Ronald Reagan was a better President than Barack Obama
Debate Rounds (5)
Round 1: Acceptance only
Round 2: Opening arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals/refutations
Round 4: Defend arguments
Round 5: Final rebuttals/defenses + conclusion
Failure to follow structure will result in automatic DQ. First user to forfeit gets a DQ. If one user cannot debate the other, then this must be discussed between the two for an agreement and both must confirm in debate rounds to end in a tie.
I. Economic Policy
Reagan entered office with one of the most ambitious plans since FDR's New Deal. His supply-side economics brought the recession from its peak in 1982 to growing recover two years later. The best example of this is unemployment. The unemployment rate peaked at 10.8% in November 1982. At that same time, Reagan's huge tax cuts went into effect. To properly compare this to Obama, we must look at Reagan's fifth year in office in September. The unemployment rate for July 1986 was 7.0%. In total, unemployment dropped by 3.8%. That is huge progress. 
However that is not just it, federal revenue had been declining at 2.8% per year and after President Reagan's tax cuts it grew at 2.7% per year. In order to limit spending, as a % of GDP domestic spending went from 10.5% to 9.5%. addition, real GDP growth was averaging at 0.9% before the tax cuts and 4.8% after. [2,11]
Finally, Mr. Cain and Mr. Lowrie write that:
"During this period, promising technology companies such as Apple Computer and Microsoft launched initial public offerings of stock, while others such as Cisco Systems and Compaq (later acquired by Hewlett-Packard) received expansion capital and later went public." 
This is because of a capital gains tax cut signed by President Reagan. It allowed the creation of companies like Apples. Think about it, you might have an apple in your house. How would it feel if Ronald Reagan had never become president. His policies that brought the creation of Apple and other companies would have never happened and thus these companies would have trouble growing.
Reagan's succesful policies eventually were nicknamed Reaganomics. When the Heritage Foundation looks are Reagan's record, it finds that:
"No matter how advocates of big government try to rewrite history, Ronald Reagan's record of fiscal responsibility continues to stand as the most successful economic policy of the 20th century. His tax reforms triggered an economic expansion that continues to this day. His investments in national security ended the Cold War and made possible the subsequent defense spending reductions that are largely responsible for the current federal surpluses. His efforts to restrain the expansion of federal government helped to limit the growth of domestic spending." 
Mr. Sperry notes that Preisdent Reagan's economic boom lasted for 92 months without a recession. This period was from November 1982 to July 1990, the longest period of sustained growth during peacetime. The growth from the President Reagan's boom lasted more than twice as long as the average period of expansions since World War 2. 
II. Cold War
Now let's move on to one of the president's greatest achievements: defeating the USSR, the greatest threat to our country ever. There were three factors that brought down the Evil Empire:
1. Military Strategy - When President Reagan entered office, military morale was low and so was the pay. President Carter had cut a lot of programs in the military. Under the Reagan Administration, military spending skyrocketed in the crusade against communism. This included the famous SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative) programs and several over and covert missions to aid anti-communists guerrilla forces in Central America, South America, Africa, and Afghanistan.
2. Economic Strategy - Yes, Reaganomics helped win the Cold War. The recovering economy helped President Reagan's military buildup. The free market capitalist United States was too much for the USSR which had an its inefficient command-directed communist economic system.
3. Political Strategy - Politics played a role to in defeating the reds. With a strong ally in British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, President Reagan launched a global political form of blitzkrieg on the USSR and other communist political leaders. The reds had seriously underestimated the American president and saw him as a "warmonger".
Together, these strategies defeated the USSR and by January 1989 when President Reagan left office the USSR was in great trouble. In 1991, the USSR would collapse. Soviet Head of State Mikhail Gorbachev's policies of perestroika (re-structuring) and glasnost (openness) proved too little, too late. Gorbachev told the History Channel in 2002, "I don't know what would have happened had [Reagan] not been there." [4,5]
I. Sluggish Recovery
In comparision to Reagan's recovery, Obama has had one of the slowest economic recoveries in history. Obama responded to the 2008-2009 recession with a demand-side stimulus package to get more Americans to buy products. This economic plan was a disaster.
Unemployment under Obama peaked at 10.0% in October 2009 and has gone down to 6.1% as of July 2014. That is reduction of 3.9%, a far weaker recovery than the one seen under Reagan.
BO's record in real GDP sucks too and then we have the national debt. Under President Reagan, the debt went from $1 trillion to $2.6 trillion, but under BO it goes from $12 trillion to well around $16.5 trillion by now. He practically has made it impossible to pay back in our times. While at war, you would think the president would at least limit growth in domestic spending, but this is not true. In 2008, domestic spending as a % of GDP was 12.5%. You would think that when the president took office he would limit growth and reduce it, but as of 2014 it is 14.5%. [7,9]
Meanwhile, gas prices have soared to $3.50 from $1.90 while during Reagan's presidency they were at $2.60 from $3.60. 
II. Foreign Policy
Despite the death of Osama Bin Laden and other leading terrorists, mistake over mistake over mistake have been made many times. Reagan said, "Trust, but verify." Instead of verifying, BO seems to just trust. Let's look at the record.
Libya - The BO administration and the State Department put faith in a bunch of local militias to protect our embassy rather than the Marines. The result? Four Americans dead, including an ambassador, when our embassy and a CIA post were attacked. 
Syria - The BO administration put Saudi Arabia and the Qataris in charge of supplying the rebels against the Assad regime, but rather these two nations don't want pro-democracy forces in charge of Syria. Instead they supply radical Muslim factions that hate the US. 
Egypt - The BO administration trusted Muslim radicals to build a fair democratic government. Instead, they plugged in sharia law and we did nothing. Billions in wasteful US aid has continued without being interrupted. 
Pakistan - The BO administration has failed again here when they continue to pay billions to a regime that supports the killing of US troops and shields terrorists. BO and his allies pretend that they are our friends while they cash the checks for their military. 
Trust is for your wife, not diplomacy.
I have proven that Ronald Reagan is a better president economically and in foreign policy to BO. Team Reagan!
2. Cain, Herman and Rich Lowrie. 9-9-9 An Army of Davids. 2012.
3. Sperry, Peter B. "The Real Reagan Economic Record: Responsible and Successful Fiscal Policy." The Heritage Foundation. N.p., 1 June 2004. Web.
4. Gaffney, Dennis and Peter Gaffney. The Seven Day-Scholar: The Presidents. 2012.
5. Morelock, Jerry D. "Ronald Reagan's Cold War." Armchair General IX.5 (2012): 18-19.
8. Peters, Ralph. "Trust Isn't a Strategy." Armchair General X.2 (2013): 8.
Argument 1: Economic Policy Differences
As my opponent has mentioned, there was indeed a catastrophic economic collapse starting from the late 70's that carried over into the early 80's, causing massive unemployment levels. In fact, the economy was so bad that it continued to collapse 1 1/2 years into his presidency before the upturn. "Reaganomics" did give the country economic growth and prosperity for a little while, but by looking at his policies, we see that their side effects resulted in a catastrophic situation for the US economy. (1) Reagan gave up to 25% tax cuts for the rich, later to increase to 40%, with the belief that the rich would invest more and boost the economy, which is the same program later Republicans have tried with no results. It did start up the economy, but it caused a extraordinary widening wealth gap between the poor and the rich, since the rich had more money and were empowered by it. The result is today, where massive lobbying and the wealthy's control of Wall Street have helped lead to inaction in Congress and the 2008 financial crisis. The Congressional Budget office that since Reagan took office, income levels has risen "275% for the top 1%, 65% for the next 19%, just under 40% for the next 60%, and 18% for the bottom 20 percent." (2,5) That is a sharp turn from pre-1980, when income growth was more balanced and the middle class was growing strongly. This is the reason for the financial instability that plagues so many today.
Another result was the massive deficit that resulted not only from the massive tax breaks but also from the relentless military spending that Reagan took, up to 456 billion in a single peacetime year, to protect against the USSR that was disintegrating under its own rigidness and ideological failures. The debt rose by 200%, compared to the 33% increase during Obama's term so far, (which includes interest payments of some $1.2 trillion from Bush's debts) (3)It was Reagan who set the debt for the massive debt spiral we're stuck in. During his terms, the deficit rose by $132 billion. In fact, the rising debt stabilized only after Clinton started to TAX the rich, which created a surplus. The fundamental lesson- tax the rich, to keep the debt down.
His policies of 'trickle-down economics' have failed. Republicans nowadays have tried using it, to little effect. The poverty levels that slowly decreased under Reagan shot up again with HW Bush and his continuation of Reaganomics. (4) Along with his ferocious attack on unions and deregulation of banks, the power of the country became more and more concentrated in the hands of the bankers and the rich, whose actions helped contribute to the Wall Street crashes. Even Warren Buffett has said that economic inequality is dangerous and consumer demand is necessary for growth. That's how economies grow. Reagan never once raised the minimum wage, but did plenty to help the wealthy. (4,5)
In conclusion, while Reaganomics may have helped America in the short-term, in the long-term it sent us down the economic ladder into trouble, and it really only benefited the rich after the 80's ended.
As for Obama, remember that the economy collapsed just a few months before he came to office. Without that $1 trillion he put in as stimulus, the economy would have likely collapsed, something Reagan might have dismissed as unnecessary government interference. But without government interference and some level of control, there is little to stop economic tragedy or disaster that some federal rules may have prevented.
However, there's not much that he can do, even if he wanted to do so. Reagan was able to harness all the Republican party's power, and as he grew in popularity he got more support in Congress. The republican opposition won't let Obama get out a word. They've passed a record number of rejections on Obama's plans, and what does come out is too watered down. While I understand that Republicans have their concerns, with little legislation being passed in Congress there is no way to help the American people. Many democrats have caused the same problems as well. For this, I will grant that Reagan was a skilled speaker who knew how to get his way, but the political climate is different. Now, Obama has to deal with the Tea Party which abhors him, and the GOP is now inclined to side with the Tea Party in this in fear of losing votes to them. Obama is put between a rock and a hard place. Even with his number of executive actions (still far less than Reagan), if he tries to get anything done he is slandered and attacked. Congress had an 8% approval rating for a reason- the right is blocking all legislative effort.
That isn't to say that Obama doesn't have some flaws with his policymaking, but I refuse to compare him to Reagan on matters of the effect of his laws because most of his projects don't come into fruition. If he actually was able to pass his laws, then the situation might be different. He doesn't get the opportunity. He can't be compared to Reagan in that light. He wants to raise the minimum wage to $9, just so that people can actually start to have financial security. But that won't be passed, because it's against
On the other hand, it should be mentioned that while his recovery is slow, it doesn't come with the "added bonuses" of Reaganomics.
2. Foreign Policy (source 6)
The media kicked up a fuss for Bush and it's doing the same for Obama. With constant whining about Benghazi, the wars in the Middle East, the Ukraine crisis and the new threat in Iraq, the administration has been criticized for inaction. The truth is, though, there isn't much he can do- and that's the wisest idea. The essential problem in Afghanistan is that if we don't keep troops there it'll be overrun, but by keeping them there we waste money. It's a quagmire.
With House Republicans wanting to give military support to Ukraine, it is essential to realize how stupid that sounds. Putin will seize the chance to show that we are interfering militarily in the realm, and conditions would deteriorate, possibly to war, and we can't invade Russia. Air strikes would accomplish nothing of importance either way. We offered our country's diplomatic support to Ukraine and chastised Russia severely, but that's all we can honestly do.
As for Iraq, the Bush administration has only itself to blame. Obama took all the troops out because the people wanted him to. It's like Afghanistan in that it's largely hopeless. Our reconstruction programs were costly failures. We left them in religious strife and political instability. Nothing more. As for Benghazi, we forget that 13 attacks on embassies took place during the Bush administration, and I don't see Fox News crying about that. It was a tragedy, but we can't blame Obama. What was he supposed to expect?
The Egyptian muslim brotherhood was incompetent, but certainly not radicals or terrorists. We've never pretended to be friends with Pakistan, and in fact we distrust them, leading separate operations and not informing them about bin Laden.
As for Reagan's excellent foreign policy record...
USSR- Reagan pursued enormous amounts of military spending on a country who even he admitted had its "last pages are... being written." Despite the myth that this ended the Cold War, the Soviet economy was already in ruins, and Gorbachev's policies didn't solve them but simply caused nationalism and anger to tear the soviet bloc apart.
South Africa- Unlike Congress and other civilized countries which condoned and sanctioned the vicious regime there, Reagan instead called for constructive engagement, put very few sanctions, and even recognized the government. Only after 1985, when he was denounced by Congress for this, did he change his mind.
Indonesia- Reagan supplied arms to the brutal Indonesian government even after it illegally invaded East Timor.
Guatemala- Even though it was illegal by US law, Reagan supplied arms to the Contras, a guerilla band that used deadly scorched earth tactics, and even helped sabotage their enemy.
Afghanistan- The whole reason the Taliban exists as a fighting force is because of Reagan. He was friendly with them, and offered plenty of US weaponry, which would later be used against us when we invaded them. The fact is that whatever the circumstances, he helped to create the Taliban as it is, and the result has been a nightmare for the US and for the Afghanis and Pakistanis.
To conclude, Reagan was no better than Obama for the reasons stated above.
2. http://www.examiner.com... states
Now it's time for the refutation period in which both debaters attack each other's arguments.
"It did start up the economy, but it caused a extraordinary widening wealth gap between the poor and the rich, since the rich had more money and were empowered by it. The result is today, where massive lobbying and the wealthy's control of Wall Street have helped lead to inaction in Congress and the 2008 financial crisis."
Keep in mind, that three presidents followed Reagan before the housing bubble in 2008. They could have made their own policies that contributed to the stock market crash. Even Jimmy Carter and further before Reagan could be blamed for the crash. The Fed isn't avoiding anything either, as it is also primarily at fault for deciding to cut interest rates before the stock market crash. Regulations on the financial sector of the economy actually increased from only US$190 million in 1960 to US$1.9 billion in 2000 and to more than US$2.3 billion in 2008. 
Surely the rich would have preferred less regulation in the financial markets for more free flow of capital, but Reagan's best efforts. The fact is both George W. Bush and Obama have significantly increased economic regulations and this hurt the economy. Now for the wealth gap. Wealth gaps are natural in free market capitalist societies. There has to be poor people and rich people. It is just natural. Rather than looking at the wealth gap, let's look at both classes and see if they did well. The important thing is that they are getting income.
What we find is that real median incomes grew by $4,000 from when Reagan started to when he left. Remember that under Carter it was declining by $1,500. This is a great upturn. However, what about specifically the poor? The poorest fifth of the population grew from $6,494 in 1980 to $6,994 in 1989 (in 1989 dollars). The poor did make money and with inflation reliably coming down as a result of Reagan keeping Paul Volcker in charge of the Fed, prices were lower meaning the poor could afford more goods and services. Many middle class did not become poor, but joined the rich. There were 5,000 who had income over $1,000,000 when Reagan started, but this number was 35,000 people when he left. Not to mention the tax burden transferred up to the rich from 35% to 46%. Charity contributions increased from $65 billion to $100 billion. People made money under Reagan. 
Millions of Americans were now able to own what were once only for the rich: mobile phones, microwave ovens, and VCRs. Just like how Reagan's hero Calvin Coolidge gave people more money to buy cars, radios, and electric light.
I will go more to the deficit later, but remember this is a time of war. Just like FDR in 1940, Woodrow Wilson in 1918, and Abraham Lincoln in 1861, Reagan had to raise military spending to win the war. Naturally you do whatever it takes to win.
We aren't here to debate Clinton, but quickly I would like to say we can hardly call him a liberal demand-side Keynesian president. He signed into law NAFTA, giving free trade and no regulations in North America, he signed welfare reform a move greatly favored by Republicans, and while he did raise the income tax (which led to the Republican Revolution of 1994) he cut capital gains taxes (another moved favored by the GOP) in 1997. It should be noted that capital gains tax revenue skyrocketed afterword when it was cut from 28% to 21%. Many rich make money off capital gains, so while the income tax went up the capital gains tax went down, but we still got revenue which greatly contributed it the surplus in his last years as president. 
There is something Obama could have done: take supply-side measures. The tax cuts in the stimulus are far too small to be called supply-side. There needed to be more. The result is that we are in a very weak recovery in comparison to the Reagan recovery. Remember what I showed about the unemployment figures. Because Obama had a smaller unemployment rate he would be doing much better in recovery than Reagan, but in fact he's just barely ahead by one decimal as of this month. This means the recovery is quite weak while Reagan's was quite strong. Keep in mind recessions have existed since the dawn of time and are sometimes the result of the market and sometimes the government. If we look at the 1927 economic recession, in which Henry Ford switched the model of cars he was producing causing less sales, we see a very minor recession that could have been worse had the government interfered. The 2001 recession received the response of the Bush tax cuts and it quickly ended.
Reagan couldn't get what he wanted dine completely either. He and budget director David Stockman had planned $200 billion in budget cuts while the military budget skyrocketed, but Congress would not let I through. Reagan simply has better compromise skills than Obama which helps show his superiority.
Is right of for the media to talk about the wars in the Middle East? Off course it is. They are supposed to be the watch dogs on the federal government (although now this has turned into what party are you from). Obama has to do something and not nothing, he can't stay forever. What we see is a a lack of decisive action. As for Russia, some Republicans want military forces but others do not. While that occurs Obama's little economic sanctions aren't doing anything. One again we see a lack of decisive action.
However, the worst has to be what is going in right now. We can debate forever if it was right for Obama to leave and Bush to go in, but if Bush didn't going into Iraq then he would likely be blamed if Saddam Hussein was still in power and had crushed the Arab Spring along with more rebels. Now we have ISIS tearing apart Iraq while Obama goes to fundraisers. Reagan went to fundraisers too, but the Cold War was a long one and not an immediate crisis. For Obama the rapid takeover of Iraq should be a crisis. Also, you wouldn't see Fox News crying about past embassy attacks before Benghazi because Bush is no longer presidents and they were far long ago compared to Benghazi which occurred just in 2012. 
Now for Reagan. Yes, the Soviet Union as a totalitarian state was destined to decline, but that doesn't mean the Reagan administration knew such a thing nor does it mean it is wrong to accelerate the decline of a state that killed millions of people and harmed its entire population through some of the worst economic and political policies ever imagined. Nazi Germany was also destined to decline but was it wrong for the Allies to accelerate it's decline? I don't think so.
Not to mention how he made the Soviet government look bad and it same time hold a defeatist attitude. It also isn't the USSR but the many communist governments the Soviet Union propped up in the 1970s. If there was any time that the USSR was winning it was the 1970s. Reagan turned that around starting with the invasion of Grenada. From 1974 to 1980, the communists won in:
1. South Vietnam
4. South Yemen
Then when Reagan entered, we won in:
5. El Salvador
9. The Philippines 
The democracy in Latin American went from nothing to over 90% when Reagan left office. As for Afghanistan, it is wrong for a president to be considered ahead of his time. The position when Reagan left in 1989 was different than when George W. Bush entered in 2001. In many ways however, the USSR was far more dangerous than the terrorists. Also, like the 2008 financial crisis, there are plenty to blame. Osama bin Laden wanted to help Saudi Arabia by making a Muslim army against Iraq in 1991. The Saudis preferred an American coalition, which made Osama angry and moved him toward creating al Qaeda. One could also argue that George H.W. Bush should have gone after Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War, but did not. There's more than just Reagan here. What about Clinton's defense spending cuts?
2. Niskanen, William A., and Stephen Moore. "Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 261: Supply-Side Tax Cuts and the Truth about the Reagan Economic Record." Cato.org. Cato Institute, 22 Oct. 1996. Web.
3. D'Souza, Dinesh. Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader. New York: Free, 1997. Print.
4. Laffer, Arthur. "The Laffer Curve: Past, Present, and Future." Heritage.org. Heritage Foundation, 1 June 2004. Web.
5. Malcolm, Andrew. "Obama Goes Fundraising as ISIS Head Emerges to Preach Jihad, Killings Continue." Investors.com. Investors Business Daily, 8 July 2014. Web.
I never suggested that the media keep silent, because that's an authoritarian regime. What I suggested was that it's being used by his opposition (not just Republicans) to undermine him in the eyes of the American people.
As for Russia, as I said, there isn't much we can do. You've probably realized by now that Putin is insanely aggressive and ruthless in his domestic policy, almost Soviet-esque. Reagan was certainly more assertive in his dealings with the Russians, supplying and arming the Taliban and Mujaheddin groups to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. All that did was create hell for us in the current millennium, to fight the same terror that we created. The same relates to now. Obama can't be assertive without Putin responding in some fashion. It's a stalemate.
Obama is hesitant about going into Iraq because the last time we went in, it was highly unpopular and it caused poor opinions for his predecessor. The Bush government spent some 60 billion on rebuilding and restructuring the country, including the army. It's failed miserably. The real problem, as Mr. Hunter explains,  is that the hatred between Sunnis and Shias doesn't let them cooperate on projects. It's an ethnic problem we can't solve. Sending in troops will just escalate the crisis. Just let it unfold.
Reagan's Soviet relations program, which was more 'rollback' than 'containment', did appear to help to reduce Communism in some cases. (by the way, Bolivia and Brazil shouldn't be there). However, a closer look tells otherwise. In Nicaragua, Reagan illegally and secretly sold arms to Iran to fund the anti-communist rebels, who also had a history of human rights violations.  The communist government was largely peaceful, too. Several other countries ( i.e Ethiopia) collapsed out of their own accord or due to other internal factors. The USSR was one of these. It had a economy crumbling into the dust, and desperate measures were needed to solve it. What happened there, though often attributed to Reagan, was an internal Soviet decision that killed the country. No more.  And Grenada was a successful, socialist government before we came, and our pretense was a farce. But I'll move on.
About Obama's negotiating skills: he is definitely less aggressive than Reagan was, but it's not so much his political skills as it is that he's facing the most acidic Congress in a long time. When you think about it, they'll harass him no matter what he does. If he moves his ideas forward, they automatically reject it because it's his. If he uses executive orders, they call him a dictator and try to sue him. How can anyone work in such opposition? Reagan's party controlled only 1 house, I know. But that was an era with more open compromise, where both parties could agree for the sake of the country. It's just a time gone by now, and it's a shame.
As for your unemployment and supply-side measures, I also remind you of the by-products of the Reagan measures- increased wealth gap and massive deficits. The wealth gap has risen to large levels already, no need for more. And our debt is crippling. If Obama will also cut the rich, then it'll speed up those processes. Combining these factors with the Congress stagnation, and it can be seen that Obama will take a slower but less risky proposition to avoid even more catastrophic situations.
Regulations are a double-edged sword. They take money out of the economy, but they help to prevent unscrupulous and potentially damaging practices. Ill-advised practices (mortgage-loan crisis) might have very well been averted with more regulations. A slower economy might also give a safer economy, with less chance for more crippling recessions. 
Your median argument poses some problems. Firstly, it should be mentioned that the real minimum wage actually decreased significantly over Reagan's 8-year term, and he never bothered to raise it. Secondly, while many middle-class became rich, that doesn't count for much. It means that the upper-middle class ballooned with wealth. The bottom line is that most of the wealth began to flow to the rich, and with the lower-middle class becoming the working poor, the middle-class was then lowered to fit them in. Reagan benefited the rich, no one else. The "increases" for the poor are heavily disproportionate to what the rich got. (percentage-wise).  
For the above reasons, Reagan was not better than Obama.
"I never suggested that the media keep silent, because that's an authoritarian regime. What I suggested was that it's being used by his opposition (not just Republicans) to undermine him in the eyes of the American people."
But liberal media outlets do the same thing to the Republicans. This has been going on for years and back in the first years of the republic newspapers took the role of MSNBC (who by the way has been recently considered the least trusted of media outlets) and Fox News. Politicians have been able to manipulate their way through the mess the media can create sometimes, but for some reason Obama his stuck when less than half the total media in the United States attacks him. Most media websites, channels, etc. still defend him. 
There is much we can do. Remember Reagan defeated the Soviet Union. We can do it again. The important thing is what to do now and Reagan's work back in the 1980s, even if it contributed weapons to future opponents of the USA, made the world a safer place than when he left it. Democracies were flourishing all over the place when he left after replacing authoritarian regimes. This has to be considered a great contribution to the world. He could not see the future and there were other contributions that led to the foundation of al-Qaeda, not just Reagan giving arms. Remember that Saudi Arabia refused Osama Bin Laden's offer for a Muslim only army.
Obama continued the Bush timetable after he left and has to also be held accountable. I agree with my opponent that the problem is between ethnic groups, but disagree that nothing can be done. Many might know about Yugoslavia and what has made that region better is the breakup of the country into several small countries based on ethnicity. We should split up Iraq from its old borders into new countries so there is less violence. ISIS does not want all of Iraq, it wants the northern part. That's a sign there is something that can be done.
Yes, Bolivia and Brazil did have transitions to democracy in the 1980s encouraged by the Reagan administration. A simple timeline could be looked up to find this. The Contras, which members of Reagan administration supported through illegal arms (an investigation found the president knew nothing), were taking part in a brutal civil war that both sides are responsible for, not just the Contras. War is brutal, we all know that and guerrilla warfare which was used by both sides is exceptionally brutal, but it is something that happens. We can't stop something just because one little war crime occurs. War crimes have continued to occur and the important thing is to win the war for the greater benefit of the people. It should be noted that the Sandinista regime which favored the Soviets decided to confiscate land and other property, collectivized farming, and censored free speech. The regime relocated many Native Americans in the region in favor of benefitting the government and committees were formed to executed those disloyal. This both sides were bad, but we had to favor the lesser of two evils. The US had also done this many times before Reagan. 
As I have sources before many countries still stand even with crumbling economies and it's not like the Soviets couldn't divert resources from the military to social programs if they had the chance, but they didn't. Instead, Reagan stopped them from being able to divert resources to the economy. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who worked with both leaders, said at the time: "There was one vital factor in the ending of the Cold War. It was Ronald Reagan's decision to go ahead with the Strategic Defense Initiative." 
One thing we have to understand is see General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev as a preserver of communism, not a reformer. Glasnost and perestroika were meant to preserve the Soviet Union and save it, not make it crumble. As he said: "We are not retreating from socialism, but are moving toward it." That is what Gorbachev wanted to achieve and he wanted to prolong the USSR and save it. However, he did not want to lose the Cold War. The only redeeming quality about him was that he was open-minded and he could do diplomacy. It was at Reykjavik, Iceland at a summit in 1985 that Gorbachev realized he could not defeat Reagan and Thatcher noted that it was the turning point of the Cold War. The communists were desperate to get rid of SDI in order to save themselves, but Reagan would not let this happen and the Americans won the Cold War. Was it wrong for us to make the USSR decisively fall faster like Nazi Germany? I don't think so. 
On a final note, I want to mention South Africa because it forgot to mention it in my last post. Reagan supported "constructive engagement" of South Africa because of how fragile it really was there. He did not want the country to collapse in a civil war between the white government and the black civil rights leaders. Nor did he want the white government to see steamroll protesters. Because of this he decided to do a slow pace in order to turn the country into a better one with more civil liberties. Congress imposed sanctions and these policies worked. I don't see a problem here.
Now Grenada. It's a Marxist dictatorship that needed to be overthrown and we did. I don't see a problem. There were 1,000 US medical students there who were in danger. Martial law was imposed in Grenada and any student seen in the streets after hours would be shot. We needed to save them and save the people and that's what we did. 
Keep in mind one of the reasons Obama's policies won't go through is because they are not popular while Reagan's were. The Republicans are just doing what the American people request with Obama's awful approval ratings. They strongly voted against Obamacare which is also very unpopular. Reagan's policies on the other hand were very popular and that is why he was able to get them passed.
As I previously noted, and according to the laws of the Laffer curve, lower tax rates actually get more revenue because lower rare create incentives for people to work and bring their capital back into the economy. Laffer noted that government revenues increased from -2.8% to 2.7%. We can't ignore that. This is because of the Laffer curve, but think about today. We don't debate if the taxes should as high as 90% or as low as 50% like pre-WW2 politicians did. Reagan transformed the economy in that you could get the same revenue from lower rates. To day we debate if it should as high as 50% of as a low as 15%. That's a clear transformation. As I said wealth gaps are natural and Reagan limited domestic spending. Previous presidents have gone into debt during war. We need money to win the war and that is what Reagan did. The debt ballooned because of the war as with WW2 and WW1.
It should be noted that regulations aren't what caused the economic crisis, the Fed did. In fact, there are arguments government created the economic crisis of 2008. Since Jimmy Carter Democratic presidents have been pressuring banks to give loans to low-income people. This was through the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. Other laws also added to the problem. 
If look specifically at the government statistics we find that those with income of $15,000 to $50,000 saw their percentage of people drop by 5% but those making over $50,000 increased their amount of people by 5% during the 1980s according to the Bureau of the Census. That means overwhelming most Americans got rich. Increasing the minimum wage would have killed the 1980s economy because it was already increase and fail during the 1970s. Reagan did little with minimum wage policy (so many people weren't on it anyway) and the economic recovered while wages went up. One does not need the minimum wage to increase wealth, it can actually destroy it.
1. Hall, Randy. "Poll: MSNBC Least Trusted TV News Source, Fox News Most Trusted." Newsbusters.org. NewsBusters, 10 June 2014. Web.
2. D'Souza, Dinesh. Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader. New York: Free, 1997. Print.
3. Thatcher, Margaret. The Downing Street Years. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 1993. Print.
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4. Laffer, Arthur. "The Laffer Curve: Past, Present, and Future." Heritage.org. Heritage Foundation, 1 June 2004. Web.
5. Schweizer, Peter. Architects of Ruin: How Big Government Liberals Wrecked the Global Economy--and How They Will Do It Again If No One Stops Them. New York: HarperCollins, 2009. Print.
Obama isn't really stuck. I think the misunderstanding is that when I first mentioned the media, what I was trying to say is that conservative outlets unfairly exaggerate Obama's mishaps. But liberal outlets often do the same, and this can go both ways. Therefore, I won't argue about that.
Reagan didn't defeat the USSR, as I said before. The main causes of its collapse were its rigid, failing, and poorly managed economy, weakening leadership, enormous amounts of money and prestige lost in the Afghanistan War, intense and rising nationalism, and 'perestroika'. Nothing Reagan did accelerated this decline, ( Thatcher was wrong, modern historians now know the truth) but our massive military spending did raise the deficit. Russia today is much different- strong, popular leadership, a better economy, and few military commitments. As for your claim that it made the world a stable place, at the moment both Afghanistan and Pakistan are overrun with Taliban insurgents. We've spent an unsuccessful 13-year war on this to few real gains. The area is even worse off now. Reagan even helped to fund bin Laden's training camps. (Something to mention- the Taliban and al-Qaeda are completely different entities).  
Obama should have differed from Bush a little more, I agree. Although Reagan did not know the full extent of the activities in the Contra affair, we was fully aware of the arms sales to Israel. The point is that it was his cabinet and his aides, and he should have been fully aware of what was happening. He did take full responsibility, which is commendable, but since it was his administration that did it, he was fully responsible. As for "it's just something that happens", that's false. It's not just something that happens, it occurs because that group is adequately supported/funded by powerful allies, like the US with the Contras. For the Iraq question, ISIS wants as much land as possible. These are terrorists who want an Islamic empire- they won't stop until they get all their goals. And how can you say that Yugoslavia is better now? Balkanization resulted in the Bosnian genocide, the Kosovo wars, and the other Yugoslav wars. Clearly, breaking up countries on ethnic lines won't work. Not only that, but negotiating on such a level implies that we recognize their caliphate and its claim to N. Iraq.
The lesser of two evils strategy is horrendous when you look at it. We shouldn't support either evil. That strategy would imply that supporting a wrongdoing is alright, so long as its better than the other. But that's another debate. I find your comparison to Nazi Germany ghastly- comparing a regime that had long ceased to carry out genocides to one that was killing tens of thousands every day. The Nazis would have never declined without war, while the USSR probably would've. The Reykjavik summit broke down with no results, so I'm not sure what you're saying. While the reforms were meant to save the USSR, they were the same reforms that destroyed it. It was a catastrophic mistake on Gorbachev's part, but he needed a radical solution to save the country. It failed.
Reagan was very friendly towards South Africa in his first term. Your argument that he was concerned that it would break down into civil war is false. His "engagement" was a disguise to support them. It wasn't because he was racist, but because he viewed Mandela's party as pro-Communist. He even vetoed a proposition to place sanctions. He had no problem with keeping sanctions on Iran despite the fragility of its economy, and he certainly didn't see South Africa that way either. Reagan wasn't stupid, he knew perfectly well that no civil rights advances would be made. It was only after enormous pressure was applied by Congress and the UN that Reagan agreed to place sanctions. 
Lastly, for Grenada, the UN passed a resolution 108 to 9 condemning the US invasion as a violation of international law. Just saying.
Most people don't know how they want the economy to be, because most people don't understand complex economics. I don't profess to understand either, but that's the reason we elect representatives- they're supposed to know what will help the country. As for Obamacare, most people don't understand it well enough to judge it properly. A test was done, where people were asked whether they approved of the individual proposals within Obamacare, and whether they knew it was in it. Astoundingly, most people thought positively of each individual aspect, but disliked Obamacare. It's because conservative representatives are against it, and say false things about it that people who don't know to go understand it for themselves will find it easier to just trust them. Obamacare has been largely shown to positively impact those who get it. Sometimes, people just don't know what they want with government. 
The Fed didn't cause it, it was lack of regulation. Uncontrolled mortgage loans led to massive debts, which regulations could have probably prevented, as the Congressional report on it states  . The federal government didn't cause it, although not enough was done to prevent it. Indeed, it was only massive government spending that saved the economy from a total free-fall. Government intervention was necessary there.
Again to the taxes. Does it stimulate the economy? Yes, it does. But the cost is not worth it. It creates income inequality that leaves the poor in the dust, does little for the middle class, but makes the rich even richer. Most research shows that the middle-class is largely unaffected by these cuts. Corporate income inequality is staggering. The goal of economic policies is to help the poor and middle classes. Tax cuts only truly help the rich, who don't go out and invest so much as they make themselves richer. Of course, 90% taxes wouldn't work at all, but I should point out the Laffer curve is simplified. The ideal tax point is slightly above 50%. But that doesn't address income inequality.
Minimum wage increases build middle classes. Every other successful, civilized country is doing it. An hour at McD's gets a Canadian $10, an Australian $15, and an American $7.50. People can't build an income to support their children with our current, small wages. Washington state raised the wage to the highest in the country. The result? Higher than average job growth, 21% INCREASE in restaurant jobs, and decreased poverty. A higher minimum wage will not only increase jobs, but it will reduce poverty, let people live better lives, and build a strong middle class. Reagan refused to raise it, and set the trend that way. For Obama to do it shows that he values a stronger middle class and greater disposable income, which would help the country a lot more. 
Then what you are saying isn't relevant since this is a debate about policy. It should not matter what the media does, Obama should breast up and continue on with what he wants to do.
I will note that these arguments about the media are also irrelevant since this does not regard to public policy.
I will note that even your source says the military build-up the Soviet Union did cause it do fall apart and one of the reasons the Afghan War was so bad was because the US supported the terrorist groups against the USSR. Also, remember that economically the reason the US was so dominant over the USSR was because of the economic policies Reagan put into place. You can't just have a good military, you need a good economy to support it and that is what Reagan did. The Soviet economy was unable to outcompete the American one. Your source mentions Afghanistan and the military build-up to, which you know Reagan contributed to. Remember that Soviet military strategy was also to export communism around the globe. With Reagan that all stopped. The Cold War is not just about defeating the USSR, but bringing in as much democracy as possible. Remember that Reagan was able to win the favorable terms of the INF Treaty:
"Since the treaty involved the destruction of four times as many warheads on the Soviet as on the American side, experts agreed that the INF Treaty constituted the most favorable terms ever obtained by the United States in an arms agreement." 
And if Thatcher does not please you, how about Henry Kissinger:
"It was Ronald Reagan's presidency which marked the turning point." This was Kissinger's thoughts on the Cold War. The USSR was winning in the 1970s, but then under Reagan a turning point came and it lost from Reagan. 
Or perhaps Gorbachev himself:
"I am not sure what happened would have happened had he [Reagan] not been there." This was Gorbachev to the History Channel in 2002. 
Soviet troops and aide were reduced throughout the world as the Soviets had to full back from their many fronts. At the same time, calculations have given that the Reagan doctrine cost the USSR some $85 to $125 billion that was used in their domestic economy to their military. That is a clear waver from economic problems and contributed to the fall of the USSR. 
The world is safer now, and the problems in the Middle East are far smaller than that of the problems we have against the zenith Soviet Union. Keep in mind that al-Qaeda, the group causing terrorism on the USA, was not doing so until after Reagan left office. Thus his administration did not have direct effects on it.
Could you provide a primary source of Reagan's knowing of arm sales. Also, there have been many times aides and Cabinet secretaries have tried to undermine the president. If you go back to when John Adams was president you would see Jefferson. Under Andrew Jackson you would see Calhoun. You could also look at Grant and Harding. The point is sometimes people in the White House do things and make sure the president does not know. This was the case of Reagan as the Tower Commision reported. 
Yugoslavia is not the only example, but it is a good one. Remember that all these wars occured while Yugoslavia existed and it only fell in 2003. Most of those wars you mention occured in the 1990s while Yugoslavia controlled most of the western Balkans. However, do you here much out of the Balkans now? No because the situation is better. Another example is the Austro-Hungarian Empire. An empire of many diverse peoples, that eventually fell because it could not stay together under one government. Now that region is a much better place because it got the territory it wanted.
ISIS has not said they wanted as much territory as possible, they have set their borders clearly:
They don't want an empire, for some reason you may have forgotten that ISIS stands for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. I still stand that there is less violence when countries break up for ethnic reasons than there is when united together. For more you can also see the Soviet Union, which was swollen with so many peoples but was not united. People want their own lands and then they will be happy.
Why would the Nazis not have and the USSR would have? They were basically the same totalitarian regimes with few differences. Anyone would tell you that. It is now economic common sense that countries which flirt with genocide (11,000,000 people died under Nazi rule, over 40,000,000 under USSR) and coontrol whole economies and overbloat their military budgets and enact practical slave labor will fall. Nazi Germany's fall was inevitable:
"When a government transitions to a more interventionist role, transforming a free economy to a command economy, it thrives on a one-time extraction of wealth from formerly independent, private companies. But like any sudden wealth tax, aggrandizement by a dictator diminshes the incentives of the private sector to create wealth going forward. The Nazi economy existed for barely twelve years. We can only speculate that its statis model would have slowed and imploded. Howerver, a longer-lived statist economy did exist worth remembering - the Soviet Union." 
They were basically the same country.
Again, South Africa was a case of caution. Thatcher understodd this more than anyone else (South Africa being part of the Commonwealth):
"Mrs Thatcher understood South Africa, like every other regional problem, as just another battleground in the global struggle between Western freedom and Soviet Communism. She regarded white South Africa, despite aparthied, as part of the West - Christian, capitalist, subject to the rule of law and in priciniple democratic - threatened by a Soviet-backed black liberation movement which aimed to destabilise the economy, destroy those liberal traditions and move South Africa into the Soviet camp." 
We have to understand South Africa as a very careful situation in the times of the Cold War. Thatcher knew full well what would happen if the world rapidly rushed to sanctions while violent uprisings broke loose in the summer of 1985 there. She, working with Reagan, delayed sanctions as much as possible while privately writing to South Africa asking for Nelson Mandela's release and an end to apartheid. It must be understood that from there perspective, and indeed true, the USSR did want to expand their influence to more British Commonwealth nations. 
Finally, who says that the UN always has a correct judgement in what it does? Going into Grenada to save Americans while defeating the communists was the right thing to do.
No matter what can be said that is in Obamacare, remember that it still costs an insane amount of money at a time when we are in far too much debt. This has happened with past civilizations, eventually leading them to fall apart.
Those costs are very high and the taxes do little to offset it. 
"An astonishing 46 percent of responding primary care physicians claim they would leave or try to leave medicine as a result of ObamaCare, gravely exacerbating the existing shortage of primary care doctors (according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the number of U.S. medical school students choosing primary care has already dropped 52 percent since 1997)." 
Regulation on the financial sector increased as I have previously cited from $1.9 billion in 2000 to $2.3 billion in 2008. How can financial regulations prevent recessions when they increased and yet did not prevent it. Most people unanimously agree that the Fed had a contribution to the crisis with its low interest rate and easy credit policies. 
I will note the recent Romer-Romer study found the best tax rate to be 33%. Even so, the higher rate studies don't look into the possibility of tax shelters the rich would hide their capital in as they do when taxes are too high. I have cited previously that incomes went up for everyone during the 1980s and who hates more income?
Remember that our unemployment rate is over 6% and raising the minimum wage would likely damage job creation, but this should not be debated since raising it to $10.10 has not become a policy, so debating it would be a waste of time.
I have proven my case for these reason: tax cuts and limited spending greatly increased economic growth, more money meant incomes rose for everyone and people could afford more products, the USSR needed to be defeated faster and Reagan accelerated it by increasing the military budget so high the USSR could not compete, he rolled back dictatorships in favor of democracies, several foreign leaders and diplomats agree that Reagan caused the end.
1. D'Souza, Dinesh. Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader. New York: Free, 1997. Print.
2. Kissinger, Henry. Diplomacy. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994. Print.
3. Gaffney, Dennis, and Peter Gaffney. The Seven-day Scholar: The Presidents: Exploring History One Week at a Time. New York: Hyperion, 2012. Print.
5. Hubbard, R. Glenn., and Tim Kane. Balance: The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America. Simon & Schuster, 2013. Print.
6. Campbell, John. The Iron Lady: Margaret Thatcher, from Grocer's Daughter to Prime Minister. New York: Penguin, 2011. Print.
7. "Congressional Budget Office." Updated Estimates of the Effects of the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act, April 2014.
8. Paterson, Matt. "ObamaCare Would Drive Doctors Out of Business."Nationalcenter.org. National Policy Analysis, Mar. 2010. Web. 18 July 2014.
9. Hadar, Leon T. "Did Regulations Cause Current Crisis?" Cato.org. Cato Insitute, 7 Aug. 2009. Web. 18 July 2014.
10. Romer, Christina and David Romer. "American Economic Review 100 (June 2010): 763""801 Http://www.aeaweb.org... Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks." American Economic Review, June 2010. Web.
My source did mention that the military build-up helped destroy the USSR economy. It had less to do with the US, however, and more to do with the war in Afghanistan. To quote you, "the US supported the terrorist groups against the USSR". That's my point- we supported terrorists. These are largely the same terrorists that we've spent trillions on and lost American lives to for 13 years. If we hadn't supported the terrorists, then the Communists in Afghanistan would have likely died out with the Soviet collapse. Our plan to help the Taliban backfired horribly.
Of course the Soviet economy couldn't outproduce us, capitalism is the superior economic system as history has stated. Despite what the INF treaty states, our goal was less about democracy and more in stopping Communism. As Harvard lecturer Dov Ronen explained, the collapse of the USSR "only proved that the implementation of the Marxist idea failed in the Soviet empire, and the collapse of economies there did not lead to entrenchment of democracy but to the exercise of self-determination"  Gorbachev is right- we don't know what would have happened. The turning point also came during the Reagan era, but not because of him. The USSR was already doomed by 1981.
As for the Contra affair- I can only give you the Brown Univ. and a historically commended PBS documentary analysis. Despite a law passed in '84 specifically prohibiting CIA operations in Nicaragua, Reagan told NS adviser Robert MacFarlane that "I want you to do whatever you have to do to help these people keep body and soul together."  He was fully ready to break the law. Reagan also gave personal approval to MacFarlane when asked for permission when asked for permission to trade arms to Iranian terrorists for hostages, (though Reagan's intentions were to bring all hostages home). This violated both the embargo on Iran and his promise never to deal with terrorists.  
Speaking of dealing with terrorists, that's what you're suggesting we do with ISIS. They are terrorists, do you honestly think that they'll abide by their word? In any case, if we deal with them, that means we acknowledge them as a legitimate government, with a right to the lands they have conquered, ignoring all their horrific war crimes and atrocities. I'm not keen on that, and I don't think Obama or anyone else is.
Yugoslavia was a horrific example, not a good one. Yugoslavia broke up in 1992, not 2003. The Balkans is secure now because the UN has intervened and forcibly brought down the conflict. But during those 8-years there was a war that killed 140K and displaced 4 million. That solution won't work in Iraq.
Again the problem with the Nazism reference. As I said before, most of the genocide and horror of the USSR was over by the 1950s. The Nazi regime murdered to its last breath. The German economy lasted 12 years because the Nazis lasted 12 years. Their economic woes came from their insane and expensive war of conquest, which would have been worse had they not horrifically used millions of slaves.  The Nazis and Soviets had completely different economies and ideologies, hence Hitler's aggressive hatred of communism. I should also mention that the Soviet economy was relatively successful until 1970, but collapsed on heavy military spending and stagnation. 
I am horrified by your argument that the disgusting Apartheid regime would be better than the black majority having a government that IT ACTUALLY WANTED. Mandela coming to power did not create instability. I should also mention that Thatcher was rather racist, looking down on Indians and Asians.   All the better if the Apartheid regime was destabilized and toppled- because when it was, it proved to the world that democracy could function in S. Africa. Stability doesn't counteract racism.
As for Obamacare costing an "insane amount of money", it doesn't. It will reduce our deficit by $200 billion in the next ten years, and $1 trillion in 20 years. It's also reducing the healthcare spending growth trend considerably.   When remembering that this will also increase the quality of healthcare and dramatically reduce wastage, on top of providing affordable healthcare, it sounds like a very nice proposition.
Your physician shortage argument is nonsense. Yes, primary care physicians have been declining for the past 30 years. The solution is simple- use nurse practitioners, who more often than not are fully qualified for it. In using this, the shortage can be cut almost in half 
Regulation increased, but it wasn't regulated in the right places, nor was it enough. People do not 'unanimously' agree, that's an exaggeration, though a lot of people will. The Fed's main problem was not looking carefully enough at the mortgage loopholes and easy credits that dominated the early 2000s.
Our minimum wage is a part of this debate. Reagan didn't increase it even once, although most other (successful) countries do that. Why? Because people need a living wage if we're going to be able to build up a middle class. You don't build a middle class from the top down, you do it from the bottom and middle. Unless that is done, then our income inequality will rise, the vast majority of people won't have enough money, and the economy will founder, along with decreased quality of life. Obama recognizes this, and that is why he is so keen on developing the middle class, by increasing the minimum wage and helping the poor.
Final Words and Conclusion:
I have proven my assertions in the above arguments that Reagan is not superior to Obama, because Reagan's foreign policy was disastrous (Iran-Contra scandal, S. Africa, Grenada) , his policy against the USSR was costly and unhelpful, his economic policies only truly helped the rich and drove income inequality to enormous levels, he did little to help the middle class and he set the trend for current, failing Republican policies. On the other hand, Obama has tried to help the middle class and has made positive strides in healthcare, made smarter foreign policy choices, but is being attacked again and again by a GOP who prevents his policies from helping America as much as they could.
I want to thank my opponent for an excellent debate, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
1. Ronen, Dov. "End the Campaign." . NY Times, 30 Apr. 2013. Web. 20 July 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com...;.
2. "Iran-Contra Affair." . PBS, n.d. Web. 20 July 2014. <http://www.pbs.org...;.
3. "Understanding the Iran-Contra Affair." . Brown University, n.d. Web. 20 July 2014. <http://www.brown.edu...;.
4. Liu, Larry . "Economy of Nazi Germany, 1933-45." . Academia.edu, 1 Oct. 2013. Web. 20 July 2014. <http://www.academia.edu...;.
5. "Soviet Economic System." . HowStuffWorks, n.d. Web. 20 July 2014.
6. Watt, Nicholas . "Margaret Thatcher held "unabashedly racist views"." The Guardian 10 Apr. 2013: n. pag. Print.
7. Martin, Rachel. "South Africa Through The Eyes Of A Post-Apartheid Generation." . NPR, 4 May 2014. Web. 20 July 2014. <http://www.npr.org...;.
8. "Deficit Reducing HealthCare Reform." . White House.gov, n.d. Web. 20 July 2014. <http://www.whitehouse.gov...;.
9. "Cost of Obamacare." . Obamacare Facts, n.d. Web. 20 July 2014. < http://obamacarefacts.com...;.
10. Mahar, Maggie. "Obamacare isn't creating a doctor shortage, it's solving it." The Guardian 28 Jan. 2014: n. pag. Print.
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Reasons for voting decision: Excellent debate on both sides. Overall, Pro had slightly better arguments.
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