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Big Government Is Stifling The American Spirit

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Live Transcript
  • Nouriel Roubini on the Great Recession

    Clip: Nouriel Roubini argues against the motion "Big Government Is Stifling the American Spirit."

  • Laura Tyson on Big Government

    Clip: Laura Tyson argues against the motion "Big Government Is Stifling the American Spirit."

  • Phill Gramm on Unlimited Government

    Clip: Phil Gramm argues for the motion "Big Government Is Stifling the American Spirit."

  • Phil Gramm on Big Government

    Clip: Phil Gramm argues for the motion "Big Government Is Stifling the American Spirit."

  • Nouriel Roubini on Big Government

    Clip: Nouriel Roubini argues against the motion "Big Government Is Stifling the American Spirit."

  • Art Laffer on the American Spirit

    "The dream in America has always been to make the poor rich not to make the rich poor." Art Laffer argues for the motion "Big Government Is Stifling the American Spirit."

Debate Details

Just about everyone has a reason to question how the size of our government affects America’s financial and political future. Is government intervention in everything from economic policy to health care rewarding the “takers,” and not the “makers,” stifling innovators, entrepreneurs and business owners? Or has government done too little to support the growing poor and rapidly shrinking middle class?

The Debaters

For the motion

Arthur Laffer

Former member of President Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board, “the Father of Supply Side Economics,” and President of Laffer Associates

Arthur Laffer is the Founder and Chairman of Laffer Associates, an economic research and consulting firm, and Laffer Investments, an investment management... Read More

Phil Gramm

Vice Chairman, UBS Investment Bank

a former Republican senator from Texas, joined UBS Investment Bank as the vice chairman in December of 2002, after serving twenty-four years in Congress... Read More

Against the motion

Nouriel Roubini

Professor, Economics and International Business, Stern School of Business, New York University.

Is a professor of economics and international business at the Stern School of Business, New York University, and co-founder and chairman of RGE Monitor... Read More

Laura Tyson

S.K. and Angela Chan Professor of Global Management, Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley

is the S.K. and Angela Chan Professor of Global Management at the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley. Tyson is a member... Read More

Where Do You Stand?

For The Motion
  • Our growing national debt is a national crisis. When economic freedom is imperiled, prosperity wanes. Under our current budget, by the end of the decade our national debt will be 90 cents out of every dollar of goods and services produced annually in America.
  • It was government intervention in the housing market under President Clinton that led to the housing bubble and financial crisis.
  • The 9 states without income taxes are growing faster and attracting more people than the 9 states with the highest income taxes.
  • The rich are already pay a disproportionately higher share of taxes, and these high taxes essentially tie the hands of those who are in a position to innovate and create jobs.
Against The Motion
  • Lowering tax rates is not going to force government to cut government spending. We want government to do a lot, but we don’t want to pay for it. 78% say entitlement costs are a major problem, but 56% say no to tax increases and 66% say no to benefit cuts.
  • The repeal and limiting of financial industry regulation played a huge role in causing the financial crisis.
  • When there are crises—as in the financial crisis, which was created by the private sector—it’s government that steps in to clean the mess. In the case of Hurricane Katrina, the government failed by not doing enough.
  • Government also has a role to play in technological innovation by supporting research and education. We have DARPA to thank for the internet, and the National Institute of Health to thank for many of our new drugs.

Results

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Pre-Debate
Post-Debate

The Research

The Research

The Debate We Should Be Having

Robert Kuttner
October 11, 2010

Drowning in Law

Philip K. Howard
October 10, 2010

From Right and Left, Differing Views of the Government's Proper Role

Susan Page
October 11, 2010
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