The Instigator
Double_R
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
bluesteel
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

The US should raise it's Debt Ceiling, with or without concessions

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
bluesteel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/2/2011 Category: Economics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,102 times Debate No: 16831
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (5)

 

Double_R

Pro

This debate will focus on the opinion that anyone who opposes raising the debt ceiling for any reason or without any concessions is wrong.

Here is an example to clarify if needed: http://www.dailykos.com...-(but-his-vote-doesnt-matter)

Case:

Failure to raise the debt limit would result in the US defaulting on it's debt which would be bad for the US and world economies and severely damage the US credit rating that we have maintained for generations.

We will have to pay our obligations either way, the question is weather we should allow all of this unnecessary damage to occur because we decide not to raise our debt limit. There is nothing wrong with using this as an opportunity to advance a political position (like making severe cuts in spending) but to vote against raising it in the end will be wrong no matter what the argument was. These arguments against it are separate arguments and should not be "holding the debt ceiling hostage".

bluesteel

Con

Thanks Double_R.

C1) The absurdity of having a debt ceiling that you can raise

How absurd is it that the US has the debt ceiling, which we are in the process or raising for the third time in 4 years? What is the point of having a debt CEILING or a spending LIMIT if you raise said ceiling or spending limit whenever you feel like it. The purpose of having a debt ceiling was to prevent presidents from accruing too much debt. Had George W. Bush believed that the debt ceiling was a REAL ceiling, not some artificial annoyance that Congress would raise whenever he clapped his hands, then he would not have gotten us embroiled for so long in Iraq.

Imagine if all of life worked like this. You go over your credit ceiling (the maximum safe amount that your credit card company thinks you can afford to spend in a month and still pay them back), and the credit card company merely raises it. You spend more money than you have budgeted in your allowance (let's pretend you're in college, paid with a credit card, and still get an allowance), and your parents simply react by raising your allowance. This is the definition of absurdity.

Assuming my opponent wins that we have to remove the debt ceiling, I would then negate by saying we should at least be honest with the American people and remove the ceiling altogether, since it is effectively useless in curtailing government spending.

C2) Contingency

My opponent seems to be arguing that Congress needs to pass the debt ceiling rise NOW, with or without concessions. I assert that Congress should not pass ANYTHING until they have cemented clear future cuts into the budget. Politicians always put short-term decision-making over long term, since short term gets votes, but long-term thinking doesn't. The only way we will ever get future spending cuts is if they are agreed to now. This should take as long as it needs to. I'll take a hit in the stock market now so I'm not taxed 90% of my income 30 years from now to pay off the debt.

C3) No debt ceiling raise

I'm implicitly refuting my opponent's case here as well, where he says that if we DIDN'T raise the debt ceiling, we can't pay off the debt. First, think of how ridiculous this sounds. The only way we can pay off our debt is by making it BIGGER????? That sounds completely unsustainable. When you pay off your debt, it's supposed to get smaller, or at least stay the same size. If our debt is getting bigger, we're actually not paying it off.

Second, defaulting on our debt would only happen if the government keeps spending more and more money and doesn't cut anything. There's a $700 billion peace-time Pentagon budget that is BEGGING to be cut. If we're in such a desperate fiscal situation, get rid of the 60,000 troops we still station in Germany, the 15,000 we still have in Italy, the 10,000 we have in England, and the 40,000 we have in Japan. None of these are necessary or vital to US security. As Doug Bandow of the Cato Institute explains, we are currently borrowing from our allies for the privilege of defending them (even though they can clearly afford to defend themselves). Cutting the Pentagon budget by $200 billion would effectively solve this debt ceiling problem.

Raising the debt ceiling just procrastinates the inevitable spending cuts that our government needs to make and forces another generation of politicians to take the heat for it. But if we can always make the next generation of politicians take the heat for it, why would our government ever make the cuts? They'll just keep raising the debt forever, until our debt collapses upon itself, wiping out the value of the dollar overnight.

Congress has completely ignored the MANY recommendations of the deficit reduction commission, even though they are all fairly obvious ways to reduce the deficit, but all because many of the measures would hurt politically. If we DON'T raise the debt ceiling, Congress would have to finally decrease the defense budget, reform the home mortgage deduction tax break (which is wasteful, used mostly by people with second homes, and unnecessarily subsidizes homeownership when renting is often cheaper), reform and simplify the tax code to increase enforcement rates (hundreds of billions of dollars are potentially at stake if the IRS collected from a larger percentage of Americans, who currently avoid taxes in a myriad of ways), etc. Point being, it's time to do what the Deficit Reduction Commission says, since their task was to FIND WAYS TO REDUCE THE DEFICIT, yet we instead are IGNORING them and deciding to instead CONTINUE TO DEFICIT SPEND and merely raise the debt ceiling once again, to try to forever delay the day of reckoning and make another generation of politicians bear the anger of the American people for the inevitable cuts that are coming. If you want anything to EVER be done about our debt crisis, vote Con.
Debate Round No. 1
Double_R

Pro

Thanks to Bluesteel for accepting.

I will start off by making sure the resolution is clear by pointing out that I am referring to the debt ceiling vote as it is currently being discussed in congress. According to Tim Geithner, as it stands we have till Aug 2nd before the US will default.


Effects of not raising the debt ceiling:

The exact consequences are impossible to predict so there are no specific answers to this question. However here some statements that overwhelmingly support the general coconscious:

For one, the government would grind to a halt -- cutting off military salaries and retirement benefits, along with Social Security and Medicare payments. Worse still, default would also plunge the U.S. back into recession. Interest rates and borrowing costs would surge, while the dollar would plummet. In a worst case scenario, the markets would go into a death spiral as investors distanced themselves from the U.S” Salon.com (1)

"…causing catastrophic damage to the economy, potentially more harmful that the effects of the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009," Tim Geithner (2)

“If Congress fails to increase the debt limit… That would precipitate a self-inflicted financial crisis potentially more severe that the one from which we are now recovering.” Dept of Treasury (3)

Since Con did not refute this general concept I will leave it at that and move on to rebuttal his points:


C1)
The absurdity of having a debt ceiling that you can raise

This is completely irrelevant to the discussion but since I have space…


“How absurd is it that the US has the debt ceiling, which we are in the process or raising for the third time in 4 years?"

I agree. However I believe the issue is that budgets that violate the debt limit are passed before discussion of the debt ceiling comes into play. The issue is in our budgeting process.


“I would then negate by saying we should at least be honest with the American people and remove the ceiling altogether, since it is effectively useless in curtailing government spending.”

When certain measures to protect against something are found useless I prefer to strengthening them rather then to disregard them entirely.


C2) Contingency


“This should take as long as it needs to.”

Taking longer then the 2 months we have left will result in my point above. Contrary to my opponent’s statement, there is a vital reason to move quickly.


“I'll take a hit in the stock market now so I'm not taxed 90% of my income 30 years from now to pay off the debt.”

An obvious exaggeration. I’d like to know where this 90% number comes from. I will point out that what we are not talking about is more then just “a hit on the stock market”.


C3) No debt ceiling raise


“I'm implicitly refuting my opponent's case here as well, where he says that if we DIDN'T raise the debt ceiling, we can't pay off the debt. First, think of how ridiculous this sounds.”

Strawman arguments often sound ridiculous. I never said we needed to raise it to pay our debt, I said we needed to raise it to avoid defaulting on our debt, which is what will happen if we stop paying our financial obligations. To pay those obligations we will have to barrow. To barrow we will have to raise the debt ceiling.


“Second, defaulting on our debt would only happen if the government keeps spending more and more money and doesn't cut anything.”

The United States has ALREADY incurred more expenses then our debt limit allows. Default will happen if we do not raise the debt ceiling


“Cutting the Pentagon budget by $200 billion would effectively solve this debt ceiling problem.”

False. I would like to know the source of this claim. The US will need to cut $738 billion to avoid the debt ceiling.(1) Cutting our entire national defense would still not avoid default.


“Raising the debt ceiling just procrastinates the inevitable spending cuts that our government needs to make”

Raising the debt ceiling avoid will avoid the US and world economies going back into the recession we just came out of and ruining the US good standing credit rating which keeps our current interest rates low. Loosing our low interest rates will cause interest payments to go up increasing our deficit which will not be of much help to our debt. Neither will the loss of tax revenues that will result in the economic effects of defaulting.


“They'll just keep raising the debt forever, until our debt collapses upon itself,”

The point when our debt “collapses upon itself” is the point when we can no longer pay it. Con is suggesting that we vote to make this date Aug 2nd 2011.


“Congress would have to finally decrease the defense budget, reform the home mortgage deduction tax break… Point being, it's time to do what the Deficit Reduction Commission says,”

Con seems to be making the point that not raising the debt ceiling would force congress to make the cuts it needs to balance the budget. However our deficit is currently $1.5 trillion. It does not matter weather you raise taxes or cut spending, taking money out of the economy will hurt the economy. Balancing the budget in one year would mean taking $1.5 trillion out of our economy. I don’t think I need to point out that this would have devastating consequences and is not the best course of action. I am not a budget expert but these cuts can not be taken in one shot, it will need to be done over time which will require more barrowing. Thus we will need to raise the debt ceiling.


Summary:
Con’s case simple in its basic message: The US needs to control its spending. I absolutely agree. Over past decades we as a nation have mostly ignored this problem. But my contention as stated in my opening case is that this is a separate discussion. I have no issue with politicians taking advantage of this to make their political point, but to vote against the debt ceiling will be highly irresponsible and have serious consequences. I stand by my resolution.


(1) http://www.salon.com...
(2) http://latimesblogs.latimes.com...
(3) www.treasury.gov/.../Debt%20Limit%20Myth%20v%20Fact%20FINAL.pdf
bluesteel

Con

Groups all my opponent's arguments.

If he's right that not raising the debt ceiling would be devastating, then the Republicans need to hold out for concessions. Only if their threat NOT to raise the debt is legitimate (instead of telling businesses that they were just bluffing) will Obama be forced to give concessions. If he thinks the threat isn't credible, he won't give in to concessions to decrease the deficit in the future. But this is a double bind: if failure to raise the ceiling is devastating, Obama will have to give in, but only if the threat is credible. So we should not increase the debt right now, no matter what, as my opponent argues. We need to force Obama and Congress to adopt the recommendations of the Deficit Reduction Commission, which would cut the military, reform and simplify the tax code to increase enforcement, and cut Medicare and Social Security to sustainable levels.

Second, my argument that dispensing with the facade of the debt ceiling turns all my opponent's arguments. If raising the debt ceiling is such a political problem all the time, why not just get rid of it? There's more net benefit to voting Con because we avoid having this problem again in a year or two, when we hit the new debt limit. My opponent claims he'd rather strengthen it than get rid of it, but he's weakening it by passing another rise, making it meaningless. You can't have it both ways - either it's meaningful and we stick to it, or it's meaningless and we dispense with the charade.

My opponent makes a very good argument that the budget is allocated before the debt ceiling, so Congress basically forces themselves to raise the debt ceiling. But this is because it's been raised so many times automatically that no one takes it seriously. According to Murray Rothbard, the debt ceiling was around $2.5 trillion prior to the Reagan years. Since then, we've just raised it automatically every few years. http://www.lewrockwell.com...

My opponent cites a number of DIRE predictions that getting rid of the debt ceiling will collapse our economy and the stock market. But first, most of his sources come from the government, specifically the Treasury Dept. It's their job to make us scared so Congress has to raise the ceiling - this is just politics. Second, none of these things would happen if we just repudiate the debt and say we won't pay it back. Three, none of these things will happen because China and Japan have so many Treasury bonds that they can't dump them fast enough without the remaining T-bonds they still hold losing all their value; our main debt holders will be forced to bail us out rather than let us default to maintain the value of their own Treasury holdings. That's exactly what's happening in the EU. We may as well leverage China and Japan's over-investment to get some lower interest rates and debt forgiveness.

Military cuts

My opponent says that military cuts wouldn't solve the problem all by itself. That's fine; we don't need to solve the problem all right now, although we could cut half of our military budget rather quickly by getting rid of most of our troops stationed abroad. Or we can just privatize Social Security and that would get as all the way there. I don't see why I have to pay Social Security taxes when there's no way I'm going to collect anything from Social Security. Just abolish it. My opponent never proves normatively that the cessation of the any of the government programs he cites would be bad. In fact, the free market would move in to replace these services, stimulating the US economy, which again turns my opponent's argument. And if the dollar collapsed, the US would just revert to using gold and silver coins as legal tender, as some states are starting to do, which will eliminate the boom and bust cycle, according to Austrian economics, and make the economy more stable.

Unless you want US debt to balloon to unsustainable levels (defined as a percentage of GDP above which the US spends nearly all of its budget merely on maintaining the debt), then you must vote Con, to make the debt ceiling finally mean something or at least dispense with the facade and be honest with the American people, sparking a true dialogue about our priorities. Such a dialogue is severely lacking; when Bill Clinton calls Paul Ryan to apologize that the Democratic party is not taking fiscal reform seriously, you know there's a serious problem.
Debate Round No. 2
Double_R

Pro

My opponent’s arguments are extremely contradictory and leave me to question his understanding of the subject. He first argues that we should not raise the debt ceiling right now, implying that by not doing so Congress and the Obama administration will be forced to make the cuts necessary to make our budget sustainable. In his next paragraph he contends that we should eliminate the debt ceiling entirely, leaving no mechanism in place whatsoever to keep our budget in check.


Con then points to my argument about the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling. He says that because these sources come from the government that they can be dismissed as “just politics”. Questions for Con: Who is supposed to know what will happen to our government in this situation, if not our government? Second, what would be the purpose of making up false DIRE predictions to get the debt ceiling raised? Third, how do you dismiss common sense logic that the US government running out of money would have a serious effect on the economy?


In Cons next point he suggests that we repudiate our debt and not pay it back. This statement is a rebuttal by itself. Con then argues that “none of these things will happen”. He gives set of facts, suggestions, and predictions with no source that I dismiss as being completely ludicrous. Our debt holders will bail us out? Debt forgiveness? Con should explain his case in detail and provide sources.


Military spending


I did not see an overall message here, just a bunch of statements that I find… well… I’ll let the voters decide


“My opponent says that military cuts wouldn't solve the problem all by itself. That's fine; we don't need to solve the problem all right now”

Don’t need to solve the problem right now? But your suggesting that we not raise the debt ceiling, how do you propose we pay for it?


“I don't see why I have to pay Social Security taxes when there's no way I'm going to collect anything from Social Security. Just abolish it.”

Just abolish Social Security?


“My opponent never proves normatively that the cessation of the any of the government programs he cites would be bad.”

I have to prove to you that abolishing Social Security would be bad?


“In fact, the free market would move in to replace these services, stimulating the US economy, which again turns my opponent's argument.”

So cutting government programs will stimulate the economy?


“And if the dollar collapsed, the US would just revert to using gold and silver coins as legal tender, as some states are starting to do, which will eliminate the boom and bust cycle, according to Austrian economics, and make the economy more stable.”

So if the dollar collapsed it would make the economy more stable? And which states are starting to do this?


Let’s Move On…


So as mentioned in my opening statements, my contention is that regardless of what happens from today to Aug 2nd, by that day the US should raise its debt ceiling. In response to Cons inept rebuttal that “its governments job to scare us” I will explain it in layman’s terms.


The US is just like a person. It has bills to pay like anyone else. Imagine the following scenario: You make $2,000 a month, and your bills (rent, electric, car payments etc…) come to $1,800 a month. Suddenly you have an emergency and have to put $10,000 on your credit card. Your credit card payments are now $200 month making your income and bills break even. But there is one major problem… How do you eat? How do you put gas in your car to get to work? The easy answer is to cut your spending. So does that mean you stop paying rent? Do you get rid of your car which gets you to work? I suppose you could live in the dark, but that still won’t be enough.


I think the obvious answer in this scenario is to get a second job to balance your budget, however that takes time. And everyday is another day you still have to eat, put gas in your car, etc. So in the meantime you will have to put some of your expenses on your credit card until you get your budget straight so that you can avoid having your car repossessed, getting evicted, or have your credit ruined for years. So as important as it is to get yourself straight in the long run, in the short run you have 2 choices; keep yourself floating or drown.


The problem with this analogy is that a person can stop paying rent and still live for a while without getting evicted, or not have their car repossessed right away. So hypothetically you can dig yourself in a hole, but get yourself out of it later and have it not really affect you. The US government can not continue operating if it does not have money. Everyday the government has to pay bills. Military salaries, Medicare costs, Social Security payments, etc. Without sufficient funds to meet the expenses we have ALREADY incurred (which is what Con is suggesting) we would have to literally pick and choose who gets paid. Should my sister in the air force not get paid despite having already served? Should we tell grandma that she’ll have to figure out how to survive without her prescription drugs we already promised to pay for? Should we not issue anymore tax refunds to people who were overtaxed last year? At this point the US will have to cut ALL discretionary programs, and 70% of all mandatory programs.(1) That’s 70%.


One of the major issues with Cons argument is that he doesn’t seem to think government spending has a real purpose. I would love to go into why spending is a real thing that affects real people, but I am running out of space so I will have to trust that the voters have an understanding of this regardless of their feelings about the need to cut (which I do share). I will leave this link for Con in case he would like to suggest how he would like to see the US make these cuts

http://www.whitehouse.gov...


The best argument I feel against my contention is that “now is the time”. As Con pointed out the US has a long history of continuing to live beyond our means and it is silly to think that trend will just stop. Without drastic action (like Cons contention) we will never solve this problem. My argument is this;


Now is not the time. The time would have been back in the early 2,000’s when W. was turning record surpluses into record deficits by passing tax cuts there was no need to pass. Or back in the 80’s when although we did face recessions, they were no where near what we face today. Those who say now is the time, suggest that the best time to resort to catastrophic measures to fix this is when the country is recovering from the worst economic disaster in our history besides the great depression. I would argue that this is not the best time.


Summary:


Failure to raise the debt ceiling would result in catastrophic consequences that would affect the US for many years. Even if it is a short term issue that will be fixed by a vote to raise it quickly afterward, much of the damage will be done as the US interest rates will increase which will further add to our deficits, also investors will loose confidence in our ability to meet our obligations which will have long terms affects on our country’s economic growth. This would be a highly irresponsible decision and is inconceivable to me that anyone would suggest that this is the best course of action.


I understand and share the sentiment that the US has raised it’s debt ceiling for many years and this practice needs to stop but that can only be done responsibly through the budget process which, as has been my contention from the start, is a separate conversation. Those who “hold the debt ceiling hostage” to achieve their political goals will have a choice by Aug 2nd as to weather they should shoot that hostage. Con is voting to do so. But I say that if they want to have a serious conversation about fixing the country’s problems, then they should leave their threats of collapsing the countries economy at home. Vote Pro.


(1) www.treasury.gov/.../Debt%20Limit%20Myth%20v%20Fact%20FINAL.pdf
bluesteel

Con

Thanks for the debate Double_R.

My opponent was doing well until this last round, where he basically concedes all my arguments - all he does is repeat them back at me as questions. He never proves that privatizing Social Security would be bad, whereas I asserted that is the fair thing to do, since my generation won't get any of its benefits. Couple that with defense cuts (like removing troops from Germany, Italy, England, and Japan) and we could solve this problem without increasing the debt ceiling. He never proves that repudiating our debt would be bad. He never proves that China/Japan wouldn't just be forced to bail us out or forgive some of our debt. All he does is invoke my lack of a source, without bothering to attack my logic. But right now, I'll expand on both the source and logical warrant.

First, this is a well known fact, that China holds too many T-bonds to dump them. Slate writes, "Still, there's little sign that China will reduce its U.S.-debt investments, or slow its purchase of T-bonds; any sell-off would risk flooding the market, devaluing China's investments still further." http://www.slate.com... Second, it just makes logical sense. If China holds trillions of dollars in US Treasury bonds, and they want to start selling, the problem is, they can't find enough buyers for all the trillions of dollars at once. So lets say they manage to sell a few hundred million. But as soon as investors hear that China is selling T-bonds, the value of the T-bonds plummets, meaning China's announcement of their intent to sell T-bonds destroys the value of their T-bonds. It's a simple supply issue. It's an ironic development that China bought so many T-bonds that they can't get rid of them, but the US should most definitely use this to our advantage, ESPECIALLY considering that our debt and overconsumption is responsible for a lot of China's recent growth. They should pay some of it back.

My opponent argues that I'm being contradictory - arguing both for no increase in the debt ceiling and abolishing it. But in the world of debate, I can advocate that the judge vote for one or the other. If you don't buy my arguments regarding not increasing the debt ceiling, then vote to abolish it. My opponent agrees that this would be a negation of the resolution. If the debt ceiling is so annoying and keeps resulting in useless political bickering, when we've already spent the money anyways (since the budget is passed longer before the debt ceiling rise is debated), and if you buy my opponent's argument, that not raising the debt ceiling leads to the destruction of the US economy, then avoiding having this same fight the next year and the year after and the year after is better, so vote Con to repeal the debt ceiling entirely. It has more benefit than voting Pro, if you buy his case.

But if not, then vote Con anyway, since if you want a debt ceiling to have any meaning, we have to actually enforce it for once. We raised the debt ceiling in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, twice in 2008, and are considering doing it again this year. As Rothbard noted, we just automatically increase it whenever the issue arises, which is why the debt ceiling has gone from $2.5 trillion to $14.8 trillion.

My opponent's only real argument in his last round is an analogy about a credit card bill. But remember, if you hit your spending limit, the credit card company won't just increase the limit for you - that's not how a limit works.

My opponent next invokes all the bad things that would happen - his sister not getting her check for serving in the military; grandma not getting her Medicare. First, note that we could solve the problem (which my opponent claims would require $738 billion in cuts) with JUST cuts to the military and Social Security. I never argue for shutting down the government or Medicare.

Also, note all the other reasons I provide for why this would either not happen or would be good:
1) China could not dump T-bonds, so they'd just have to forgive the debt or bail us out
2) US could print money, causing inflation, which would cause the dollar to devalue relative to other currencies, making our exports more competitive
3) US could renounce the debt, allow the dollar to collapse, and use gold and silver as legal tender, avoiding the boom and bust cycle forevermore (my opponent asks which states are doing this now - Utah is http://www.dailypaul.com...)
4) We could make the necessary cuts - the Deficit Reduction Committee gave us a huge list.
5) We could simplify the tax code (also recommended by the Deficit Reduction Committee), so we collect more taxes. The IRS fails to collect 20% of potential tax revenue.
6) The Republicans could just threaten to hold out on raising the debt ceiling (a real, credible threat). If the consequences really are as dire as my opponent says and the threat is credible, Obama would be forced to give in. But this still requires you to vote Con because we need to be serious about the threat to get the government to lock in future cuts. This is the only way to get cuts since otherwise politicians will just put them off for future generations.

Notice my opponent leaves all of the above arguments unrefuted.

He also never proves that the government is good. Maybe a government shutdown wouldn't be as bad as he says it is. As I said, if the government shut down, the private sector would take over the areas the government currently administers, but do them much more efficiently, generating jobs. And people not having to pay taxes anymore would massively stimulate the economy. My opponent doesn't impact anything, he just appeals to your gut with rhetorical questions ("abolish Social Security???").

My opponent says "the time" to have taken a stand on the debt ceiling was during the Bush years, but first, we always blame everything on previous politicians to absolve the current politicians from taking any responsibility. Second, the debt ceiling was much much much lower before Bush took office; even if Bush had not increased our debt, we'd still be debating raising the debt ceiling right now to pay for Obama's $1.5 trillion deficit, even if the debt was instead at only $6 trillion. The point is, we didn't take a stand back then because "the debt didn't seem that bad." We won't take a stand now because "the economy hasn't improved enough." But this will be a long winter - our economy has recovered, while removing 6 million jobs structurally; businesses have achieved growth through outsourcing and computerizing tasks previously done by people. If we use that as justification to deficit spend $1.5 trillion each year, for the next 5-10 years, until things get better, then future generations are screwed. We are literally mortgaging our future, and the futures of our children. Every dollar that we deficit spend now is a significantly decreased quality of life in the future, since the bills will come due at some point, and that will be an extremely painful period. Even if I'm unemployed right now, that doesn't justify making my kid pay 90% of his income 30 years from now to pay for our enormous debt and entitlements. Anyways, the government hasn't passed a stimulus since 2009 - we're not even using the $1.5 trillion to generate jobs. We're just wasting money.

So if you want the debt ceiling to mean anything vote Con to take a stand for once. If you think the debt ceiling is meaningless and unimportant, also vote Con to repeal it entirely and end the charade.

Thank you for reading and please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
The plan you showed me does say that, but they did not say or show much to back it up. The only thing they referenced was a statistic of Canadas cuts and tried to make it sound like the cuts were the reason for the growth. However their own source on that claim states that the growth can also be attributed with Canadas reforms for free-trade with the United States.

The plan also does not mention that as part of that very same budget they used as the example, they lowered taxes. So the authors of your plan were not being very honest by making it sound like cutting spending alone was stimulative. From their very own historical example cutting spending was just one factor in a shift of government fiscal policy that worked overall.

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org...
http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca...(gov)(txt)
http://www.fin.gc.ca...
Posted by bluesteel 5 years ago
bluesteel
"In fact, federal spending cuts would shift resources from often mismanaged and damaging government programs to the more productive private sector, thus increasing overall GDP"
http://www.downsizinggovernment.org...
Posted by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
Whoa, I would really love to go back and fourth with you on the debt ceiling but... I really need to understand why you beleive that cutting spending would have a great stimulative effect. Before Bluesteel I don't think I have ever heard this argument before.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
Paying US bondholders is a legal obligation. Not meeting that obligation has the bad consequence of ruining the US credit rating. Not paying government employees, Medicare,or Social Security gets people really mad at their government, but it preserves the credit rating, so that's better. It does not have the consequences you claimed. However, Republicans are more than willing to cut spending to make a deal to raise the debt limit. So SS, etc. only fail to get paid if Democrats refuse to make any cuts.

Cutting spending would have a great stimulative effect.
Posted by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
@RoyLatham
Good point on attacking the argument instead of the person.

I think my argument is being misunderstood. When I say "already incurred" that does not mean it is currently tacked onto our debt. I'm talking about the things we are already legally obligated to pay, like Medicare and Social Security. We are about to run out of money to pay these things. It will be impossible at this point to meet those obligations without raising the debt ceiling. Failure to do so would bring the consequences I talked about. My opponents argument failed to take that into consideration : D but instead implies that this would be a good thing.

BTW, since you gave him the more convincing argument are you agreeing with his idea of not paying back our debt, or that cutting spending would stimulate the economy?
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
@double_R No, it is absolutely not true that we have to raise the debt ceiling to pay back existing debt. The ceiling is $14.2 trillion, so anything up to that limit can be borrowed. Suppose, a fantasy, that the government was running a surplus of $1 billion. There would be no need to raise the debt ceiling. When some existing debt comes due, we could pay it off by borrowing exactly the same amount of money, which can be done without raising the debt ceiling. The interest on the debt must also be paid, but there are $2.1 trillion in new revenues to pay the less than $500 billion in interest.

Even if your opponent truly does not understand the subject, you cannot claim that. You have to say "My opponent's argument does not take into account ..." Attack the argument, not the person.

In this case, bluesteel understands it.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
"cutting government programs would stimulate the economy"

That actually IS a highly controversial topic.
Posted by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
@bluesteel

I am sorry if you take offense to my comments, I mean no disrespect to you but I say it like I see it. You ask me to explain why we should actually pay back our debt, why abolishing Social Security is bad, you suggest that collapsing the dollar will stabalize the economy, and you even suggest that cutting government programs would stimulate the economy. These points are laughable to anyone who knows anything about government.

I had to resort to using my credit card analogy just to make sure you understood very basic concepts and were not confusing the readers. But when I had to use my space for that, you claim that I did not refute your laughable points which somehow conceeds them. There are only 8,000 characters in each round, I would need 100,000 to explain the entire government to you. Now if you actually do understand these things then that was a very disgraceful debate tactic. I have no issue with loosing, but the point of a debate is to make your case, not to find tricks and technicalities to convince the readers to vote for you. At least that is what I think, others seem to disagree.

I am not going to go back and fourth with you on your T-bond theory here. I recommend you try the following: There are 100 senators and 433 representatives in Congress debating this issue. Find 1 of them who is advocating for your idea. (yes I know, appeal to authority, I am not debating here just making a point)
Posted by baggins 5 years ago
baggins
Con switches his position several times. In between he concedes that debt limit should be raised, but republicans ('we') should not give in so that Obama is forced to concede on spending cuts first. Since the Pro's argument was that debt limit should be raised ultimately - in a bipartisan sense, this is a concession. His arguments about using gold and silver is hilarious.

However, Pro has also not presented a very strong argument as to the point of debt limit - if it is going to be breached every time. I would have been much more impressed with his argument had he provided some calculation of how much the new limit should be and how US will be able to turn around within the new limit.
Posted by bluesteel 5 years ago
bluesteel
@Double_R

Roy can explain for himself, but typically in a debate, if you don't respond to one of your opponent's arguments, it's considered conceded.

And yeah, I understood every single word you said; in fact, I took a position that I did not initially agree with. Just because I didn't roll over and concede the debate doesn't mean I didn't understand your arguments. Are you sure you understood mine? I sourced the evidence about China's inability to dump T-bonds. I don't know why you keep asserting that I'm just making things up. I justified my economic logic.

It also seems like Roy voted on the argument that if your dire predictions are right, concessions would have to be made immediately, so holding out is good. It's simple game theory, as far as the idea of "credible threats" go.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by CGBSpender 5 years ago
CGBSpender
Double_RbluesteelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Double_R failed to make the connection between the negative effects of defaulting and specifically raising the debt ceiling as opposed to abolishing it. Of course, there are important historical and procedural reasons for its existence which seem to go over the head of both contenders, but we can only evaluate what's provided. Con's arguments were largely speculative and unsubstantiated, but Pro failed to disarm them.
Vote Placed by baggins 5 years ago
baggins
Double_RbluesteelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: 2:0 to Pro - Analysis in comments.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
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Reasons for voting decision: This was one of if not the weakest arguments I have seen from Bluesteel. As an example he notes that a military cut could eliminate the need for a ceiling increase, then when that is corrected makes an completely unsupported claim that abolishment of a number of state programs would work with no discussion of the practical consequences and then demands that Pro refute them or the stand as valid alternatives. 3:1 Pro
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
Double_RbluesteelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro loses arguments. If failure to raise the debt ceiling is as bad as claim, then concessions should be made immediately. Pro loses conduct for saying he doubts hat his opponent understands the topic.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
Double_RbluesteelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I actually felt that Pro was winning going into the last round, however, as Con pointed out, Pro spent his last round re-building arguments, rather than refuting those that were already put up. By leaving those up, they conceed those argumentative points.