The Instigator
Themoderate
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
DeFool
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

Welfare and entitlements have gone too far.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
DeFool
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/23/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,888 times Debate No: 35896
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)

 

Themoderate

Pro

Hello everyone, I feel that welfare and entitlements have gone too far in our today's society and I just feel that people are really abusing the system now.

Rules.
1. Must be respectful
2. Serious debate
3.Must be considerate
4. First round is acceptance only.

Thank you very much. Look forward to debating :)
DeFool

Con

Many thanks to CON for instigating this challenge.

I would like to propose a few additional parameters, and to clarify, so that I can understand better.

Definitions/Scope:

I understand that this will be a debate in which PRO will argue that "Welfare and Entitlements have gone too far," and these programs are being abused on a widespread basis. I will argue that these programs are justified.

"Welfare" can be defined as: "Statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need." For the sake of this debate, this definition will exclude welfare to large corporations and wealthy individuals.

"Entitlements" can be defined as: "Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and other publicly funded programs whose benefits the public has a legal right to." [2]

If these definitions are acceptable, then I look forward to a good discussion. If these definitions need to be adjusted, this can be done in the comments section, and I will of course honor any agreements made there.


[1] https://www.google.com...
[2] https://www.google.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Themoderate

Pro

Thank you for accepting and engaging in this debate. It is shown that you have a very impressive record of debates and I wish you luck. As you can see this debate will be about the "Welfare and Entitlements" going too far, being abused, and making the people dependent on government and don't want to work.

Welfare in the United States commonly refers to the federal government welfare programs that have been put in place to assist the unemployed or underemployed. Help is extended to the poor through a variety of government welfare programs that include Medicaid, the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program, and Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). Exactly, 4,300,000 claim to be on welfare, 46,000,700 claim to be on food stamps 5,600,000
claim to be unemployed. That is 4.1% of the population on welfare. Just $131.9 billion has spent on just welfare in the form of entitlements (not including food stamps or unemployment).

Source: www.statisticbrain.com/welfare-statistics/R06;

Entitlements can be defined as "The fact of having a right to something" or "The amount to which a person. It can also be defined as Social Security, Medicare, & Medicaid payments, plus any other programs which are promised to people over many years. Entitlements are BIG money: social security is about $400 billion a year; Medicare & Medicaid about $310.

Source: www.ontheissues.org/askme/entitlements.htmR06;

Now, I feel as people are truly in need of government assistance because of something unfortunate in their life and using it as a last resort. But when people feel entitled to it (definition of entitlement is the fact of having a right to something) to other people's money I see and so does 69% of America a problem. When people who feel entitled and having rights to government assistance for not working is a problem. Your right to free speech does not impose a cost on someone else and the government should not be handing you a check for nothing. Now, I understand that the unemployment rate has gone up with the Obama administration, but more and more people are being put on food stamps and welfare. I understand the economy is tough, and you can't find a job, but that does not mean being on welfare for years and not looking for a job. Jobs are around, people just need to look. I was looking for work for 3 months and found one. I make a total of $24,000 a year and I do not feel the need to apply for anytime of assistance since I choose to work for my living and not be rewarded for doing nothing with other people's money.

Some people are feeling the need to not be held accountable for their actions and expect everyone else to he held accountable to pay of their house, pay for their clothing, pay for their food, and so on. Whenever children are involved I have no problem with it because they should be having shelter, food, and clothing. But, I feel as being on the welfare program their should be a reform that requires you to get within a certain amount of time instead of just handing things to people that make them more dependent.

One problem that has been associated with welfare states is the difficulty in creating an efficient system. Some countries are unable to provide equitably for all of their citizens. The rationing of goods and services also becomes a problem when too many people depend on the welfare state to provide for their basic needs. Another problem is that many people who are capable of providing for themselves have no motivation to improve their lives because they can rely on the government to provide for them. This often breeds resentment by people who do work and are taxed more heavily to pay for the support of people who do not work.

I thank you for this round and hope to hear back from you.

Source:data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000R06;
Source:spritzophrenia.wordpress.com/.../how-bad-is-welfare-fraud-in-the-usa/
Source:
DeFool

Con

I want to thank CON for instigating this debate.

What is the Social Safety Net in the United States?

A few facts:

  • 1) The Social Safety Net (SSN) includes discounted school lunches, nutrition assistance (food stamps), the GI Bill (which provides qualifying military servicemen and women with housing and education grants), Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, Pell Grants and other scholarship programs, and the FDIC [1]
  • 2) SSN programs provide a critical insurance policy for the Middle Class in America. This insurance policy protects families and workers from starvation, homelessness, and inter-generational poverty… at an incredibly low cost per taxpayer
  • 3) 9 out of 10 beneficiaries of SSN programs are seniors, disabled persons and working households [2]

Are SSN Programs Absolutely Necessary?

Most Americans benefit from some form of “welfare,” mostly in the form of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Many millions of Americans also qualify for the Child Tax Credit, or the Earned Income Tax Credit, or reduced price lunches. These programs provide a stable base for the American economy, below which we cannot fall. In the United States, because of our strong safety net policies, there is no fear of mass starvation, mass epidemics, or civilizational chronic poverty.

However, these are real threats. As the chart below illustrates, most Americans have little to no financial wealth. Without a strong Social Safety Net system, our nation would almost instantly lose its Middle Class, as well as the Consumer Base. Without these populations, it is difficult to imagine how we would continue to maintain our way of life.

Note: the bottom 80% of Americans possesses only 5% of the nation’s financial wealth. Most of these citizens do not own any financial wealth at all, and the bottom quintile actually has a negative net wealth. [3]





Who Receives Welfare?

9 out of 10 beneficiaries of SSN programs are workers, the elderly and the disabled. This fact alone shatters the myth that those receiving public assistance are lazy, or not looking for a job; most of them have jobs, or have spent a lifetime working.




Conclusion

Considering the immense need for these programs, conceded by CON, these programs are indispensable if we are to prevent widespread poverty and starvation in the United States. CON agrees that this is not an acceptable outcome.

Further, these safety net programs provide a critical insurance policy for the Middle Class and for American workers, who have a reasonable need to manage risk.

Rebuttals:

I carefully removed the excess verbiage from the R2 presentation by CON, and located the following argument, which concludes (presumably) that the welfare system in the US has “gone too far,” and that an unsustainable number of Americans are abusing it.

To save space, I have simply included my observations in bold. CONs thoughts are in italics.

P1:
People are on welfare who are not trying to find work – Granted, however misuse is a normal part of any large system. CON will need to demonstrate how these few abusers justify removing the system from those not abusing the system. Later, he states that it is his position that the social safety net should not be removed altogether. This begs the question: “Why not simply deny benefits to those guilty of abusing the system?
P2:
69% of Americans “see a problem.” – Sources needed.
P3:
Many people are on welfare – Demonstrating the need for a strong safety net
P4:
$131.9 billion spent on entitlements – Irrelevant
P5:
CON makes $24,000/year, chooses to work for a living and not be rewarded for doing nothing – Common among the nearly-poor is this attitude that they no longer need poverty insurance
P6:
4.1% of the population is on welfare (4,300,000 claim to be on welfare, 46,000,700 claim to be on food stamps 5,600,000
claim to be unemployed.) – Again demonstrating the critical need for these programs. It is unreasonable to assume that so many millions of Americans are being lazy, or abusing the system.

Whenever children are involved I have no problem with it because they should be having shelter, food, and clothing.

This is an important concession.

But, I feel as being on the welfare program their should be a reform that requires you to get within a certain amount of time instead of just handing things to people that make them more dependent.

I am not sure what this means. If it is a call for time limits, or dollar limits, these conditions already exist. I ask PRO to please clarify.

Other Arguments

P1A:
One problem that has been associated with welfare states is the difficulty in creating an efficient system
-Irrelevant

P2A: The rationing of goods and services also becomes a problem when too many people depend on the welfare state to provide for their basic needs.
-Irrelevant


P3A: Another problem is that many people who are capable of providing for themselves have no motivation to improve their lives because they can rely on the government to provide for them.
-
Irrelevant;This assertion does not help us to determine the strength of the resolution, which is to decide whether or not offering welfare in America has gone too far, or if a critical mass of people are abusing the system, rendering it unsustainable.

P4A: This often breeds resentment by people who do work and are taxed more heavily to pay for the support of people who do not work.
-Again, this may be a valid complaint to be analyzed in another debate, but it holds little relevance in this discussion. Resentful persons are not abusing the welfare system, and do not represent an example of the social safety net system “going too far.”

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.cbpp.org...
[3] http://www2.ucsc.edu...

Debate Round No. 2
Themoderate

Pro

Social Security is primarily funded through dedicated payroll taxes called Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA). Tax deposits are formally entrusted to the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, or the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund which comprise the Social Security Trust Fund.[ Upward redistribution of income is responsible for about 43% of the projected Social Security shortfall over the next 75 years.

Is Social Security really necessary?

Yes, as of right now SS is very necessary. This projected graph indicates that SS will no longer be an entitlements and cannot afford to live of them. With that, it shows that no wealth will be along any American and SS will not support them. That is why many young Americans are opening accounts for their retirements with the scare if SS goes broke.

https://www.google.com...

Is There Fraud In Welfare?

Over 46 million has been estimated for anyone receiving welfare, food stamps/EBT. Do the math and you will find 10% misusing, refuse to work which leads to debunking the myth of abusing it. 10% is at least estimated in system just from families alone. Do the 10% math out of over 46 million is 460,700 who are abusing the system so the myth has been proven. Also, studies have shown that more drug abusers and addicts are on welfare who take the money from the program and use it on drugs.

Welfare Reform

Under the Clinton administration in 1996, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the Welfare Reform Bill as you will see in the results below:




s://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com...; alt="" data-src="https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com...; data-sz="f" />

When the bill took effect, the part of the reform bill was that you get welfare, but you also look for job. Showing by the results by the results the poverty level and government assistance dropped at lower level. Clearly, the reform was a success in bill. If we get a welfare reform to where Bill Clinton had it, the poverty and Welfare will go down. This is where I failed to add the word "jobs" in my previous debate because you had noticed that I had said "But, I feel as being on the welfare program their should be a reform that requires you to get within a certain amount of time instead of just handing things to people that make them more dependent." That is where I had failed to add the word "jobs" I apologize for the confusion. I have a slight case of reading comprehension and a information processing disorder.

Con's statements

My opponents statements are also in italics and mine will be in bold. I will be proving my points and why they are indeed relevant and giving him sources beyond his requests. Also, he has failed to prove why they are irrelevant,


S1: 69% of Americans “see a problem.” – Sources needed.-https://www.google.com...

S2: $131.9 billion spent on entitlements – Irrelevant - This is indeed relevant. The government has gone deep into debt in paying things into the form of "entitlements" such as health care, welfare, EBT/food stamps.

Source: http://youtu.be... (watch up to 1:07)


S3:
: 4.1% of the population is on welfare (4,300,000 claim to be on welfare, 46,000,700 claim to be on food stamps 5,600,000 claim to be unemployed.) Again demonstrating the critical need for these programs. It is unreasonable to assume that so many millions of Americans are being lazy, or abusing the system. -This is why we need welfare reform. With the welfare reform less people will be abusing, misusing, back to work, and states can afford to have a welfare system with the taxpayers going in so it will not be broken

S4
: Whenever children are involved I have no problem with it because they should be having shelter, food this an important concession.-This is important to me because children of all, should be growing up in poverty, should not go hungry, should have clothing on their backs. With that being said, IF we had a welfare reform that would require the parent(s) to look for a job so states can afford to be able to send welfare to others who are in truly need of it.

S5:
One problem that has been associated with welfare states is the difficulty in creating an efficient system
-Irrelevant.- My wise opponent failed to elaborate on why he thinks it is irrelevant. It is indeed relevant because welfare cannot in all cases create an efficient system and go broke. Ways it cannot be inefficient is enabling and making people even more dependant on government assistance when the taxpayer money can be spent on something more efficient like a family who truly needs it more than a person who refuses to work, public playground for children, education and schools.

S6:
The rationing of goods and services also becomes a problem when too many people depend on the welfare state to provide for their basic needs.-Irrelevant- This is indeed relevant because welfare states go broke along with the welfare system. We could California as an example. California has the highest population of poverty in the U.S. California takes up 12% of the U.S. population. California's welfare system is broken and the state is broke. With that, the welfare state cannot keep affording little of taxpayers money they have to keep giving welfare/ebt assistance due to the fact it does become a problem when too many people depend on the government because they run out of EBT/Welfare due to high poverty like Georgia and California with less employment. With less employment, the taxpayers cannot pay for everyone. When people feel they have the right to collect everyone else's money and not worry about paying for mortgages, gas, and parents feel they do not need to be held accountable, but the government does. My opponent also failed to explain why it is irrelevant.

Source:
https://www.google.com...

Source 2: https://www.google.com...

Source 3: http://youtu.be...

Closing Arguments

My very skilled opponent thinks welfare and "entitlements" have not too far. With this closing argument I will indeed prove that it has. That woman in the video above has no children or anyone to take care of but herself in this video. She is dependant on the system, taxpayers and government. With this being said, more welfare abuse is happening in today’s society than ever before. With the reform people like this will get a job and have the system more efficient with families that need it instead of people depending on the taxpayers. 60 of Americans take out more from the system than pay into it. With that less people are working, more expensive for the taxpayers, and the whole welfare system will go bankrupt.

I would also like to again, thank my opponent for engaging in this debate. I think I have proven my points and think both of us have engaged in efficent debate.

http://youtu.be...

DeFool

Con

I have enjoyed this discussion, and thank PRO for having participated in it.

This being the last round, it is customary to avoid new arguments that cannot be answered. I will therefore, only recap.

I will begin by listing the areas in which PRO and I agree:

We agree that many assistance programs are
very necessary.

We agree that policies that promote the welfare of children are worthwhile. This includes SNAP, discounted school lunches, infant nutrition and healthcare, and relevant tax credits.

We agree that the need for these programs is critical, and that millions of working Americans rely on them.

We agree that welfare reform efforts can improve the system, such as the ones that were initated under Clinton, and which largely remain in effect. For example, most state governments require that recipients of jobless benefits actively look for a job, and maintain written proof of their job search. [1] Many of these sates also require that recipients be able to start work immediately, and not turn down any job offers in order to maintain benefits.

The remaining assertions that remain unresolved at the end of this debate

Although the number of concessions collected thus far are impressive, there are a few minor differences.

PRO asserts that 10% of all recipients are “abusing the system,” but gives no details. Which 10%? Are these abusers Social Security recipients? Injured soldiers in the VA? How did we reach the 10% figure?

PRO asserts that many recipients are using assistance money to buy drugs. In fact, states that have drug tested recipients have found fewer than 3% that have failed a mandated drug test.


States that have begun forcing the poor and jobless to submit to these medical exams in order to maintain assistance were unable to find significant numbers of failed drug tests. [2]


PRO argues that that welfare has become unaffordable, and an unsustainable burden to states. However, welfare makes up a small portion of state budgets. Many welfare programs return more money to state economies than they cost.

Importantly, unemployment benefits in particular generate $1.10 in revenue and increased commerce for every dollar that they spend. [3]


Recapping our arguments


PRO:
Welfare programs are unaffordable, and are often abused. Therefore, welfare and entitlements programs have gone too far.

CON:
The term “welfare” is misleading, and necessarily includes many programs that are critical to the economic health of the nation. These programs are, by definition, justified.

Justification for CON:

It is non-sequitur to assert that the programs in question themselves have "gone too far," because they might have been abused, or are expensive. A bit like saying that an organge is orange in color, and therefore tastes bad. If these abuses are occuring it is the benefit recipients that have gone too far - not the programs.

Even if we remove any group of welfare programs that have debatable benefit to the country, it still remains that the generic term “welfare” is misleading, and necessarily overbroad. The broad, umbrella nature of the term requires us to include programs such as the United States Marine Corp as an “Entitlement program” that serves the nation alongside Social Security. This is obviously a distortion of what we intend to discuss.

Therefore, we cannot summarily dismiss all of the economic and social support programs as “welfare that only helps the poor.” Most welfare programs do not benefit the poor, or the unemployed, as I demonstrated. Most programs benefit workers, the disabled, and retirees.

Moreover, PRO never demonstrated that any widespread abuse is occurring, a necessary requirement for his argument. The unsupported assertions cannot be properly evaluated.

Conclusion:
PRO concedes that many, if not all, public assistance programs are needed. Although reforms can be useful, and can add to the effectiveness of “welfare” programs, each of the proposed reforms that PRO lists have already been implemented. Stating that assistance programs can evolve, improve and expand is not tantamount to suggesting that they have “gone too far.” These improvements require us to agree that they have not “gone far enough.”

PRO also agrees that the need for these programs is critical, citing the millions of American workers who rely on them.

[1] http://jobsearch.about.com...
[2] http://www.nytimes.com...
[3] http://thehill.com...

Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by DeFool 3 years ago
DeFool
Julianna, your situation is far from the exception; it is the norm. 80% of Americans would live in abject poverty if not for our public support system. Any American who must wait for payday to cover normal living expenses relies upon some form of public support.

Food stamps are a critical insurance policy for American citizens. The cost of this insurance per person is negligible. It is gross irresponsibility to forgo this protection, since an unexpected injury can result in loss of income and medical bills that can force any member of the middle class into poverty.
Posted by julianna.rose 3 years ago
julianna.rose
I defiantly agree that the system is being abused, but i believe that it helpful and very useful for families who can;t afford things. I know some people who abuse the system and it is very sad to see, and then i see people like my family struggling to bring food in, or pay bills, and it is nearly impossible to for us to get any kind of help. I think that something should be done, about the people abusing it, but keep that system there for the people that really need it.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 3 years ago
Juan_Pablo
With all respect to Themoderate (Pro), he demonstrated that some abuse with welfare and entitlements programs does occur. But Defool (Con) showed over and over why these programs are necessary. Additionally, Themoderate conceded to Defool on several significant points which ultimately convinced me that Defool won the debate!

But Pro does have a point - there is some abuse.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by thett3 3 years ago
thett3
ThemoderateDeFoolTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro would have served himself a lot better by taking a firm advocacy from the beginning and explaining clearly what has gone too far in the system. I think Con missed out on a few good chances to really take down Pros case (like the $1.10 statistic he brought in the last round that I cant consider because it wasnt brought up until then) but ultimately Cons case was far more substantive and empirical than Pros, specifically the arguments of how necessary these programs are (that were often dropped by Con). Given the relative confusion around Pros advocacy and potent Con arguments, I cast my vote for Con.
Vote Placed by Juan_Pablo 3 years ago
Juan_Pablo
ThemoderateDeFoolTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I agree with Pro that there is some abuse with welfare and entitlements, but Con demonstrated that these programs are needed!
Vote Placed by Chapule 3 years ago
Chapule
ThemoderateDeFoolTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Just from a personal perspective, I believe Con swept this. He argued from statistics, and broke down every point pro tried to provide. Throw in the fact that pro conceded to multiple facts con presented, I think it obviously goes to con