reform efforts on reforming U.S. government practices. I'm trying to link them here with a section that gives a brief description on general characteristics of reforming the U.S. government instead of starting Reform of the United States Government. Jesanj (talk) 21:15, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Also, I think I may be missing something. You say you don't know how Aaron can be incorporated, but editing from a neutral point of view (NPOV) means representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources. It was published in Health Affairs after all. And Brookings seems to be a mainstream think tank. It's not like I'm going to the op-ed pages of a newspaper known for its partisanship. That's a big difference, in my opinion. Jesanj (talk) 21:24, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Let's see what other editors think about the section.--Bbb23 (talk) 21:27, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Ok. Jesanj (talk) 21:52, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Until then, how about including an empty section titled Reform with these links under it? Thanks. Jesanj (talk) 02:43, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
I think that would be odd and arguably POV based on the selection of articles. I've opened a discussion on these issues on the U.S. government project page given that no one seems very interested here. See here.--Bbb23 (talk) 13:44, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it could reflect Wikipedia's systemic bias or less-than-ideal research on my part. Jesanj (talk) 18:15, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for discussing this.
American tend to get confused on articles. Usually confusing Elections with Politics. Not here! Thanks for that!
But this does not belong here. This is for how government works today. It has clear boundaries. Perhaps Politics of the United States. I have a feeling (and other editors have mentioned) that there may be other more appropriate topics. But it can be forked/categorized under "politics" wherever it winds up.
And it should not be conjectural (someBODY said, even if scholarly) but more that a federal politician said... Scholarly text would go down the line further than "Politics in.." Student7 (talk) 20:11, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment. I agree, the Politics in... is a more appropriate fit. Thanks again. Jesanj (talk) 20:55, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

First Sentence[edit]

I think the first sentence needs clarification or discussion. The first sentence states: "The Government of the United States of America is the federal government of the constitutional republic of fifty states and one district that is the United States of America."

But if I were to look at the first sentence I would think it is missing a lot of information. Maybe we need a better wordsmith with better clarity than me. But, there are insular possessions, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa? Just to throw an idea: The Government of the United States of America is the federal government of the constitutional republic of fifty states and one district in North America and other organized or unorganized territory throughout the world, especially in the Caribbean and Pacific.

I think from the first sentence one should be able to ascertain a good definition of what the topic is and the rest is just detail and outline? (RmanB17499 (talk) 20:27, 13 March 2012 (UTC)RmanB17499RmanB17499 (talk) 20:27, 13 March 2012 (UTC))

  • Well, now you are getting into defining the United States itself, rather than defining the government of the united states. I think the protectorates should not be included in this article, as they are not mentioned in the constitution, do not get voting representation, etc and are less controlled directly by the constitution and the three branches of government. Gaijin42 (talk) 22:47, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Actually, I'll disagree: the flag outruns the Constitution according to the Supreme Court in the Insular Cases: Therefore, if anything, the Congress and President have more authority and power in those outlying areas. (also refer to Art IV, Sec 3 US Const.) Furthermore, isn't the article supposed to be about the USG and not 50 states plus a federal district? The latter is included within the former, but does not encompass all of the territory of the USG. (RmanB17499 (talk) 23:17, 13 March 2012 (UTC)RmanB17499RmanB17499 (talk) 23:17, 13 March 2012 (UTC))

Hrm, the link you provided is evidence against your case I think, if "Essentially, the Supreme Court said that full constitutional rights did not automatically extend to all areas under American control. The "deepest ramification" of the Insular Cases is that inhabitants of unincorporated territories such as Puerto Rico, "even if they are U.S. citizens", may have no constitutional rights, such as to remain part of the United States if the United States chooses to engage in deannexation" is accurate, then their government is not the government of the us. The constitution (and the bill of rights) is the supreme law, and the very foundation of the govt. If it does not apply in those locations then they have some other government. Puerto rico has its own constitution, as does guam. They have their own judicial, executive, and legislative branches, which do not get their authority from the constitution of the US. Gaijin42 (talk) 00:24, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
In any case, do you have any other issues other than the inclusion of the territories we can work on? Gaijin42 (talk) 00:26, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm going to go ahead and disagree with you on there. When the Court said that the constitutional rights did not apply automatically to insular areas, that means that the people are not protected as much as one would be in a US State nor are they guaranteed statehood, or anything else. Puerto Rico is an interesting case since legally is it an unorganized territory subject to the whims of Congress per SCOTUS -- that the PR Constitution can be suspended or eliminated by unilateral action by the US Congress -- now just because the court found that position doesn't mean it is politically expedient or possible. Areas such as American Samoa have special US laws that apply (minimum wage by industry, etc) and are truly controlled by the President and Congress. While you and I can dsiscuss this for ages -- I suggest you actually look at the current law. This would be a good place for lay people: and Politically, Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States which according to the U.S. Supreme Court's Insular Cases is "a territory appurtenant and belonging to the United States, but not a part of the United States."[1]. Again it's an Article IV Section 3 Territory -- so the Constitution did foresee additional territory or territories that may or may not become states.

(RmanB17499 (talk) 19:03, 14 March 2012 (UTC)RmanB17499RmanB17499 (talk) 19:03, 14 March 2012 (UTC))

We will have to agree to disagree, in any case, your analysis is WP:OR/WP:SYNTH, so do not make this change without achieving consensus, and finding good sourcing of a reliable source making this analysis. Gaijin42 (talk) 19:28, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

  • I agree with Gaijin42 that this is mostly WP:OR/WP:SYNTH and think the changes should be reverted until a consensus can be found. Also, see my comments above at the top section. --CapitalR (talk) 19:38, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
My or/synth comment is refering to inclusion of the territories as part of the US govt. I am marginally in support of his 'name' change, although the us gov website linked above is good evidence to the contrary. I think part of the issue may be that the govt of the US does not actually have an official name as an entity. The US has an official name, individual branches of the govt have official names, but the collective may not actually be officially named canonically/legally and there may be various forms simultaniously in use. Gaijin42 (talk) 19:44, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

I'll disagree that it's synthesis or non-original research for the name of the government itself. All these documents were produced by the government or a peer government and signed into law or incorporated into United States Treaties or issued (money) by the sovereign, directly. Therefore, it must be how the sovereign wishes to be titled. As for the other part of the issue -- the first sentence -- I think that's one for discussion, since it is difficult to define in a single sentence.

(RmanB17499 (talk) 23:15, 14 March 2012 (UTC)RmanB17499RmanB17499 (talk) 23:15, 14 March 2012 (UTC))

I agree with the others that there's no basis for changing the first sentence (or the name of this article). The sources you cite aren't helpful, either.--Bbb23 (talk) 00:17, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Concur with Bbb23 and Gaijin42. RmanB17499 needs to learn about the concept of TMI. --Coolcaesar (talk) 11:55, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 15 April 2012[edit]

Quoted text - EXECUTIVE BRANCH - "The President is limited to a maximum of two non-consecutive[10] four-year terms, as well as being able to have served for 2 years after succeeding to the presidency, prior to his last term.[6]"

This information is incorrect, using your own references.

1. The President is limited to a maximum of two four-year terms. [They are NOT required to be non-consecutive, nor are they usually. Although they MAY be non-consecutive.] 2. If the President has already served two years or more of a term to which some other person was elected, he may only serve one more additional four-year term. [The text, as it is currently written, implies that he may have a two year term prior to having two more four-year terms. That information is incorrect.]

So, essentially, the above quoted text should be replaced with:

"The President is limited to a maximum of two four-year terms. If the President has already served two years or more of a term to which some other person was elected, he may only serve one more additional four-year term."

Thank you! :) (talk) 21:04, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Done Thanks, Celestra (talk) 16:50, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Commerce Clause[edit]

Uhhhh....the Commerce clause KINDA NEEDS to be under the powers of know, since it's in article 1 Section 8 clause 1 of the pwoers given to Congress. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:04, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Unnecessary garbage[edit]

Why the hell is there a statement in the second paragraph that the full name of the republic is the "United States of America?" It is an obvious tangent from the topic of this article, the government of that republic. I will be removing that shortly unless someone explains it. --Coolcaesar (talk) 15:27, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

File:Political System of the United States.svg and File:Politisches System der Vereinigten Staaten.svg[edit]

Political System of the United States.svg

Hey =)

Recently I uploaded this graphic describing the political system of the United States. It would be nice if someone could review and may improve them or do some bugfix (in case I've depicted sth wrong). Thanks and greetings Allrounder (talk) 17:59, 6 December 2012 (UTC) PS: For preceded conversation, see this talk (there came the hint to come round at this page)

Dead links[edit]

Showing some dead links. Needs sorting out as this is going to be featured on the main page under the WP:POTD banner. The Rambling Man (talk) 18:37, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

File:Diagram of the Federal Government and American Union edit.jpg to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Diagram of the Federal Government and American Union edit.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on January 20, 2013. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2013-01-20. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page so Wikipedia doesn't look bad. :) Thanks! howcheng {chat} 17:16, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Picture of the day
U.S. federal government in 1862

A diagram of the federal government of the United States and its relationship to the 34 states and nine territories in 1862. At the top is the Constitution, the "supreme law of the land". The blue line originating from it represents allegiance and the red line shows the separation of Constitutional powers.

Art: N. Mendal Shafer; Restoration: Fallschirmjäger
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

Edit request on 31 July 2013[edit]

The words "constitutional republic" need changed to "federal corporation" as the United States is defined in the U.S. Code 28 USC § 3002 - Definitions - (15)(A). This is the law, and I've seen no other law defining the United States as a constitutional republic. [United States means (A) a federal corporation] US Code

Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template.. RudolfRed (talk) 05:03, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Second Amendment to the United States Constitution[edit]

A discussion is ongoing about the lead to the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution article. Please help form a consensus at Talk:Second Amendment to the United States Constitution#Proposal for lead.--Mark Miller (talk) 13:23, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

State governments[edit]

This statement seems unnecessarily editorial, and is not directly supported by the cited source: "As a result, state governments tend to impose severe budget cuts at any time the economy is faltering, which are strongly felt by the public for which they are responsible." Some budget cuts may be "strongly felt by the public" but others are hardly noticeable. GregE625 (talk) 14:11, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

This wording is nonsense: The full name of the republic is the "United States of America".[edit]

   A colleague moved "The" outside the quotes and downcased it, producing

The full name of the republic is the "United States of America".

which is not a sentence bcz it cannot be construed in any grammatically consistent way. Their edit summary was

"The" isn't part of the title.

which clarifies their intent as implicitly being that the full name is "United States of America". Perhaps they are wrong in the summary (in which case the edit should be reverted) but until their plausible assertion in the summary is demolished with a RS, the grammar needs to corrected: the only way the noun phrase

the "United States of America"

can be grammatical is in constructions like

You can see that the "United States of America" that appears in the lead 'graph of this talk section has 4 correctly spelled words.

   So allowing that editor the benefit of the doubt, i'm eliminating the "the" immediately preceding the open-quote.
--Jerzyt 05:10, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 December 2015[edit]

anyone can put anything on a government site im just trying to prove a point 2601:843:0:3674:B487:9EDC:2188:D76 (talk) 01:19, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Eteethan(talk) 01:48, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

Request for Access to Rewrite "History" Section[edit]

I think this section contains a lot of content that is not particularly pertinent to the subject of the "history" of the United States government.

The very first sentence, for example, is a comment on the structure of the United States government:

   "The outline of the government of the United States is laid out in the Constitution."

The second sentence which follows a historic reference, but then makes an uncertain statement:

   "The government was formed in 1789, making the United States one of the world's first, if not the first, modern national constitutional republics."

The final paragraph is focused again on the structure of the United States government, rather than its history. It says that the American system is based on "checks and balances," gives several examples, and then tells the reader:

   "These and other examples are examined in more detail in the text below."

I think I understand where previous editors were coming from, and I believe that some mention of checks and balances would be appropriate for this section, but only if it is included in a historic context. For example, noting that the framers were influenced by Baron Montesquieu's writings on checks and balances. I think this section should at least include some mention of the origin of the constitution as a response to America's failed confederate system, as well as more links to pertinent articles on the history of the United States and important topics related to the history of the US federal government. My surface and my buried roots (talk) 05:25, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 21 September 2016[edit]

Can somebody add the Start date and age template from the current "|date = 1789" to "|date = {start date and age|1789}" to correspond to the Federal government of the United States's official founding date? (talk) 01:40, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Done — JJMC89(T·C) 02:10, 21 September 2016 (UTC)