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The Contender
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The modern Republican Party has a bad fiscal/economic record relative to the Democrats.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/22/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 573 times Debate No: 38009
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (5)
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1. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has tracked the unemployment rate since January 1948, when Harry Truman (D) was in office and the unemployment rate was 3.4%. When he left office in January of 1953, the unemployment rate had fallen to 2.9%. I have tracked the unemployment rate from the the first month of office to the last for every subsequent President.
Eisenhower (R): +3.7%
(Kennedy (D): -0.9%
Johnson (D): -2.3%) Net (D) -3.2%
(Nixon (R): +2.1%
Ford (R): +2.0%) Net (R) +4.1%
Carter (D): -0.0%
(Reagan (R): -2.1%
Bush (Senior) (R): +1.9%) Net (R) -.2%
Clinton (D): -3.1%
Bush (Junior) (R): +3.6%
Obama (D): -0.5%

Total (R) +11.2%
Total (D) -6.8%

Republicans cause recessions. Democrats fix them.

2. Republicans talk about balancing the budget all the time, but Democrats actually have a better record on fiscal responsibility at the national level.

a. This nifty little chart shows that while debt as a percentage of gdp decreased under Carter (D) and Clinton (D), it sky-rocketed under both Bushes (R) and Reagan (R).

b. A Forbes article came out last May saying that Obama is the smallest government spender since Eisenhower. They calculate this figure by assigning the 2009 budget as the last year of Bush's presidency, since it was passed into law by the 2008 congress and went into effect 4 months before Obama took office. Some may say that it is unfair to saddle Bush with recession spending, but surely it is more fair to blame Bush than Obama. Obama should be credited with having brought real spending down in the midst of a recession. The same article contains a graph which clearly shows that in terms of real dollars, spending has grown slower under Clinton and Obama than it did under Bush, Bush, and Reagan.

c. Let's look at total deficit/surplus by president:
Truman (D) -$74.46 billion
Eisenhower (R) -$123.8 b
Kennedy (D) -$91.68 b
Johnson (D) -$290.24 b
Nixon (R) -$387.88 b
Ford (R) -$741.93 b
Carter (D) -$755.8 b
Reagan (R) -$3,050.93 b
Bush (R) -$1,754.41 b
Clinton (D) +$0.05 b
Bush (R) -$4,083.78 b
Obama (D) -$4,616.39 b

D -$5,828.52 billion
R -$10,142.73 billion
D+R -$15,971.25 billion

Therefore, of the public debt we have accumulated since 1946, only 36.49% has occurred under Democratic Presidents, while 63.51% has occurred under Republican Presidents.

The two points I have made here are that the democratic party has a much better long-term economic record, and that the democratic party has a much better long-term fiscal responsibility record than the republican party.


Two rounds man? That doesn't seem like a lot to go for....Its okay. Anyway, I agree that on the surface, Republicans presidental terms do have bigger deficits, HOWEVER the pro seems to forget the sheer fact that Congress and the Federal Reserve control most of the budgets. By this knowledge, we must realize:
Kennedy - Democrat controlled 64-36
Johnson - Democrat controlled 68 - 32
Nixon - Democrat controlled 54 -44
Ford- Democrat controlled 56 - 42
Carter - Democrat controlled 58 - 41
Reagan - Republican controlled 54 - 46
Bush Sr - Democratic controlled 56 - 44
Clinton (possibly the best years) - REPUBLICAN controlled 55 - 45
Bush jr - Evenly divided. Half were democrat controlled, half were republican controlled.
Obama - Democrat controlled 51 - 47
This must solve your myth presented in 2c of your argument.

Republicans cause recessions. Democrats fix them.
Well, considering during the New Deal era, when we had a Democratic controlled....EVERYTHING, there was a recession in 1937 - 1938, not all Republicans cause recessions.

2) That is a strawman, and I will not waste my time debunking that statement.

2a) The key word is "Debt as a percentage of GDP"
Let us look at this from a historical perspective. During the 1950s - 1960s, the reason the US economy skyrocketed was because of the war machine and G.I. bill.
A little explanation:
This also debunks your myth of Republican era times have high unemployment. As you know, the G.I. bill was in its biggest effect during the Truman - Einsenhower years (hence why the low unemployment). Eisenhower adopted a post Korean war economy, which was quickly destroyed by the next infamous Korean war. The Korean War probably had the biggest toll on Einsenhower's economics, due to the fact that he is jumped into a war only a year after the last one. So, in a sense, this marred his record. (I'm helping your point)
Now while all this is true, let us not forget the G.I. bill was not in effect after Nixon signed the treaty that ended the Vietnam war. Along with that, the baby boomers at this time must be in their early 20s - early 20s. With no sudden spending plans, many remain jobless, or the job market becomes more competitive.
So, it is the war machine, not Republicans, that have the record of unemployment in relation to the economy.
This explains it better than I could:

2b) Yes, that is true that the Obama spending percentages have not increased as much since Bush's presidency, however, I believe pro fails to realize that Obama still spends more than any other president. I always hate when someone takes charts at face value. The chart on Forbes does not prove that Obama is "the smallest government spender since Eisenhower". In fact, all it does prove is that the rate of spending by the Obama administration is not a large an increase than from the last president. Also, the poster of the Forbes article fails to take inflation into the equation.

Final conclusion: Both parties are mind numbingly terrible, in an economic sense. How I see it is the trend that started ever since FDR. When one president screws up, people automatically vote for the other side. This trend is only broken when a president leaves office or dies, in Nixon and JFK's case. Then loyalists from each party blames the other party, blind to the fact they are both to blame.
Debate Round No. 1


pdaines forfeited this round.


stealthmaster96 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Aadron 3 years ago
Oops, the URL screwed up. Oh we'll, point was made.
Posted by Aadron 3 years ago
Well said Henry, I completely agree with your statement. If you complete the political compass test ( those interested), you can see the true political standing of president Obama as compared to Mitt Romney and you'll find that they are quite similar.
Posted by henryajevans 3 years ago
In terms of the social policy issues that separate the parties at the moment, they are purely on a blocking reform basis. In terms of policy both economic and foreign, the parties are virtually identical. Yes, Barack Obama has a rather progressive sound, and he appears to be in favour of what the Tea Party describe as socialism, but he is no different to Romney or Ryan. If Obama and the Democrats were anti-gay marriage, or pro id cards, the Republicans would take the opposite position. In terms of economic policy, the Democrats are blatantly helping their friends in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries with Obamacare, while the Republicans want to help their friends in the property sector of the economy; while both are helping their friends in Wall St. Obama supports Israel, the War on Terror and drone strikes as much as Bush did, and the contrarian nature of the Republican Party is apparent on the Syria issue, which has miraculously turned the Republicans into the anti-war party. Both parties are centre-right to right wing, and their differences are only for the sake of contrarianism rather than any sort of principle. The Democrats were largely against civil rights, and the bill was introduced in spite of, rather than because of, the Democrat Government.
Posted by pdaines 3 years ago
I think that there are clear differences between the parties. If you had read this debate, I think you would notice that there are clear differences between the parties with regards to the debt and the economy. I haven't even brought up other empirical measurements, such as the creation or loss of manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing jobs typically increase while a democrat is in office and decrease while a republican is in office. What about gay rights? Civil rights? Voter id? Immigration reform? Marijuana legalization? You are right. There is no difference whatsoever between the Republican and Democratic parties. They are all rational beings that do what is in their best interest. I guess the only real difference is that they are in different circumstances.,,
Posted by henryajevans 3 years ago
You realise that the parties are now essentially the same, and they underwent a switch in ideologies under Nixon, Carter and Reagan; and converged under Bush I and Clinton, don't you?
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