Counting on the Republicans to tackle the deficit? Think again.

If you look at the speech, they’re against debt and believe in balanced budgets. If you look at their plan, they’re spend-a-holics who get sober just in time for election. There is, unfortunately, a growing gap between the words and the actions of the GOP. Especially when it comes to the deficit.

GOP.gov is the website for Republicans in Congress. It outlines their plan on debt like this:

Under the President’s [Obama] budget the national debt exceeds 100% of GDP in 2030. By contrast, the Republican plan gains control of the debt, by never exceeding 75% of GDP over the next 75 years.

The way one of my friends put it after I said this was: Sooo… do you want to be killed by four bullets or three? Your choice. Whether you choose the donkey’s or the elephant’s plan, your children have to pay for our mistakes. And that is just wrong.

Wordy bill syndrome? Republicans got it, too!

Many complained about the great length of the Health Care Reform bill that passed recently, and with good reason. I would contend that bills with such volume are the main reason we’re in debt right now. They’re just so much space to slip in a little money here and there. It’s death by a thousand cuts.

In fact, the House’s version of health care rationing is the longest bill ever heard (or not heard) in congress. There’s definitely a veil to keep the bill’s actual action obscure. The problem is that the Republicans can’t remove the veil while standing on it. Open Congress’ report on “How Long is Long?” speaks the truth.

Over the last 10 years, half of the top ten longest bills were proposed by Republicans. Simplicity: out the door!

Tea Party Response

Independents and loyal Republicans can turn around the status quo both by working loyally and by turning on their precious party.

In a rare moment, I got a bit of insight from a report in the Huffington Post. The point made in this article by Bill Lucey is how the tea party has made a major impact on the party by defeating incumbents. Both republican and democrat, that is.

While many people credit independently-minded tea partiers with Scott Brown’s victory, they can also take credit for Bob Bennett, R-Ut. He would have been on his fourth term, but seniority means nothing to principle-first voters. This block kicked out this TARP and Obamacare loving RINO. May his political career R. I. P.

Unless we want to face our children and tell them that they’ll have to pay for our mistakes, we need to vote on principles before party.

Debate: 1AC

Hello everyone,

The big reason this blog has been incredibly… boring is because I’ve been too occupied with speech and debate to post here. Sorry. So I decided to post my 1AC so everyone could see what’s going on.

Note to everyone who is competing in NCFCA and still reading: Yes, this is the complete case flow for Maisano/Morgan from Texas (R4). If you continue to read it, I’m going to make a simple request. I understand that I can’t enforce this, but I’m trusting in your conscience. 🙂 So, if you read this, please post your feedback. You are welcome to use the evidence we’ve dug up here, but the same principle applies. Post your evidence against it.

So, in a word, if you are going to use this, please return the favor and post any information you may have that will help us improve. Everyone hates free-riders, right?

As a side note, you can check out my marvelous partner’s blog at: Toni’s Thoughts.

Americans are among the most generous people in the world. That policy should not change. But the United States federal government should significantly change its policy toward India, because our current irresponsible foreign aid policy endangers our future.

Today we will examine the long term consequences of the government’s policy of shipping foreign aid to India. But first we need to make sure we’re on the same page by providing a couple definitions in:

1. Definitions

Sources and further definitions are available upon request. Here are a couple to get us started:

United States-country North America bordering on Atlantic, Pacific, & Arctic oceans; a federal republic
(“United States of America.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2008. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/United States of America )
Significantly-“Having or likely to have a major effect; important”

Change-“to undergo a modification of “

(Merriam-Webster Online Dict. 2008, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/change)

Policy-As foreign policy consists of ‘decisions and actions which involve to some appreciable extent relations between one state and others’, it can be defined as ‘the actions of a state toward the external environment and the conditions under which these actions formulated’.

(Prof. Mustafa Aydın (professor of International Relations at the Faculty of Political Science, Ankara University, Turkey; as well as at the National Security Academy, Ankara, Turkey; was Research Fellow at the Center for Political Studies, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor) 2006, “Turkish Foreign Policy at the End of the Cold War; Roots and Dynamics”, Turkish Yearbook of International Relations, http://www.politics.ankara.edu.tr/dosyalar/MMTY/36 /1_mustafa_aydin.pdf)

Toward-“With regard to; in relation to”

(American Heritage Dictionary, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/toward)

India-“A country of southern Asia covering most of the Indian subcontinent.”

(The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/India)

Foreign Aid-“assistance (as economic aid) provided by one nation to another
(Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/foreign%20aid)

In this case, we will be focusing on one goal. That’s the second point we want to make:

2. Goal: Long-term Responsibility

So, in this round, we would encourage you to look at our policy on foreign aid and see if it is truly responsible, and if our plan can provide long-term benefits. But before we can look at the long term results, we need to see the current system’s trajectory in:

3. Status Quo

Our argument here is that our policy of shipping foreign aid to India is simply irresponsible. There are three points to be made abou
t foreign aid to India: We’re spending money we don’t have on a program that hasn’t worked when there are perfectly valid alternatives out there.

a) Debt

This case specifically addressed economic aid, both in cash and in kind. According to the most recent report from the Congressional Research Service, we are sending India $74.1 Million annually.

Thomas Lum (Specialist in Asian Affairs Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division). “U.S. Foreign Aid to East and South Asia: Selected Recipients.” October 8, 2008. Congressional Research Service, RL31362. http://opencrs.com/document/RL31362
Interestingly enough, the Department of the treasury reported that while giving India this money, we also owed them about $16.2 Billion in Treasury Securities.

United States. Department of the Treasury. Federal Reserve Board. “Major Foreign Holders of Treasury Securities.” January 16, 2009. http://www.treas.gov/tic/mfh.txt
In other words, we’re donating to our creditor. Our children are the ones who will have to pay for it This is anything but a responsible policy, especially when you consider that foreign aid has not produced long term results.

b) Ineffective

After pouring money into India and other countries since the end of World War II, we have quite a bit of evidence on it’s long-term consequences. For example a study in the:

Cristina Arellano (Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota), Aleš BulĂ­Ĺ™ (PhD. M.Sc., Associate Professor, Prague University of Economics), Timothy Lane (Ph.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor, University of California, San Francisco), Leslie Lipschitz (Ph.D., Director of the International Monetary Fund Institute). “The dynamic implications of foreign aid and its variability.” Journal of Development Economics 88 (2009) 87–102. http://www.econ.umn.edu/~arellano/aidpaper.pdf

“The paper examines the effects of aid and its volatility on consumption, investment, and the structure of production in the context of an intertemporal two-sector general equilibrium model, calibrated using data for aid-dependent countries in Africa. A permanent flow of aid mainly finances consumption rather than investment—consistent with the historical failure of aid inflows to translate into sustained growth. Large aid flows are associated with higher real exchange rates and smaller tradable sectors because aid is a substitute for tradable consumption. Aid volatility results in substantial welfare losses, providing a motivation for recent discussions of aid architecture stressing the need for greater predictability of aid. These results are also consistent with evidence from cross-country regressions of manufactured exports, presented later in the paper.”

Consumption, not investment. In other words, short term gratification, not long term responsibility. What about India specifically? Well, according to:

The Financial Times.
January 23 2008.
“Western donors wrestle with the contradictions of rising India.” By Jo Johnson (B.A., M.B.A., Financial Times’ South Asia bureau chief). http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3470229c-c9db-11dc-b5dc-000077b07658.html

India does little to solicit aid and, sometimes, much to deter it. Ahead of Mr Brown’s visit, Rahul Gandhi, a senior Congress party politician, hinted at the extent of corruption, claiming that only 5 per cent of development funds reached their intended recipients, down from 15 per cent when his father was prime minister.
His warning coincided with the release by the World Bank of a report that found “systemic fraud and corruption” in a flagship health programme and “suggested that other projects had been similarly compromised”. The bank in the year to June 2007 provided $3.7bn in new loans to India, its largest borrower.”

Even officials in the Indian government admit that foreign aid is being lost in a quagmire of corruption. So your 74 Million becomes 3.7 Million. With such a low rate of return, one must ask: Was it really need in the first place?

c) Irrelevant

As Indian economist Joydeep Mukerji said in response to that story in the Financial Times.

Joydeep Mukherji. (B.A., M.A. in economics, former economic consultant to the Asian Development Bank, works with credit ratings in Asia and the Western Hemisphere).”India’s aid donors reluctant to admit their irrelevance.” Financial Times Letters, January 30 2008. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0a0d5afc-ced5-11dc-877a-000077b07658.html

“Sir, Your article “Western donors wrestle with the contradictions of rising India” (January 24) implies that there is a contradiction between a booming India and the reality of mass poverty. The real contradiction is between aid donors who failed and their reluctance to acknowledge their irrelevance in an India that has finally learnt how to grow rapidly and reduce its massive poverty.”

The Federal Government’s foreign program is irrelevant because organizations on both sides of the ocean are more than capable of aiding India. The Index of Global Philanthropy 2008 shows that only about 12% of all American assistance comes through the government anyway.

The Index of Global Philanthropy 2008. Darrell Delamaide, Ed. Hudson Institute, Center for Global Prosperity, 2008. p 17-20. https://www.hudson.org/files/documents/2008%20Index%20-%20Low%20Res.pdf
So, because there are valid alternatives to US governmental spending that aren’t in such a financial predicament, there’s no reason to continue an Unfunded, Ineffective, Irrelevant program.

So it’s obviously not a responsible policy. But why is this so important? That’s the fourth observation:

4. Impacts

Our policy has three impacts. They are the impact to Us, to India, and to the Future.

a) Us: Wasted Resources

We can’t afford to loose 95% on any program. This kind of waste does not meet long-term responsibility.

b) India: Subsidizing Bureaucracy

Joydeep Mukherji. (B.A., M.A. in economics, former economic consultant to the Asian Development Bank, works with credit ratings in Asia and the Western Hemisphere).”India’s aid donors reluctant to admit their irrelevance.” Financial Times Letters, January 30 2008. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0a0d5afc-ced5-11dc-877a-000077b07658.html
Since the second world war, India has received more foreign aid than any country in the world. The money subsidised the creation of a corrupt, parasitic bureaucracy following anti-market policies typically advocated by well-meaning donors. The economy stagnated for nearly 40 years, compared with the dynamism of east Asian countries that relied on themselves and on markets more than on foreign aid.”
So our policy actually makes Indians worse off by subsiding harmful bureaucratic tendencies.

c) Future: Swindle Futurity

We are swindling our future because this program is sponsored with deficit spending, money that is thrown to future generations – with interest.

Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816. Lipscomb and Bergh, ed. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson 15. Memorial Edition. Washington, D.C., 1903-04. 23. http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/jeff1340.htm

“I sincerely believe… that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”

That’s exactly what this policy does. It swindles our future.

If we are financing a program that doesn’t help us, doesn’t help them, and doesn’t help the future, that program should obviously be stopped. That’s our plan. We intend to phase out this irresponsible policy of sending aid and replace it with a sound investment in:

5. Plan

Our plan is really pretty simple. Here’s the specifics:

the Agency and Enforcement: of this plan is the Federal Government of the United States. There are two mandates that this agency will carry out:

Mandate 1: Phase Out. Current government non-military aid sent to the India will be phased out. According to the Congressional Research service, this currently includes CSH (Child Survival and Health), DA (Development Assistance), P.L. 480 Title II Grants (In-kind food aid).

Mandate 2: Pay Debt. Funds freed shall be redirected to pay off Indian Securities.

Next, the Timeline: This plan will be phased in over the next two fiscal years, FY 2009 and 2010. Savings will begin in FY 2011.

Finally, we reserve the right to clarify this plan as needed.

6. Advantages

In short, we are allowing private charities to do what they do best, and establishing a solid foundation for our children’s future. There are two ways this plan pays off; you could think of it as M&M: Math and Morals.

a) Math: Exponential Savings

See, the aid we finance through debt doesn’t just increase at a constant rate. It is also accumulating interest, so it grows exponentially, a lot like cancer. So, starting with just $ 74.1 Million,
-In 10 years, we will not save $ 741 Million, we’ll save almost a billion dollars.
-And in 20 years, we won’t save $ 1.4 Billion, with interest we’ll save 2.5 Billion.

The longer we save, the more we save. So now is the time to start making this long term investment. But there are other reasons to adopt this plan.

b) Moral: Responsible Policy

This is more than just a frugal policy, it is also a responsible policy.
Iqbal Z. Quadir (B.A., M.A., M.B.A., founder and director of MIT‘s Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship, formerly taught at Harvard University, and founder of Grameenphone, the largest cellphone company in Bangladesh) “Foreign Aid and Bad Government.” Wall Street Journal. January 30, 2009. http://legatum.mit.edu/content-206
“In short, America should stop pouring billions into bureaucracies to buy short-term alliances and focus its efforts on bottom-up entrepreneurship. This would increase America’s popularity, alleviate poverty, and promote real democratic change in these developing countries.”

The government’s current policy with India is nothing short of using our children’s money to pay other countries for stuff they don’t do. It not a responsible policy, and it turns out that it is not a necessary policy. So I urge you to do the responsible thing and affirm the resolution.

Gross National debt.

I think the gross national debt is well… gross. I find it disgusting that politicians think it’s ok to spend money on our problems and make our children pay for it. That is just wrong.

Some of you may have noticed that I added a Gross National Debt counter on the top of my page. I am incredibly surprise by the rate that it is growing. I literally see tens of thousands of dollars disappearing right before my eyes. The Gross National Debt is, at this second, .

So, why is borrowing so popular among the Feds? Well, first off, because it’s popular among the people. We need to realize that the first problem with debt lies not with politicians, but with the public. To date, the average American has more debt than savings.

The second major reason that debt has increased is that it is probably the only major way government can create short-term economic growth. Instead of taking money from one area of the economy and giving it to another, government borrows money from the future. It’s not much, but it lasts until the next election.

Now, I’m not all gloom and doom. There is a way out. There are three ways, in fact, to reduce debt and each come with their set of problems. They are to print money, to stop spending, and to start taxing.

I personally propose a three step process. This works for both individuals and governments.

STEP 1: Stop borrowing. It is NOT FAIR to make our kids pay for our mistakes. We ought to live with the consequences and not have a pity party. Ye, it’s harsh; live with it.

STEP 2: Reduce spending. PEOPLE: I don’t care if you’re conservative, liberal, or whatever. I don’t care whether it’s as important as social security, babies without doctors, or terrorists running around in the sand with nukes: IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT THEN DON’T BUY IT! Pretty simple.

STEP 3: Pay off the debt. We ought to use surplus money, (some of which will come from taxes, yes, it’s a crisis, Mr McCain.) to pay off this astronomical debt before it gets worse.

Our top priority IS NOT the state of the economy. It IS NOT national security. It IS NOT health care for everyone. It is the future. It is our children. We should stop having a pity party about how high inflation and/or taxes are, and start looking to what kind of mess we’re leaving future generations. STOP THE GROSS DEBT!

Definition

This post is going to be short. I just want to define two things for everyone so you aren’t fooled by political rhetoric.

  1. Bond (in the context of government, not Chemistry)-“a certificate of debt (usually interest-bearing or discounted) that is issued by a government or corporation in order to raise money; the issuer is required to pay a fixed sum annually until maturity and then a fixed sum to repay the principal”

A bond sounds great, and we’ll approve bonds easily to fund Austin schools. What about debt? Would we approve debt? I don’t think we would as regularly, which is why politicians resort to such political rhetoric to pass thier proposals.

  1. Debt-Slavery

Proverbs 22:7b rightly tells us: “…And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” (NSAB) I think we probably should take the advice of the wisest man to ever live, don’t you?

Read this article by my good friend Thomas Umstattd about why the federal government shouldn’t be borrowing and how we’ve got ourselves in a load of trouble because of it.