The Instigator
PotBelliedGeek
Pro (for)
Losing
20 Points
The Contender
Mikal
Con (against)
Winning
28 Points

Is Obama overall a good and productive president?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 11 votes the winner is...
Mikal
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/9/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,257 times Debate No: 40249
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (11)

 

PotBelliedGeek

Pro

I believe that Obama is a sensible, productive, and overall good president. I do not support everything he does, nor do I consider him perfect, but I believe he is one of the best presidents we have ever had.

I leave the opening argument to my opponent.
Mikal

Con

I am going to accept this based off the resolution posted in R1

Obama is a good president

Obama is one of the best presidents we have ever had.

I will form my arguments and focus mainly on these two points. I wish my adversary luck in his first round.
Debate Round No. 1
PotBelliedGeek

Pro

Relatively few presidents are ascribed to greatness. I do not say that the majority of our presidents were unproductive or worse, I merely say that they are not remembered as people who changed our country specifically, or the world as a whole.
I will begin by naming a few presidents who are remembered as great.

George Washington:
Lead the Continental Army to victory in the American Revolution (with help), one of the founding fathers of this nation, and was so immensely popular that he had a feasible shot at a dictatorship and empire. Instead he stepped down, establishing the two-term tradition.

Thomas Jefferson:
Credited with doubling the size and economy of the fledgling nation, vehemently opposed slavery (in words, at least), and founded the Democratic-Republican political party which is hands down and beyond doubt the most powerful and influential party in the history of our nation. Not to mention drafting the Declaration of Independence and demanding (from afar) that a bill of rights be added to the constitution.

Abraham Lincoln:
Lead the country through the Civil War and prevented a split in our nation that could have destroyed us. He defined himself and his presidency by the preservation of the union. Also credited with the 13th amendment to the constitution, freeing the slaves (albeit for purely political reasons), an act that spawned a legacy defining the face of politics up into the present day.

Teddy Roosevelt:
Credited with bringing our nation to the forefront of world affairs and bringing us into the political arena as a world power.

Franklin Roosevelt:
Instituted ingenious federal programs credited with getting us out of the great depression (or at least keeping it from getting worse until the war came along to get us out of it). Some will argue the FDR's "New deal" did not in any way help the economy, or maybe even made it worse. I will point out that they hold no evidence for this claim, seeing as our nation never had a financial crisis in which the government didn't get involved, and so they have nothing to compare it to for evidence. FDR proceeded to lead us through the bloodiest war in history, keep us optimistic and hopeful, all the while dealing with a debilitating disease that eventually killed him.

John Kennedy:
Supported the civil rights movement, which was the greatest social upheaval in the history of our nation. Started the space race, which is not only one of the greatest achievements of our nation but of mankind as a whole. The space race fueled an era of scientific discovery of at least as much consequence as the European Enlightenment.

Bill Clinton:
Introduced innovative economic policies that spurred the fastest economic growth our nation has ever seen (outside of war), giving our nation the first budget surplus in history.

Many others could be included but have been left out for various reasons including Andrew Jackson (despite the fact that he was downright evil), Woodrow Wilson, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan.

All of the presidents above are remembered as great, despite stark contrasts in policies, political allegiance, and personalities. So what do they all have in common that makes them great in the eyes of the American people?

I assert that it is the fact that all of them are credited with something that altered our nation in the long run, and changed the way our country does something, the positive effects of which are felt for generations afterward. Whatever their political motivation was, it is only remembered in history books, while the action is remembered by all.

Having established this criteria for greatness, I will now assert that Obama meets it.
By spearheading the PPACA, the president has instituted, in the face of vehement opposition, a program will change our nation years down the line, and will be felt and remembered for generations to come.

By instituting economic policies reflective of the Clinton era he managed to grow our economy by 2.7 trillion dollars, despite of the recession triggered by Bush era spending.
Some argue that that his policies created the slowest recovery in the world. I will point out that by analyzing economic data easily accessible via the Internet, anyone with basic level college math can see that we have had in fact the fastest recovery out of all the worlds nations. The CBO projects that without Obama' s economic policies, we would have 25 -26% unemployment, and our economy would be more along the lines of Greece and Spain.

In summery, I highlighted examples of presidents considered "great" by the majority of our population. Using these examples, I established criteria for being considered "great" by the American people. I then argued that Obama meets those criteria.

I wish my opponent luck, and have fun dissecting my argument.
Mikal

Con

I would like to thank pro for his opening arguments.

I am going to jump straight into this. Pros initial points were to list previous presidents and why they were defined as great by the public and try to rationalize why Obama would fall into this category.

Now let us reflect upon the resolution that was presented.

Obama is a sensible, productive, and overall good president. Pro this goes on to say he believes he is one of the best presidents that we have ever had.

As I stated previously , I am only going to focus on whether Obama is a good president, and whether or not he can be considered one of the best we have ever had. Whether he is productive or not is irrelevant to this debate, because anyone can claim that a president is productive and accomplishing goals. He issue is whether or not everything he is accomplishing is best for this country. I will now open with a few contentions regarding Obama and some of his failures.


He has failed to address the issue of unemployment adequately.

"The unemployment rate has been 7.5 percent or higher for 54 straight months, coincidentally since President Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009. It is the first time that the unemployment rate has ever stayed at 7.5 percent or higher for that long ever since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began calculating the national unemployment rate in 1948"[1]

Unemployment has stayed this way since Obama came into office and has not hit a 7 or lower since he has been in office. The sad truth is the numbers itself. In March of 2010 58.5 percent of all working age Americans had a job. In March of 2012 the same exact number was shown to be true, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans had a job. So if the employment rate is exactly the same as it was two years ago, then how in the world can the Obama administration claim that things have gotten significantly better since then?

"According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the official unemployment rate in the United States was 9.8 percent in March 2010 and it declined to 8.2 percent in March 2012. "[1]

So how is this possible if the percentage of working age Americans that have jobs hasn't moved?

This chart below explains it all





As you can see the percentage itself changes drastically in 2008-2009 and bottoms out. You can even call this a recession in some ways. The main thing is that after a recession, these numbers always bounce back. We have not seem that, but still hear the claims of the Obama administration saying that they are making a change in unemployment. The truth is that, it bottomed out with Obama in office and has shown no signs of getting better.


Failed investments in green energy.

The Obama administration overlooked red flags before approving a $535 million Energy Department loan guarantee to the solar-panel manufacturer solydnra who went on to file bankruptcy. Basically the administration handed them this money with a promise and they filed bankruptcy and took the money with them.

Here are just a few more offers extend by Obama in a attempt to make green energy work

he companies cited were: (Money listed is how much was offered, and does not include other state, local or federal tax credits and subsidies. Asterisk notes that the company has filed for bankruptcy)

Evergreen Solar ($24 million)
SpectraWatt ($500,000)
Solyndra ($535 million)*
Beacon Power ($69 million)
AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy ($17.1 million)
Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
SunPower ($1.5 billion)
First Solar ($1.46 billion)
Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)
Amonix ($5.9 million)
National Renewable Energy Lab ($200 million)
Fisker Automotive ($528 million)
Abound Solar ($374 million)
A123 Systems ($279 million)
Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($6 million)
Johnson Controls ($299 million)
Schneider Electric ($86 million)
Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
ECOtality ($126.2 million)
Raser Technologies ($33 million)
Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)
Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)
Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)
Range Fuels ($80 million)
Thompson River Power ($6.4 million)
Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)
LSP Energy ($2.1 billion)
UniSolar ($100 million)
Azure Dynamics ($120 million)
GreenVolts ($500,000)
Vestas ($50 million)
LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($150 million)
Nordic Windpower ($16 million)
Navistar ($10 million)
Satcon ($3 million)
[2][3]

That is over ten billion dollars.


Failed stimulus plan/package

"In their analysis, Romer and Bernstein said that if Congress approved Obama's plan, unemployment would not rise above 8.0 percent — and they published a chart predicting it would drop below 6.0 percent sometime in 2012." [4]

Well, Congress approved Obama's stimulus plan (which the Congressional Budget Office estimates cost $831 billion)[5], and we are now in the second quarter of 2012. What has happened to unemployment? See my first contention for this, but we are no where near the 6 percent that was promised.


He is not a good president by any logical standards and we definitely can not regard him as one of the best presidents.


It can be said that he inherited a bad economy, but so did Regan and Clinton. Both implemented policies that single handily flipped the economy around, and made it function better. Other prior presidents repealed slavery, helped innate and guide us through some of the most trivial wars and times the nation has ever experienced.

Abraham Lincoln - Initiated the Emancipation Proclamation which eventually lead to the establishment of slavery. [6]

Ronald Regan - Reaganomics which almost by itself helped the economy boom and restored itself. [7][8]

Bill Clinton - When he was in office he had the lowest unemployment in the past 30 years, and created more than 22 million new jobs. [9]

There are a vast majority of presidents I can list who have had far greater accomplishments than Obama. Due to character limitations, I can not list them all but we can see this very obviously.

In Closing

It is logical and very simple to see Obama has not been a great or good president by any merit. Apart from that we sure can not call him one of the best ever. He has failed economic policies, and some of the worst employment numbers in history. After 6 years the number still has remained the exact same or increased periodically. Mix that in with failed investments and a failed stimulus program, you have the recipe for one of the worst presidents to ever take the seat.



[1]Bureauoflaborstatistics
[2] wnd.com
[3] money.cnn.com
[4]cnn.com
[5]huffingtonpost.com
[6] http://www.pbs.org...
[7] http://www.humanevents.com...
[8] http://us-presidents.findthedata.org...
[9] http://clinton5.nara.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
PotBelliedGeek

Pro

I thank Con for an excellent argument.

Con based his arguments on three points. I will tackle each one individually.

1."He has failed to address the issue of unemployment adequately."
In support of this statement my opponent cited the fact that the unemployment rate has remained above 7.5% of the labor force since 2009. He referenced his opening quote to the BLS, while in reality his (outdated) information came from this (hardly unbiased) media outlet.
http://www.theblaze.com...

But the fact remains that our unemployment rate is high, and our recovery is slow compared to our economic recoveries since 1948.

I have two rebuttals to this argument.

1. My opponent says that our unemployment rate has not had such a period of stagnancy since 1948, and believes that Obama' s incompetence is to blame. My counter argument is that this recession was the WORST recession since the great depression, and the WORST economic crisis since the data used by my opponent begins[1]. In that light, my opponent is basing his criticism on the idea that recovering from WORST should be AS easy if not easier than recovering from bad. This argument is illogical and requires no further refutation.

2. After determining that it is illogical to compare our current recovery to our past ones, I will gauge the efficiency of this recovery by comparing US unemployment to the rest of the developed world, since they suffered the same economic hit as we did[2].

Spain: 26
Greece:25.7
European Union: 11.6
France: 10.9
Sweden: 7.9
England:7.7

Ours: 7.2

We have nearly the lowest unemployment rate in the world, beaten by nations like Switzerland and Singapore, who barely felt the the economic hit at all. The CBO predicted that without this administrations stimulus package, our nation would look more like Greece.

2.Failed investments in green energy.

My opponent cites that the president invested $10 billion in green energy. He describes these investments as failed because one out of the 36 companies filed for bankruptcy. I repeat. ONE out of THIRTY-SIX filed for bankruptcy, and so the ENTIRE investment package is failed. And of course it does not matter that since that time the affordability and availability of green energy went up by 50%[3].

3.Failed stimulus plan/package.
This is in essence the same argument put forth under the unemployment clause, since economic health and employment rates go hand in hand. I will not repeat my counter-argument. Please see the previous discussion of the unemployment rate.

Sources;
1. http://www.bloomberg.com...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Recession
www.forbes.com/sites/.../the-worst-five-years-since-the-great-depression/R06;
money.cnn.com/2009/03/25/news/economy/depression_comparisons/R06;
news.investors.com " News " EconomyR06;
www.epi.org/publication/snapshot_20100127/R06;

2.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Recession
ftp.iza.org/dp4934.pdf
stateofworkingamerica.org/great-recession/R06;
money.cnn.com/2008/12/01/news/economy/recession/
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8242825.stm
www.forbes.com/.../global-recession-2009-oped-cx_nr_0115roubini.ht

3.http://theenergycollective.com...
www.epa.gov/greenhomes/ReduceEnergy.htm
Mikal

Con

Rebuttal 1

Unemployment

Essentially my adversary is claiming that we can not compare our prior recessions to the ones at hand. I disagree entirely. The prior recessions even including the great depression can help us evaluate and lay out guidelines as to how to repair the economy. He then compares our unemployment rate to the unemployment rate of other nations that are highly developed.

There are a few errors with this when we break it down logically. Comparing what other nations are not doing to fix their problems to us is not a great perspective. He essentially is saying because England for example, has not did anything to fix their unemployment rate (which spiked in 2008 nearly the same as ours), it is viable that ours has not came down either.

Also there are some other fallacies within this logic. Lets take a look at Germany for example whom is also developed. [1]

Germany has actually had a constant decrease in the past year, and was actually spiked to around 10 during 2008. Prior to that they were at a 7 as well.

Also lets take a look at sweeden[2]. Notice that from around 1992 - until current, they have been a steady 7 ish. Sweeden peeked at a 9.3 and came immediately back down to where they where before.

Now lets look at the USA[3]. If you notice we were constantly around a 4 prior to all this happening. We spiked at a ten and came down a 7. The issue with this is that is nearly double of what is was prior to that. Sure we were topped out at a ten, but if we follow the trends of others, we would have came back down to the 4 in which was steady prior to that. We are stuck around a 7-8 at the moment, almost double of what is was prior to this happening. If you notice the trends of some of the other nations listed, they spiked and went back down to their base. We did not do this. Granted each nation is different. London has topped and still not came back down.

The point being to all this, is that we can not compare other nations to ourself. Different policies and economics almost make this impossible. Along with population size, and the amount of jobs that are available etc. There has been a little over 1.3 million jobs created in the past 3 years and most of them are still unfilled[4].

We have an increase in available jobs, and additionally an increase of people drawing unemployment checks and welfare. Add this to the fact that Obama is making the requirements less strict to receive and unemployment check, you have a nation of lazy people waiting to emerge. Where you use to have to report jobs when you called in, the only thing you have to do now is hit a button saying you looked. People are finding loopholes in this and exploiting it horribly. Even with how easy it already is, the government is still wanting to make it easier [5].


The issue with unemployment is how the president is handling it. On multiple occasions such as the stimulus package, in which he has opened up an 831 million dollar plan to decrease this issue, with the promise of decreasing it back to 4-5 where it always was. He has produced nothing and just sunk us further in debt.

Rebuttal 2

Failed energy investments

"My opponent cites that the president invested $10 billion in green energy. He describes these investments as failed because one out of the 36 companies filed for bankruptcy. I repeat. ONE out of THIRTY-SIX filed for bankruptcy, and so the ENTIRE investment package is failed"

That is just false as well. That is one of the more noticeable ones, and I only listed 36 when in reality there are over 1300. Take a look back at the presidential debate, even Romney called him out on this.

"During the first presidential debate, Mitt Romney said "about half" of the companies funded by Obama's administration went bankrupt. That is true"[6]


"But a spokesman for the Energy Department said that agency has dozens of programs that funded over 1,300 companies in the renewable energy space, and that less than 1% have gone bankrupt -- also true."[6]

"So just how many federally-funded energy companies have failed?"[6]

"A total of five have gone bankrupt, according to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. All of the failed companies that the Committee identified came from just two programs that received significant dollar amounts from the Department of Energy. Those two programs funded 63 firms. The other 58 are still in business. That's a failure rate of about 8 percent"[6]

#t=30


Rebuttal 3

Failed Stimulus Package.

Seeing as how there was no refutation to this, I will say this ties in with contention 1. Granted the main issue here is how much money is constantly taking out and borrowing to fix the economy and accomplishing nothing with it.

" As of Oct. 4, the amount the Treasury owed to the public was just under $11.94 trillion, an increase of 89.3 percent since the day Obama first became president. "[7]

In Closing

Obama by no merit is one of the best presidents we have ever had or even a good president at that. I have just listed 3 things he has monumentally failed at. With hundreds more that I can not list due to lack of space, but here are just some.

(1) Not addressed the decline in education standards
(2) Failure at the fiscal cliff.
(3) Choices about Benghazi and syria
(4) Failed immigration policies
(5) failed economic policies
(6) Addressing how obama care hurts small business growth
(7) Amount of welfare recipients constantly increasing

the list goes on and on.

He has been one of the most ineffective presidents we have ever seen.Everything that he has accomplished has almost caused as much damage as good. He has failed at unemployment, investments, education, and at decreasing the national debt. After 4 years of him being in office, we are in the same exact shape and probably even worse shape than when he took office.





[1] http://www.tradingeconomics.com...
[2] http://www.tradingeconomics.com...
[3] http://data.bls.gov...
[4] http://www.cbsnews.com...
[5] http://www.nbcmiami.com...
[6] http://money.cnn.com...
[7] http://www.factcheck.org...
Debate Round No. 3
PotBelliedGeek

Pro

My opponent made an attempt to dismantle my arguments. In this round I will demonstrate that his criticisms do not stand up to fact and logic.

1. “The prior recessions even including the great depression can help us evaluate and lay out guidelines as to how to repair the economy.”

I have one counter argument to this statement.

Rebuttal: The Great Depression can not serve as a reference of comparison for our current recession. Reason for this are numerous and include:

over the 79 years between 1929 and 2008, great changes occurred in economic philosophy and policy”[1]

“Generally speaking, the recovery of the world's financial systems tended to be quicker during the Great Depression of the 1930s as opposed to the late-2000’s Great Recession.”[2]

This is a well discussed issue, with an entire wikipedia article dedicated to explaining why they are incomparable.



2. “Also there are some other fallacies within this logic. Lets take a look at Germany for example whom is also developed.

Germany has actually had a constant decrease in the past year, and was actually spiked to around 10 during 2008. Prior to that they were at a 7 as well.”

It is not possible to compare our unemployment recovery with Germany. The reason is simply that despite what my opponent has said, the data he quoted shows very clearly that Germany DID NOT take a significant hit to their unemployment rate in 2008. See the graph below.
Historical Data Chart

Please note that this is the same data my opponent claimed for his erroneous numbers.

3. "Also lets take a look at sweeden(Sweden). Notice that from around 1992 - until current, they have been a steady 7 ish. Sweeden(Sweden) peeked at a 9.3 and came immediately back down to where they where before."

Here again my opponent misleads us by misrepresenting fact. Let us look at his source.


Historical Data ChartHere we see just before the recession, early to mid 2008, the Swedish unemployment was the same as ours. Since then their recovery has been wildly unpredictable, and their unemployment is higher than ours. This supports the idea that we are faring much better than the rest of the world.

My opponents criticism is insubstantial and does not negate my argument. Please not that experts say without the current policies, our unemployment would be more like 22% than 7.3%.

4.That is just false as well. That is one of the more noticeable ones, and I only listed 36 when in reality there are over 1300. Take a look back at the presidential debate, even Romney called him out on this.

"During the first presidential debate, Mitt Romney said "about half" of the companies funded by Obama' s administration went bankrupt. That is true"

In a classic move of deception, my opponent cites a CNN Money article to illustrate that the problem is much larger that the small example presented earlier. However, if the voters were to actually read the article, they would discover that he literally CUT a sentence in HALF,[3] presenting only what seems to support his argument. The other half of the sentence illustrates that Mitt Romney was being deceptive, and magnified the problem to greater than what it was. He did this by selecting two years out of the program, and used them to represent a two term plan.

My opponent goes on to unwittingly argue in my favor, illustrating in his own argument that out of the entire program, ONLY 8% FAILED. This clearly shows that 92% of the program WAS SUCCESSFUL.

I will point out here that my opponent used Fox News as a source to support his argument. I will assert that Fox News is an unreliable organization which lies blatantly to support their political views. If my opponent wishes to debate the reliability of Fox News, I will accept a challenge for such debate.

My opponent failed to address the fact that since Obama began his green energy investment program, the affordability and accessibility of green energy has risen by 50%.

5. Seeing as how there was no refutation to this, I will say this ties in with contention 1. Granted the main issue here is how much money is constantly taking out and borrowing to fix the economy and accomplishing nothing with it.

" As of Oct. 4, the amount the Treasury owed to the public was just under $11.94 trillion, an increase of 89.3 percent since the day Obama first became president."

Here my opponent attempts to blame Obama for our debt and deficit. As this would take an entire debate in and of itself, and my character count is limited, I will simply link to a few educational videos my opponent might learn from. Please do not take this as patronizing, degrading, or insulting my opponents level of knowledge. I simply believe that these videos can do a better job than I can.





My opponent goes on to list more things at which the president has"failed". With the exception of Benghazi (I don't know enough about it), all of the are debatable and would take an entire discussion on its own. I will debate NSA and Snowden as well, but against the president rather than for him.

In summery, my opponent fails to substantiate his claims on Unemployment, Green Energy Investments, and Deficit Spending.


Sources:
1. Tatom, John. "The Superlative Recession and Economic Policies." Munich Personal RePEc Archive 13.February (2009): 115. Web.

2. Rabinowitz, Marco. "The Great Depression vs. the Great Recession." MSN Money. Msn.com, 06 Oct. 2011. Web. 10 Nov. 2013.

3. Hargreaves, Steve. "Obama' s Alternative Energy Bankruptcies." Online Posting. CNN Money. CNN, 22 Oct. 2012. Web. 10 Nov. 2013.
Mikal

Con

Rebuttal 1

Past recessions and comparison.

My adversary still claims there is no way to compare our previous recessions to the current one. He says

"The Great Depression can not serve as a reference of comparison for our current recession. Reason for this are numerous and include: over the 79 years between 1929 and 2008, great changes occurred in economic philosophy and policy"

I do find it quite ironic that he claims changes in the economy and different types of policies make other recessions incomparable to the current one, but then goes on to use different nations with a completely different set of political ideals and philosophies as a way to judge our current recession.

On Germany

I do apologize that I skimmed through the wrong year and said 2008, that was a mistake on my part. Between 2006-2008, as you can see my from adversaries graph and some of my previous sources, their unemployment reached an all time high.


Notice that in 2001, the unemployment rate was at 7.883. In 2005 near the end of 2006 it spiked an all time high at 11.208. This can be classified as a recession. It 2010 it went to a 7.083 and most currently it has decreased to nearly a 5.235 [1].

What we must examine is that another nation experienced a recession and was able to get out and fix their unemployment rate immaculately. The same as we did during the great depression, and the same others have did during prior recessions. Any nation has the capability of making it out of a bad time period. If the economic policies and ideas limit us from accomplishing this, then we need to change them. That is the job of the president as well. Is to put in place policies that further our nation. Both Clinton and Regan did this amazingly. Obama has did nothing to further our economy or even show a decrease in numbers. He inherited a bad economy with the unemployment rate being a 7-8 during the time of his inauguration. A 7.3 during his election be exact[2]. Under his presidency the unemployment rate spiked to a 10 during of October of 2009 and back down to currently at the same number at the time he began his presidency. between 2003 and 2007 we had constant fluctuation between a 4 and 5 unemployment rate. the best Obama has produced is a 7.2[2] which is nearly 2 over what is use to be. He has not accomplished nor demonstrated any sign of this improving.

Take into consideration one of my previous contentions. He took out an 831 billion dollar stimulus package with the PROMISE of unemployment decreasing to a 6 by the end of 2012[3][4]. Needless to say he failed miserably.

On Sweden and other nations.

My adversary is missing the initial point of all these contentions. He is claiming that because other nations are in a recession as well, we have the right to justify ours.

The point is show the difference in the recessions. Among many other nations that have experienced all types of recessions, there are multiple examples to where they came back down the previous number at which they were at.

We were as low as a 4.1[2], and only dropped to a 7.2 at lowest and now climbing again. AGAIN this is after Obama took out a 831 billion dollar stimulus package with the promise of us being at a 6 or lower by the end of 2012.

Using political philosophers and economic changes as a way to justify a recession is erroneous. It just highlights the errors within his presidency compared to former presidents.

On Green energy

He claims

"My opponent goes on to unwittingly argue in my favor, illustrating in his own argument that out of the entire program, ONLY 8% FAILED. This clearly shows that 92% of the program WAS SUCCESSFUL."

My adversary right off the bat makes an error in logic. He assumes because 8 percent have failed and went belly up, that the other 92 percent are successful. The issue with this is that just because something does not fail, does not mean it is a success. The avenue from the investments have produced no viable means of hope or even yielded something worthwhile all the money put into it.

The issue is that even the companies within the 8 percent that are noticeably failing, are receiving gigantic sums of cash and going belly up. While there are a multitude of investments, the failures are more notable because of the amount of cash that has been pumped into them, and then how the company either goes bankrupt or belly up.

Just in addition to solyrnda here is another example that sticks out

"Ecotality received $135 million in total funding from the federal government over the past eight years, including $35 million for two projects that were approved in 2005 and 2011, and a $100 million grant from the Obama administration’s Recovery Act, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which gave a boost to energy-efficient companies. Ecotality filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sept. 16, but officials at the Energy Department failed to give the inspector general notice in the months leading up to the bankruptcy."[5]


As of last October the bankruptcy of solar company Satcon Technology Corp. puts the number of bankrupt or troubled green energy companies as high as 50[6][5]

Take a step back to 2011 where the Obama administration approved a 529 million dollar government loan to an electric car company in hopes of producing revenue within the US. The company takes the money and starts building cars in Finland [7].

There are countless other examples, with very few notable ones that actually have led to improvement. Again I want to note that my adversary claims because something has not failed, it has succeeded. That is not logical and a cop out to say the least. Just with 3 companies alone he has issues out more than 2 billion dollars alone, just to have them go bankrupt and take the money with them.

On the debt celing

I am well aware of how the debt ceiling and our deficit works, and am not blaming Obama for every detail of it.


Even the president claims that raising the ceiling or our borrowing limit wont raise anything a dime within our on federal debt. He has even been quoted saying this

"Raising the nation’s borrowing limit won’t add a dime to the federal debt"

Every time he presents this point, he fails to mention the fact we have borrowed 6 trillion dollars since he has taken office. Since he has been in office our debt has risen from 10.6 to 16.7 trillion dollars. To break this down that is an increase of 57 percent. As stupid as bush wash, he only managed to raise it to 38 while under Clinton it was only 32

The 89.4 percent raise is strictly only public debt and that is of last October. This also is not including social security or medicare . If you were to break this down with basic math, by the time he leaves office and just under his presidency, the public debt would have double by itself if it increased at the same rate it is going.

No matter how we look at it, raising our debt limit will not help the economy or has not helped the economy under his presidency. A Congressional Research Service report shows that Congress has used debt-limit laws to change fiscal policy 20 times since 1917. In that same 96-year span, the nation’s debt limit has been raised 103 times.



In closing.

My adversary has only offered critiques to my arguments as well. I would like everyone to note this. The only reason we have I have seen regarding why obama is a good president and one of the best ever is a breif sentence about PPACA in r1. While offering rebuttals to my arguments is part of the debate as well, pro has not even given any examples as to why we should believe his resolution.

I have shown why Obama has failed in policies and procedures, and should not be regarded as one of the best presidents ever.



[1] http://www.indexmundi.com...
[2] http://data.bls.gov...
[3] cnn.com
[4] Whitehouse.gov
[5] http://www.washingtontimes.com...
[6] huffingtonpost.com
[7] http://abcnews.go.com...
Debate Round No. 4
PotBelliedGeek

Pro

1."I do find it quite ironic that he claims changes in the economy and different types of policies make other recessions incomparable to the current one, but then goes on to use different nations with a completely different set of political ideals and philosophies as a way to judge our current recession. "

What I understand from my opponent here is that he agrees that we cannot compare or contrast separate recessions because of the differences in political ideals and philosophies. This is progress form his previous argument that we could compare recessions of the past, but not those of our present day.

But I stress here that the "Great Recession" of 2008 was a GLOBAL recession, and that most of the industrialized world was hit by the SAME RECESSION[1]. In that light, it is entirely possible to the recoveries of two industrialized nations from the SAME recession to judge the efficiency of their DIFFERENT policies. This, again, cannot be done with past recessions because they are different recessions. In doing so, we see that thanks to Obama' s recovery policies, we fared much better than the rest of the world hit by the same recession.


2.Again I want to note that my adversary claims because something has not failed, it has succeeded. That is not logical and a cop out to say the least.

In this and the surrounding clauses, my opponent continues to harp on the 8% of Obama' s green energy investment program that failed. He takes this 8%, presenting more specific examples of it in hopes of theoretically magnifying it, and uses it to discredit the 92% that, shall I say, DID NOT FAIL? The logical fallacy here is to assume that since roughly one out of thirteen of something fails, then the whole thing fails.

And in the end, he still ignores the fact that since the beginning of Obama' s green energy investments, the affordability and accessibility of green energy has GONE UP BY 50%.[2]

3."No matter how we look at it, raising our debt limit will not help the economy or has not helped the economy under his presidency."

My opponent needs to do some research on this before making a statement like that one. republicans and democrats alike, economists, professors,students, pretty much anyone who has a basic understanding of the economy will know that raising the debt ceiling is an absolute necessity for the health of our economy. The ONLY people of whom I am aware that said otherwise is ANN COULTER and RUSH LIMBAUGH. My opinion of my opponent is that he is a very intelligent and challenging adversary, and I do not believe he would view those two as knowledgeable in economics.

4."My adversary has only offered critiques to my arguments as well. I would like everyone to note this. The only reason we have I have seen regarding why obama is a good president and one of the best ever is a breif sentence about PPACA in r1. While offering rebuttals to my arguments is part of the debate as well, pro has not even given any examples as to why we should believe his resolution."

Here I thank my opponent. I had gotten sidetracked in rebuttals and forgot to support my own position. I appreciate being reminded to do so and given the opportunity. The remainder of my character count will be dedicated to listing a few of Obama' s accomplishments.

1. Passed Health Care Reform: After five presidents over a century failed to create universal health insurance, signed the Affordable Care Act (2010). It will cover 32 million uninsured Americans beginning in 2014 and mandates a suite of experimental measures to cut health care cost growth, the number one cause of America’s long-term fiscal problems.

2. Passed the Stimulus: Signed $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 to spur economic growth amid greatest recession since the Great Depression. Weeks after stimulus went into effect, unemployment claims began to subside. Twelve months later, the private sector began producing more jobs than it was losing, and it has continued to do so for twenty-three straight months, creating a total of nearly 3.7 million new private-sector jobs.

3. Passed Wall Street Reform: Signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (2010) to re-regulate the financial sector after its practices caused the Great Recession. The new law tightens capital requirements on large banks and other financial institutions, requires derivatives to be sold on clearinghouses and exchanges, mandates that large banks provide “living wills” to avoid chaotic bankruptcies, limits their ability to trade with customers’ money for their own profit, and creates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (now headed by Richard Cordray) to crack down on abusive lending products and companies.

4. Ended the War in Iraq: Ordered all U.S. military forces out of the country. Last troops left on December 18, 2011.

5. Began Drawdown of War in Afghanistan: From a peak of 101,000 troops in June 2011, U.S. forces are now down to 91,000, with 23,000 slated to leave by the end of summer 2012. According to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the combat mission there will be over by next year.

6. Eliminated Osama bin laden: In 2011, ordered special forces raid of secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in which the terrorist leader was killed and a trove of al-Qaeda documents was discovered.

7. Turned Around U.S. Auto Industry: In 2009, injected $62 billion in federal money (on top of $13.4 billion in loans from the Bush administration) into ailing GM and Chrysler in return for equity stakes and agreements for massive restructuring. Since bottoming out in 2009, the auto industry has added more than 100,000 jobs. In 2011, the Big Three automakers all gained market share for the first time in two decades. The government expects to lose $16 billion of its investment, less if the price of the GM stock it still owns increases.

8. Recapitalized Banks: In the midst of financial crisis, approved controversial Treasury Department plan to lure private capital into the country’s largest banks via “stress tests” of their balance sheets and a public-private fund to buy their “toxic” assets. Got banks back on their feet at essentially zero cost to the government.

10. Toppled Moammar Gaddafi: In March 2011, joined a coalition of European and Arab governments in military action, including air power and naval blockade, against Gaddafi regime to defend Libyan civilians and support rebel troops. Gaddafi’s forty-two-year rule ended when the dictator was overthrown and killed by rebels on October 20, 2011. No American lives were lost.

The original list from the Washington Monthly contains 50 of his accomplishments and can be found here:
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com...

A much longer list can be found here, along with references for each one:
http://www.addictinginfo.org...



Sources:

1. Verick, Sher, and Iyanatul Islam. "The Great Recession of 2008-2009: Causes, Consequences and Policy Responses." IZA 4934th ser. Discussion Papers (2010): 39-49. Griffin University, May 2010. Web. Nov. 2013

Haveman, Joel. "The Great Recession of 2008–09: Year In Review 2009." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 29 Jan. 2010. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

2.Marcacci, Silvio. "Analysis: 50 Percent Reduction In Renewable Energy Cost Since 2008."Www.theenergycollective.com. The Energy Collective, 20 Sept. 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

And with this I conclude my final round of debate. I thank my opponent for an intelligent and engaging discussion, and I look forward to his closing arguments.

Mikal

Con

I would like to thank my adversary for a great debate. This is the first round that I actually get to offer rebuttals for his reasons regarding as to why Obama is a great president and one of the best we have ever had. I will also rebuild upon some of the other contentions he responded too. I am limited to a character limit so I will have to do each with a minimal response.

Rebuttals

Health Care Reform - Obama has passed the affordable care act, and granted there are major up sides to this but just as many or more down sides. One of the good things is that it makes sure someone who is ill can not be denied coverage. The issue with this is what it is doing to small business growth and ownership. In a time of rising unemployment and how difficult it is to find a job, it raises the cost of hiring workers by making sure employers have to pay health insurance or pay a fee if they do not. [1]

Stimulus Package - Needless to say I do not need to spend much time on this. I have already cited and shown how this is failed. He took out billions of dollars with the PROMISE of bringing unemployment down to a 6 by the end of 2012 and it failed horribly. We went down to a 7.2 and back up to a 7.3 right after. We are no where near the mark that he aimed for.

Wall Street Reform - This is one I agree with. It was a great idea and good ideology behind it. This however does not cancel out all the stupidity and bad decisions he has amassed during his terms and definitely does not quality him for the title of one of the best presidents ever.

Ended the War In Iraq - He often claims credit for killing bin laden and pulling all the troops out but most people are aware of the truth behind this. During the time they were trying to kill Bin laden , it was through the persistent work of one agent that helped them find him. This is even portrayed in the book and the movie zero dark thirty. Liberties were taken but if you look up the real story, it is very similar to the two. One FBI agent had an idea of where bin ladin was and would not let it go. Pushed and pushed for them to raid a building where they believed he was at, and fought numerous and great resistance from the Obama administration. When they were left with no choice the president authorized the strike, and then tried to take credit for everything. [2][3] In addition to this pulling out troops from Afghanistan in a controversial time.

An analyst writes this when they pulled the troops out

"Similarly, the current public discussion of zero U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan after 2014 will encourage those hardliner elements of the Taliban who have no interest in a negotiated settlement and believe they can simply wait the Americans out. It also discourages the many millions of Afghans who see a longtime U.S. presence as the best guarantor that the Taliban won't come back in any meaningful way and also an important element in dissuading powerful neighbors such as Pakistan from interference in Afghanistan's internal affairs."

Began Drawdown and eliminated Bin Laden - See prior point

Auto Industry Bail Out - Granted this is probably his greatest achievement and there happened to be other ways to put the company back on track without funneling all the government money and control that was put into this. The outcome was satisfactory but they could have just as easily been guided through bankruptcy and started fresh. This is something mit was mentioning when he was running for president. Just from a business prospective the entire process of bankruptcy is something I am fluent with. Allowing them to go through a chapter 11 , would guarantee them their assets . Filing a chapter 11 is almost the same thing as filing a chapter 13. A 13 for the common man is nick named a wage earners bankruptcy. Where essentially you pay back your debt through your income over a set period of time. It is taken before a judge and he approves a budget and each individual creditor is issued a proof of claim regarding their entitlements to the case. A chapter 7 is liquidation. Had the car manufacturers went through a a chapter 11 it was a way for them to reorganize their debt and pay it back, and would ultimately have the same outcome without the government actually have to seize control of the company itself. I could walk someone through the entire process of what bankruptcy does and entails but don't have the limit to do so. For notes see [4]

Due to character limitation I am not going to able to offer full responds to the following points without being able to offer a closing and rebuild upon my initial contentions. I will make a quick note about moammar and him recapitalized banks so I can at least hit every point. Both of these you can see some of my prior contentions regarding bail outs and the ploy the government makes when they do them. It gives them control over the company without holding the company, banks, or industry accountable. Usually bad choices result in bad outcomes. As I mentioned a second ago bankruptcy was a viable alternative for the car companies to get back on track and still hold strong and stimulate the economy after they came through it. The same logic can be applied in all aspects and bail outs in most cases. Moammar was generally given credit to Obama but again, just because the military accomplishes it does not mean the president is responsible for all the decisions made in order for the completion of the task. It just means he was in office at the time they took down a certain person.

Failed Unemployment

"What I understand from my opponent here is that he agrees that we cannot compare or contrast separate recessions because of the differences in political ideals and philosophies. This is progress form his previous argument that we could compare recessions of the past, but not those of our present day. "

I am not agreeing to that in the way you worded it. I am merely stating that it is physically impossible to compare a time period or different region in the same exact way. They can however be used an outline. Almost every recession that we experience there is a period where unemployment rises and our economy hurts, but after a period of time we go back down to where we were prior to that. I have cited examples from other regions and time periods to show this as true. The recession we are experience now is the exact opposite. We have went from a 4 to a 10, to a 7.2 and back up to a 7.2. All of this after billions of dollars have been taken out by Obama with the promise of taking it back where it use to be. We have not seen any signs of this happening or even ripple effects from the stimulus money he has taken out.

Failed energy investments

See my prior sources. I would go into this but I have less than 900 characters remaining. Essentially he has dipped out billions of dollars in investments to major companies whom have went bankrupt or belly up, and the ones that have not have accomplished essentially nothing. Just in three major corporations he dished out over 2 billion dollars and all of them went out of business or went belly up. Also see my prior examples of him lending money to multiple companies and them taking the money and doing manufacturing overseas. These investments have did nothing but fail.

In Closing

We have seen no reason to believe Obama is one of the best presidents ever. He has failed in most of his policies and ideals, and under his terms we have suffered one of the worst recessions ever with no signs of it getting better. He believes borrowing money will take us out of debt , all the while our economy has got worse under this logic. Regan, Clinton and others all had recessions, and did 20 times more.





[1] https://www.govtrack.us...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://www.nytimes.com...
[4] http://money.howstuffworks.com...
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
11) CON: "Again I want to note that my adversary claims because something has not failed, it has succeeded"

Well, it has certainly not failed.

12) CON: "My adversary has only offered critiques to my arguments as well. I would like everyone to note this. The only reason we have I have seen regarding why obama is a good president and one of the best ever is a breif sentence about PPACA in r1."

Noted.

13) CON: "This is the first round that I actually get to offer rebuttals for his reasons regarding as to why Obama is a great president and one of the best we have ever had. "

Noted. I ignored all new arguments brought in the final round, especially given the laundry-list nature of PRO's list.

---

CONCLUSION:

PRO's opening was exceptionally weak, although I found his rebuttals to be quite strong. I will breakdown arguments by category:

Green - PRO wins narrowly here, as I found CON to have manipulated bankruptcy rate numbers and did not address PRO's point about affordability and availability. In fact, I will score conduct for what seemed to be blatant mischaracterization of bankruptcy rates - I could not ascertain any real reason for such manipulation other than deceit. I have no idea how CON justifiably shrank the relevant number of companies from 1300 to 63 and somehow found this to be valid.

Unemployment - PRO wins big here. PRO asserts that unemployment needs to be compared to the Great Depression, and even without PRO citing those numbers, it is evident the numbers following 2008 have been relatively benign.

Debt - CON wins on debt.

To close, I don't know why PRO did not focus on Obama's foreign policy, which I consider to be the strongest mark of his presidency. As it stands, CON does not challenge "productivity", and given the numbers stemming from a Great Depression event, Obama did quite well. Arguments PRO.

Given that the debate was close, I will award S&G to CON even though it was only slightly better.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
1) CON: "and we are now in the second quarter of 2012. "

No, we are in Q1 of fiscal year 2014 already.

2) CON: "It can be said that he inherited a bad economy, but so did Regan and Clinton. Both implemented policies that single handily flipped the economy around, and made it function better. "

Good point, although I remain unconvinced.

3) After, opening arguments, I find CON much more convincing, and this despite my bias towards a PRO position.

4) PRO: "My counter argument is that this recession was the WORST recession since the great depression, and the WORST economic crisis since the data used by my opponent begins[1]."

Agree.

5) CON: " The prior recessions even including the great depression can help us evaluate and lay out guidelines as to how to repair the economy. "

True, but your numbers do not include the Great Depression.

6) CON's anti-green argument actually bolsters PRO's case in citing the low percentage of bankruptcies. CON's manipulation of 1300 companies magically shrunken to 63 firms is inexplicable and irresponsible.

7) PRO: "the data he quoted shows very clearly that Germany DID NOT take a significant hit to their unemployment rate in 2008. See the graph below."

Fair enough.

8) PRO: ". However, if the voters were to actually read the article, they would discover that he literally CUT a sentence in HALF,"

Broken link posted by CON...cannot verify.

9) CON: "Between 2006-2008, as you can see my from adversaries graph and some of my previous sources, their unemployment reached an all time high. "

Terrible argument. There was no global recession from 2006-2008.

10) CON: "He took out an 831 billion dollar stimulus package with the PROMISE of unemployment decreasing to a 6 by the end of 2012[3][4]. Needless to say he failed miserably. "

This failure to keep the promise needs to be weighed against the fact that CON does not have any arguments comparing this recession to the Great Depression.
Posted by Robdog_1996 3 years ago
Robdog_1996
Fantastic argument and I strongly agree with the Pro. He has done more for America then most presidents.
Posted by tylergraham95 3 years ago
tylergraham95
Meant to say in my RFD that I might have awarded S&G to Pro if Con's conduct hadn't been so deserving.
Posted by Scoobings 3 years ago
Scoobings
Can't vote, but if I could it would go to Pro. Well argued, both of you!
Posted by TheHighwayman 3 years ago
TheHighwayman
Btw Canada's unemployment rate is below America's.
Also unemployment rate is very inaccurate.
11 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
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Reasons for voting decision: see comments.
Vote Placed by miketheman1200 3 years ago
miketheman1200
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Reasons for voting decision: This was a great debate! I didnt like the comparison Pro began making about other countries as Con points out that our economic systems differ vastly and that looking at our own past is more effective. Con makes more convincing arguments as to how Obama is not a great president. Pro does not effectively refute points made by Pro on his points on bad investments, the stimulus package, and presidential greatness.
Vote Placed by johnnyvbassist 3 years ago
johnnyvbassist
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Reasons for voting decision: Fantastic debate. One of the best I have ever read on this website. Both sides argued incredibly well and it was a delight to read both sides of the argument. Both presented convincing cases for their thesis. Conduct was in order. I am going to have to give sources to Pro for using them correctly and using more reliable sources, though fewer. Con had sources but self-admittedly misread one and did not rely on as reliable of sources. I also have to give s/g to Pro because there were some points I could not follow Con due to grammatical error. Again, great debate and each debater should be proud.
Vote Placed by 1Historygenius 3 years ago
1Historygenius
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Reasons for voting decision: Con was a able to explain his arguments and refutations better and more detail than Pro. Some of Pro's arguments like comparing the current recession with a past one were extremely weak. I felt that Con had much stronger sources in this debate.
Vote Placed by GiantSpoonMan 3 years ago
GiantSpoonMan
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Reasons for voting decision: Very close debate. I give a slight edge in both arguments and sources to con but it was very very close.
Vote Placed by MoralityProfessor 3 years ago
MoralityProfessor
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Reasons for voting decision: This was a well constructed debate, good arguments from both sides. S&G goes to Pro because I noticed a few mistakes in Con's side. Conduct goes to Con because Pro sets a slightly aggressive tone to the debate. Sources were tied and arguments go to Con mainly because Pro spent most of the debate offering rebuttal's to Con's arguments and when he did finally offer some of his own, Con successfully refuted them.
Vote Placed by tylergraham95 3 years ago
tylergraham95
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Reasons for voting decision: Sources were used somewhat haphazardly by the Con and Pro called him out on it effectively. Conduct goes to Con for pros employment of some passive aggressive wording and a hostile tone of debate. Overall a good debate and very entertaining to read. Major kudos to Mikal for handeling this debate in a very proper and intellectual fashion. Arg went to pro because pro seemed to prove more effectively his contentions regarding recession and green policy. Con came very close to winning this for me but the pro takes it because the points that Pro proved outweighed the points brought up by the con. The pro point regarding Obama's success in preventing a much worse recession and his points on the increase on green affordability are really big slam dunks for me. Pro argument was littered with hints of anger, but not enough to DQ his argument. Very good job by both sides.
Vote Placed by Emily77 3 years ago
Emily77
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Reasons for voting decision: It was an all around great debate on both sides, however there were far too many logical flaws in Con's argumentation and thus, I believe the debate should go to Pro.
Vote Placed by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
PotBelliedGeekMikalTied
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Reasons for voting decision: WOW...Great debate. I give a slim win to Con. I wanted more empirics from Pro upfront (Rounds 2-3) but Pro did gain ground quickly in Rounds 4 and 5. Some arguments go Pro, e.g. it's not Obama's fault unemployment is high, Wall St. Reform worked, and the Auto Bailout worked, but it's insufficient offense when compared with Con who is winning the Osama, Energy, and Stimulus arguments. Therefore, when I ask myself, is Obama one of the best presidents (the established metric for the round) I have to answer no, based on the arguments Con is winning. Therefore, while Pro rallied valiantly, I vote Con.
Vote Placed by Nyx999 3 years ago
Nyx999
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Reasons for voting decision: Really good debate, I'm glad that a topic concerning Obama was tackled intellectually instead of in the normal fashion used by most conservatives (so good on that Con), it was really close, but in the end, I think Pro made the better arguments. (Ooh another thing, the arguments of both parties were nicely organized.)