The Instigator
Con (against)
7 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
8 Points

The USFG should substantially increase social services for persons living in poverty

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/21/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,337 times Debate No: 11499
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (4)




Hey as a prenote to whoever decides to tale up this debate, I intend it to be a CX style debate with Plan text, inherency, impacts, etc. I'm not really interested the generic social services good arguements so just to let you know. I am open to any true CX aff and I thank whoever wants to take up the debate.


The thesis of this case is that the poverty standard was inadequate when it was established in the early 1960s, and has continued to be used despite its obvious flaws. The federal income standard used to determine the poverty line should be adjusted to the cost of living in the different regions in the United States. Eligibility procedures for federally-funded social service programs for persons living in poverty should be simplified. Therefore my partner and I affirm today's resolution:
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase social services for persons living in poverty in the United States.

Observation I: Significance/Harms
A.Millions of Americans are living in poverty.
Edward Royce 2009
The amount of poverty in the United States is substantial by any measure. In 2005, according to the calculations of the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 37 million Americans were poor, 12.6 percent of the population. The rate of poverty is even higher for selected subgroups: 17.6 percent for children, 24.9 percent for African Americans, 34.5 percent for black children, 21.8 percent for Hispanics, 28.3 percent for Hispanic children, and 28.7 percent for female-headed households. . Approximately 50 million people reside in households with incomes below 125 percent of the poverty line; over 90 million, close to a third of the country, have incomes below twice the poverty line, less than $40,000 a year for a family of four

B.Poor children have life-long disadvantages.
Pearce 2007

At birth, a poor child is 1.8 times as likely to be premature, 1.9 times to be low birth weight, and 2.8 times as likely to have had inadequate prenatal care as the nonpoor child. A poor child is 1.6 times more likely to die as an infant, and 8 times as likely to live in a family that has had too little food in the last four months. A poor child is twice as likely to repeat a grade, about 3.5 times as likely to be expelled or drop out of school, and only half as likely to finish college as a nonpoor child. The impacts do not end with childhood, as various studies have documented that childhood poverty is associated with higher rates of teenage childbearing, juvenile delinquency, and adult poverty.

C.Confusing eligibility requirements exclude persons living in poverty from accessing necessary social services
Handler and Hasenfeld 2007

Many applicants would qualify for other programs (e.g., food stamps, Medicaid, child care, and housing subsidies but have to go to several offices to apply. Food stamp and Medicaid enrollment have dropped (although recent state efforts to increase the latter have started to take effect). Applicants must meet more requirements such as appointments, filing forms, and verifying job searches. If an applicant fails to file the proper form or the agency computer system fails to record the filing accurately, then an automatic penalty can result. Recipients often do not know why they are being sanctioned and often drop out of the process because of the hassle.

Observation II: Inherency

The federal government now determines eligibility for social services based upon a shamefully outdated measure of poverty. Polakow 2007

The federal poverty threshold, developed by Mollie Orshansky of the Social Security Administration in the early 1960's was, as she herself pointed out, a crude criterion of income adequacy and assumed that poor families spent one-third of their income on food. That figure was multiplied by three (for housing and personal needs) and adjusting for family size; yet, as Orshansky has stated, this was designed to serve a temporary or emergency use and was certainly not indicative of an adequate living standard! In the past four decades, the Census Bureau has continued to use this inadequate measure unchanged, and each year, using the Consumer Price Index, sets the poverty threshold, adjusted for family size and number of children in the family. The poverty threshold fails to take account of urban/rural differences and the changing needs of families for child care, as well as transportation and increased housing and health costs; moreover, the threshold artificially depresses the number of people living in poverty.

B. The federal government does not account for the cost of living in different geographic locations.
Halbur, 08

For the federal government, the concept of poverty is simple. If a typical family of four earns less than $21,100 a year, they're poor. If a single working woman makes less than $10,787, she's in poverty. It doesn't matter whether these people live in Omaha, Neb., where the average apartment rents for $600 a month, or in New York City, where a similar apartment costs $1,600 a month. That's the way it's been since the federal government decided how to measure poverty in the mid-1960s.

To solve for the above mentioned harms, my partner and I offer the following plan:
Plank I: Adjust the current income base of poverty for geographic differences in the cost of living
Plank II: Add an online registration to the options available for applying for federal assistance.
Plank III: Enforcement will be the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
Plank IV: Funding will come from a .5 % sells tax on all goods non food and medicine resulting in 50 billion dollars.
Observation III: Solvency
A.A poverty line that fluctuates with geography is the best standard.
Berg, Nate, 2008.
A steadily growing number of experts and policymakers argue that the poverty line should look like a wave, fluctuating with geography. "If you're serious about tackling poverty, you've got to have good information," Gibbs says. "You've got to be willing to test and innovate and try new ideas. And if you have a measure that doesn't allow you to have the knowledge to understand whether what you're trying is working, you can't seriously try to tackle poverty."
B. Online registration programs in states prove solvency.
Hicks, Nancy 2009.
State Health and Human Service leaders are pleased with the first-year success of online applications, which they say give Nebraskans greater access and save staff time.
The online application is a benefit to applicants since it allows people to apply in the comfort of their home rather than go to an HHS office.
About one-third of the 35,000 online applications sent during the first 11 months (September 2008 through July) were sent at night, after HHS offices closed.
C.Expanded access to food stamps will reduce the impact of poverty on children.
Robert Dostis,2007,
Not only do food stamp benefits increase food security and help stimulate Vermont's economy, but they also improve children's health. While studies have shown that food insecure children have twice the risk of poor health, food stamps reduce this risk by 50%.

D.Expanded access to Medicaid will reduce the health impacts of poverty.
Diane Rowland, (Vice President, Kaiser Family Foundation), Health Policy: Crisis and Reform in the U.S. Health Care Delivery System, 5th Edition, 2008, 293.
For adults, those with Medicaid are less likely to report not receiving needed care and more likely to use preventive services than those who are uninsured. This achievement is particularly striking given that Medicaid serves both a sicker and poorer population than private insurance. Within the low-income population, those with Medicaid are predominately from families with income below the FPL (69 percent), nearly one-half (48 percent) report their health as fair or poor and 61 percent have health conditions that limit work; compared to 27 percent poor, 16 percent in fair or poor health, and 15 percent with conditions that limit work with private coverage.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for accepting my debate. I will be running 2 topicality arguments and a DA/CP. I will probably add case arguments in the 2NC, and if my opponent permits a Critic.

- - - - - Topicality "Increase" - - - - - - -

1. interpertation - increase means "pre existing"
2. violation - the aff doesn't increase an existing Social service, they instead modify one, and create a new one
3. Standards
a. limits - they explode the topic by allowing the aff to modify their plan by creating new ones.. I cant research new programs it's impossible.

4. voters - Fairness, I'm am unprepared to debate something untopical and my opponent must remain within the groups of the resolution or I lose Da/CP ground and lose links to argument.

Education, we came here to debate the resolution.
- - - - Topicality " ASPEC" - - - - - - -
1. interp - aff must specify the agent doing the plan
2. violation - they don't specify an exact agent
3. Standards
a. aff conditionality - they can shift their agent to change the function of the plan and kills our offense
b. PLan text is key - textually binds them to defend an agent to prevent ambiguity.
4. voters - Same as first T, cross apply
Missile Da
A. uniqueness (Krauthammer 09) Social services cause a direct trade-off with defense spending, cutting back defense programs and hegemony in general. (I can post card if needed)
B. INcrease in SS spending leads to decrease in Defense spending/heg
C. Missle is key to heg. (Staes News Service 09)
D.Hegemony prevents nuclear war ( Khalizhad 95')
E. Impact - Russia
a) Russia is building nukes that can penetrte our defense systems / ( Hodge 10)
b) Russia percieves US as threat (Trenin 07)
c) Exstinction, nukes--->death. (Cohen 96')

- - States - - - -

The 50 states in unison shall enact the Affirmatives plan.

Cont 1) CP is mutually exclusive and gains all solvency of the Affirmitive since the CP can do the Affirmatives plan 100% unless proven otherwise also. STATES AND LOCAL WELFARE PROGRAMS ARE MORE EFFECTIVE Browning 08'

"Welfare programes operated by states, local, and nongovernmental entities can be expected to be more efficent per dollar spent than federal level. They have greater felability and states utilize different approaches and learn."
Cont 2) Net benfit - The CP can 100% solve the case and totally avoids the DA. No policy advantage can outweigh extinction, and since the CP avoids the link to the DA and wont cause nuclear war you should vote on the CP.


Mr_Jack_Nixon forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


My oppenent has forfieted the most important round and hasnt refuted anything therfore you muist negate neg, and since i refuted his and presented off-cases then i should neg to save the world:D


I am deeply regretful that I missed that last posting. I was grounded and had no access to the computer. I will attempt to refute your arguments even still.

First of all the T on 'increase'---increase means to augment something pre-existing (this follows your argument). We are augmenting the federal poverty line (which already exists). We are not creating a new one. Neg states that "aff doesn't increase an existing Social service, they instead modify one". This is illogical as it is impossible to increase something without augmenting it. Therefore I am topical. To refute the standard of limits, I have shown we are topical therefore this is within the Negs limits. I offer a counter-voter of fairness as it is unfair to sway T to Neg if I am topical. I offer the counter-standard of Framer's Intent which shows that the framer meant for a program to be increased (as res states) and it should be debated as such.

Next the ASPEC argument---- As our plank 3 states we will be using the Department of Health and Human services. I am obviously topical in this matter and the argument should flow Aff.

To the missile DA. ----This attack is both illogical and conditional. First of all, it is unfair for the Neg to use a conditional statement as it is impossible for the Aff to meet both the DA and the Resolution. It is abusive to Aff and should also flow aff. Also this says that S.S. increase will result in declination of defense programs and hegemony. The money stays in the U.S. so there will be no loss of money in the country itself. Also funding for military and S.S. come from 2 different sources so the to funding sites are seperate and, therefore, dont affect each other. So I have double the refutation and this should flow aff.

Finally the counterplan----- this is illogical. Our plan directly makes use of the federal goverment as it uses FEDERAL government funding allowances and the FEDERAL poverty line. The states have neither the power or inclination to carry our the plan therefore the CP is completely illogical. I would also like to point out this is a conditional CP.

I am sorry I missed one round but luckily we have 3 more. In regular CX debate there is not 5 rounds so this does not really matter. So because I have refuted the opponents attacks and CP and because my plan has ALL of the stock issues covered I urge you to vote AFF. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3


Baseballer2007 forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited the round. Please carry on previous refutations. I look forward to opponents response. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4


ok ya sorry, thought i would even it out and make it 3 rounds.

Lets start with the T on increase.

He says that he still increases something preexisting thing (federal poverty line) and that makes him within the boundaries of the T. This is untrue, the FEDERAL POVERTY LINE in NOT a Social Service. so by increasing something that isn't topical my opponent explodes the topic way out of proportion so i can find specific links to DA/CP so i HAVE to run conditional arguments. This argument should flow neg because simply he is doing a "Fx plan" this means he does "X" so that the resolution should happen instead prefer my interpretation that the aff should directly increase a Social Service. This violates both of my standards which you can extend and outweigh all aff advantages.
ASPEC, concede

Missle DA

conditionality - prefer the framework and theory used on the T above, i HAVE to run conditional arguements against a non-topical plan
Uniqueness - drop concedes that DA can happen
Link - he will link no matter what b/c even if he is nontopical more people must be funded to have the Social Services, also he misunderstands the internal link so
Internal Link - Even if there is 2 separate funds that must be funded by the same source of money, tax -payers/stimulus bills. So because there is an INCREASE in money needed for S.S then defense spending HAS and WILL, and HAS been cut. Ext this warrent he has dropped
Finally the impact - concedes, he admits his plan causes nuclear extinction which is horrible. He still links and this should flow neg because only the neg solves the aff's case 100% and doesnt cause the DA (yay :) ) so this argument should 1000% flow neg

Finally States - He says two things. 1. states can do this and 2. it condo
so 1. States can allocate the poverty line in which they provide S.S. ( ext Browning 08' which he dropped) and he concedes that states can solve and do a better job at it.
2. condo- extend through the debate that i have to run these arguments b/c he is running a non topical aff, also condo provides more clash and is inevitable.
3. He DROPPED net benefit, biggest part of this flow or argument, so he agrees that the CP can solve and avoids the DA and the extinction impacts.

So voters
He is untopical, prefer my argument, because i am the only one with an interp, violation, and standards along with voters so extend that he does "X" to EVENTUALLy do the resoultion which exploades the topic because technically anything can be done to increase S.S. so a DIRECT increase on a PRE-EXISTINg Social Service is needed. this should flow neg because it is an A-prioiti issue and must be voted on before all else

Da- concedes all of it but link so
since he still links b/c no matter what when there is an increase in S.S. there is a decrease in Missile Defense spending so his plan cause nuclear war/extinction, which he concedes. This argument should also flow neg

States - easily flows neg, CP can 100% solve case, does it better ( this is browning 08') and COMPLETELY avoids the DA so this is the only policy objective that saves lives and doesnt cause extinction so it outwieghs the affirmative and wins the round.

Finally an unimpacted condo argument, doesnt say why condo is "bad" or why it should be voted on so dont vote on it. Also extend the standards on the T that i HAVE to run condo arguements since he is untopical.

Vote NEG :D i easily outwiegh and provide the best policy making option


Now that the forfeits are even, I will refute my opponents arguments for the last time. Here we go:

Topicality on Increase: My opponent is completely wrong in saying there is no increase in social services. As a matter of fact, there is an increase in ALL social services. When the poverty line is changed this makes more people eligible for social services. This means there will be and increase in ALL of them. My opponent then attempts to justify his argument saying this is wrong by saying my case is Fx topical. This could be applied to ANY case saying that there is always some medium the process goes through to make it Fx topical. This is another example of a conditional argument. My opponent then tries to justify his conditional arguments by saying that he HAS to run them because there is no non-conditional material he could run. The fact that my opponent is unable to procure a valid argument is his own fault. His lack of ability to make arguments is no justification whatsoever for presenting conditional arguments, and they should be thrown out.

Missile DA: Here my opponent, again, posts a conditional argument and tries to justify it by saying it's all he can run. Please cross apply what I just said about conditional arguments here, and also note my opponent agrees that they are conditional. I would like to bring up another point here to refute this argument. He says because less money will be spent on defense, that another country will attack us. But if we look at the past, we see this is untrue. There have been countless acts in the past that needed funding and we have never had another country come at us with missles. So my opponents impact is horribly exaggerated and, for that matter, untrue.

I will walk through my opponent's CP now:

He states in (1) that states can change federal poverty line and that I conceded this point. Nowhere did I concede that this was true. Another lie from Con it seems. Secondly, my opponent completely ignored the fact that states have NO CONTROL OVER THE FEDERAL POVERTY LINE. To even say that states can control the federal government is completley illogical.
(2) Once again just because the Neg is incompetent at presenting valid arguments this gives him no right to abuse and cheat.
(3) Net benefit only comes if the plan works. Because I have shown it is literally impossible for the plan to work, the net benefit obviously does not apply.


I am completely good on all of the stock issues including topicality so this round flows Aff. I have proven every one of his arguments are conditional and gone the extra step and dissproved them anyway, round flows Aff. As all issues have flown Aff this round obviously goes aff. DA: I win because I've broken impact and its conditional. States: Impossible, illogical plan.

Final vote: aff.
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by cactusbin 7 years ago
Voted Pro on stocks
Posted by Mr_Jack_Nixon 7 years ago
Sorry, just saw this. Alright I'll post a neg.
Posted by Baseballer2007 7 years ago
start a neg one, ill post an aff
Posted by Mr_Jack_Nixon 7 years ago
Sorry I didnt mean not to respond. Btw I would be interested in this same debate but on the other side.
Posted by JuanBueno 7 years ago
Ks are legit. Run Cap or Nietzsche
Posted by Mr_Jack_Nixon 7 years ago
Sorry guys. I had my case right here on my laptop, though I had to cut it quite a bit to no break to 8,000 character limit. =)
Posted by Cherymenthol 7 years ago
Let me actually clarify what baseballer is asking: Give me a plan text.
Posted by Spaztoid 7 years ago
Lol, I did this debate not too long ago, but mypartner has most of my affirmatie case, so I could e-mail him to get it, but it would take a few days.
Posted by J.Kenyon 7 years ago
Ugh, I have to dig up my case. I have it saved somewhere, I really want to do one of these.
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