President Obama has been Directly Detrimental to our Economy and National Security
Con Will be presenting the case that the administration's actions have provided positive results for the United States.
This first round is reserved for my explanation and my opponent's acceptance. The following two rounds are for argumentation, and the 4th round is for argumentation and closing statements.
My thanks in advance to my opponent.
All I have to do is prove that "the entire Obama administration" is not held completely accountable for the current state of America.
My opponent seems to be one of the many who ascribes empirical data to the overall performance/trends of the economy.
I will prove my opponent's premise to be erroneous. I will use a historical example, logical analysis and, most importantly,
As for National Security, I will present arguments and rebuttal in response to my opponent's assertions.
Many of the problems we suffer today will be pinned on George W. Bush and his adminstration.
My thanks to Beginner for accepting this debate.
However- I see a slight problem with the way he presumes he will present his case. My definition of “the current state of America” is where we are today, contrasted with where we should be today; and, the way we are headed contrasted with the way we should be heading. Both of these have to take into account where Obama started. You obviously cannot pretend he started with no debt and a surplus budget. I had thought I had made the purpose of this debate clear in both the Title of the debate and when I said that I would be arguing the premise that his policies had either a “catastrophic, poor, or neutral” affect on the USA.
Also- I believe in the explanation I explicitly stated that the con side of the argument would be arguing that the President’s policies produced a positive or desired affect on the USA. My opponent has said that all he needs to do was prove that where we are right now is not completely the Obama Administrations fault. I will respectfully say that is not the case. He will need to argue that The Administration has been a benefactor to America.
Now that I’ve cleared that up, on to the debate.
My Claim and Thesis-
In 2008, Barack Obama was voted President of the United States of America. In 2008, America owed a massive 10 Trillion Dollar national debt. In 2008, the economy was in free fall, and in 2008, Americans chose Barack Obama to lead us away from this crisis.
First off- It is NOT to be believed that the Obama administration was not confronted with a wealth of problems the moment they set foot in the white house. They were. To assume otherwise is ignorant. Indeed, He inherited a mess-
But his job was to make it better.
Argument #1: The National Debt
Potentially the biggest problem we face as a nation today is our colossal debt crisis. Where does it stand as we speak? An almost difficult to write- 16.17 Trillion Dollars.
Where did it stand 4 Years ago? 10 Trillion Dollars.
There’s a math problem you can do on a paper napkin. Barack Obama has created in excess of 6 trillion dollars of debt. But for you visual people, Here’s a graph: (If it does not appear, I have not posted it correctly. I would be grateful for some assisstance.)
Date of Graph-About 500 billion dollars ago.
That line should not be going up- It should be going down. That is the direction Obama promised it would be heading, a promise that was not kept. What did Obama say? He said “If I don’t have this under control in 4 ye-in 3 years, than its going to be a one-term proposition for me.” -Barack Obama.
I think its safe to say he promised to have this spending issue under control. But He doesn’t have it under control, he never did have it under control, and I trust that he never will have it under control. Why do I presume this? Because never once in all of his four years presiding in the White House did he pass ONE BUDGET with balanced spending to solve this debt crisis. As we speak, our government is spending in excess of 1 Trillion dollars more than they receive in Revenue. In fact, the 2013 budget our President submitted to congress received a unanimous vote-NO.
513-0. The vote of the Congress against the 2013 budget. That means that every representative, every senator, every democrat and every republican, voted against the budget. If from nowhere else, take it from our National Legislatures that this President does not know how to reduce spending in a responsible way.
My opponent will argue that our President has not increased the deficit, and that federal spending is increasing at its slowest ever rate.
First off: The Debt and Deficit are NOT interchangeable terms and mustn't be treated as such. The National Debt is cumulative. The Deficit refers to how much we are spending and how much we are making. (Assuming the former surpasses the latter, else it would not be a deficit.)
The Deficit = US Federal Tax Revenue - US Federal Spending
So: 2,418,814,800,000 Dollars
- 3,553,330,800,000 Dollars
= -1,134,433,800,000 Dollars
(Values are approximated since each is changing by thousands of dollars every second)
The proposition that our President is handling spending responsibly is quite simply absurd. First is the fact that even though his spending is increasing at a crawl, it is still increasing. At the very moment of Crisis when the USA needs a responsible leader who will cut costs, this president increases them. When you are 16 Trillion in debt, you have to start making the cuts.
Sub-Conclusion for Argument #1
President Obama’s promise in regard to the National Debt was not kept. Although he claimed he would have the situation under control by this time in his presidency, he does not. The President himself said that if he didn’t, he would not be re-elected. Instead of eliminating the deficit and decreasing our National Debt, this president has upheld our deficit and increased our Debt. Where should we be? The Debt ought to be under 10 Trillion dollars, or at least even at 10 Trillion dollars, because that is where he started; and our spending should not exceed our revenue. President Obama has failed in both of these aspects. This failure hurts the stability of the economy, the value of the American Dollar, and America’s financial security. We are just years away from an economic collapse. We are at the edge of the cliff of disaster, and this man is pushing us off.
Spending Policy Rating: Catastrophic.
Argument 2: Job Creation
In my second argument, I will be examining the Administration’s policy’s affects on the economy by evaluating Job Creation.
President Obama claims he has created 4.5 Million Jobs. This is true. 4.5 Million Jobs have been added to the economy since the economy hit rock bottom in 2010. If you include that, Obama has a net loss of jobs since he has taken office.
My opponent’s objection:
The BLS reported that in September, some 800k jobs were added, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.8%, the lowest it has ever been since the day our President took office.
The State of California neglected to send in its employment statistics in September. So the September Jobs report does not include the most populous and economically depressed state in the USA. So yes, in September, we added 800,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 7.8%, if you don’t count California, the most populated and economically depressed state in the USA, which also happens to have the 8th largest economy in the world:
The real unemployment rate still remains at 14.6%. That number counts the people who have given up looking for a job.
Now that I have nullified and discredited this latest jobs report, President Obama was not able to keep unemployment under 8% during any point in his Presidency. It was predicted by President Obama’s study that unemployment would never surpass 8%, and that by this time, unemployment would be under 6%. Not only did Obama’s stimulus plan fail, it wasted almost 800 billion dollars.
(Same image problems?)
Employment Policy Rating: Poor/neutral
President Obama has failed to keep his promises both in regard to the national debt and in regard to employment. His policies have not had the desired affect on the economy, they have actually had a detrimental one. 23 Million Americans are out of work, 14.6%. This is unacceptable. Where should we be? Where he said we would be, at the very least, and we aren’t even there. Our Economy is growing at a measly 1.5%. This is the slowest recovery since post WW2.
Barack Obama’s Policies have spent 6 Trillion dollars, kept unemployment above 8% for 43 months, kept 23 Million Americans out of work, created a net loss of jobs, and has brought us four years closer to economic collapse.
Note: I am nearing the character limit. Arguments will continue in following rounds. Including more on National Security.
"Con Will be presenting the case that the administration's actions have provided positive results for the United States."
My opponent wants to present his case against Barack Obama's performance, that is fine. He wants to prove this performance to be detrimental, that is fine as well. By creating this debate, my opponent places a burden of proof on himself to convince the adjudicator of his premise. The burden of proof is not shared. A shared burden of proof creates an impractical and messy debate situation in which judging is very difficult. I will present my case anyway.
My opponent's biggest claim, that Obama has directly caused the $6,000,000,000,000 in the deficit is false. Let us first look at how this deficit started. In the beginning of 2001, when president Bush took office, our nation was running on a surplus. This surplus was a result of something very important Bush Sr. had done 2 terms ago. Bush Sr. was known for this very popular creed: "Read my lips, no new taxes" and yet he raised taxes. The question is... why? Why would he do such a politically stupid move, go back on his promise and lose the presidency (because there is 0 chance he could win the presidency after making such a contradicting move). Bush Sr. did this because the economy required it. Raising taxes helped increase federal revenue and led the economy in a direction of health and regeneration. This tax increase significantly aided Clinton's presidency as all Clinton had to do was watch the high federal revenue lead the economy from the deficit to a surplus. By the time Bush Jr. took office, we had actually broken deficit. This anecdote shows that economic trends span many years past the presidency of any single president and a specific change (tax increase) does not create any immediate effect. This also helps me to clarify the contrasting policies of George W. Bush and that of the 2 administrations before him. One of the dumbest most notable policy Bush enacted was the horrific tax cut and the war on terrorism simultaneously. Historically, every war we have fought had seen to a notable tax increase to pay for the huge costs of participating in a war. Bush not only decreased the federal revenue, he increased spending so much that we dropped trillions in a matter of years. The scale of this was horrendous.
As you can see, the deficit percentage exploded under Bush's adminstration, especially near the end of Bush's term. When Obama entered into the presidency in 2009, the deficit rate was huge. Although it is still there, the deficit rate has clearly not increased and has, in fact, been dropping under Obama's administration. The slope of the trend is steepening and improving. While this is true, the deficit still exists, so even if the deficit rate is decreasing, the actual deficit is increasing. My opponent looks at the numbers and denounces the actions of the president for causing it. I look at the rate of deficit and say that we are being pulled in the right direction. My opponent's empirical analysis fails to take into account the more subtle but equally prominent features of such data. By proving the overall trend to be positive in this way, I have successfully fulfilled my 'burden of proof' (that I have one is hilarious) that Obama has indeed provided positive results.
So we are in a deficit, what happens? Why is it taking so long for the deficit to subside? I will explain. A budget deficit, offset by low taxes and a simultaneous increase in spending in our case, has a wide variety of effects. One of which is the self-increasing nature of the deficit. How is a deficit self-increasing? Obama has taken the presidency at one of the worst conditions that is coming closer to being on par with the Great Depression. The deficit cuts a deep gash in our economy. The government, no matter the conditions, is forced to cut back on spending and raise taxes. Cutting back on spending means less funds for a plethora of prefessions such as teaching our law enforcement. Less funds creates less incentive to work (wouldn't you have less incentive to work if you were payed less?) Less incentive to work means a detrimental decrease in GDP and tax revenues. The effect on these professions also cause a shockwave effect on other jobs. Let us take the most basic example of a teacher and a student. The teacher loses incentive, less pay means lower quality of work (I assume many of these economic/psychological reactions to be obvious, but if my opponent would like me to explain this, I can do so upon request). Lower quality of work means lower quality of education which creates a skill deficiency that, in return, affects economic output. Decreased economic output means decreased tax revenues. This is just one case example, but occurs on a larger scale.
Government sell bonds (I will here assume the reader knows what bonds are to save character space) to investors. As the deficit increases, bonds become riskier. To ensure investors will hold on to these bonds, the government must increase bond interest rate. This is a direct increase to the deficit as the government owes even more to individuals. There would also be inadvertently less investors, meaning less funds. This creates a scenario in which the government is forced to make budget cuts to maintain the economic situation.
Another must-be-addressed fact is that the baby boomers are nearing retirement. What does this portend for our federal government? There will be trillions in social security that the US is going to have to dole out to nearly eighty million people. The federal government owes debt to social security. Many services the government can no longer fund forces it to print currency (dropping currency value), borrow heavily from outside nations, and/or dig deep into our reserves, further increasing our deficit because our federal revenue, as established earlier, is too low. As less people work, less is being produced, and more are unwilling to buy. The GDP decreases while causing the deficit to increase.
Our increasingly risky economic conditions caused by the deficit give rise to a decreased number of entrepreneurs willing to invest to start businesses, meaning less jobs, less revenues, etc.
The point is, the deficit would continue increasing numerically no matter who took the presidency.
Economic effects span across much larger periods. There is only so much a president can do. Obama spent the 6 billion dollars? That is a ridiculous claim. He has limited power. States also feed the deficit. It is fundamentally the people who control the economy as a whole.
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Our mandatoryy spending totals 2.43 trillion dollars. That is almost the total revenue itself.
Discretionary spending is technically mandatory since it doles out payment to jobs such as the FBI, the Coast Guard, housing and education, space exploration, highway construction, defense, and foreign aid. Obama is spending this? Obama has minimal influence in this. It'd be stupid to drop military spending and collapse our defense. It'd be stupid to stop paying for housing, education and social services/security as it would cause massive discord (when the people suffer at a large enough scale, the government becomes endangered as shown by historical revolutionary events).
The easiest, most direct solution to the deficit would be to implement an incredibly high tax rate and drastically cut spending. If this happens, we would see violent revolt by millions of angry americans in a short matter of years.
In round 3, I would like to begin by putting the controversy concerning “the burden of proof” to rest. I will implement clear logic into the elaboration; so as to show the reasoning behind the way I had constructed this debate. I will then move to examining my opponent’s argument; while doing so I will systematically discredit a list of fallacies in regards to economics and in some ways, history.
The Great Controversy of Proof
When I submitted this debate, I clearly established the fact that I would be arguing the premise that the policies of the Obama Administration had either a “catastrophic, poor, or neutral” affect on the economy. Throughout this portion of my argument, I will refer to these terms as the “3 criteria” from now on. In substance, these 3 criteria can be compressed into 1 single criterion. This idea is the fact that the administration’s policies have had a poor effect on the economy. My opponent understands this condensed idea, as is found evident in the following quotation, an excerpt from his response in round two:
"My opponent wants to present his case against Barack Obama's performance, that is fine."
Through this statement, I conclude that my opponent understands that my 3 criteria allude to the basic, condensed premise that Barack Obama's performance has been poor. Now to explain exactly how I condense my 3 criteria into 1, poor:
1. Catastrophic is simply the extreme form of the word poor.
2. Poor is poor.
3. The third Criteria, "neutral" is directly dependent on context. In a poor context, such as Obama’s, a neutral policy leaves poor as it was. America cannot afford poor, and therefore a policy that has no affect is a poor one, because it leaves us in the poor state it found us in. In this case, doing nothing is a poor policy.
I feel I have now accurately condensed my premise into 1 criterion. The 3 criteria were initially shown as a form of gratuitous elaboration, and to place emphasis on some of the drastically poor policies by labeling them "catastrophic." I have also proved that the term "neutral" works in advantage to my cause, because of the context it is used in. As a reminder, the "cause" is to work against Obama's performance, which I feel is an accurate statement that was actually made by my opponent, as cited above.
Now that I have explained what I have, I ask my opponent a critical question:
How do you plan to negate my premise, which you have said you would do by taking the con side, without presenting evidence to the contrary?
Allow me to elaborate further: If a policy doesn't have a poor affect, and it doesn't have a neutral one, than what affect does logic require it to have? A beneficial one. It cannot just be nonexistent. The policy has to have some affect. If the affect was neutral, than it is mine to argue and works in favor of my cause. I claimed the “neutral affect” explicitly in the explanation, and I have included a complex explanation for why I did so above. The majority of my opponents argument in round two tries to explain why it was Bush's fault. While this is in fact a fallacy, and will be addressed as such, let us presume for the moment that it is valid, so to evaluate the maximum potency of his argument to his cause. If it was all Bush's fault, and everything we suffer through today is because of Bush, than at most, all this proves is that Obama has had a neutral affect. He has left us on the path he was trying to lead us off. My opponent is attempting to remove the blame from the shoulders of Obama and place it upon the back of Bush. But this does not prove a positive affect; it proves a neutral one. And a neutral affect works in my favor.
Again I state to my opponent: If you wish to negate my premise, logic demands you must present evidence to the contrary, since in this context I logically claim the neutral argument in my favor.
Finally, at the beginning of my opponent’s argument, the way he reiterates what I said makes it sound like I removed part of the burden I "placed upon myself" and unfairly shoved it onto his back. If you read the above, you will understand very clearly that it was another gratuitous elaboration, explaining to whoever my opponent was to be what logic required of him.
"I will prove my opponent's premise to be erroneous."
I feel you understand that you will need to convince me of something. You yourself used the word “prove”.
Examination of My opponent’s Argument:
My opponent, Beginner, has constructed a defense based around the fact that Bush is responsible for our troubles. Bush is gone. “The president’s policies now affect what it happening now.” While I was reading round two, it was evident to me that much of what my opponent was arguing was false. I will now discredit a list of fallacies found within my opponent’s round 2 arguments.
List of Fallacies:
“Bush Sr. did this because the economy required it. Raising taxes helped increase federal revenue and led the economy in a direction of health and regeneration.”
-This is incorrect. Raising taxes will never help the economy, ever. It may help the federal government balance their budget, but this does not assist GDP growth and job creation as you have suggested. When you raise taxes, businesses have less capital to expand. If they can’t expand, they can’t hire people. It is extraordinarily simple. It helped Bush Sr. balance the budget, but it slowed economic growth. Because the economy required it? No. Because his spending required it. It obviously did not cut growth entirely, but it is not the affective way to help the economy.
“Bush not only decreased the federal revenue, he increased spending so much that we dropped trillions in a matter of years.”
-This is incorrect. The Bush tax cuts were in essence an investment, as all tax cuts are. Federal revenue was decreased shortly after, but what my opponent neglects to mention is that in the year 2007, the economic growth provided the federal government with its best fiscal year in American History, in terms of tax revenue.
Total Revenue 2007: 2.568 Trillion dollars.
“My opponent looks at the numbers and denounces the actions of the president for causing it.”
-If I have not already made this clear, than I will do so once and for all right now. I blame him for not fixing it. That was his job.
This is the only real point I must negate. Since economic growth has narrowed the 1.3 trillion dollar deficit by a few billion this last year, my opponent presumes we are heading the right direction. Allow me to utilize an analogy to show why we are, in fact, not.
Imagine America is a car speeding to toward a 1000 foot cliff. A new driver comes into the car (we will assume for the analogy’s sake that this is physically possible); this driver does not stop the car, he only turns the car wheel a couple of inches. Obama has only turned the car wheel a couple of inches. And this is because the car wheels (the economy after hitting rock bottom with nowhere to go but up), began to turn themselves, so to speak. Are we heading in the right direction? No. We are still heading off of the cliff.
In response to my 2 argument attack, my opponent has only attempted to refute the first argument. He made no attempt to offer rebuttal to my job creation argument, so the second half of my resolution, which argues agaisnt the president’s job policies, stands as presented.
The second portion of my opponent’s argument was an attempt to show why cutting spending is difficult. It is. But its not an option. You cannot spend more than you make! Period. It’s actually quite irrelevant to argue that cutting spending is hard, it is not as if we have the choice. Weigh the odds, my friends: Make the difficult cuts, or go bankrupt because we were too spoiled to do so. If we go bankrupt, America as we know it will practically cease to exist.
Cutting spending is not a choice; it is a responsibility, an absolute necessity.
Beginner forfeited this round.
Closing Sentiments and Regards:
Firstly, I would like to thank my opponent, beginner, for accepting my debate and arguing the topic with me. Even though there were some discrepancies over the matter of what we were actually debating, I was quite satisfied with this; and I would happily arbitrate the subject again.
I would also like to thank the voters. Each response in this debate was quite lengthy. I know for a fact I was once just 4 characters shy of the monstrous 8,000 character limit, so if you have read this far and are considering our arguments, than I am very appreciative.
Response to any New Arguments:
In recognition of the forfeit, there are no new arguments to be dealt with.
Why I Feel I Deserve the Vote:
In my first argument, I utilized a twin attack, two-pronged, if you will. The first point was in regards to the deficit and the debt, (the particulars are listed in round two), and the second scrutinized the the statistics and methodology of President Obama's job creation policies.
My opponent's response, as recorded in round two, is strictly characterized by playing the "blame game." The majority of it is focused not on President Obama's strategies and their implications, but on those of others. He then went on to explain the difficulties of spending cuts. Believe me folks, I recognize them. But unlike my opponent, I have made aware the necessity of such cuts. It is not an option that we can groan and wail about the particulars. If our nation is to remain, a balanced budget is a pure necessity. To suggest otherwise is quite frankly ridiculous. Please note that nowhere in my opponents assertions is found a rebuttal to the second point of my attack. There was absolutely no reference to anything concerning job creation. Whether this absence was a result of pure neglect or if it was just due to the limitations of the character limit, I do not know. But any chance that my opponent had to refute my second argument was lost in his forfeiture of the third round.
As far as conduct is concerned, I believe both I and my opponent were both quite civil in our arbitration.
As far as spelling and grammar is concerned, I feel that both of ours was fairly decent.
I will point out my opponents confusing misuse of the words deficit and debt. I had defined them in my argument and yet my opponent continued to use them as if they were synonyms. To be fair, I have seen professional politicians make this mistake as well. I suppose this would be categorized more in the vocabulary region than the spelling and grammar one.
Argumentation-wise: Like I said before, I presented two points; my opponent refuted only one. That one refutation was met by my part with a thorough rebuttal and counter assertion. My opponent forfeited round three, so everything I have said has gone either unchallenged or has been sufficiently supported.
Once again, I want to thank my opponent and the voters. This was a fantastic debate and I am looking forward to my next argument on the topic.