The Instigator
PleaseGoEasy
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Grape
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Federal Reserve Transparency.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/25/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,104 times Debate No: 10954
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (2)

 

PleaseGoEasy

Pro

More specifically,
Congress shall enact legislation requiring that the Federal Reserve Board shall, as a matter of law, fully disclose all recipients of federal monies and the exact amount of those monies, whether the funding is received directly from the Fed or indirectly through a bailed out entity such as AIG, in any bailout or transaction in which the Fed is involved, within 30 days of the transfer being made.

I'll let my opponent start
Grape

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for offering this interesting topic since it presents me with an opportunity to be critical of my own beliefs. I normally am highly favorable of government transparency. However, I consider the position on this proposed by my opponent to be unnecessarily extreme and potentially harmful. I would like to remind my opponent that because he is arguing in favor of the resolution it is his responsibility to begin, but he had provided enough information to allow a preliminary response.

C1: My opponent proposes that, "Congress shall enact legislation requiring that the Federal Reserve Board shall, as a matter of law, fully disclose all recipients of federal monies and the exact amount of those monies..." I do not believe this is a valid idea as some government spending must be kept secret for reasons of security. My opponent's proposal makes no except with regards to where the money is being spent. I do not believe that information military and intelligence spending should be available to the public. Economic and social spending is another matter entirely, but this proposal specifically regards all spending.

C2: The necessity of information about spending being released from bailed-out entities, AIG being the example given, would seem to violate the right of said entities to keep their spending a secret. A government bailout should not force a company to forfeit the right to spend its money without the competition being able to know what it is investing in.

C3: My opponent has not provided any reasons why his propositions would he favorable. He has not even submitted that it would be favorable, and he has not proposed that Congress should pass this legislation. Literary speaking he has said that Congress 'shall' enact legislation, which implies that it is a defiant future event. However, I find it highly unlikely that it will happen. I have assumed for the sake of argument that my opponent meant to say that Federal Reserve transparency would be favorable, but this technical mistake should be noted.

Conclusion:

I hope my opponent will clarify his argument and provide support of it in the following round. As it stands his wording was nonsensical if taken literary and he has offered nothing to support the Pro point of view. I have disputed his resolution due to the fact that it is unnecessarily absolute and takes the idea much too far. At this point I don't know what sources would be useful as my opponent has offered little to work with.
Debate Round No. 1
PleaseGoEasy

Pro

I would like to thank Con for his timely response and for accepting this challenge. Unfortunately, I am a student so my responses may be a bit brief in the future. Hopefully not.

I would like to be in proponency for some rather simple reasons.

First, the American public has the right of knowing where exactly this money is going, after all, it is their money. While the Fed may be the primary entity allocate the money, they get it from American taxpayers. Any person should be justified in wanting to know where this money goes to. Transparency is what America wants and needs right now. As of now, the Fed does not need to disclose anything to the American public, and only

Second, this will decrease wasteful spending. If the Federal Reserve is made more transparent, Americans can see and complain about wasteful spending. This will allow many prominent members of the public, for example, noted economists or even ordinary Americans to chime in about companies they think are underserving of Federal funds. Obviously, no entity, especially a government organization is perfect and allowing more members of the populace to analyze monetary policy will help. As of now, Americans don't even know where this money is going, so the Fed could be wasting it without our knowledge.

Rebuttal

C1. Total Transparency is best. My opponent believes that intelligence and military spending should not be avaliable, but it already is. On the link, you can clearly see that intellegence funding and other mediums are totally disclosed so enacting today's piece of legislation won't affect our national security. This information is readily avaliable while allocations to financial institutions are not. Myopponent attempts to differentiate between military, economic, and social, but what harm is there in telling Americans where exactly their money is?

C2: Because AIG and other companies are predominatntly government own, the United States Congress has legality in passing this piece of legislation. In addition, this propsal would not affect internal spending, say, if coca-cola intended to spend 100 million investingating some new secret ingredient, but only the money the Fed gives to these companies. If my opponent is so convinced of the rights of these companies, what about the rights of Americans, to know where this money is going?

C3: I have now put in a few contentions about why exactly the Pro would be a good choice and how it would affect America. While i agree with my opponent that this proposal would probably fail in a notoriously partisan Congress, I am proposing the idea itself, not in the chances it has to be passed. I would prefer not to argue semantics, but my opponent is technically correct, change the "shall" to should.

Thank you. I look forward to hearing a response.

http://www.defencetalk.com...
Grape

Con

Thanks to Pro for elaborating on the nature of his proposal so that I can better understand it. I will assume from this point on that it was not literally to be implied that Congress 'shall' pass this legislation, but merely that it should.

C1: I agree that government money comes from taxes. However that money does not, as my opponent proposes, belong to the people. Once the money has been taxed it has ceased to be in the ownership of the people and it is now in the ownership of the state. Though it is commonly believed that public money is 'owned by everyone', this statement is largely metaphorical. In reality the state is an entity that is separate from individual citizens and literally speaking is not nearly as closely connected to them as is commonly believed. My opponent goes on to say that the America wants and needs transparency. Once again, neither the people nor 'America' can be recognized as an entity that possesses wants and needs universally throughout.

C2-1: My opponent's line of reasoning here is that if the American public is made aware of Federal Reserve spending, this spending will become less wasteful. This is based on the assumption that if more people can see what money is being spent on, the money will therefore be spend more effectively. I contend instead that this will only create massive controversy over spending, even minor expenditures. The American media can have a profound influence over the beliefs of common people. The massive conservative protest over health care reform serves as a testimony to this. Whether or not the bill was good to begin with, the public involvement and transparency resulted in its gutting and the bill and effectively no significant legislation is being based. I dread to know what would happen if it was possible for this sort of controversy to arise whenever the Fed tried to spend money. There are no shortage of political commentators from both parties that would incite huge disagreements over even the most minor of issues. Though it is possible that some of the money is being wasted, in fact I believe some of it is, transparency may not be the answer to this.

C2-2: Though I have offered reasons why transparency maybe be harmful, it is also a distinct possibility that it would o nothing at all. The American people already have access to what bills Congress passes. Many of them are useless; a complete waste of time and money. There are bills passed honoring sports teams, bills passed honoring the Pope, and bills passed created a myriad of useless holidays (1). This is completely useless and yet it continues to go on; Americans have not done anything about it. Americans are also well aware of earmark spending that goes on constantly, but nothing is done about that either. Even if the Federal Reserve were made transparent, it may ultimately have no effect on how money is spent.

Responses to my opponent's rebuttals.

C3: The link provided by my opponent provides an example of transparency, yes, but not total transparency. To quote from the pdf in his link, "The fiscal 2010 base budget will include an increase of $500 million to field and sustain more helicopters, a capability that is in urgent demand in Afghanistan." Now, this does tell us what money is being spent on helicopters, but it does not represent complete transparency and it is not the type of spending I was referring to. We do not know how money money is being paid to workers, how much money is being spent on materials, what parts are involved and how much they cost, or anything of the sort. This is also contrasted from secret CIA missions that are best not even mentioned on paper, let alone released to the public, when it can be avoided. The amount of transparency that my opponent claims the military has does not reduce wasteful spending anyway. There is evidence that in the past the military has spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars on tools such as wrenches and pliers. If the transparency you describe here has not prevented this wasteful spending, why would it when applied elsewhere?

C4: I understand that my opponent did not mean to imply that private spending should also be transparent, but my interpretation of his point about AIG was that money AIG spent that it received from the government would be transparent. I do not believe the government should be bailing out any of these companies in the first place, but if the Fed must give money to the private sector than it must understand it will no longer have control over that money. My opponent also proposes that Americans have the right to know where this money is going. As I have stated before, it is no longer their money so though it may be considered 'public' money, this is entirely an arbitrary designation. Nowhere is it stated that the people of a nation have the right to know how money owned by the state (not owned by them) is spent. Unless my opponent provides evidence for why this right should be acknowledged, I see no reason to support Federal Reserve Transparency on the basis of civil liberties.

C5: I understand this. The argument over semantics is now withdrawn.

I would like to note that my opponent is correct the money is wasted by the Federal Reserve and that this should be reduced; I merely hold that Federal Reserve Transparency is not an appropriate way to achieve these ends. As such I would like to offer a few ideas of my own that I believe would be a more effective way to curb wasteful spending.

C6: A constitutional amendment should be created to give the President the line-item veto power. Congress previously passed legislation granting this power in 1996, but it was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (2). This would enable to President to block wasteful spending in bills without having to prevent an otherwise good bill from being passed. Money being spent could thus only be wasted if two-thirds of Congress agreed on it, an impossibility in today's political climate.

C7: Make all lobbying illegal. There are tens of thousands of lobbyists in Washington and several billion dollars is spent on lobbying each year (3). It is hard to believe that these special interest groups wouldn't be influencing government spending in a profoundly negative way. Even with Federal Reserve transparency it would be impossible for the American people to exert more influence over government spending than these lobbyists do.

Conclusion:

The best way to prevent money from being wasted by the government is not to increase public involvement in spending. The common American people will not be able to influence government spending except through protests that can effectively be used to create controversy over all spending. Meanwhile, this would also greatly increase the ability of private businesses to exert influence over the government. Large corporations have more money and influences than the American people could hope to wield. Instead I believe that decreasing all outside interference in the government will allow it to function better. The government is run by politicians after all and politicians are notorious for letting external pressures overcome their better judgement.

Sources:

(1) http://centerforsanity.blogspot.com...
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(3) http://www.opensecrets.org...
Debate Round No. 2
PleaseGoEasy

Pro

PleaseGoEasy forfeited this round.
Grape

Con

Unfortunately my opponent has forfeited the round. All arguments are extented. I not not know what happens in the case of a forfeit on debate.org, but I assume that because silence is consent I have won. Perhaps we will be able to have a proper debate in the future, as my opponent did claim to be very busy.
Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by Grape 5 years ago
Grape
PleaseGoEasyGrapeTied
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Vote Placed by wjmelements 6 years ago
wjmelements
PleaseGoEasyGrapeTied
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Total points awarded:06