The Instigator
Brenavia
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
HandsofManos
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points

Solving the debt issue: Cut deep or across the board.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/14/2011 Category: Economics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,201 times Debate No: 15942
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)

 

Brenavia

Pro

In the face of Paul Ryan's new budget cut plan, and Obama's soon to be released updated budget, a question has formed that could solve our debt issue or dig us further into the hole. Many have suggested that the Federal Government cut spending in a few key programs and leave others standing. It has also been suggested that spending be cut across the board and keep all current programs intact. This debate is over which plan would be better.

I, in this debate, am supporting allowing the Federal Government to cut spending deep into certain programs and allowing others to remain intact. My opponent will be arguing in support of allowing the Federal Government cutting spending across the board and allowing all current programs to continue to exist.

Rules are as follows:
-Historical evidence is not required, but historical evidence trumps theoretical evidence.
-The last speech will not be allowed to enter in new evidence, snce I will not be allowed to refute it. Instead, the final speech will be used to refute all of my arguments and give an analysis of the debate.
-Specific examples must be given. If not, any specific evidence will trump thought and philosophies.
-I would ask all judges to put aside personal beliefs and read all of the arguments, in order to judge this debate fairly.
-Please be fair and reasonable with your arguments, and if not I would ask the judges to vote you down.
-Please take this seriously, for I am excited to here another point of view on an issue that could decide the fate of the United States.

Good Luck to my opponent, and I look forward to a good debate.
HandsofManos

Con

Great! An economics debate. I am just now really starting to consider myself a member of the Austrian economics school, and am really excited to sharpen my teeth, so to speak.
Debate Round No. 1
Brenavia

Pro

First off, thank you Con for accepting this debate and for giving such a timely acceptance. Let's begin.

Contention 1: Usefulness

Many Federal programs are not all that useful to the general population of the United States, or purposes the programs were designed for. I would suggest cutting all of these 'useless' programs. I use quotes for my opponent may state these programs may have use, but really these programs are worth their salt. These programs not only drain money needed to aid the people and lower or national debt, but these programs have no legitimate purpose for the continuence of America as a world superpower,or even as a functioning nation. There are several main programs the Federal government should work on cutting, and here are just a few.

http://www.homelandstupidity.us...

Out of this list, there are a couple I would like to especially point out. The first is the U.S. Botanic Garden. This program recieved $6,275,000 in the fiscal year of 2005, and what purpose does that really serve to the U.S.? Sure, Americans like beautiful things, but is this really necessary to be run by the Federal government? Another is the Afican Development Foundation. They seek "to alleviate poverty and promote broad-based sustainable development and empowerment in Africa". Sounds good right? Wrong. The Federal government is throwing money at Africa, hoping to solve their major problem of poverty. Have you every heard the saying "If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to teach, you feed him for a lifetime,"? Basically, we are giving poverty-striken Africans many fish, and teaching them to depend on the U.S. This drains our income significantly over time, and I would suggest this be another program to cut out completely.

Contention 2: Money Drain

Many programs that need to be cut are not, and an argument frequently used is this: These programs don't cost much and help many. My issue is that many of these programs don't even aid ailing Americans or maintain our world status. The U.S. Botanical Gardens are an example of such a money drain. They don't give back the money that is spent on them by providing some sort of service or good. The Botanical Gardens drain millions every year. The African Develpment Foundation seeks to aid poverty-striken Africans, and this helps us maintain our status as a benevolent world leader. But what are we really accomplishing with this? Throwing money at any issue will not solve it, especially at a problem that could easily be fixed. By investing in Africa and allowing it to thrive economically, we retain this status and in the future the U.S. loses less money. Perfect, we would have taught a man to fish, and he is able to feed himself for a lifetime. But these two programs aren't the only ones that are money drains on the Federal government. Another such organization is the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In 2003, the BIA accepted $91 million in permanent funding, and $2,269 Million in, then, current funding. Since then, the money used to support this organization has only increased. What goal does this organization provide? It informs Native Americans of different things, acts as a support for Native Americans, and other things relating to that race. While this does help an important minority, isn't America at the point where anyone can get their point across? If not, then that means America doesn't need to worry about the budget, it has to worry about prejudice. This organization is NOT needed.

http://www.doi.gov... (I couldnt pull up the actually budget chart again for some reason, but I urge you either to seach the site or take my word for it that the information I listed is there)

In the grand scheme of things, millions of dollars is nothing at all in a $13 trillion debt, but every little bit couts. Rep. Paul's new budget cuts only $300 billion, less than one percent of the debt. But as useless, money-draing programs are cut and vital programs allowed to continue, the numbers add up and America can continue to be the world's dominate economic and political power. Cutting across the board simply doesn't take away as much as needed from useless programs, and hurts the programs that need the funding.

These are just two of my contentions, and I will add others as my opponent uses his. Based off of the facts provided, I ask that the voters vote Pro and take my point of view. Unneeded programs must be cut in order for the U.S. retain its status as a force to be reckoned with. If we do not cut deep and fix our economy, America could lose its world status and this could devestate the world.

VOTE PRO!
HandsofManos

Con

If by an across the board cut Pro means a set percentage amount to be cut from each department, ie: 20% from all departments regardless of what they are, then I concede this debate as I agree that would be useless. However what I view as an across the board cut, is that each and every department be viewed and investigated and then a decision to be made on how much can and should be cut.

There are two problems with Pro's contentions. The first is that it is politcally impossible for most if not al of the progams Pro mentioned to be eliminated. The political winds simply have not shifted that far to allow entire departments to be cut, especially when those departments are the ONDP, the Deptartment of Agriculture, and the Department of Education. While I do agree that these should be completely cut, it simple cannot happen.

The second problem is that Pro's cuts don't go far enough. There is not a single government program or agency that does not have waste. But the real problem is the entitlement programs. Social security, medicaid, and medicare. Pro did not even bother to mention these. Nor, for that matter, did he mention the insane amount of money the department of defense receives.

Without cuts in these monstrous programs, nothing will change.
Debate Round No. 2
Brenavia

Pro

First off, while I did mean that cutting across the board, i.e.. 5% of Federal funding from all programs, was what I meant in the resolution, since I did not state it I apologize. Unfortunately, your idea is simply a mix of both of the debt solutions listed in the resolution, and therefore not relevant to this debate.

I'm going to first contradict my opponents arguments and then move on to my own.

^^^There are two problems with Pro's contentions. The first is that it is politically impossible for most if not al of the programs Pro mentioned to be eliminated. The political winds simply have not shifted that far to allow entire departments to be cut, especially when those departments are the ONDP, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Education. While I do agree that these should be completely cut, it simple cannot happen.

--- Nothing is impossible my friend. Our debt is steadily climbing, and though there are a few devout supporters for every program or department, when survival becomes an issue even the worst of enemies can work together to remain intact. It may seem politically impossible, but when the situation arises, I'm sure that more people will be for cutting these programs out completely than for keeping them intact, or even taking our a significant percentage.

^^^The second problem is that Pro's cuts don't go far enough. There is not a single government program or agency that does not have waste. But the real problem is the entitlement programs. Social security, Medicaid, and Medicare. Pro did not even bother to mention these. Nor, for that matter, did he mention the insane amount of money the department of defense receives.

--- I did not list those entitlement programs and the Dept. of Defense for one key reason: America depends on these programs. Though it would be ideal for America to simply shut down Medicare, Medicaid, and social security, many millions of people depend on this programs for survival. 10.6 million Americans depend on Social security alone to survive. What would happen if Social Security was cut? Would they be thrown out on the streets, left to die starving, sick, and cold? No, America depends on these programs to continue to provide Americans with the help they need. Also, in relation to the Dept. of Defense, I did not include that in the programs to cut out because America depends on its military to survive. Sure, we spend a lot of money on weapons, supplies, and military technologies, but these things are necessary to keep America's hegemony intact, and thus protecting ourselves from any foriegn, and sometimes domestic, threat. If the DoD's funding were to be cut, America could lose its power and protection, allowing for many to die.

http://www.usatoday.com...

^^^Without cuts in these monstrous programs, nothing will change.

---I agree in the fact that these programs are huge and constitute for a large portion of our spending, but things can still change. By cutting out all unecessary programs completly, we are face with a situtation where over a period of time America can get back on its feet and continue to be a world leader. I urge the voters to realize this fact, and vote Pro.

Now on to my points:

Since I answered my opponents case and showed why Pro was right, I'll just extend my previous evidence.

Contention 1: Usefulness

Many of the Federal programs that have been discussed have not provided any real benefit for Americans. The U.S. Botanic Garden does not provide any real benefit to the American people, except to look pretty. This program could easily be cut, and save the Federal government more than $7 million a year. Also, the African Development Program is throwing money at a problem that could easily be solved with long-term investment. This action could save the U.S. millions, perhaps billions, of dollars in a short period of time.

Contention 2: Money Drain

By not providing any real benefit to America, many programs need to be cut completyl and cease to be money drains.The Bureau of Indian Affairs is another example of a such money drain, constantly taking money and using it to fund a program that is not needed any longer. In a faltering economy, every little bit helps, and money drains suck away money that could be better used for other things.

My oponent has yet to really create his own arguments. Instead, he is simply refuting mine and trying to compose arguments out of this. In conclusion, I urge voters to vote Pro for al the reasons provided. Cutting deep into certain programs is the only way for America to remain a world power and to provide for Americans everywhere.

VOTE PRO!
HandsofManos

Con

Pro has chastised me for refuting his arguments. Is that not the point of a debate, to show the flaws in your opponents arguments?

Pro failed to read the second sentence of my first contention. I said "The political winds simply have not shifted that far to allow entire departments to be cut..." Pro stated nothing is impossible. Well, he's half right. Nothing is impossible given enough time and resources. What i meant by "impossible" was that it is now currently impossible to eliminate those departments, not that it would always be impossible.

Pro then states that Americans needs the entitlement programs to survive. I only have one question for Pro, what did Americans do before these programs were enacted? They surely were not "left to die, starving sick and cold" as Pro contends would happen now.

And of course we require a military in order to protect us, but do we really need to spend almost 700 billion dollars in order to protect ourselves? Again Pro paints a gloomy future of Americans dying if we cut the Defense budget, and again Pro fails to realize that we could easily maintain a high level of security with a drastically reduced force. as shown here by the CATO Institute.

http://www.cato.org...

Two more things. Pro stated at he beginning of this round that my ideas were not relevant to this debate. If that was the case then why did he bother to refute them at all?

And lastly. Why, why, does Pro feel it is necessary to campaign for votes? He continually asks for you to vote for him. If his arguments were valid and strong then why would he need to ask you to vote for him, wouldn't you do it anyway? Maybe he thinks you are too stupid to understand what hes saying and so he feels he must tell you he is right, rather than showing you he is.
Debate Round No. 3
Brenavia

Pro

I apologize if you believe that I am chatizing you for refuting my arguments, in fact I would encourge it in order to have a good debate. No, I was simply bringing up that you seek to find flaws in my plan, yet fail to come up with your own arguments so that I could refute them. I urge you in the next speech to bring up your orignal ideas of why cutting across the board would best solve America's debt issue, and not to simply refute my arguments.

I also would urge you to explain in your next speech why it is impossible to cut out complete departments and programs. I mentioned that anyone can work together to accomplish a goal if survival was threatened.

Before entitlement programs were in place, many more Americans died at a younger age due to causes that could easily be prevented. Nowadays, more people can live longer because Americans have access to Healthcar and Social Security. I have the average age of death, and you will find that 100 years ago in was much lower than today. If their place of worship, family, and community did not seek to help a person in troubled times, the person would be left on their own and left to fend for themselves, which often lead to death.

http://www.infoplease.com...

Yes, the CATO Institute shows how to maintian a relativly high level of security with reduced forces, but the more the better, and when America's citizens are at risk, it is best to keep them safe from all threats. By having the high Defense spending budget, it virtually eliminates and foriegn and at times domestic threat. Cutting the DoD's spending budget could lead to many deaths, and that is easily avoidable by spending that much.

Yes, your idea was not relavent to this debate, and I refuted it to show you my idea of cutting deep into certain programs was a better solution than yours. It was meant to prove a point. If I had simply ignored them, it would not prove my point and only would proven yours.

I do not feel it necessary to campaign for votes. I simply belive I should reinerate that I strongly believe in my resolution, which is that cutting deep in a few key programs will eventually solve the debt issue. That is just my way of trying to gain support and show that I believe that the voters should vote Pro. My arguments are valid and strong, while yours fail to show. I do not think that the voters are too stupid to understand what I am saying, and I am offended that you would say that. If you truly believe that I am treating the voters as a mindless flock, then you misunderstand me. Also, this is debate.org, not a yelling match. Chill dude, I'm not trying to get you all fired up. I apologize if I have offended you in any way, that was not my goal. I was simply expressing my points, and if you feel the need to continue, fine, I just thought I would let you know.

Also, since my opponent fails to come up with any of his own arguments, carry over all my previous evidence from previous speeches.

In conclusion, cutting deep into certain programs is the best way to solve America's debt issue. It eliminates money drains and supports needed programs. Cutting accross the board hurts needed programs and doesn't cut enough from unneeded ones. Thus, I urge the voters to vote Pro.
HandsofManos

Con

Pro has asked me to once again explain why it is impossible to completely eliminate whole departments. He mentioned that "anyone can work together to accomplish a goal if survival was threatened." This is true, however, as I stated, not everyone feels that their survival is threatened. That is why it is CURRENTLY impossible for whole departments to be cut. I am not said it would ALWAYS be impossible.

Pro answered my question on what people did before the entitlement programs were enacted, however his connection of the average age of death to these programs is erroneous.

The average life span that we now enjoy is indeed much higher than it was 100 years ago. That fact, however, has nothing at all to do with social security nor to the governmental healthcare plans, which is what Pro was implying. There is only one thing that can be attributed to our increased longevity, as well as the increase in the number of people who are able to reach old age. Knowledge. We now have a far better understanding of all the medical fields than we did 100 years ago. Pharmacueticals, hygene, anatomy, to name a few. And whats more, we have invented amazing technologies using that very knowledge.

Social Security, when it was enacted in 1935, had nothing to do with healthcare. It was a means of ensuring money for seniors after they retired.

The military does not need as much revenue as it is currently receiving in order to maintain security. If the military only needs x number of dollars in order to maintain national security, then anything over x is simply wasteful. the military exceeded x a decade if not more ago.

Pro states that I have not offered any original ideas, but only refuted his. I disagree. Within my refutations are many ideas, but the clearest one of all is that without significant cuts in all aspects of government nothing will change.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by i8JoMomma 5 years ago
i8JoMomma
why not cut their paychecks and take away their homes in order to balance the buget
Posted by Brenavia 5 years ago
Brenavia
Well boggleface, unfortunatly Obama is no Reagan, and the Congress is different than it was then. I seriously doubt that would work. Cutting is also a faster method of cutting the debt, and time is of the essence.
Posted by boggleface 5 years ago
boggleface
What about not making any cuts and instead trying to simulate growth as did Ragan in the 80s
Posted by Brenavia 5 years ago
Brenavia
Yeah, asking the voters to "Vote Con" or "vote Pro" is usually the norm, and it was difficult to explain it lol. So yeah, I enjoyed this debate. Hope to see you around some other time!
Posted by HandsofManos 5 years ago
HandsofManos
thanks for the debate, i really enjoyed it. i was never offended and am sorry if i came off that way. but i was very.. agitated? aggravated? at the constant asking for votes. im new to the site, so if thats the norm i apologize.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by boredinclass 5 years ago
boredinclass
BrenaviaHandsofManosTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: con didn't really build up a case for cutting across the board. SO I have to err pro because pro defneded cutting deeply
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
BrenaviaHandsofManosTied
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: This is a "should" resolution, what people ought to do not what is most feasible strategy. It is about which plan "would be better." That overcomes most of Con's case. That said, Pro made a major mistake in opening with trivial cuts with a completely false claim about what the Botanic garden does, contradicted even by his own biased blog source. However, near the end he got on better ground, arguing that programs should be cut on their merits.
Vote Placed by JustinChains 5 years ago
JustinChains
BrenaviaHandsofManosTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: I also feel that we should cut deep.