The Instigator
ona09
Pro (for)
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The Contender
pdaines
Con (against)
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Abolishment of Pork barrel

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/16/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,565 times Debate No: 37814
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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ona09

Pro

The topic of our debate is SHOULD we abolish the priority development assistance fund? Priority development assistance fund or also known as the pork barrel funds. But what really is PDAF? Well there are purposes why it was made and I am sure it was made for the right reasons. The priority development assistance fund was designed to allow legislators to fund small-scale infrastructure or community projects which fell outside the scope of the national infrastructure program. PDAF as everybody knows it wasn"t called PDAF till former President Joseph Estrada named it PDAF. It actually went through 2 name changes. First was CDF or countryside development fund and then it was changed to CIF congressional initiative fund and later changed to PDAF. We the affirmative bench believe that it should seriously be abolished. You might ask why? It sounds like its right? But I"m sure you guys listen to the news and know or have an idea about the controversy behind these funds. How this all works. How do the legislators get their hands on this fund and why it is called the virus that keeping corruption alive.

Public spending for development is necessary. It has to be made clear that the PDAF as a development fund allocation is not the problem. It is the pork barrel system or the institutional arrangement of having legislators administer the PDAF that is the problem. But what is the point of improving an inherently anomalous and corrupting practice? Why rationalize bad practice? Under the pork barrel system, the contractors now have to deal as well with legislators. The legislators meanwhile deploy personnel ("operators" or "brokers") to deal with contractors and implementing government agencies. The sheer number of personnel and the disparate nature of processes involved (i.e, from selection to bidding to fund release and implementation) suggest the impossibility of careful appraisal and auditing of each and every PDAF project. The term "pork" is indeed most appropriate. In this system, it is possible for the public to see the development projects, perhaps even the receipts of financial transactions but it is not possible to see who exactly does what or how exactly things are done. In other words, the public sees only the surface and not the inner workings of the system. Pork is fat and fat works exactly in the same manner. One can see the "excess" (bulging skin, love handles, bloated stomachs) but the real fat, the fatty tissues " those are hidden inside the body. The removal of the pork requires a simple yet radical political act: non-inclusion of pork in the national budget. This means scrapping the PDAF as a separate or special fund and reallocating it to the more regular budget items. = For the 2014 budget proposal, this means scrapping the PDAF as a budget item and spreading the 25.2M to the budgets of regular agencies or executive projects that are severely underfunded. By doing this, government will hit two birds with one stone: eliminate an intrinsically anomalous practice and retain badly needed funds for development. The budget process thus will now necessitate a debate on "what" rather than "who" should be funded.
pdaines

Con

Pro has defined the debate narrowly to focus solely on one particular instance of "pork-barrelling." It is as yet unclear as to whether Pro is aware that that particular law is only one example of a wide-spread legislative practice known as "pork-barrelling" or not. Because I have not read the particular bill in question, I will debate based on my understanding of the bill from Pro's initial argument, and on my knowledge of the general practice of "pork-barrelling."

It is first important to consider what exactly "pork-barrelling" means. "Pork-barrel" legislation is broadly defined as a legislation which includes funding of some sort that benefits one specific state but is not actually in the best interest of the nation as a whole. They would ordinarily never pass at the federal level because of their narrow scope, whether or not they were truly as wasteful as they are popularly portrayed. Two things systematically occur which allow them to become law anyways. 1) States often bundle initiatives in order to bargain collectively. If a majority of congress is benefitted by legislation, then it can be passed into law through ordinary processes. 2) Pork-barrelling serves as legislative grease. These small initiatives are used like currency to trade and buy votes for various pieces of legislation. With one of the most gridlocked congresses in the history of our nation, we can hardly afford to throw away one of the only institutions that is actually helping to get laws passed.

When it boils down to it, congress doing something is a lot better than congress doing nothing. Pork-barrelling allows congress-people to work across the aisle. It sometimes allows moderate congresspeople to cross party lines on major issues. It is really a tiny portion of our budget when it comes down to it. Most of the time it isn't much more wasteful than other forms of spending.

Finally, pork-barrelling is the reason that rural states have roads. The states of the mountain west and the south that are too sparsely populated to really make use of their highways likely wouldn't have highways if it weren't for pork-barrelling. Is it wasteful to build roads Mississippi? Of course it is. But it is still the right thing to do. This is America. We take care of our own, especially when they can't afford to take care of themselves.
Debate Round No. 1
ona09

Pro

ona09 forfeited this round.
pdaines

Con

pdaines forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
ona09

Pro

ona09 forfeited this round.
pdaines

Con

pdaines forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by anonymouse 10 months ago
anonymouse
spending is spending. it can be used for both good and evil. corrupt private contractors can come and gobble up all the funds. on the other hand, if it is spent correctly, then it will go towards practical spending. but knowing how many corrupt private contractor hyenas there are in the u.s, how would money ever be spent reasonably? you have two choices, overthrow the corrupted u.s regime thats been plaguing this country for centuries, or dont spend anything.
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