Crutsinger '16 (Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics writer, "US economic growth revised up to show slow, steady growth", Star Telegram, May 27, www.star-telegram.com/news/business/article80391252.html, CL)
The U.S. economy’s slowdown in growth at the beginning of the year wasn’t quite as bad as first thought, thanks to a bigger boost from housing and less drag from business investment and trade. The gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic output, grew at an annual rate of 0.8 percent in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday. That’s slightly better than the initial estimate of 0.5 percent but is still the weakest pace in a year. It was the second lackluster quarter in a row, following a modest 1.4 percent gain in the fourth quarter. At the beginning of this year, the economy was held back by turbulence in financial markets and global economic problems. Economists are forecasting a rebound in the current quarter to growth of around 2 percent. They expect employers to keep adding jobs at a solid pace, which in turn should support increased consumer spending. Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said even though the revised growth rate for the first quarter was still modest, the result was less worrisome given that “more recent incoming data point to a big pick-up in second-quarter growth.”Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said GDP growth in the current quarter could be as strong as 3 percent. For the first quarter, consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, grew at a 1.9 percent rate. That was the weakest performance in a year, reflecting a sharp slowdown in auto sales. The growth revision reflects a weaker drag from business investment in structure and equipment, primarily because of new-found strength in construction of commercial structures such as shopping centers. In addition, the trade deficit did not widen as much as previously estimated and businesses did not slow their restocking of store shelves as much as first thought. Capital investment fell at an 8.9 percent rate in the first quarter, better than the 10.7 percent drop first reported. The plunge in spending on oil and gas exploration has been a major source of weakness. While business investment remained weak, investment in residential construction was growing at a sizzling 17.1 percent rate, the strongest advance in more than three years. In the second half of the year, economists are forecasting that overall growth will strengthen further to around 2.5 percent. Employers added another 160,000 jobs in April, a solid gain even if it was down from an average increase of 243,000 in the prior six months. The unemployment rate remained at a low 5 percent, down by half from the 10 percent high hit in the fall of 2009 when the economy was struggling to emerge from the worst economic downturn since the 1930s. The U.S. economic expansion will celebrate its seventh birthday next month, making it the fourth longest recovery since World War II. But it has also been the slowest, averaging modest annual growth of 2.1 percent. “While that growth is nothing to write home about, we are relatively better off than many of our trading partners,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University, Channel Islands. Financial markets went into a nosedive at the beginning of the year, dragged down by worries about global growth and a sharp slowdown in China, the world’s second largest economy. There were serious concerns that the U.S. economy, because of stalling global growth, could be headed back into recession. Since then, markets have recovered all their early-year losses. Recent data has shown that key sectors of the economy, from consumer spending to housing, have improved. The Federal Reserve surprised investors last week when it released minutes of its April meeting showing that Fed officials believed that a rate hike in June was likely if the economy kept improving. The Fed raised a key rate in December by a quarter-point but has left rates unchanged so far this year.
Any risk that China becomes stronger fuels an arms races between India and China
Wortzel & Dillon '00 (Larry M. Wortzel is a fellow at the The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, Dana Robert Dillon is a senior policy analyst at the Asian Studies Center, "Improving Relations with India Without Compromising U.S. Security", Heritage, December 11, www.heritage.org/research/reports/2000/12/improving-relations-with-india, CL)
A Regional Arms Race
India claims that its nuclear and missile development programs are in part a response to the growing security threat it perceives from China--an assessment not fully shared by Washington. The United States believes that Beijing has greater territorial concerns, such as Taiwan, the South China Sea, and "American hegemony" in Asia, than border disputes with India. Indeed, the border disputes that led to the Sino-Indian war in 1962 are the subject of continuing negotiations, and armed separatist movements in Tibet have not received India's support for many years.8 Nevertheless, India's concerns about China's potential threat cannot be simply dismissed.Now that India's long-time rival, Pakistan, also is a nuclear state, the fact that China is Pakistan's principal source of nuclear weapons and missiles deeply concerns New Delhi. China believes Pakistan has the influence needed to defuse Islamic separatist movements inside China's borders, while it views India as a strategic rival. Meanwhile, India and Pakistan have sacrificed significant blood and treasure over the disputed territory of Kashmir and have even brought their peoples to the brink of a nuclear abyss in an attempt to resolve the dispute through military force. Beijing's proliferation activities with Islamabad also intensify India's concerns that China is supporting an arms race in South Asia. China is selling small arms, armor, and artillery to Burma, which lies along India's borders to the southeast. Strategic thinkers in New Delhi are concerned that China's People's Liberation Army could someday gain access to geographically strategic bases in Burma along the approaches to the Strait of Malacca, the world's busiest waterway. China already is building deep-water ports off Burma and overland routes to move goods to and from these ports, as well as radar and listening posts in the Coco Islands. These activities threaten India's aspirations of becoming a regional power that could project its own navy in the Indian Ocean and through the Malacca Strait into the South China Sea.9 Though the United States should not become embroiled in internecine territorial disputes between competing regional powers, the free flow of goods through these sea lanes could be threatened if either India or China gains naval regional dominance or a naval arms race develops.
For India, China would be a formidable opponent. A massive country with a military three times the size of India's armed forces, China has a nuclear arsenal that far exceeds India's capabilities and enables it to strike any target within India. By comparison, India's short-range missiles could not inflict strategically significant damage within China. Because the border disputes with China and the arms race with Pakistan are fueling nationalist sentiments and domestic support for India's nuclear program, New Delhi will likely continue to seek nuclear weapons with greater destructive power, as well as longer-range missiles and systems capable of striking multiple targets.India's effort to gain U.S. assistance in developing its satellite and space launch capabilities ostensibly is meant to help bring India into the 21st century in telecommunications and commercial enterprise. However, such technologies could be used to advance India's strategic missile programs. Privately, in fact, Indian officials have indicated that New Delhi hopes to develop thermonuclear weapons, multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles (MIRVs), and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Moreover, some of these officials have argued that India needs a "360 degree" deterrent,10 suggesting that its future missile programs could target regions other than China.
Most libertarians hate foreign aid because it directs focus to outside the country
Cummings '15 (Michael Cummings, "CUT IT? Conservatives’/Libertarians’ Foreign Aid Dilemma", Clash Daily, January 23, clashdaily.com/2015/01/cut-conservativeslibertarians-foreign-aid-dilemma/)
I love America. We are the most prosperous, beautiful, safe, tolerant, benevolent, and charitable nation to have existed. For a host of reasons, large and small, serious and silly, overall the world is better because we’re here. We should be proud of what we’ve accomplished in our historically short life, and we should be hopeful for a bright future. About that… As we approach the next presidential election, and of course we’ve already enjoyed the Me-Too and Let’s -Try-This-Again campaigns getting off to a mouse-roaring start (I’m intentionally not naming them), one topic most libertarians and a good chunk of conservatives take on is foreignaid. At first pass, taking a position on foreign aid seems straightforward. In the form of cash, loans, products, or services, aid is ostensibly intended to help a nation with its — and by extension our — security, economy, or humanitarian cause. In the best of worlds, we should only give money to countries we like and that like us back. Life is fair, right? Hard liners are usually against foreign aid of any kind or degree, and I understand this position. The US is so deep in debt, both in fiscal operating budget ($17 trillion) and unfunded liabilities ($100+ trillion), that for us to be charitable seems nonsensical or even moronic, especially when charitable to a nation that hates us. But the fact is foreign aid, according to ForeignAssistance.gov represents about 1% of our operating budget every year. Money is money, however, and a good chunk of that $1 trillion could go elsewhere. We should evaluate what we give and to whom, and be ready with the cleaver, but we must acknowledge that withholding all foreign aid from everyone will carry with it a price we would not want to pay. Reports from a few years ago indicate our top five aid recipients include Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Israel. Would you be interested to know that 2015 is looking to be the breakout year for our largest and most evil enemy, who will receive over four times what we typically give Israel? Iran. The other night Mark Levin spoke of a Washington Free Beacon article by Adam Kredo that shows American taxpayers and their multiple scions will hand over nearly $12 billion dollars in cash to the Iranians by June of this year. Do we have any idea what we’re doing? Iran denies the Holocaust. These people call Israel Little Satan and us Big Satan. Any American finding himself crossing the border into Iran, even by accident, would most likely be jailed, tortured, and put to death — simply for being an American. Of freedom hating countries, Iran is #1. My fellow Americans, as with the new Cuban disaster, for this $12 billion we get nothing in return. Nothing. This forced “investment” is just to keep these moral midgets at the negotiating table, with no strings attached to their behavior. Unmolested, the Iranians continue to push toward becoming a nuclear power and fund other terrorist groups (Iran is said to pay Hezbollah up to $200 million a year). Certain Republican lawmakers like Mark Kirk (IL), Kelly Ayotte (NH), and John Cornyn (TX) tried to require Iran to prove they aren’t helping terrorist groups, but you can imagine how far their efforts went. Lest you think Iran hasn’t hurt us yet, we have evidence Iran provided material support to al Qaeda before and after 9/11/01: In Havlish, et al. v. bin La den, et al. , Judge Daniels held that the Islamic Republic of Iran, its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and Iran’s agencies and instrumentalities, including, among others, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (“IRGC”), the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (“MOIS”), and Iran’s terrorist proxy Hezbollah, all materially aided and supported al Qaeda before and after 9/11. We aren’t just watching it from the stands, we are actively, financially, supporting our own destruction. If anything should give fire and spine to Boehner, McConnell, all Republicans, and even a few Democrats to cut off funding for all activity related to aiding Iran — including the possibility that 17% of the US government might not get their checks for a few weeks (i.e. shutdown) — this is it. Say your prayers.
Foreign aid is very unpopular right now
Auerbach '13 (Matthew Auerbach, "Poll: Foreign Aid Should be Top Spending Cut"" , Newsma, Feb 23, www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/foreign-aid-spending-cuts/2013/02/23/id/491651/, CL)
Reducing foreign aid is the overwhelming choice for most Americans when it comes to spending cuts. In a poll released Friday from Pew Research Center that offered 19 options for reducing government spending, cutting foreign aid was supported by more than 40 percent of Americans. Reducing funding for the State Department and limiting unemployment aid are both supported by around one-third of Americans. Approximately one-quarter of Americans favor reductions to the Defense Department and to aid for the needy in the U.S. Cuts in other areas supplied by Pew, including health care, energy, entitlement programs, infrastructure, scientific research and combating crime, garner even less support. For most categories, a majority of Americans want to keep spending at the same level. There’s majority support among Republicans for cuts in only two areas: foreign aid an unemployment assistance. Foreign aid takes up about 1 percent of the federal budget. Social Security, which only one in ten Americans support cutting, makes up about 20 percent. Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid are supported by under a quarter of Americans, but take up around 21 percent of the budget. A majority of Americans want to hike spending in only two areas. Sixty percent want more spent on education, and 53 percent said the same of veterans’ benefits.
Libertarian votes will be the deciding vote this season
Kwong '16 (Matt Kwong, Washington based correspondent for CBC News, "Libertarian Gary Johnson could swing votes from Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton", CBC News, June 5, www.cbc.ca/news/politics/libertarian-party-gary-johnson-donald-trump-hillary-clinton-spoiler-1.3612883)
If the Libertarians can appealto an electorate dissatisfied with the two major-party candidates, it could set up a replay of the 2000 election's spoiler scenario. Democrats that year blamed Green Party candidate Ralph Nader for diverting support in hotly contested Florida from Al Gore, who lost the White House to Republican nominee George W. Bush. The Green Party took 2.7 per cent of the popular vote, which Democrats claim would have otherwise gone to Gore. Five months before this general election, it's hard to imagine someone other than Clinton or Trump crossing the finishing line. But Philip Wallach, a Brookings Institution fellow who has written about third-party campaigns, isn't counting out a Nader-like repeat. "I do think it is a matter of spoiler," he said. With Nader fresh in Americans' minds, he said, left-leaning voters "might be very nervous about the Libertarians playing the Ralph Nader role, and helping to swing the election to Trump." Wallach foresees some disaffected supporters of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders finding alignment with Libertarian principles on issues like drug legalization. For his part, Trump this week dismissed the Johnson-Weld ticket as "a total fringe deal." To voters on the right, Wallach suggests the Libertarian ticket could appear more politically conventional. Particularly to displaced Republicans turned off by Trump and "worried about Trump as somebody who could abuse power." It could ostensibly be the moderate option for displaced Republicans turned off by Trump. "An unusual place for a Libertarian to end up," Wallach said. What remains to be seen is whether Libertarians pull disproportionately from one party.
Libertarians are empirically the swing voters
HOT '06 (Hammer of Truth, community and medium of ideas for libertarians, "Libertarians: the largest swing vote in America?", Hammer of Truth, October 16, hammeroftruth.com/2006/libertarians-the-largest-swing-vote-in-america/, CL)
For those who’ve been despairing about the state of politics in America, I have some good news from the Cato Institute. We’re actually the largest swing voter group out there at roughly 13-20% of the population, it’s just slightly harder to reach out to us because we aren’t organized in labor unions or churches. But we’ve basically determined the last few elections. The (small-l) libertarian vote has traditionally gone to the Republicans; they’ve been seen as the lesser evil. However, a massive demographic revolt occurred in 2004, and Bush only received 59% of the libertarian vote (as opposed to 72% in 2000, when he campaigned talking like a libertarian). And as the libertarian demographic is about evenly split on the war, most of the pro-war libertarians basically voted for him for that reason alone. This revolt occurred despite Kerry being rated even lower than Gore on average in the libertarian grouping… meaning it was a vote to punish Bush, not because we were enamored with Kerry. But what would have happened if a more libertarian-leaning candidate was run by the Democrats, such as Howard Dean? The Democrats would only have had to bring Bush down to a 50% libertarian vote (9 points) to cost him Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada… and therefore the election. And it would have happened, too-despite libertarian tendencies to vote Republican, we’re the most easily-parted group from the GOP fold. More libertarians voted for Perot than any other constituency. And we were almost persuaded to let the jackasses have a go at the Presidency this year.