The Instigator
A-ThiestSocialist
Pro (for)
Winning
30 Points
The Contender
constans
Con (against)
Losing
18 Points

Ronald Reagan hurt America, more than he helped it.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/13/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 8,700 times Debate No: 388
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (16)

 

A-ThiestSocialist

Pro

Before I begin with my case, I ask that any members voting on the round put their personal political beliefs behind, and simply vote specifically on the round.

I intend to prove the resolution though analysis of the actions of Reagan, and their impacts. First, I'd like to begin with the following observations.

Observation 1: In this debate we simply can't compare all 43 Presidents, so let's not try. The weighing mechanism should be an overall look at his record, and weighing what he did.

Observation 2: Reagan's actions must be taken into account, but also any results of these actions, to determine their usefulness in the round.

I. Ronald Reagan's South American policies hurt US interests in the continent, and had overall negative impacts.
II. Ronald Reagan's policies towards the Middle East fostered further anti-American sentiment.
III. Ronald Reagan's corporatist policies are harming America now.

I. Ronald Reagan's South American policies hurt US interests in the continent, and had overall negative impacts.
Whether it be his policies towards the countries of Honduras, Venezuela, Brazil, Chile, Nicaragua or many others, Reagan's interventionist policies lead to the crippling of US interests in the region. In his efforts to fight communism and partial neo-fascist beliefs, Reagan's actions lead to the death of hundred's of thousands, and no clear successful regime change. Furthermore, the attitude of neglect towards South America has crippled US goals for free trade and other initiatives today. Thus, these policies of Reagan contribute to a negative view of the US, and thus go against him.

II. Ronald Reagan's policies towards the Middle East fostered further anti-American sentiment.
US involvement with Iran and Saddam Hussein, with the exchange of funding to both sides and military build up, negatively impacted US goals. Neither country was destroyed, and Saddam Hussein and the Ayatollahs were strengthened. Continually, they rallied support using US interventionist policies. Furthermore, US support of Osama Bin Laden's anti-communist efforts in Afghanistan with CIA training lead to his strength, and again was a pivotal point for US hatred. Thus, US involvement in the Middle east fostered further roadblocks to US goals, and thus negatively reflect upon Reagan.

III. Ronald Reagan's corporatist policies are harming America now.
Reagan's tax cuts, although partially beneficial, lead to further government debt, and strengthened corporate America. The impact of the large growth in corporate power is the elimination of general capitalism, since larger monopolies were established, and further the abuse of corporations on the worker. What we see now is the overall impact of a large pro-corporate America, in which jobs are being outsourced under globalized reasoning. The necessity of an education in America is further eliminating the lower middle class, and isolating the lower class. (If you acknowledge class struggle as a problem, that is) Moreover, under the partial premise of cheap labor, amnesty was granted to illegal immigrants in 1986, and no comprehensive solution was taken.

Thus through these areas, it is clear that Ronald Reagan's policies hurt America more than they helped America. Any economic progress that was seen in Reagen's time is not nearly significant to cancel out the various factors mentioned here.
constans

Con

First let me get this out of the way: I am a libertarian, not a Reaganesque conservative. Indeed, I do not believe that Ronald Reagan was a good president. However, I do believe that President Reagan was a net positive on the United States.

First let me say that I agree with your first two points. The foreign policy of Ronald Reagan was wickedly counterproductive in both Latin America and the Middle East. He pushed forward a policy of supporting one evil (the Contras and Mujahideen) to defeat another evil (Communism). In Latin America this has had the very unfortunate effect of hindering "gringo" market reforms- reforms that are crucial to lifting Latin America out of poverty. In the Middle East, supporting the Mujahideen and the dictatorships of Iraq and Iran has indeed led to a great deal of anti-Americanism that, very likely, led directly to 9/11.

With that, how could I possibly argue that Ronald Reagan had a net positive effect on the United States?

First off, I would argue that one of his domestic achievements alone counterbalances the negative effects of the above: he gave Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker the green light to fight the 13.5% inflation that the Reagan administration inherited. Just take in that staggering figure for a second. Every year everything would, on average, get 13.5% more expensive. Retirees' savings were wiped out, unemployment was high and the banking system itself was on the verge of collapse.

Combating inflation required very drastic, politically unpopular action. Interest rates eventually rose to over 20%, creating short-term unemployment and an even deeper recession. Without this painful crunch, however, the "stagflation" that Reagan inherited would have continued. Because Reagan resisted political action against this shock therapy, the United States economy was literally saved. After his first two years, inflation was tamed with unemployment lowering. Reagan's attitude of "if not now, when?" was a positive departure from the "quick fix" solutions of Nixon, Ford and Carter. Indeed, this departure was literally responsible for the remarkable rebound of the American economy. When Reagan left office, even taking into account the relatively mild recession that followed, the United States was a more stable and prosperous country.

You correctly criticize the deficit spending that occurred under the Reagan administration. However, most of that responsibility lies in the fact that congress was unreceptive to cutting domestic spending. Part of the blame lies in Reagan's inability to convince Congress to do so, but there was only so much he could do with a solidly Democratic Congress. Also, are you seriously going to argue that cutting the top income tax rate from 70% to 50% was a net negative on the American economy? Reagan did underachieve in pushing the free market reforms he advocated so eloquently, but he did change the ideological balance of power in this country. After all, how many politicians today are advocating price controls and nationalizing industries?

Finally, Reagan did have a positive impact on opening up the era of globalization that has positively impacted the living standards not just of Americans but foreigners. Reagan and his ideological ally Margaret Thatcher represented a sea change away from the interventionism of Keynesian economic doctrine to more free market approaches. The impact of this ideological shift could be seen at the time in the rejection of socialism by Eastern Europeans and afterwards by their remarkable growth under free market policies advocated by Reagan. Estonia, the "Baltic Tiger," is the best example of this.

In short, Reagan was not what I would call a good president. However, he had a net positive impact on the United States by sacrificing political capital to defeat inflation, rejecting the interventionist Keynesian doctrines that had decimated the American economy during the 70's and helping lay the ideological foundations for the globalized economy. These outweigh his unwise policies in Latin America, the Middle East and his domestic failures.
Debate Round No. 1
A-ThiestSocialist

Pro

Thank you very much for responding.

I'm going to first step by step refute my opponents major claims, then add onto my own and show why mine outwiegh.

Essentially my main argument can be summed up into the simply idea that the effects of the economic success were only felt for a brief period of time, whereas the United States is still feeling the problems of his foreign policy ventures.

"First off, I would argue that one of his domestic achievements alone counterbalances the negative effects of the above: he gave Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker the green light to fight the 13.5% inflation that the Reagan administration inherited. Just take in that staggering figure for a second. Every year everything would, on average, get 13.5% more expensive. Retirees' savings were wiped out, unemployment was high and the banking system itself was on the verge of collapse."

All of these statements are very true, and I do not question their legitimacy, what I question is how important that is today. Now the US has a continually circular economy, one in which we are on the verge of recession yet again. Also, in the 1990's unemployment and inflation began to rise yet again. So the benefits from Reagan in this case were only really felt for about 5 years.

"Combating inflation required very drastic, politically unpopular action. Interest rates eventually rose to over 20%, creating short-term unemployment and an even deeper recession. Without this painful crunch, however, the "stagflation" that Reagan inherited would have continued. Because Reagan resisted political action against this shock therapy, the United States economy was literally saved. After his first two years, inflation was tamed with unemployment lowering. Reagan's attitude of "if not now, when?" was a positive departure from the "quick fix" solutions of Nixon, Ford and Carter. Indeed, this departure was literally responsible for the remarkable rebound of the American economy. When Reagan left office, even taking into account the relatively mild recession that followed, the United States was a more stable and prosperous country."

The United States at the time was a more stable country, but ironically part of Reagans major tax cuts to fix for the long term, were actually short term policies. The growing accumulated debt and unpaid social security crisis, which fostered under Reagan is continually a problem. Reagans policies did not take into account the large baby boom generation, and dipped into the social security pool. Also, the tax cuts are cost us to borrow foreign currency, which is intern weaking the value of the dollar, and why in 5 years the euro will be the main reserve currency instead of the dollar.

"You correctly criticize the deficit spending that occurred under the Reagan administration. However, most of that responsibility lies in the fact that congress was unreceptive to cutting domestic spending. Part of the blame lies in Reagan's inability to convince Congress to do so, but there was only so much he could do with a solidly Democratic Congress. Also, are you seriously going to argue that cutting the top income tax rate from 70% to 50% was a net negative on the American economy? Reagan did underachieve in pushing the free market reforms he advocated so eloquently, but he did change the ideological balance of power in this country. After all, how many politicians today are advocating price controls and nationalizing industries?"

My first response is that a President always has a veto pen, no matter what the Congress does, however Reagan had a major control in his budget and economic policies that actually passed. I am seriously going to argue that cutting the top income tax rate from 70% to 50% was a net negative on the american economy, OVERTIME. Cutting taxes is perfectly fine, however it also has to be cut from the budget, but this did not happen. Under Reagan, the Congress cut taxes, but rose spending. Reagan could have stopped this, but found it more of a priority to cut taxes, instead of controlling spending, so we get where we are now. Tax cuts aren't bad, but when you don't cut spending they are. Your point of free market reforms basically holds, but it's not really that important since it's a minor issue. No one really disagrees that a free market is bad, and other presidents continued that policy, however it is a small point.

"Finally, Reagan did have a positive impact on opening up the era of globalization that has positively impacted the living standards not just of Americans but foreigners. Reagan and his ideological ally Margaret Thatcher represented a sea change away from the interventionism of Keynesian economic doctrine to more free market approaches. The impact of this ideological shift could be seen at the time in the rejection of socialism by Eastern Europeans and afterwards by their remarkable growth under free market policies advocated by Reagan. Estonia, the "Baltic Tiger," is the best example of this."

Globalization has occurred, but I don't believe it's at the cause of Reagan. I personally believe that there were two causes of this, as Thomas L. Friedman, the father of globalization asserts in his book The Lexus and the Olive Tree. 1. Technology
2. 1990's Free trade agreements.
Reagan had nothing to do with either. Next, Reagan's ideological shift in Eastern Europe was good, and for the record, as a socialist, none of the Eastern European countries were socialist whatsoever. They were an altered form of authoritarian communism, which had no workers rights driven behind their revolutions. I don't agree that Eastern Europeans grew because of markets, and I don't believe they grew that soundly. Their economies are volatile, and the US gave them a lot of money, along with other global organizations. These loans enabled them more than generally free markets, moreso, these markets really fostered in the 1990's and not generally under Reagan.

So from all of this, we see that Reagan had some economic positives, but they were short lived. The impacts of his negatives are a continued anti-American sentiment, and hatred of America, felt almost 30 years later. We also see a growing social security crisis, and a weakened dollar. Finally we see that the US has counter productive efforts in the Middle East, which could have been prevented with better policies in the 1980's. The fact is, if Reagan did things right, we would be much more better off now. We wouldn't have a war (in probable terms) and we could fix more important problems.
constans

Con

First off, let me say that I would love to debate you on any economic topic of your choice. It'd be a savory opportunity to debate an intelligent socialist.

Let me start by addressing your claim that Reagan's many foreign policy blunders impacts Americans to this day with one word: whose fault is that? The United States did not have to send troops against Saddam in 1991. The United States did not have to station troops in Saudi Arabia following the war, nor did the the US have to prop up the brutal Kuwaiti regime. The United States did not have to send troops into Somalia. The United States did not have to invade Afghanistan or Iraq following 9/11. My point is that these actions, which I would argue have contributed far more to the impacts of Middle Eastern problems felt by average Americans today, were not the inevitable result because of Ronald Reagan's policies.

I'll use South-East Asia as a parallel. The United States supported the brutal South Vietnamese dictatorship for two decades. Eventually a point was reached where the United States removed its military presence from the region. Today the United States trades with Vietnam. Am I going to argue that Lyndon Johnson is responsible for that?

I challenge your claim that the positive impacts Reagan had on the economy were felt for only a short period of time. Remember what the economy was like before Reagan's term in office; a decade of non-stop inflation and unemployment. We're talking double digit inflation and double-digit unemployment for multiple years. Today a "recession" is 6% unemployment and a 3% inflation rate. That's peanuts compared to the 70's. Because of Reagan's actions, the American economy has regained the flexibility it lost during the massive expansion of government that picked up in the 60's and crashed in the 70's.

Reagan certainly did use his veto pen to counter congressional domestic spending, 78 times. 9 of those vetoes were overridden. Moreover, your point about tax cuts decreasing revenue is demonstrably false. After lowering top bracket rates, overall tax revenues from the top bracket increased as did their overall burden. An illustrative graph can be found here: http://www.house.gov.... The tax cuts, rather than raising the deficit, should have lowered the deficit.

The dramatic increase in the federal deficit can be traced primarily to Reagan's push for increased military spending. This spending was wasteful and did not help bring down the Soviet Union (The command economy did).

That clarified, I'll explain why deficit spending isn't bad in the ways you say it is (And the real reason it's bad). When the federal government runs deficits, it prints out t-bonds. Future taxpayers will have more and more of their money eaten up every year making interest payments. However, future generations will also inherit these very valuable t-bonds.

The harm in deficit spending (And with all government programs) is that it misallocates resources from the private sector to whatever the government is spending money on in the present. Moreover, t-bonds crowd out private bonds, lowering the amount of money able to be invested in businesses. However, to say that deficit spending steals resources from future generations is just wrong.

Finally, a clarification. I am not going to argue that Ronald Reagan is responsible for globalization. What Reagan did do was contribute to the world-wide ideological shift away from government planning and towards markets. Ask Lech Walesa who was most inspirational in his fight against central planning and he'll tell you: Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Only countries that opened up their markets have gained from globalization, and those policies arose in no small part from the ideological shift spearheaded by Reagan and Thatcher.
Debate Round No. 2
A-ThiestSocialist

Pro

Sorry for the late response, due to school I don't have the free time to post during the days on week days. As a side note, I'd love to defend my socialist views comrade. Feel free to create a topic and invite me, and I'll be more than happy to debate. Now onto Reagan.

"Let me start by addressing your claim that Reagan's many foreign policy blunders impacts Americans to this day with one word: whose fault is that? The United States did not have to send troops against Saddam in 1991. The United States did not have to station troops in Saudi Arabia following the war, nor did the the US have to prop up the brutal Kuwaiti regime. The United States did not have to send troops into Somalia. The United States did not have to invade Afghanistan or Iraq following 9/11. My point is that these actions, which I would argue have contributed far more to the impacts of Middle Eastern problems felt by average Americans today, were not the inevitable result because of Ronald Reagan's policies."

All of this is partially true, but what I'll simply say in response is taht Reagan's policies really got the US into an intervetionist mode. We began to interfere more and more, and this precedence got us where we are today. Also, Reagan practically created the instabilities we have today with Iran and Iraq since we funded both sides, and both sides gained our technology and got our money, whereas we got nothing. So we angered them, but also helped them, and lost in both instances. Also, we don't have to have troops in Saudi Arabia etc, however the precedence of having troops in the Middle East "just in case" was actually started under Reagan when he put in CIA and small military presence in Afghanistan. (I simply know this because a good friend of mine. His father was an MP in Afghanistan protecting the CIA and troops during the 80's)

Your Asian comparison is partially true, and ignoring the fact that these countries are still in shambles and the US is simply exploiting their labor, this won't happen in the Middle East. The Middle East only provides the US oil supplies, however with the instability and insurrection that is guaranteed to last indefinitely, the US will reap no benefits.

"I challenge your claim that the positive impacts Reagan had on the economy were felt for only a short period of time. Remember what the economy was like before Reagan's term in office; a decade of non-stop inflation and unemployment. We're talking double digit inflation and double-digit unemployment for multiple years. Today a "recession" is 6% unemployment and a 3% inflation rate. That's peanuts compared to the 70's. Because of Reagan's actions, the American economy has regained the flexibility it lost during the massive expansion of government that picked up in the 60's and crashed in the 70's."

I did not live in the Reagan era, however I have read much about the economy under Reagan. My definition of "recession" today deals nothing with fiscal or monetary policies in general, it's more specific that wages aren't rising, and we have an impending housing crisis. (Even though inflation rose 1% in the last month as reported by the Center for Economic Policy Research) Furthermore, the economy under Reagan was strong, but I don't value these few years of economic growth and change as outweighing the deaths of all those in our interventionist policies, and the results of these policies we feel today. I'll stipulate that until Clinton, the US has a fairly strong and stable economy which I'll attribute to Reagan, however these 8 years of growth or so aren't that pivotal in the context of the prior impacts.

"Reagan certainly did use his veto pen to counter congressional domestic spending, 78 times. 9 of those vetoes were overridden. Moreover, your point about tax cuts decreasing revenue is demonstrably false. After lowering top bracket rates, overall tax revenues from the top bracket increased as did their overall burden. An illustrative graph can be found here: http://www.house.gov....... The tax cuts, rather than raising the deficit, should have lowered the deficit."

I'm not going to contest that Reagan didn't veto anything, but he sure could have used other policies to compromise and get in his policies. Tax cuts generally lower the deficit, and I'll stipulate that in theory it works, but in practicality it's not exactly true. Alan Greenspan in his book actually has a pretty in depth analysis of how tax cuts have to work. If you don't cut spending along with taxes, the aggregate demand can be unnaturally shifted to cause an unhealthy change in the supply curve. Also, the problem is that in general Reagan did not cut spending, and that simply is a problem we are still feeling.

Your Treasury Bond analysis is perfectly true, but you're not accounting for the thousands of bids placed on the bonds by foreign investors. Ever 3 months when the Treasury releases its statements on issuing bonds, some of the best bidders on the bonds are actually foreign investors, thus the deficit being paid off in foreign currency is weakening the dollar, and I believe I explained the rest earlier. Also, Treasury bonds and their relation to liquidated currency is a very tricky area, one in which I admittedly cannot predict the immediate results. It creates healthy spending, but also rises prices drastically. (See the housing market) I think we can really argue their impact, but I don't see it as essential to this round.

Finally on globalization, no country that opened up its' markets that hadn't already has gained from globalization. They simply allowed their people to be exploited. Also, these open markets are part of the problem that we have lower wages in factory jobs, we're shipping jobs overseas, we're importing immigrants, (which Reagan approved and has yet to have been refuted) and we have things like lead toys.

What this really comes down to is valuing the 7-10 years of economic change and success, or valuing the innocent death of hundreds of thousands, a foreign policy crisis, a looming weak dollar, and a global image of hatred.
constans

Con

The United States has been a hyper-interventionist country since World War II. At present the United States has a military presence in 135 different countries. Very few of those bases were created under Reagan. The American presence in the Middle East, namely its support of Israel and (Paradoxically) Egypt plus Pakistan was well-established when Reagan entered the scene.

You are correct that Reagan can be indirectly be placed some blame for the deaths of Iraqis, Iranians, Afghanis, etc (Though those conflicts would have been rather bloody regardless of how many American dollars were flowing in) but, remember, we are debating about whether Reagan hurt the United States, not the world. The number of Americans who died as a direct result of Reagan's policies were the 265 Marines lost in Lebanon during a peacekeeping mission during their civil war (An intervention that I believe was unwise, but one that could be argued for on humanitarian grounds). Like I said before, the 400 Americans who died in the Gulf War and the 3,000 that died on 9/11 are the not the responsibility of Reagan.

After all, there was no pre-existing obligation that made it necessary for the United States to fight the First Gulf War. It was a regional dispute that could have been handled by the countries in the region (Iraq could not have fought off an Arab coalition, or the Israelis). George H.W Bush did not have to send in American troops. At the same time, Iran is only a menace to the United States because of the American presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran's support of Hezbollah and their supposed pursuit of nuclear weapons is more of a threat to Israel than the United States.

What I'm saying is that while Reagan's Middle Eastern foreign policy was not a positive step forward for American interests, it did not make the subsequent interventions that did result in dead Americans inevitable. Those deaths are the responsibility of others.

I'm going to address your domestic concerns in reverse order. The weakening of the dollar is the inevitable result of a centrally-planned fiat monetary system. As the laws of supply and demand tell us, when you increase the supply of a good (dollars), its price decreases. As more dollars are printed, its worth decreases. The Federal Reserve has interest rates at 1% following 9/11, thus greatly increasing the money supply. It's not a surprise, therefore, that the American dollar is decreasing in value. The housing bubble can be explained too by these dramatically low interest rates which fueled the orgy of insane loans. I encourage you to read up on Austrian Business Cycle Theory. Here's a good overview: http://www.mises.org...

Anyway, my point is that Reagan's budget deficits have not resulted in the present day woes of the American economy. Reagan's policy successes, namely deregulation and tax cuts, strengthened the American economy immensely. If you want an idea of what the American economy would be like without Reagan's reforms, take a look at stagnant Germany and France with their high taxes, high unemployment, crippling regulations and faltering welfare programs. That was the America before Reagan (Plus a great deal of inflation).

Finally, a quick note on taxes. I have not yet read Greenspan's book, so I have to take your word that he made such an analysis. What Greenspan is describing is a situation where federal revenues decrease. Federal revenues actually increased because of Reagan's tax cuts. This can be explained by the Laffer Curve; at a certain point raising taxes will decrease tax revenue because such high rates will make it unprofitable to expand a business, hire new employees, comply with tax regulations, etc. Lowering such high rates will encourage compliance and expansion, thus widening the tax base. Obviously, if taxes are low enough (Say 5% of income) then lowering them will also lower revenue. I think it's pretty logical that 70% was a high enough rate for the Laffer effect to occur.
Debate Round No. 3
A-ThiestSocialist

Pro

I again apologize for the late response, I have been tied up.

After refuting my openants major points in his previous argument, I'd like to crystalize on why the PRO side wins this round.

"The United States has been a hyper-interventionist country since World War II. At present the United States has a military presence in 135 different countries. Very few of those bases were created under Reagan. The American presence in the Middle East, namely its support of Israel and (Paradoxically) Egypt plus Pakistan was well-established when Reagan entered the scene."

I will agree that the United States' support for Israel did not start under Reagan, however mass foreign aid to countries in the Middle East did start under Reagan. These massive amounts of foreign aid to various countries starting in the early 1980's are what continued the interventionist policy of the United States. I'd also like to clarify that Reagan took US intervention to the extreme when he began interferring in Iran and Iraq, not for US benefits towards the destruction of communism (which was the only previous US interventions on a large scale) but convoluted our foreign policy afterward.

"You are correct that Reagan can be indirectly be placed some blame for the deaths of Iraqis, Iranians, Afghanis, etc (Though those conflicts would have been rather bloody regardless of how many American dollars were flowing in) but, remember, we are debating about whether Reagan hurt the United States, not the world. The number of Americans who died as a direct result of Reagan's policies were the 265 Marines lost in Lebanon during a peacekeeping mission during their civil war (An intervention that I believe was unwise, but one that could be argued for on humanitarian grounds). Like I said before, the 400 Americans who died in the Gulf War and the 3,000 that died on 9/11 are the not the responsibility of Reagan."

(Your next paragraph is simply a continuation)

There are two problems with this argument, a miscommunication, and a misinterpretation. First, the miscommunication, you are correct in the topic of the debate, and my final number should have been thousands, but this number is large nonetheless. Secondly, partially Reagan is responsible for the deaths in both Gulf Wars, and 9/11, but I'm not going to go that conspiracy. I'll instaed simply say that Reagan's policies have gotten the US further reliant on the Middle East, for oil trade, but mostly have harbored our foreign policy in the Middle East. Also, the policy of further interventionism spurred under Reagan further perpetuated US involvement in Kosovo, and Iraq.

"Anyway, my point is that Reagan's budget deficits have not resulted in the present day woes of the American economy. Reagan's policy successes, namely deregulation and tax cuts, strengthened the American economy immensely. If you want an idea of what the American economy would be like without Reagan's reforms, take a look at stagnant Germany and France with their high taxes, high unemployment, crippling regulations and faltering welfare programs. That was the America before Reagan (Plus a great deal of inflation)."

I don't argue with most of your economic analysis, for it is essentially true. The only major difference I'm talking about is the borrowing of foreign currency to pay of the US debt, greatly increased under Reagan. The approximately 35% of US debt is paid off by foreign currency, which weakens the dollar. This may not be the major cause of the weak dollar, but it adds to the problem.

"Finally, a quick note on taxes. I have not yet read Greenspan's book, so I have to take your word that he made such an analysis. What Greenspan is describing is a situation where federal revenues decrease. Federal revenues actually increased because of Reagan's tax cuts. This can be explained by the Laffer Curve; at a certain point raising taxes will decrease tax revenue because such high rates will make it unprofitable to expand a business, hire new employees, comply with tax regulations, etc. Lowering such high rates will encourage compliance and expansion, thus widening the tax base. Obviously, if taxes are low enough (Say 5% of income) then lowering them will also lower revenue. I think it's pretty logical that 70% was a high enough rate for the Laffer effect to occur."

Again I agree that your analysis is comlpetely true. Partially tax revenues increased, but there were other problems with Reagans overall revenue policies. His immense spending outgrew any gained tax earnings, and the federal budget defecit grew, as the national debt grew. The impact of this is seen above.

What this debate comes down to is essentially how everything equals out. We are now hated by many Latin American countries and aren't able to tap into their growing economy due to failed interventionist policies. (A major point ignored in this debate) We have further problems across the globe as the US expanded its' intervention policies. Finally, the Reagan policies that may have helped at the time, were not later adequately managed as spending went through the roof. Reagan was a great guy, he wasn't great for America.

I'd like to thank my opponenet for a PHENOMENAL debate, and I will be more than happy to debate him in the future.
constans

Con

My opponent has effectively conceded my main arguments.

1. Reagan's tax cuts did spur the economy and raise government revenue

2. Reagan pushed through key economic reforms that brought about the end of stagflation and the birth of a prolonged period of economic growth

3. America's interventionist attitude towards foreign policy was well-established before Reagan

Ronald Reagan was not a perfect president, especially on foreign policy. However, his foreign policy did not directly lead to the American intervention during the first Gulf War. Intervening there was Mr. Bush's prerogative. 9/11 was the end result of foreign policy blunders that mostly occurred after Reagan. These are not Reagan's children, and my opponent has more or less acknowledged this. His claim that Reagan indirectly contributed to this is like claiming that Kennedy was less responsible for Vietnam than Eisenhower.

Moreover, my opponent has acknowledged that the economic woes of today are not the result primarily of the budget deficits that emerged under Reagan's administration. The monetary policies of the federal reserve during the 90's and early 21st century are more to blame.

So, as my opponent says, this is a balancing decision. I would argue that a rebounded economy that improved the lives of millions of Americans as a DIRECT result of Reagan's policies, along with the pro-free market mentality he helped usher around the world outweighs the foreign problems he contributed to- problems that have impacted foreigners in certain countries far more than they have Americans. For the American people, Reagan was a net positive.

I would like to thank my opponent for a wonderful debate.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by mrpresident 9 years ago
mrpresident
Yeah, no libertarian should debate this. Maybe someone with more clout and a slightly more different opinion than his adversary? Just an observation. Voting on this would be stupid, seeing as you both may very well have been on the same team, you just agree to disagree.
Posted by A-ThiestSocialist 9 years ago
A-ThiestSocialist
That's fine, it's been a pleasure debating you so far. You are by far one of the most intelligent and civil on this site.
Posted by constans 9 years ago
constans
I'll post my response after dinner (Should be up by 8 EST)
Posted by constans 9 years ago
constans
Ditto. BTW, I made a bit of a typo in the first sentence of the second paragraph in my second response.
Posted by A-ThiestSocialist 9 years ago
A-ThiestSocialist
I almost made the topic, Reagan: good or bad?

I have to say Constans, you are probably the most well read debater on here.
I'm enjoying this debate, and hopefully we can discuss more in the future.
16 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Derek.Gunn 9 years ago
Derek.Gunn
A-ThiestSocialistconstansTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by kenito001 9 years ago
kenito001
A-ThiestSocialistconstansTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by buckaroo54 9 years ago
buckaroo54
A-ThiestSocialistconstansTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by lindsay 9 years ago
lindsay
A-ThiestSocialistconstansTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by RepublicanView333 9 years ago
RepublicanView333
A-ThiestSocialistconstansTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by ccdem 9 years ago
ccdem
A-ThiestSocialistconstansTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by aaltobartok 9 years ago
aaltobartok
A-ThiestSocialistconstansTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by MWorley 9 years ago
MWorley
A-ThiestSocialistconstansTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by pessimisticnaturalist 9 years ago
pessimisticnaturalist
A-ThiestSocialistconstansTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by mrpresident 9 years ago
mrpresident
A-ThiestSocialistconstansTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03