Thursday, May 17, 2012

The worst TP arguments – 2012 edition

Here are the top 20 arguments you don’t want to make at NITOC 2012, in somewhat random order from generic to specific.  I'm not asserting that these arguments don't win rounds; I’m just saying they’re really bad and lack logical foundations.  You can call most of them subjective, but I don’t believe in subjective reality.

1. Policy vs. policies
The latter interpretation would grant the affirmative team access to approximately 0 cases.  Enough said.
2. “1-step” topicality
I don’t know where this originated, but I’ve seen at least two teams from different clubs try to sell it.  It doesn’t make any sense.  The resolution doesn’t say you have to reform “in 1 step”.  I don’t even know what “in 1 step” means.  With one mandate?  With one immediate timeline?  The vast majority of judges are going to have no clue what “in 1 step” signifies and you’ll only waste your time trying to explain it.
3. Topicality on tax credits, deductions, “loopholes”
Tax breaks aren’t revenue generation policies because they reduce generated revenue?  Time suck.  Here’s how you take it out in cross-ex: “Are tax breaks related to taxes?”… “Are taxes revenue generation policies?”… “Therefore, by eliminating/installing tax breaks, you simultaneously reform federal revenue generation policies.  Next question.”  Case closed.
4. Only taxes are revenue
“My standard is limits, because we should limit the resolution as much as we possibly can…” 
5. Significance without a brightline
How can I ever be significant if the negative team hasn’t even said what is significant?
6. Future inherency
You can either pass the plan now, killing the death tax once and for all, or wait and *see if* Mitt Romney wins the election.  If he does, then you’ll get to wait and *see if* he doesn’t change his position again.
7. Inherency on a real-world plan
“Judge, this plan has already been introduced and the affirmative team hasn’t given you evidence from this morning that the bill has not been passed."
8. “State taxes” solvency
This is an especially annoying argument.  It’s like saying that the affirmative plan to save lives is insolvent because all humans die.  Likewise, the affirmative plan to kill one tax is insolvent because there are always more taxes, usually collected by the states, which are off-limits.  Stupid, I tell you.
9. Irrelevant Kritiks – e.g. prostitution
Only I and one other person will understand that header.  Anyway, here are some more examples of pathetic kritiks with no link to revenue: racism, sexism, general bigotry, name-dropping, and Skype misconduct.
10. Non-unique
This is probably the worst argument of the lot.  “We agree that the death tax is a second tax on the same man, and we agree that it denies your right to property, but there’s plenty of double taxation besides the death tax, so it’s really not a problem.”  That’s like saying sin isn’t evil because everybody is guilty of it.
11. 2 affirmative teams
“You now have two teams confirming the resolution, and you can only vote for the affirmative.”  “But WHICH AFFIRMATIVE?”  You say that 2 teams are affirming the resolution.  We say that you can only vote for one.  Also, any team which advances a counter-plan, non-topical ones included, is technically “affirming” that a change from the status quo is necessary.  There’s so not a double-standard here.
12. Biased source
So what if my writer for the Cato Institute has a libertarian bias?  That doesn’t mean he’s incorrect or a liar.  Thomas Jefferson had a bias for liberty.  I guess we should disregard his wisdom too.
13. No quantification on things not meant to be quantified
My case has advantages of fairness and the free market.  Too many times have I heard: “How much fairness do you create? How much free market are we getting?”
14. Redefining “income inequality”
I think you mean outcome inequality.  And no, it isn’t unfair.
15. X country isn’t America - without analysis
This is a popular negative response to the affirmative’s plan solvency.  It most often uses circular reasoning like this: “X country in Asia cannot be compared to the United States because it’s not like the United States.”  WHY is it unlike the United States?!
16. Lower taxes alone make jobs
Businesses don’t hire just because they have more money to spare.  Businesses will only expand their labor pool if there’s increased demand for their services.  If Apple can outsell every other competitor in America with its current employment numbers, a lower corporate tax won’t inspire the corporation to create new jobs.
17. CAF counter-plans
Civil asset forfeiture has enough weaknesses as a case that it doesn’t need a counter-plan.  When you admit that equitable sharing should be removed, you are conceding that all this exaggerated poppycock about “policing for profit” is true and that just makes the judge more attracted to the affirmative team’s plan.  It’s also dumb to believe that CAF will immediately cease if equitable sharing alone is removed.  The police will still have a motive to forfeit money: their jobs.
18. Aristocracy
This is nothing more than a really bad joke delivered in an opinion article published on a conspiracy theory website by a paranoid BYU professor who specializes in “Canadian studies”.  His message: without a death tax, the rich will rule the galaxy.
19. $1.3 trillion lost
It takes a real fool to buy that abolishing a tax which collects under $20 billion annually will cost $1.3 trillion over a decade.  The Center for Budget Policy and Priorities (*gasp**heave**water*) should go back to third grade.
20. Legalizing marijuana would be costly
Legalizing marijuana would save the government tens of billions of dollars annually.  The team which legalizes the drug claims the extra benefit of ending further spending to catch and punish its consumers, making them the only side to take an economical stance.

1 comment:

  1. I actually agree with you. Woah, what is this madness? ;) CAF counterplans are aweful :P No one can beat the awesomeness of it :D


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