GOP Will Win but it will be close – Obamacare and increased campaign strategies
AP, 7/6 – (“Senate Republicans Confident Obamacare Backlash Will Give Them Majority”, News Max, 7/6/14, http://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/midterms-obamacare-backlash-gop/2014/07/06/id/580992/)//EX
North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan has her Republican opponent right where she wants him geographically — and, therefore, politically. Thom Tillis is stuck at the state capitol trying to resolve a budget quarrel as speaker of the North Carolina House. It's a spot that helps Hagan emphasize Tillis' role leading a Republican-controlled state government that Democrats contend has gone overboard with conservative zeal by restricting access to abortion and the voting booth while cutting corporate taxes and slashing spending on schools. If Tillis is worried by Hagan's portrayal, he doesn't show it. Drinking coffee this past week from a hand-grenade-shaped mug in his no-frills legislative office, he's got his own message in his campaign to take Hagan's Senate seat. "Obamacare," he said, "continues to be a big problem." Similar themes are playing out in other crucial Senate races, as voters have four months to decide which party will control the chamber in the final two years of Barack Obama's presidency. For Republicans, it's all about tying Democrats to Obama — especially to a health care law that remains unpopular with many Americans. And for Democrats, the election is about just about anything else, especially if they can steer attention away from Washington and federal matters. It's a political strategy that sometimes gives the campaigns an inside-out feel, with veteran senators running as if they were first-timers without a Washington resume to defend or tout. Democrat Mark Pryor has represented Arkansas in the Senate for two terms, yet one of his TV ads begins with a man saying, "I remember when Pryor was attorney general." A woman adds that he pursued "scam artists that were ripping off seniors." Pryor was state attorney general more than a decade ago, and for just four years, compared to his nearly dozen in the Senate. His harkening back to that time points to his desire to make the election a choice between a famous name in Arkansas state politics and first-term Rep. Tom Cotton, a Republican whom many view as less personable and engaging than Pryor. The GOP strategy, in return, is straightforward. One TV ad has a young girl spelling Pryor's name as O-B-A-M-A. Traditionally emphasized by first-time campaigners, personal biographies are central to several other Democrats' re-election campaigns. Alaska Sen. Mark Begich has aired a TV ad with footage of him as a boy of about 10, when his father, Rep. Nick Begich, died in a plane crash. "Mark is clearly his father's son," says the narrator, Begich's wife, Deborah Bonito. And after 18 years in the Senate, Democrat Mary Landrieu is arguably the most accomplished member of her famous Louisiana political family. Still, she has aired an ad in which her father — former New Orleans Mayor Moon Landrieu — says affectionately: "When you have nine children, you're bound to have one who's hard-headed." Some Democrats might say the same about the GOP's strategy of bashing "Obamacare" now that the Affordable Care Act is 4 years old. Not Tillis, who says Obama and Hagan exaggerated the extent to which people could keep their doctors and insurance plans. He calls it "the greatest example of a promise not kept." He's getting help with the message from Crossroads GPS, the political group run in part by Republican strategist Karl Rove, which is spending more than $3.5 million on television ads in North Carolina this summer. The group's latest ad attacking Hagan asks whether voters know she "cast the deciding vote for Obamacare." "The idea that this will be anything less than a referendum on Obamacare is wishful thinking," said Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C. The amount spent on the Hagan-Tillis race — about $17 million and climbing — is among the nation's highest. It comes in a state that few can rival for political change in recent years, as Republicans ended a century of frustration by winning control of both legislative chambers and the governor's office in 2012. What came next is a "conservative revolution" that Tillis said he's proud of leading. Hagan and her fellow Democrats argue the Republicans went too far in a state so closely divided politically that Obama carried it in 2008 and lost it four years later. They believe a bump in teacher pay that Tillis promises lawmakers will enact this summer won't erase North Carolinians' memories of the deep cuts to education that Republicans passed last year. That approach, said Rep. David Price, D-N.C., is Hagan's best chance to focus November voters' attention on something other than Obama. Her strategy "is exactly what she should do," Price said, because Tillis "has got that hung right around his neck." Hagan, meanwhile, points to achievements close to home. They include her push to provide medical care to military families exposed to tainted water for decades at Camp Lejeune, the giant Marine Corps base in eastern North Carolina. "Kay Hagan," said veteran North Carolina GOP strategist Paul Shumaker, "is hoping the sins of Raleigh are much bigger than the sins of Washington."
Ocean Policy is popular for coastal states – perceived as tackling challenges
Cosgrove, 13 – B.A. in History and a B.S. in Environmental Science from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington (Sean, “Congress Can Let New England States Plan for Future Storms, or Not”, Conservation Law Foundation, 12/3/13, http://www.clf.org/blog/tag/national-ocean-policy/)//EX
The significant challenges that coastal states face with increasingly large storms in the era of climate change are clear. Luckily, we have excellent policy tools designed specifically to help address the uncertainties of climate change in the National Ocean Policy, and ocean user groups across our region support its use. The National Ocean Policy uses regional ocean planning, improved science and data, requires better agency coordination and relies on deep involvement by stakeholders – all of which are needed to tackle these types of management challenges now. As one state official said, “We can either plan now or we can let nature plan for us.” This is especially true when the anticipated future increase in the number and severity of storms will make these challenges larger and more difficult. We have the tools of the National Ocean Policy at hand, but if some in Congress get their way the New England states could be barred from working with the federal agencies necessary to plan for coastal storm impacts.
Coastal states are key to dems winning – coastal liberals and empirics
New Republic, 14 – (“How the Democrats Can Avoid Going Down This November”, New Republic, 4/27/14, http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117520/how-democrats-can-avoid-going-down-2014-midterm-election)//EX
A decade ago, Obama memorably rebutted the trope that the United States could be neatly cleaved into a red and a blue America that pits coastal liberals against inland traditionalists. But in one very measurable and consequential sense, there are two Americas. There is the America that votes in presidential elections, which has helped Democrats win the popular vote in five out of the last sixcycles and supports the view that Hillary Clinton can continue that streak should she run. Then there is the America that votes more regularly, casting ballots in both presidential and midterm years, which led to the Republican wave in 2010 and gives its party’s leaders reason to be so sanguine about their odds this time around.
GOP Win means path to legal status will pass
The Hill, 7/2 – (“Republican: 'No problem' for path to legal status”, The Hill, 7/2/14, http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/211189-republican-no-problem-for-house-to-pass-path-to-legal-status)//EX
Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) said Wednesday there would be “no problem” in getting the House to pass legislation that would provide a pathway to legal status for immigrants in the U.S. illegally, adding that a pathway to citizenship is "potentially doable." “I think there's no problem getting through the House a pathway to legal status. A pathway to citizenship is going to be tougher, but I think it is potentially doable, if we can show the American people that the border is secure,” Farenthold said on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown.” “My constituents feel betrayed by the promise that Reagan made, that if we grant amnesty, we'll then secure the border. We obviously didn't do that.” Parents who brought their children to the United States illegally are a “very sympathetic problem” Farenthold added. “We've educated them in our schools, and they become a burden on society if they can't get a job.” The Republican said the border is “relatively secure” but “not secure enough,” given the roughly 52,000 unaccompanied children from Central America who have crossed into the U.S. since October. Asked if the current crisis hurts immigration reform prospects, Farenthold said, “I think, politically, it may,” but he stressed it could be addressed without a comprehensive bill. “I don't think you'd have any problem getting legislation through the House to have expedited deportation procedures, getting more judges down to prosecute or hear these cases,” said Farenthold, who said it could take years before the children get a hearing otherwise.
Path to legal status is key to the economy
Oakford and Kugler, 13 – Kugler is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and vice provost for faculty and full professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, and Oakford is Policy Analyst in the Economic Policy department and holds an M.Sc. in migration studies from the University of Oxford and a B.S. in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University (Patrick and Adriana, “Immigration Helps American Workers’ Wages and Job Opportunities”, Center for American Progress, 8/29/13, http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2013/08/29/73203/immigration-helps-american-workers-wages-and-job-opportunities/)//EX
Immigrants’ impact on wages Research shows that immigration will positively affect U.S. workers’ wages and employment. How can that be? While overly simplistic views of economic theory might suggest that wages will decline in the short run as the supply of labor increases, this is not the case with immigration for two reasons. First, immigrants generally do not have a direct negative impact on the earnings of native-born workers, as native-born workers and immigrant workers generally complement each other rather than compete for the same job. Native-born workers and immigrants tend to have different skill sets and therefore seek different types of jobs. Thus, immigrants are not increasing the labor market competition for native-born workers and therefore do not negatively affect American workers’ earnings. To be sure, there are some instances when immigrants and the native born are similarly skilled and substitutable for similar jobs. Recent research has found, however, that firms respond to an increase in the supply of labor by expanding their business. Thus, an increased supply of labor as a result of immigration is easily absorbed into the labor market as a result of increased demand for labor, without lowering the wages of native-born workers. Second, research finds small but positive impacts on native-born workers because of the indirect effects that immigrants have on the labor market and economy. As economists Michael Clemens and Robert Lynch explain in The New Republic, “In some areas of the economy, lesser skilled immigrants have kept entire industries alive.” This not only helps native-born workers within the industries but also native-born workers whose jobs are associated or closely connected to those industries. Research shows, for example, that as new immigrants come into the country, the number of jobs offshored in the manufacturing sector decreases. By ensuring that more manufacturing jobs stay in the United States, not only do native-born manufacturing workers benefit, but the demand for services that the manufacturing industry relies upon—such as the transportation of manufacture goods throughout the United States—also remains high. Thus the “upstream” jobs held by native-born workers in industries associated with manufacturing are also better off as a result of immigration. Moreover, when one considers how immigration affects different groups of American workers who may be the most likely to compete with immigrants, the positive story still holds true. Research finds that as immigrants enter the labor market, African Americans respond to these changes in the workforce by moving up to higher-skilled—and presumably higher-paying—jobs. In fact, African Americans are three times more likely to transition to higher-skilled jobs as a result of immigration than non-African American workers. Recent evidence similarly shows that an increase in immigration of the magnitude implied by S. 744 would increase the earnings of more educated Hispanic women and men by 1.1 percent and 2.25 percent, respectively. Combining the research on how new immigrants will affect the wages of American workers with the future flow of immigrants expected under S.744 allows us to estimate the Senate bill’s impact on American workers’ wages. A recent study finds that the rise in immigration between 1990 and 2006, which increased labor-force participation by about 12.5 million, increased the earnings of U.S. workers by between 0.6 percent and 0.7 percent. Applying these findings to the current and expected future flows of immigration under S. 744 means that the earnings of U.S. workers would rise between 0.4 percent and 0.7 percent as a result of immigration. Legalized immigrants’ impact on wages In addition to providing avenues for new immigrants to enter the U.S. labor market, S. 744’s legalization provisions would greatly improve the lives and economic potential of the currently undocumented immigrants living in the country. Allowing these immigrants to reach their greatest economic potential will have positive economic effects on all American workers. Research from the Center for American Progress shows that undocumented immigrants’ earnings will increase by 15 percent over five years when they receive legal status and by an additional 10 percent over five years when they acquire citizenship. This is because, with legal status and citizenship, immigrants are able to fully participate in the labor force, receive full protection under our employment laws, and find jobs that best match their skills. In turn, immigrants will spend their increased earnings throughout the economy on things such as homes, cars, and clothing. This increase in consumption means that business will be better off and will lead to higher earnings for American workers. In fact, research shows that within 10 years of providing legal status to undocumented immigrants, the cumulative increase in income of all Americans would be $470 billion. Immigrants create jobs Research on how immigration impacts U.S. workers often focuses on how immigration affects the wages of native-born workers. Equally important, however, is how immigration affects employment opportunities for the native born. Research shows that increased immigration does not displace U.S. workers for many of the same reasons that there are not negative wage effects. Another reason that immigrants do not displace U.S. workers from their jobs is that many immigrants create their jobs by starting their own business. In fact, according to the 2011 Current Population Survey, 7.5 percent of the foreign-born population is self-employed. Thus, we can expect that under S. 744, between 600,000 and 840,000 of the newly legalized immigrants would be self-employed. Not only are immigrants unlikely to take jobs away from the native born, but they can also create new jobs for American workers. According to the 2010 American Community Survey, there were 900,000 small-business owners among current immigrants—close to 18 percent of all incorporated business owners. Yet in the same year, immigrants accounted for just 16 percent of the workforce. The entrepreneurial nature of immigrants, however, is not being fully realized, given that there are 8 million undocumented workers. To be sure, some of these undocumented workers currently run their own business, but these businesses likely exist in the underground economy. Thus, legalizing these undocumented entrepreneurs will formalize their businesses and bring their employees above ground, leading to better job opportunities. The legalization provisions under S. 744 could potentially bring between 336,000 and 470,000 entrepreneurs into the formal economy.* Given that the average immigrant-owned business hires 11 employees, these businesses would account for between 3.7 million and 5.2 million jobs in the formal economy, which is equivalent to 45 percent of those who are currently unemployed in the United States. Some of these 3.7 million to 5.2 million jobs may be new jobs as a result of immigrants starting businesses and hiring workers for the first time. Others, however, may simply be jobs that are formalized for the first time. Nonetheless, whether they are new jobs or recently formalized jobs, the U.S. labor market and economy will be better off, as formal jobs often have higher pay and generate greater tax revenues.
History proves that a volatile economic environment risks conflict—radical terrorist groups and tension over shared energy resources could unintentionally result in a pre-emptive nuclear strike
Mathew Harris and Jennifer Burrows, National Intelligence Council, in 2009 [Mathew, PhD European History at Cambridge, counselor in the National Intelligence Council (NIC) and Jennifer, member of the NIC’s Long Range Analysis Unit “Revisiting the Future: Geopolitical Effects of the Financial Crisis” http://www.ciaonet.org/journals/twq/v32i2/f_0016178_13952.pdf]
Increased Potential for Global Conflict Of course, the report encompasses more than economics and indeed believes the future is likely to be the result of a number of intersecting and interlocking forces. With so many possible permutations of outcomes, each with ample Revisiting the Future opportunity for unintended consequences, there is a growing sense of insecurity. Even so, history may be more instructive than ever. While we continue to believe that the Great Depression is not likely to be repeated, the lessons to be drawn from that period include the harmful effects on fledgling democracies and multiethnicsocieties (think Central Europe in 1920s and 1930s) and on the sustainability of multilateral institutions (think League of Nations in the same period). There is no reason to think that this would not be true in the twenty-first as much as in the twentieth century. For that reason, the ways in which the potential for greater conflict could grow would seem to be even more apt in a constantly volatile economic environment as they would be if change would be steadier. In surveying those risks, the report stressed the likelihood that terrorism and nonproliferation will remain priorities even as resource issues move up on the international agenda. Terrorism’s appeal will decline if economic growth continues in the Middle East and youth unemployment is reduced. For those terrorist groups that remain active in 2025, however, the diffusion of technologies and scientific knowledge will place some of the world’s most dangerous capabilities within their reach. Terrorist groups in 2025 will likely be a combination of descendants of long established groups_inheriting organizational structures, command and control processes, and training procedures necessary to conduct sophisticated attacks_and newly emergent collections of the angry and disenfranchised that become self-radicalized, particularly in the absence of economic outlets that would become narrower in an economic downturn. The most dangerous casualty of any economically-induced drawdown of U.S. military presence would almost certainly be the Middle East. Although Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons is not inevitable, worries about a nuclear-armed Iran could lead states in the region to develop new security arrangements with external powers, acquire additional weapons, and consider pursuing their own nuclear ambitions. It is not clear that the type of stable deterrent relationship that existed between the great powers for most of the Cold War would emerge naturally in the Middle East with a nuclear Iran. Episodes of low intensity conflict and terrorism taking place under a nuclear umbrella could lead to an unintended escalation and broader conflict if clear red lines between those states involved are not well established. The close proximity of potential nuclear rivals combined with underdeveloped surveillance capabilities and mobile dual-capable Iranian missile systems also will produce inherent difficulties in achieving reliable indications and warning of an impending nuclear attack. The lack of strategic depth in neighboring states like Israel, short warning and missile flight times, anduncertaintyof Iranian intentions may placemore focus on preemption rather than defense, potentially leading to escalating crises. 36 Types of conflict that the world continues to experience, such as over resources, could reemerge,particularly if protectionism grows and there is a resort to neo-mercantilist practices. Perceptions of renewed energy scarcity will drive countries to take actions to assure their future access to energy supplies. In the worst case, this could result in interstate conflicts if government leaders deem assured access to energy resources, for example, to be essential for maintaining domestic stability and the survival of their regime. Even actions short of war, however, will have important geopolitical implications. Maritime security concerns are providing a rationale for naval buildups and modernization efforts, such as China’s and India’s development of blue water naval capabilities. If the fiscal stimulus focus for these countries indeed turns inward, one of the most obvious funding targets may be military. Buildup of regional naval capabilities could lead to increased tensions, rivalries, and counterbalancing moves, but it also will create opportunities for multinational cooperation in protecting critical sea lanes. With water also becoming scarcer in Asia and the Middle East, cooperation to manage changing water resources is likely to be increasingly difficult both within and between states in a more dog-eat-dog world.