The Instigator
bigbass3000
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
philosopherpirate
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

That the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 will successfully mitigate economic slowdowns over next year.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/22/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,550 times Debate No: 3344
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (10)

 

bigbass3000

Pro

Resolved: That the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 will successfully mitigate economic slowdowns over the next year.

Economic Stimulus Act of 2008-The bill provides temporary tax incentives for businesses to make investments in their companies so that we create new jobs this year. The bill provides individual tax relief in the form of tax rebates. These rebates will amount to as much as $600 for individuals and $1,200 for married couples, with additional rebates for families with children. It was signed into action by George Bush on Feb. 13, 2008.

Mitigate-To become milder

Economic slowdowns-When the economy begins slow its economic growth, e.g. jobs, consumer products.

Overview 1: The idea is to give back some money to households so that they spend. Spending means more sales for businesses, and so more profits. If firms are profitable, they will keep employing households, which allow the latter to continue to spend, and so help businesses, etc. This is how it will work.

Con.1-Tax rebates work

Sub point A-Tax rebates

Little-a -Will work
According to TMC.net CBO: Tax Rebates & Cash Are Good Stimuli January 15,2008

" It said lump-sum tax rebates like the $300-600 rebates delivered to taxpayers seven years ago are among the more cost-effective ways for Congress to jump-start the economy, though CBO cautioned that rebates are more effective when given to middle- and lower-income taxpayers more likely to spend it.", So tax rebates are the best stimulus to start the economy up quickly and cost effective. This means it worked before in the past and it will work now.
Little b- Have worked in the past
According to businessweek.com "Research Backs Rebates" by Francesca Di Meglio March 16, 2008" Conventional academic theory, according to the paper, is that consumers don't respond to temporary measures such as tax rebates. However, the researchers could match the receipt of the rebates with higher spending levels and concluded that the 2001 rebates provided a "substantial" stimulus to the economy. ", This means they have worked in the past to mitigate, so they will work again.
Sub Point B Just enough to stimulate
It is basic Keynesian economics, which are country is based on, one of the main reasons are economy is slowing is because people are not spending their cash. So what do you do to help the economy, you put cash in the American people hands. It is big enough, because it is 1% of our G.D.P., which according to (The Economist January 17, 2008 "Stampede to stimulus"), "1% of the G.D.P. is just enough to get us out of our funk". So the government gives money to the citizens to spend, thus spending on commodities like gas, food, or even bills. American are struggling right now, people are living pay check to pay check and this act will help the middle class, who are the ones feelings the heaviest blow. Secondly it has been done in the past and people did spend the money on the economy, but this time it is even more money. "Altogether, the government is hoping to add $145 billion to the economy. While the exact amount per person hasn't been determined, some estimates on Capitol Hill put it at $800 per taxpayer. This would be almost four times the amount the government spent in 2002, the last time it tried to stimulate the economy."

Con.2 Sociological boost
"There could be a psychological lift that ends the current gloom-and-doom atmosphere in corporate boardrooms. On Monday, the world glimpsed the depth of negativism when stock markets from Europe to Canada to Asia nose-dived. The US markets were closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Economist Ethan Harris of Lehman Brothers offers a slightly different analysis. He estimates that a stimulus package of $100 billion could add 0.8 percent growth to the second quarter and 0.2 percent to the third quarter. "Perhaps even more important," he writes in a research report to his clients, "the policy would provide a psychological boost to the economy." , This means that it will boost the economy with providing hope to all the gloom that is happening.

As far as concerns about where the money is coming from or etc. here is something from Eric Tymoigne.
"If the trade deficit is an issue, it is in relation to the previous point.
The problem is not a financing constraint, that is, that one day the
United States may not be able to borrow dollars from the rest of the
world to finance its imports. Indeed, the United States has a dollar-
denominated monetary system and so can print as many dollars
as it needs to finance its expenditures. In addition, the rest of the
world cannot save any dollars before the United States injects them
into the world financial system via its current-account deficit. Thus
the problem is elsewhere. It is that currently the private sector, more
specifically households, is the only U.S. sector capable of satisfying
the rest of the world's net desire to save. But U.S. households have
reached a point where their income is insufficient to satisfy the desires
of the rest of the world. Therefore, households must borrow dollars,
not from the rest of the world that wants to obtain dollars, but from
domestic banks that do not need foreign dollar savings to refinance
themselves because they have access to the refinancing channel provided
by the central bank.2"
philosopherpirate

Con

The economic stimulus package is ineffective for a couple of reasons.

The first is that it is simply not enough. 60,000 people lost their jobs in the last quarter. There have been millions of foreclosures in the last year. Tens of millions more have lost untold thousands in home equity. Many people now have negative equity in their home. That means that they owe more on the house than its worth, meaning they have no incentive to pay back the loan on their house and every incentive to let the bank foreclose on their house. At the point where people have lots tens of not hundreds of thousands of dollars in a life long investment, lost their jobs, or are simply made homeless, a couple hundred or even $1,200 dollars cannot come close to making up for that.

The second reason it is ineffective is because the tax rebates will be ineffective is because it will not actually affect how people spend. The economist Milton Friedman argued (and won the Nobel prize in economics for) that people spend based on their expected future income. That means as long as people think the economy is weak and they could lose their job or house then it does not matter how much money is given back in tax rebates, they will always save it if they think that hard times are ahead. This as been empirically proven with the first Bush tax cuts where people tended to save the money rather than spend it.

The final reason that the economic stimulus package will not be effective over the next year because it simply takes longer than that for economic policy to take affect. Most people wont be filing their tax returns until April and will only be getting their checks some months later. It will be about six months from now before anyone gets their rebate checks. Even if everyone spent all of their checks as soon as they got them, it would take months for businesses to turn that increase in profit into increased investment and increased jobs.

The stimulus package is 1. not big enough 2. not the right type of package and 3. will not take affect within the next year.
Debate Round No. 1
bigbass3000

Pro

"The first is that it is simply not enough. 60,000 people lost their jobs in the last quarter. There have been millions of foreclosures in the last year. Tens of millions more have lost untold thousands in home equity. Many people now have negative equity in their home. That means that they owe more on the house than its worth, meaning they have no incentive to pay back the loan on their house and every incentive to let the bank foreclose on their house. At the point where people have lots tens of not hundreds of thousands of dollars in a life long investment, lost their jobs, or are simply made homeless, a couple hundred or even $1,200 dollars cannot come close to making up for that.",
it is big enough did you not read my first con.1
I would like to see your evidence and i have some evidence of my own.
Con.3 creates jobs
According to Ron Scherer | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor from the January 22, 2008 edition," "It may be too late, but it could mitigate the severity of the downturn or even jump-start us out of a recession," says Mark Zandi of Moody's Economy.com. "But I think that stimulus is helpful." Mr. Zandi, who is skeptical Congress will act quickly, estimates the proposed package could add $80 billion to real GDP in the second half of the year. That translates to about 1 percentage point of annualized growth. He also estimates that would support some 400,000 jobs. ", This means it can mitigate the job loss by providing jobs.

"The second reason it is ineffective is because the tax rebates will be ineffective is because it will not actually affect how people spend. The economist Milton Friedman argued (and won the Nobel prize in economics for) that people spend based on their expected future income. That means as long as people think the economy is weak and they could lose their job or house then it does not matter how much money is given back in tax rebates, they will always save it if they think that hard times are ahead. This as been empirically proven with the first Bush tax cuts where people tended to save the money rather than spend it.", People are going to spend as I said before they are giving it to the consumers that spend all their money middle class and lower class. The most likely to spend and Milton Friedman is mainly talking about the upper class, how don't spend. They can't save it anyway, they have bills to pay and food to get. They will spend and we had a similar situation in 2001, and according to my research in con.1 subpoint b I think, it shows it made a substantial stimulus. Meaning people spent it.

"The final reason that the economic stimulus package will not be effective over the next year because it simply takes longer than that for economic policy to take affect. Most people wont be filing their tax returns until April and will only be getting their checks some months later. It will be about six months from now before anyone gets their rebate checks. Even if everyone spent all of their checks as soon as they got them, it would take months for businesses to turn that increase in profit into increased investment and increased jobs.", According to the I.R.S., the checks will be in the hands of the people in May. As far as it would take months, hey I have at least a year for them to do that, because 2/3 of the rebates will be spent in the first 6 months starting in May 2008.

All I have to prove is it will mitigate, meaning slow down, look to my contentions, which he has not touched at all. He is making contentions without looking to my case.
1. It is big enough about 1% of the G.D.P., read con.1
2. Does attack the probelm, people aren't spending
3.It will take effect, he says, it won't but I have warrants and data for that to prove it will go in on May 2008
philosopherpirate

Con

"it is big enough did you not read my first con.1
I would like to see your evidence and i have some evidence of my own."

You and I are talking about two different types of size here. You say its big enough because its 1% of our GDP. I say its not big enough because people are not getting enough money. I am not arguing its not big enough because its not a large enough share of our economy. I agree that 1% of our GDP can be big enough to help our economy, but if you take that 1% and distribute it over everyone then you break that hundreds of billions of dollars into tiny, insignificant amounts. Its a matter of where that 1% of our GDP in economic stimulus goes. The current policy spreads it around indiscriminately and so wastes the money.

I did respond to your position, just because I make arguments that say you are wrong does not mean I ignored your argument, it means I disagree. You, on the other hand, completely ignored my arguments. If someone owes $200,000 on a house worth only $150,000 and just had one of their own bread-winners laid off, $1,200 dollars is not going to make any different in their financial situation.

Moreover, your "evidence" is nothing but a series of warrantless quotes from authors of unknown credibility. Just because some staff writer for some newspaper says something does not in any way make it true.

"People are going to spend as I said before they are giving it to the consumers that spend all their money middle class and lower class. The most likely to spend and Milton Friedman is mainly talking about the upper class, how don't spend. They can't save it anyway, they have bills to pay and food to get. They will spend and we had a similar situation in 2001, and according to my research in con.1 subpoint b I think, it shows it made a substantial stimulus. Meaning people spent it."

There are two possible scenarios. Either things are as you say they are and people will spend the rebate because they have bills and food to buy or they will save the money as I argue. If the people who get the rebate have no choice to spend the money on bills and food, then they already sound in terrible financial straits and a one time check of a couple hundred dollars or so is not going to help them. If they are unable to afford their bills or even food then one time check will have no ability to alleviate that condition and the tax rebate will be utterly ineffective. If the situation is like I describe it, then the tax rebate will also be utterly ineffective. Either way, the tax rebate will not be effective in mitigating an economic downturn.

Your assertion that Friedman was only talking about the rich is not only warrantless but completely wrong. It is the working class and the poor whose spending is most influenced by their future income because their financial situations are the most unstable. The rich can more or less keep up a steady and constant stream of spending because their financial situation is very stable and they can ride out any economic recession. If you live much closer to the poverty line then what you expect the future to bring becomes very important. If the economy is doing poorly and you worry about being laid off or getting a reduction in benefits then you will save as much as possible for that rainy day. If you think good times are ahead you will probably splurge and buy some of those nice things you have been denying yourself/been unable to get when times were harder. People plan ahead and make decisions in the present based on what they expect the future will bring, its human nature. As long as the tax rebate does nothing to improve people's expectations about their future incomes then it will be ineffective.

"According to the I.R.S., the checks will be in the hands of the people in May. As far as it would take months, hey I have at least a year for them to do that, because 2/3 of the rebates will be spent in the first 6 months starting in May 2008."

The IRS will start mailing the checks in May. That means that the small number of people who filled out their income taxes months ago will start seeing checks trickling in sometimes in May. Almost everyone files their taxes in April. That huge increase in the number of taxes being filed clogs up the system and it takes months to process all those returns. Most people wont be getting their checks until June, July, or August. You have to prove that the package will work with in the next year, meaning by March of next year. Even if a lot of checks start being mailed out in May, that is 2 months from now, meaning that you now have to prove that the stimulus package will be affective in 10 months. But since most people wont be getting their checks until the summer, that means you have to show that within 8 months of people getting their checks the economy will be improved. That just is not enough time for the package to take effect, whatever small one it will have.

"All I have to prove is it will mitigate, meaning slow down"

The resolution is that the economic stimulus act will successfully mitigate the economic down turn in th next year. You do not win simply by showing that there was some mitigation. If the government spends enough money its sure to have some effect. It has ti be successful mitigation. That means that the stimulus act has to meet the expectations/goals of those that advocated and passed it. And it has to do that in the next year. I have argued that it will not be nearly that successful and that it will not take affect within the next year, negating the resolution.
Debate Round No. 2
bigbass3000

Pro

it is big enough did you not read my first con.1
I would like to see your evidence and i have some evidence of my own."

" I agree that 1% of our GDP can be big enough to help our economy, but if you take that 1% and distribute it over everyone then you break that hundreds of billions of dollars into tiny, insignificant amounts. Its a matter of where that 1% of our GDP in economic stimulus goes. The current policy spreads it around indiscriminately and so wastes the money.",It goes to businesses which make profits and thus hire people. Which helps the economy. The probelm with the economy is the liquidity. There is no spending and because of that the economy is failing and falling. So what do you do, you give to people spend on the economy, to keep people hired and inject money into the economy, which goes into banks, who will be more likely to work with individuals, who owe 200,000 dollars in debt or etc. It makes sense to give to the people, because the people decide, what they want to buy. Spending will boost the economy.

" If someone owes $200,000 on a house worth only $150,000 and just had one of their own bread-winners laid off, $1,200 dollars is not going to make any different in their financial situation.", Not everybody owes 200,000 dollars on a house. Not all the rebates are going to people in that kind of debt. But you have to look at the probelm, like I said with liquidity as I said, the only way to help it is through these rebates.

"Moreover, your "evidence" is nothing but a series of warrantless quotes from authors of unknown credibility. Just because some staff writer for some newspaper says something does not in any way make it true. ", The story from Businessweek was from a study from "When Jonathan Parker, a professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management, did his research on the effects of tax rebates the government doled out in 2001,", a Univerity, not a newspaper and Eric Thymoigne, a Professor from Fresno state University.

"Your assertion that Friedman was only talking about the rich is not only warrantless but completely wrong. ", Freidman is a sponsor of capitalism and laissez.faire, which was a reason for the great depression. This debate has a lot to do with socialism, or the government spending on the economy.Friedman is against socialism in general, so you are of course using evidence form someone who opposes a system of economics, but he is not talking about neoclassical, he is talking about classical, so it must be disregarded from this debate. So what if he won the Noble Prize, yes he is credible, but give me someone other than a liberal classical economy guy. If you continue with this guy, you will lose. Why, because it is a theory, actions speak louder than words. The evidence for Northwestern proves, it worked in the past and it will work now. The same thing was happening in 2001, and the rebates worked.

"The IRS will start mailing the checks in May. That means that the small number of people who filled out their income taxes months ago will start seeing checks trickling in sometimes in May." Where is your basis on this anyway, give me evidence, proving this claim or disregard it from the debate. No evidence, just a assumption on your part. Yes the money will be mailed in May, to everyone, how do I know, because they already added the allocated money to the deficit, check it out for yourself. It is for the 2007 tax return. All in all you have no evidence of this, just a assumption of that.

" If the government spends enough money its sure to have some effect. .", biggest voter in the debate, I have to prove it will mitigate the slowdowns, nothing else. ANd you agreed it will. I win this debate, because you agreed it will mitigate. You dropped my job arguement as well, by just saying the press knows nothing, when , they get information form experts.

I have provided credible evidence and I leave you will my last statement from the heart.

Objects of the most stupendous magnitude, measures which affect the lives of millions born and unborn our now before us. My worthy opponent, has spoken with great ingenuity and eloquence, he has given a grime prognostication, but where he sees apocalypse, I see hope, I see not only hope, but the economy growing even further than it has gone before, because of this act. This act gives the economy a new life, a new dream of where our country is going. I see a new economy ready to take its place in the world. Not a recession, but an economy, so strong, it can take on anyone in the world. I am not without apprehensions, but the end we have in insight, is more than worth all the means. I believe the hour has come, my judgment approves this measure and my whole heart is any. All that I have, all that I am, all that I hope in this life, I am now ready to stake upon it. While I live, give me a vote for the Affirmative!
philosopherpirate

Con

The resolution at hand is whether the economic stimulus package will successfully mitigate the economic downturn over the next year.

While the stimulus package will undoubtedly have some effect, it will be minor and unsuccessful.

I have contended that the tax refunds are not big enough. In the last 3 months, there was a net loss of 60,000 jobs in the United States. In the last year home foreclosures went up 60% to an all time high. Millions of people have lost their houses and millions more have built up more debt in their house than it is worth, putting them tens of thousands of dollars into debt even if they sold their house, which is next to impossible in this market. If someone has lost their job, lost their house, or is tens of thousands of dollars in debt then giving them a few hundred or even $1,200 dollars or more is not going to successfully mitigate that loss. Even if all the tax rebates go to increase revenue and thereby increasing jobs to re-employ those who lost their jobs, it will take much longer than a year for that money to trickle from consumers up to the top of the economic ladder in the form of increased profits, and then back down in the form of increased investments and jobs.

My opponent argues that "Not all the rebates are going to people in that kind of debt." That only proves the ineffectiveness of the tax rebates. It is the people who have lost their jobs or houses that have been most affected by this recession and it is them who need the most help. If the rebates are going to a bunch of people who have not lost their jobs or houses or have not decreased their spending than that is essentially wasted money. The tax rebate fails to help those that have been most hurt by the recession and thus fails to successfully mitigate the economic downturn.

Moreover, those that have not worked in the past year or would pay less in taxes that they would earn in the rebate do not get the rebate. That means that if someone has been un- or underemployed for the last year because of the recession, they get no money back. The hardest hit by the recession receive absolutely no direct benefit at all from the tax rebates. Basically, the harder hit you are by the recession, the less the rebate does to help you.

My opponent claims that the new tax rebates will work because the tax rebates worked in 2001. There are several problems with this argument. First, the cause of the recessions in 2001 and now are different, meaning the solutions are different. The recession that happened around 2001 was caused by the tech bubble bursting and so did not result in the large increase in personal debt among the poor and working class that this recession has. This recession has been caused in large part by the large increase in sub-prime mortgages and subsequent foreclosures. The different causes and effects of this recession mean what may have worked in 2001 will not work not. Second, the tax rebates did not work. Bush was forced to pass tax cuts to help the economy in 2003 to help the economy and again in 2008 to alleviate a recession people have been prediction since 2006. The tax rebates failed to help the economy. Finally, you claim to have evidence that the 2001 tax rebates worked, but reading back up the debate, the only evidence I could find supporting this claim was a quote saying "the 2001 rebates provided a "substantial" stimulus to the economy." I am not sure what a substantial stimulus to the economy means or what proof there is that it did, other than that baseless assertion.

It is incorrect to treat the recession in 2001 and the recession now as the same problem that can be solved by the same means.

My opponent argues that all the checks will be out in May because that is what the IRS said. Anyone who thinks the IRS is a prompt, efficient, well-run organization capable of processing over a hundred million tax returns within a month and mailing them all out as soon as it says it can is living in a dream world. The IRS just does not work that fast. My evidence is my personal experience. I don't earn enough every year to actually pay taxes, so I get a check back every year. Last year when I submitted my taxes in March, well ahead of most people, it still took till June for me to get my check. The IRS just does not work fast enough to get those checks out to help the economy within a year from now.

But more than that, even of all the checks go out and are spent in May, it will be a long time before the benefits from increased consumer spending are seen. It will take a prolonged period of consistent increase in consumer spending to begin to effect businesses practices and get them to hire more people or increase investment. None of this is going to be able to happen within a year.

The question at hand is whether or not the economic stimulus package will successfully mitigate the economic downturn in the next year. The stimulus package will be unsuccessful because a couple hundred dollars is not enough to offset tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt or lost income caused by the recession. As a result, no matter what percentage of our GDP the total package is, the tax rebates will not be big enough to work.

Whatever minor effect they will have will not be seen within the next year. It will be the summer before the majority of households begin to see their checks and year before businesses can feel the result of any increase in consumer spending, and then another few months for that increase in consumer spending to translate into increased investment and expansion which can translate into new jobs. The stimulus package will not work to mitigate the economic downturn within the next year because these sorts of things just don't work that fast, no matter how good they are.

Bigbass3000's arguments overlook important distinctions. His argument that it is big enough ignores the important difference between big enough as being a function of the total bill as a percentage of the US's GDP and big enough as being big enough to have a significant impact in the hands of individual tax payers. His argument that it worked in 2001 so it will work now ignores the important differences between then and now. He has made no attempt to show why these two recessions are similar and simply claims that "it worked in the past... so it will work now." The different causes and effects of the two recessions means that what worked in 2001 cannot work now.

These important, if subtle, distinctions that bigbass3000 overlooks are the most important reasons that the economic stimulus package will not successfully mitigate the economic downturn in the next year.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by bigbass3000 9 years ago
bigbass3000
Among the most vocal critics of the Prize in Economics is the Swedish human rights lawyer Peter Nobel, a great-grandnephew of Alfred Nobel.[25] Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal and former Swedish minister of finance Kjell-Olof Feldt have also advocated that the Prize in Economics should be abolished.[26] Myrdal's objections were based on his view that the 1976 Prize in Economics to Milton Friedman and the 1974 Prize in Economics shared by Friedrich Hayek (both classical liberal economists) were undeserved, not on an argument that the economics did not qualify as a science. If he had been asked about the establishment of the Prize before receiving it, Hayek stated that he would "have decidedly advised against it."[26][27]

Some critics claim the selection of recipients for the Prize in Economics is biased toward mainstream economics.[28][29] The Department of Economics at the University of Chicago has garnered nine of these Prizes—more than any other university—leading some critics to opine that such an outcome demonstrates either a bias, or the appearance of one, against candidates with alternative views.[29]

This is abotu Milton's nobel prize.
Posted by Johnicle 9 years ago
Johnicle
READ IF YOU WANT TO TRY ONLINE DEBATE TOURNAMENTS... Since the release of the new website has been pushed back to June of 2008 (I wish the best of luck to parenthood:) but anyway, I have decided to attempt to run a tournament system off of facebook. If any of you want to join, I will try to make the facebook group by the end of today... I will name the group "Online Debate Tournaments"... Once you get on, there should be some more explanation as to how I'm going to try to run it and what you have to do to be in them. I will try to get the first tournament started by April 1st... Thanks and I hope to see you on facebook!
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