The United States Federal Government should establish a National Transportation Infrastructure Financing Authority to extend targeted loans and limited loan guarantees to its transportation infrastructure investment
State Budget Advantage – 1AC
Advantage one: State Budgets
States are stuck in a cycle of budget crises, forcing them to cut critical programs – Federal action is key to solve
MCNICHOL ET AL ’12 – Elizabeth McNichol- M.A. in Political Science University of Chicago. Senior Fellow specializing in state fiscal issues including methods of examining state budget processes and long-term structural reform of state budget and tax systems, served as Assistant Research Director of the Service Employees International Union in Washington, D.C. was a staff member of the Joint Finance Committee for the State of Wisconsin Legislature specializing in property taxes and state aid to local governments, AND*** Nicholas Johnson- graduate degree from Duke University's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Director of the State Fiscal Project, which works to develop strategies for long-term structural reform of state budget and tax systems, encourage low-income tax relief, and improve the way states prioritize funding, received the Ian Axford Fellowship in Public Policy, a program financed by the New Zealand government and administered by Fulbright New Zealand. Through this fellowship, he spent six months as an advisor to the New Zealand Treasury and the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development; AND*** Phil Oliff - Policy Analyst with the State Fiscal Project; Masters degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (Elizabeth, Nicholas Johnson, Phil Oliff, “ States Continue to Feel Recession’s Impact “, March 21, http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=711)
In states facing budget gaps, the consequences are severe in many cases — for residents as well as the economy. To date, budget difficulties have led at least 46 states to reduce services for their residents, including some of their most vulnerable families and individuals.  More than 30 states haveraised taxes to at least some degree, in some cases quite significantly.
If revenue remains depressed, as is expected in many states, additional spending and service cuts are likely. Indeed a number of states that budget on a two-year basis have already made substantial cuts to balance their budgets for fiscal year 2013. Budget cuts often are more severe later in a state fiscal crisis, after largely depleted reserves are no longer an option for closing deficits.
Spending cuts are problematic during an economic downturn because they reduce overall demand and can make the downturn deeper. When states cut spending, they lay off employees, cancel contracts with vendors, eliminate or lower payments to businesses and nonprofit organizations that provide direct services, and cut benefit payments to individuals. In all of these circumstances, the companies and organizations that would have received government payments have less money to spend on salaries and supplies, and individuals who would have received salaries or benefits have less money for consumption. This directly removes demand from the economy.
Tax increases also remove demand from the economy by reducing the amount of money people have to spend. However to the extent these increases are on upper-income residents, that effect is minimized. This is because these residents tend to save a larger share of their income, and thus much of the money generated by a tax increase on upper income residents comes from savings and so does not diminish economic activity. At the state level, a balanced approach to closing deficits — raising taxes along with enacting budget cuts — is needed to close state budget gaps in order to maintain important services while minimizing harmful effects on the economy.
Ultimately, the actions needed to address state budget shortfalls place a considerable number of jobs at risk.
The roughly $49 billion shortfall that states are facing for fiscal year 2013 equals about 0.32 percent of GDP. Assuming that economic activity declines by one dollar for every dollar that states cut spending or raise taxes, and based on a rule of thumb that a one percentage point loss of GDP costs the economy 1 million jobs, the state shortfalls projected to date could prevent the creation of 320,000 public- and private-sector jobs next year.
The Role of the Federal Government
Federal assistance lessened the extent to which states needed to take actions that further harmed the economy. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), enacted in February 2009, included substantial assistance for states. The amount in ARRA to help states maintain current activities was about $135 billion to $140 billion over a roughly 2½-year period — or between 30 percent and 40 percent of projected state shortfalls for fiscal years 2009, 2010, and 2011. Most of this money was in the form of increased Medicaid funding and a "State Fiscal Stabilization Fund." (There were also other streams of funding in the Recovery Act flowing through states to local governments or individuals, but these will not address state budget shortfalls.) This money reduced the extent of state spending cuts and state tax and fee increases.
In addition, H.R. 1586 — the August 2010 jobs bill — extended enhanced Medicaid funding for six months, through June 2011, and added $10 billion to the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund. Even with this extension, federal assistance largely ended before state budget gaps had fully abated. The Medicaid funds expired in June 2011, the end of the 2011 fiscal year in most states, and states had drawn down most of their State Fiscal Stabilization Fund allocations by then as well. So even though significant budget gaps remained in 2012, there was little federal money available to close them. Partially as a result, states' final 2012 budgets contain some of the deepest spending cuts since the start of the recession.
One way to avert these kinds of cuts, as well as additional tax increases, would have been for the federal government to reduce state budget gaps by extending the Medicaid funds for as long as state fiscal conditions are expected to be problematic.
But far from extending this aid, federal policymakers are moving ahead with plans to cut ongoing federal funding for states and localities, thereby making state fiscal conditions even worse. The federal government has already cut non-defense discretionary spending by nine percent in real terms since 2010. Discretionary spending caps established in the federal debt limit deal this past summer will result in an additional six percent cut by the end of the next decade. The additional cut by the end of the next decade would grow to 11 percent if sequestration — the automatic, across the board cuts also established in the debt limit deal — is allowed to take effect.
Fully one-third of non-defense discretionary spending flows through state and local governments in the form of funding for education, health care, human services, law enforcement, infrastructure, and other services that states and localities administer. Large cuts in federal funding to states and localities would worsen state budget problems, deepen the size of cuts in spending, increase state taxes and fees, and thus slow economic recovery even further than is already likely to occur.
Scenario 1: Education
State budget crisis forces cuts in technical K-12 and university education
LEACHMAN ET AL ‘11 – Michael Leachman – Director of State Fiscal Research with the State Fiscal Policy division of the Center; holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Loyola University Chicago; policy analyst for nine years at the Oregon Center for Public Policy; AND*** Nicholas Johnson- graduate degree from Duke University's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Director of the State Fiscal Project, which works to develop strategies for long-term structural reform of state budget and tax systems, encourage low-income tax relief, and improve the way states prioritize funding, received the Ian Axford Fellowship in Public Policy, a program financed by the New Zealand government and administered by Fulbright New Zealand. Through this fellowship, he spent six months as an advisor to the New Zealand Treasury and the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development; AND*** Erica Williams - M.A. in International Policy the Monterey Institute of International Studies; Policy Analyst with the State Fiscal Project; (Michael, Nicholas Johnson, Erica Williams, “State Budget Cuts in the New Fiscal Year Are Unnecessarily Harmful”, July 28, http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3550)
Since states spend more of their budgets on education and health care than anything else, lawmakers imposing large spending cuts are hard-pressed to avoid cutting back on these essential public services. Many states also will lay off state employees or cut their pay and benefits. These actions, coming on top of deep cuts that states have already made over the last three years, place a drag on the nation’s economic recovery. Elementary and Secondary Education At least 23 states have made identifiable cuts in support for public schools. In many cases, these cuts undermine school finance systems that are intended to reduce disparities between high-wealth and low-wealth school districts, so the largest impacts may be felt in communities that are least able to compensate for the loss of funds from their own resources. Arizona is cutting $183 million from K-12 education spending in the coming year and continues another $377 million in cuts that were implemented over the previous three years, bringing the total cut relative to pre-recession levels to $560 million, or $530 per pupil. Colorado is cutting state spending on K-12 education by $347 per pupil compared to last school year. Florida is cutting spending on K-12 education by $542 per pupil compared with last year. The state also has cut $13 million from the state’s school readiness program that gives low-income families access to high quality early care for their children. The cut means over 15,000 children currently participating in the program will no longer be served. Florida also reduced by 7 percent the per-student allocation to providers participating in the state’s universal prekindergarten program for 4-year-olds, which will mean that classrooms have more children per teacher. Georgia cut state and lottery funds for pre-kindergarten by 15 percent, which will mean shortening the pre-K school year from 180 to 160 days for 86,000 four-year-olds, increasing class sizes from 20 to 22 students per teacher, and reducing teacher salaries by 10 percent. Iowa reduced state funding for its statewide pre-kindergarten program for four-year-olds by 9 percent from last year. Schools serving these children will now receive fewer dollars per child and may have to make up for lost funds with reduced enrollment or higher property taxes. The state is also cutting back support for a community-based early childhood program that provides resources to parents with children from birth to age 5, including a cut of nearly 30 percent to preschool tuition assistance. Illinois is cutting general state aid for public schools by $152 million, on top of a loss of $415 million in expired federal recovery dollars — a total decrease of 11 percent. The budget takes $17 million from the state fund that supports early childhood education efforts, which may result in an estimated 4,000 fewer children receiving preschool services and 1,000 fewer at-risk infants and toddlers receiving developmental services. The budget also eliminates state funding for advanced placement courses in school districts with large concentrations of low-income students, mentoring programs for teachers and principals, and an initiative providing targeted, research-based instruction to students with learning difficulties. Kansas cut the basic funding formula for K-12 schools by $232 per-pupil, bringing this funding nearly 6 percent below fiscal year 2011 budgeted levels. For the third year in a row, Louisiana will fail to fund K-12 education at the minimum amount required to ensure adequate funding for at-risk and special needs students, as determined by the state’s education finance formula. Per student spending will be $215 below the level set out by the finance formula for FY12. Michigan is cutting K-12 education spending by $470 per student. Mississippi, for the fourth year in a row, will fail to meet the state’s statutory obligation to support K-12 schools, underfunding school districts by 10.5 percent or $236 million. The statutory school funding formula is designed to ensure adequate funding for lower-income and underperforming schools. According to the Mississippi Department of Education, the state’s failure to meet that requirement over the past three years has resulted in 2,060 school employee layoffs (704 teachers, 792 teacher assistants, 163 administrators, counselors, and librarians, and 401 bus drivers, custodians, and clerical personnel). Missouri is freezing funding for K-12 education at last year’s levels. This means that for the second year in a row, the state has failed to meet the statutory funding formula established to ensure equitable distribution of state dollars to school districts. Nebraska altered its K-12 school aid funding formula to freeze state aid to schools in the coming year and allow very small increases thereafter, resulting in a cut of $410 million over two years. New Mexico cut K-12 spending by $42 million (1.7 percent). The governor is requiring school districts to spare “classroom spending” from the cuts, which means greater proportional cuts to other areas of K-12 education like school libraries and guidance counseling. The operating budget of the state education department is being cut by more than 25 percent. New York cut education aid by $1.3 billion, or 6.1 percent. This cut will delay implementation of a court order to provide additional education funding to under-resourced school districts for the third year in a row. Beyond cutting the level of education aid in FY12, the budget limits the rate at which education spending can grow in future years to the rate of growth in state personal income. North Carolina cut nearly half of a billion dollars from K-12 education in each year of the biennium compared to the amount necessary to provide the same level of K-12 education services in 2012 as in 2011. Both the state-funded prekindergarten program for at risk 4-year-olds and the state’s early childhood development network that works to improve the quality of early learning and child outcomes were cut by 20 percent. The budget also reduces by 80 percent funds for textbooks; reduces by 5 percent funds for support positions, like guidance counselors and social workers; reduces by 15 percent funds for non-instructional staff; and cuts by 16 percent salaries and benefits for superintendents, associate and assistant superintendents, finance officers, athletic trainers, and transportation directors, among others. Ohio is cutting state K-12 education funding 7.5 percent this year, a cut of $400 per student and equivalent to nearly 14,000 teachers’ salaries. Oklahoma is cutting funding for school districts by 4.5 percent, and makes additional cuts to the Department of Education’s budget. The Department of Education has voted to eliminate adult education programs, math labs in middle school, and stipends for certified teachers, among other things. Pennsylvania cut K-12 education aid by $422 million, or 7.3 percent, bringing funding down nearly to FY2009 levels. The budget also cuts $429 million dollars in additional funding that the state provides to school districts to implement effective educational practices (such as high quality pre-kindergarten programs) and maintain tutoring programs, among other purposes. Overall state funding for school districts was cut by $851 million or 13.5 percent, a cut of $485 per student. South Dakota cut K-12 education by 6.4 percent, next year, an amount equal to $416 per student, and 8.8 percent in 2013. Texas eliminated state funding for pre-K programs that serve around 100,000 mostly at-risk children, or more than 40 percent of the state’s pre-kindergarten students. The budget also reduces state K-12 funding to 9.4 percent below the minimum amount required by the state law. Texas already has below-average K-12 education funding compared to other states, and this cut would depress that low level even further at a time when the state’s school enrollment is growing. This would likely force school districts to lay off large numbers of teachers, increase class sizes, eliminate sports programs and other extracurricular activities, and take other measures that undermine the quality of education. Utah cut K-12 education by 5 percent, or $303, per pupil from the prior year’s levels. Washington is taking over $1 billion from state K-12 education funds designed to reduce class size, extend learning time, and provide professional development for teachers — a cut equal to $1,100 per student. Wisconsin reduced state aid designed to equalize funding across school districts by $740 million over the coming two-year budget cycle, a cut of 8 percent. The budget also reduces K-12 funds for services for at-risk children, school nursing, and alternative education. Higher Education At least 25 states have made large, identifiable cuts in funding for state colleges and universities, with direct impacts on students. Arizona cut funding for public universities by nearly one-quarter, or $200 million. This would add to deep previous cuts: from 2008 through 2011, state support for universities fell by $230 million, resulting in the elimination of more than 2,100 positions (an 11 percent reduction in the workforce). Universities have raised tuition significantly, closed eight extended campuses, and merged, consolidated, or disestablished 182 colleges, schools, programs, and departments. Combined with those previous cuts, the FY12 reduction brings per-student state funding down to 50 percent below pre-recession levels. Arizona also cut community college funding for operating expenses by about $73 million. The cut amounts to 6.2 percent of total community college operating revenues and half of all state support for community colleges. California is increasing fees at community colleges starting this fall by 38 percent; for the average student, this means an annual fee increase of $300. The state also is reducing funding for the University of California (UC) and the California State University (CSU) systems by $1.3 billion ($650 million each). Since FY2008 California has cut funding for the UC system by 27 percent and has cut funding for the CSU system by almost 28 percent. In response to cuts in funding, the CSU will increase annual tuition by 29 percent, or $1,242 for full time undergraduate students (relative to the tuition rate that was in place at the beginning of last school year). UC will increase annual tuition by 18 percent, or over $1,800 for resident undergraduate students. UC tuition has grown by more than 80 percent since the 2007-08 academic year. Colorado cut state university spending by 11.5 percent over the prior year, which is expected to be offset with tuition increases of 9 percent, on average. The budget also cuts a means-tested stipend program for undergraduate students by 21 percent from what was budgeted for the current year. Florida cut state higher education spending and raised state university tuition for undergraduates by 8 percent. State universities are increasing tuition by another 7 percent to offset cuts in funding. This comes on the heels of tuition hikes equaling over 30 percent since the 2009-10 school year. The state has also cut a university merit-based scholarship program by 20 percent. Georgia cut funding for a popular merit-based college scholarship program serving hundreds of thousands of students by about one-fifth, university funding by 10 percent, and funding for technical colleges by 4 percent. Iowa is cutting state funding for public universities by $20 million, or around 4 percent. This brings state support below fiscal year 2007 levels. Louisiana enacted a 10 percent tuition increase for the state university system, or an average increase of around $600 more per year per student, in order to make up for the loss of federal and state dollars. Technical colleges will raise tuition by an average of $700 for full-time students. Massachusetts cut funding for higher education by $64 million, or 6.3 percent. Since FY2009, after adjusting for inflation, the state has cut funding by $185 million, or 16.3 percent. Michigan cut by 15 percent state support for public universities, and will increase the cut to about 20 percent for universities that raise tuition by more than 7 percent. Universities are already announcing tuition increases just under that limit, amounting to $600 - $900 tuition increases for in-state undergraduate students. The state also cut funding for community colleges by 4 percent. Minnesota is cutting state funding for higher education 12 percent below 2011 levels. This includes a $194 million cut to the University of Minnesota system and a $170 million cut to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. Missouri cut state support for higher education by 7 percent. The cuts continue a trend of declining state support for Missouri’s universities and community colleges; over the last decade, state support for universities has fallen by 28 percent per student and support for community colleges has fallen by 12 percent. Nevada reduced state funding for the higher education system by 15 percent, which will result in an increase in undergraduate tuition of 13 percent in FY12 and an increase in graduate school tuition of 5 percent in FY12 and again in FY13. New Hampshire cut support for the university system almost in half in a single year, from $100 million to $52 million. University officials have announced that they will raise tuition 8.7 - 9.7 percent, eliminate around 200 positions, reduce employee benefits, dip into reserves, and take other measures as a result. Community colleges also face a 37 percent cut and will raise tuition 6.5 percent for the coming year, which will cost full time students up to $360 per year. New Mexico reduced by 8 percent state funding for public universities, which will result in a 5.5 percent tuition increase ($304 per student). New York cut state funding for the State University of New York (SUNY) by 7.6 percent, and reduces state funding for the City University of New York (CUNY) by 4.4 percent. To help them absorb the funding cuts, the legislature passed a bill that allows SUNY and CUNY to raise tuition by about 30 percent over the next five years. These tuition increases would affect 220,000 students in the SUNY system and 137,000 in the CUNY system and come on top of increases already imposed since the recession began. At SUNY, for example, substantial reductions in state support resulted in a 14 percent tuition increase in 2009. North Carolina cut nearly half of a billion dollars from higher education in each year of the biennium compared to the amount necessary to provide the same level of higher education services in 2012 as in 2011. The cuts mean that full-time resident community college students could see their tuition increase to $2,128 in FY12 and $2,208 in FY13 from the current $1,808 per year. Funds for community college basic education courses were cut by 12 percent. North Carolina is also forcing the university system to find more than $330 million in savings in each year of the biennium. The state also is reducing by 59 percent (or $26 million each year) the state subsidy to university hospitals to offset the costs of uncompensated care, which the hospital system estimates at $300 million this year. Oklahoma is cutting state funding for higher education by nearly 6.7 percent. Partially as a result, tuition and fees were increased by an average of 5.9 percent, or about $225 per student. The budget also cuts a career and technical education training program by about 6.5 percent. Ohio cut higher education funding 10 percent for FY12, amounting to $590 per student. Students at public universities face a 7 percent tuition increase as well as an undetermined (and uncapped) amount of fee increases. Pennsylvania cut funding for the state’s system of higher education by $91 million, or 18 percent. The budget also cuts funding for the state’s four “state related” universities (Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh, Temple, and Lincoln University) by roughly 20 percent. As a result, the University of Pittsburgh will increase in-state tuition by 8.5 percent and Temple University will increase in-state tuition by almost ten percent. Other state universities will see tuition increases of 7.5 percent. South Dakota cut higher education (and most other agencies) by 10 percent. The Board of Regents voted to raise tuition by 6.9 percent, or $490 per student, on average. The tuition increase covers only part of the loss of state funding, and each university has to determine how it will make up for the remaining loss of funds. Tennessee cut funds for the University of Tennessee system by 25 percent compared to 2011. Tuition within the system will rise 6 to 10 percent. Texas reduced general revenue spending on higher education by 9 percent over two years. This includes a cut of 5 percent to college and university formula spending, a cut of 10 percent in formula spending for health institutions, such as nursing schools, and a cut of 25 percent to funds for university research centers, graduate programs, and other non-operations spending. Enrollment growth is not funded for any higher education institution. The budget also cuts by 10 percent financial aid awards under the Texas grant program, which combines state and institutional money to cover tuition and fees for public school students with financial need and good academic records. The cut will likely result in smaller awards. Utah is cutting its higher education budget by about 1 percent below last year’s level, bringing the total decline in state spending to 2 percent since 2009. These funding cuts come despite rapidly rising enrollment. For example, enrollment in Utah’s system of higher education in the spring 2011 semester was 4 percent above enrollment the previous year. The failure of state funding to keep up with enrollment growth will result in an average tuition increase of 7.5 percent. Washington is cutting state funding for colleges and universities by more than $500 million and raising tuition in the upcoming school year by anywhere from 11 percent to 16 percent compared with last year. Wisconsin is cutting $250 million from the state university system, with nearly $100 million of that cut coming from funds for UW-Madison. The budget freezes financial aid at current levels despite expected tuition increases of 5.5 percent system-wide and a recently approved tuition increase of 8.3 percent for UW-Madison, creating an even larger funding gap that students and their families will have to fill. The budget also cuts state support for technical colleges by about $70 million over the biennium, or 25 percent, and places a two-year freeze on local property tax levies that allow communities to raise funds for technical colleges.
That destroys American primacy
NAS ‘7 (Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century: An Agenda for American Science and Technology Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, “RISING ABOVE THE GATHERING STORM Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future”, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, July, http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11463.html)
China and India indeed have low wage structures, but the United States has many other advantages. These include a better science and technology infrastructure, stronger venture-capital markets, an ability to attract talent from around the world, and a culture of inventiveness. Comparative advantage shifts from place to place over time and always has; the earth cannot really be flattened. The US response to competition must include proper retrainingof those who are disadvantaged and adaptive institutional and policy responses that make the best use of opportunities that arise. India and China will become consumers of those countries’ products as well as ours. That same rising middle class will have a stake in the “frictionless” flow of international commerce—and hence in stability, peace, and the rule of law. Such a desirable state, writes Friedman, will not be achieved without problems, and whether global flatness is good for a particular country depends on whether that country is prepared to compete on the global playing field, which is as rough and tumble as it is level. Friedman asks rhetorically whether his own country is proving its readiness by “investing in our future and preparing our children the way we need to for the race ahead.” Friedman’s answer, not surprisingly, is no. This report addresses the possibility that our lack of preparation will reduce the ability of the United Statesto compete in such a world. Many underlying issues are technical; some are not. Some are “political”—not in the sense of partisan politics, but in the sense of “bringing the rest of the body politic along.” Scientists and engineers often avoid such discussions, but the stakes are too high to keep silent any longer. Friedman’s term quiet crisis, which others have called a “creeping crisis,” is reminiscent of the folk tale about boiling a frog. If a frog is dropped into boiling water, it will immediately jump out and survive. But a frog placed in cool water that is heated slowly until it boils won’t respond until it is too late.Our crisis is not the result of a one-dimensional change; it is more than a simple increase in water temperature. And we have no single awakening event, such as Sputnik. The United States is instead facing problems that are developing slowly but surely, each like a tile in a mosaic. None by itself seems sufficient to provoke action. But the collection of problems reveals a disturbing picture—a recurring pattern of abundant short-term thinking and insufficient long-term investment. Our collective reaction thus far seems to presuppose that the citizens of the United States and their children are entitled to a better quality of life than others, and that all Americans need do is circle the wagons to defend that entitlement. Such a presupposition does not reflect reality and neither recognizes the dangers nor seizes the opportunities of current circumstances. Furthermore, it won’t work. In 2001, the Hart–Rudman Commission on national security, which foresaw large-scale terrorism in America and proposed the establishment of a cabinet-level Homeland Security organization before the terrorist attacks of 9/11, put the matter this way:4 The inadequacies of our system of research and education pose a greater threat to U.S. national security over the next quarter century than any potential conventional war that we might imagine. President George W. Bush has said “Science and technology have never been more essential to the defense of the nation and the health of our economy.”5 US Commission on National Security. Road Map for National Security: Imperative for Change. Washington, DC: US Commission on National Security, 2001. A letter from the leadership of the National Science Foundation to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology put the case even more bluntly:6 Civilization is on the brink of a new industrial order. The big winners in the increasingly fierce global scramble for supremacy will not be those who simply make commodities faster and cheaper than the competition. They will be those who develop talent, techniques and tools so advanced that there is no competition.
Great power wars
ZHANG AND SHI 11 - *Yuhan, a researcher at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, D.C. *** AND*** Lin, Columbia University. She also serves as an independent consultant for the Eurasia Group and a consultant for the World Bank in Washington, D.C. “America’s decline: A harbinger of conflict and rivalry” http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2011/01/22/americas-decline-a-harbinger-of-conflict-and-rivalry/)
Over the past two decades, no other state has had the ability to seriously challenge the US military. Under these circumstances, motivated by both opportunity and fear, many actors have bandwagoned with US hegemony and accepted a subordinate role. Canada, most of Western Europe, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Singapore and the Philippines have all joined the US, creating a status quo that has tended to mute great power conflicts.
However, as the hegemony that drew these powers together withers, so will the pulling power behind the US alliance. The result will be an international order where power is more diffuse, American interests and influence can be more readily challenged, and conflicts or wars may be harder to avoid.
As history attests, power decline and redistribution result in military confrontation. For example, in the late 19th century America’s emergence as a regional power saw it launch its first overseas war of conquest towards Spain. By the turn of the 20th century, accompanying the increase in US power and waning of British power, the American Navy had begun to challenge the notion that Britain ‘rules the waves.’ Such a notion would eventually see the US attain the status of sole guardians of the Western Hemisphere’s security to become the order-creating Leviathan shaping the international system with democracy and rule of law.
Defining this US-centred system are three key characteristics: enforcement of property rights, constraints on the actions of powerful individuals and groups and some degree of equal opportunities for broad segments of society. As a result of such political stability, free markets, liberal trade and flexible financial mechanisms have appeared. And, with this, many countries have sought opportunities to enter this system, proliferating stable and cooperative relations.
However, what will happen to these advances as America’s influence declines? Given that America’s authority, although sullied at times, has benefited people across much of Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, as well as parts of Africa and, quite extensively, Asia, the answer to this question could affect global society in a profoundly detrimental way.
Public imagination and academia have anticipated that a post-hegemonic world would return to the problems of the 1930s: regional blocs, trade conflicts and strategic rivalry. Furthermore, multilateral institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank or the WTO might give way to regional organisations.
For example, Europe and East Asia would each step forward to fill the vacuum left by Washington’s withering leadership to pursue their own visions of regional political and economic orders. Free markets would become more politicised — and, well, less free — and major powers would compete for supremacy.
Additionally, such power plays have historically possessed a zero-sum element. In the late 1960s and 1970s, US economic power declined relative to the rise of the Japanese and Western European economies, with the US dollar also becoming less attractive. And, as American power eroded, so did international regimes (such as the Bretton Woods System in 1973).
A world without American hegemony is one where great power wars re-emerge, the liberal international system is supplanted by an authoritarian one, and trade protectionism devolves into restrictive, anti-globalisation barriers. This, at least, is one possibility we can forecast in a future that will inevitably be devoid of unrivalled US primacy.
Scenario 2: Bioterrorism
State budget cuts destroys bioterror responsiveness
AHLERS ’11- senior producer, transportation and regulation, for CNN (Mike M., “Bioterror security at risk”, December 20, http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/20/bioterror-security-at-risk/)
Recent andproposed budget cutsat all levels of governmentare threatening to reverse the significant post-9/11 improvements in the nation's ability to respond to natural diseases and bioterror attacks, according to a report released Tuesday. "We're seeing a decade's worth of progress eroding in front of our eyes," said Jeff Levi, executive director of the Trust forAmerica'sHealth, which published the report with the Robert Wood JohnsonFoundation. Budget cuts already have forced state and local health departments to cut thousands of health officials, the report says. Cuts are jeopardizing the jobs of federal investigators who help states hunt down diseases, threatening the capabilities at all 10 "Level 1" state labs that conduct tests for nerve agents or chemical agents such as mustard gas, and may hurt the ability of many cities to rapidly distribute vaccines during emergencies, it says. The "upward trajectory" of preparedness, fueled by more than $7 billion in federal grants to cities and states in the past 10 years, is leveling off, and the gains of the last decade are "at risk," the report says. The 2011 report departs slightly in tone from the nine previous reports prepared by the two health advocacy groups. Earlier reports, while focusing on gaps in the nation's preparedness for pandemics and bioterror attacks, showed a "steady progression of improvement," said Levi. "Our concern this year is that because of the economic crisis... we may not be as prepared today as we were a couple of years ago," he said. Once lost, medical capabilities take time and money to rebuild, the report says. "It would be like trying to hire and train firefighters in the middle of a fire," Levi said. "You don't do that for fire protection, and we shouldn't be doing that for public health protection." There are few expressions of assurance or optimism in the 2011 report. The report says: – In the past year, 40 states and the District of Columbia have cut funds to public health. – Since 2008, state health agencies have lost 14,910 people through layoffs or attrition; local health departments have lost 34,400. – Federal PHEP grants - Public Health Emergency Preparedness grants - were cut 27 percent between fiscal 2005 and 2011, when adjusted for inflation. – Some 51 cities are at risk for elimination of Cities Readiness Initiative funds, which support the rapid distribution of vaccinations and medications during emergencies. "Two steps forward, three steps back," said Dr. F. Douglas Scutchfield of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, in an essay accompanying the study. "As certain as the sun will rise in the east, we will experience another event that will demonstrate our inability to cope, as the resources for public health are scarce, and it will prompt the cycle of build-up, neglect, event, build-up, etc." Federal aid to state and local governments for health preparedness peeked in 2002 at about $1.7 billion, and fell to $1.3 billion in fiscal 2012, Levi said. But the impact of cuts were masked when Congress allocated more than $8 billion in emergency funds to fight the H1N1 flu in 2009, Levi said. "Now that money is gone. And so we're seeing the real impact of these cuts," he said. The TFAH report comes just two months after another report concluded that the United States is largely unprepared for a large-scale bioterror attack or deadly disease outbreak.
Minimizing the death toll is crucial – large casualties ensure nuclear retaliation
CONLEY ‘3 (Lt Col Harry W. is chief of the Systems Analysis Branch, Directorate of Requirements, Headquarters Air Combat Command (ACC), Langley AFB, Virginia. Air & Space Power Journal – Spring, http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/apj/apj03/spr03/conley.html)
The number of American casualties suffered due to a WMD attack may well be the most important variable in determining the nature of the US reprisal. A key question here is how many Americans would have to be killed to prompt a massive response by the United States. The bombing of marines in Lebanon, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 each resulted in a casualty count of roughly the same magnitude (150–300 deaths). Although these events caused anger and a desire for retaliation among the American public, they prompted no serious call for massive or nuclear retaliation. The body count from a single biological attack could easily be one or two orders of magnitude higher than the casualties caused by these events. Using the rule of proportionality as a guide, one could justifiably debate whether the United States should use massive force in responding to an event that resulted in only a few thousand deaths. However, what if the casualty count was around 300,000? Such an unthinkable result from a single CBW incident is not beyond the realm of possibility: “According to the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment, 100 kg of anthrax spores delivered by an efficient aerosol generator on a large urban target would be between two and six times as lethal as a one megaton thermo-nuclear bomb.”46 Would the deaths of 300,000 Americans be enough to trigger a nuclear response? In this case, proportionality does not rule out the use of nuclear weapons. Besides simply the total number of casualties, the types of casualties- predominantly military versus civilian- will also affect the nature and scope of the US reprisal action. Military combat entails known risks, and the emotions resulting from a significant number of military casualties are not likely to be as forceful as they would be if the attack were against civilians. World War II provides perhaps the best examples for the kind of event or circumstance that would have to take place to trigger a nuclear response. A CBW event that produced a shock and death toll roughly equivalent to those arisingfrom the attack on Pearl Harbor might be sufficient to prompt a nuclear retaliation. President Harry Truman’s decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki- based upon a calculation that up to one million casualties might be incurred in an invasion of the Japanese homeland47- is an example of the kind of thought process that would have to occur prior to a nuclear response to a CBW event. Victor Utgoff suggests that “if nuclear retaliation is seen at the time to offer the best prospects for suppressing further CB attacks and speeding the defeat of the aggressor, and if the original attacks had caused severe damage that had outraged American or allied publics, nuclear retaliation would be more than just a possibility, whatever promises had been made.”48
IRC ‘1 (11-20-1, “How should the U.S. prepare for possible attacks using biological and chemical weapons?” IRC, http://www.fpif.org/faq/0111bioterror.html)
Nuclear deterrence is a leading U.S. strategy to counter threats of biological and chemical warfare. The U.S. has adopted a nuclear weapons use doctrine based on the principles of deterrence capacity and the pre-emptive destruction of chemical or biological weapons and facilities of an enemy nation or non-state actor. This policy was most recently updated in Presidential Decision Directive 60 (PDD60), which was signed by President Clinton in late 1997. This document confirmed a policy that was in place as early as 1994. Detailed scenarios for nuclear operations by forces in the European theater (from where, for example, an assault on Libya would be launched) were enshrined in a "Silver Book" in 1994. Planning for this eventuality had begun as early as 1990, when the Pentagon began searching for new missions to justify the retention of nuclear forces following the end of the cold war. The policy now in place allows for nuclear weapons to be used in response to a chemical or biological weapons attack; against facilities for chemical and biological weapons (CBW) production or storage; or against an enemy thought to be preparing a CBW attack. This is part of a policy called counterproliferation, a military response to the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). There is strong pressure from the Department of Energy weapons labs, from some officials in the administration, and a small number of military personnel for the development of new, smaller nuclear weapons that could be used for such counterproliferation missions. If the U.S. suffers a large number of casualties in a biological attack, the probability of nuclear retaliation would be high.If the administration would declare, for example, that the recent anthrax attacks were criminal or terrorist actions and could then trace them back to the bin Laden network, this would permit U.S. forces to attack Afghanistanwith nuclear weapons, if a target requiring nuclear weapons to destroy it could be found. The same would be true with Iraq. If the U.S. suffers a large number of casualties in a biological attack, the probability of nuclear retaliation would be high. The problems with this strategy are manifold: First, if the country hosting the WMD terrorists is a non-nuclear weapon state, then the U.S. has promised not to use nuclear weapons against it unless it attacks the U.S. in alliance with a nuclear weapon state. In the case of Africa, South America, and other nuclear weapon free zones (NWFZ), those promises are legally enshrined in protocols to NWFZ treaties--the U.S. action would therefore be illegal. Second, the human and environmental cost of such action across generations would far exceed any damage done to the U.S., and there would be no way to ensure that fallout would be contained within the country attacked. Third, the development of new nuclear weapons would likely require a return to nuclear testing, killing any chance that the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) could come into force, and probably spurring new weapons developments in China, India, and Pakistan.Finally, there is no support for this U.S. policy, even among U.S. allies. NATO has adopted a watered-down version of the U.S. nuclear doctrine, but has been unable to agree on any guidance for military planners to operationalize the policy. Using nuclear weapons would make the U.S. a pariah state.
Federal infrastructure bank is key – coordination is crucial for business confidence and state budget
COEA ‘12 - Council of Economic Advisers, Department of Treasury (“A NEW ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT”, March 23, http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/economic-policy/Documents/20120323InfrastructureReport.pdf)
President Obama’s FY 2013 Budget proposes a bold plan to renew and expand America’s infrastructure. This plan includes a $50 billion up-front investment connected to a six-year $476 billion reauthorization of the surface transportation program and the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank. The President’s plan would significantly increase investment in surface transportation by approximately 80 percent when compared to previous federal investment. The plan seeks not only to fill a long overdue funding gap, but also to reform how Federal dollars are spent so that they are directed to the most effective programs. This report contributes to the ongoing policy dialogue by summarizing the evidence on the economic effects of investments in transportation infrastructure.
Public infrastructure is an essential part of the U.S. economy. This has been recognized since the founding of our nation. Albert Gallatin, who served as President Jefferson’s Treasury Secretary, wrote: “The early and efficient aid of the Federal Government [emphasis in article] is recommended by still more important considerations. The inconveniences, complaints, and perhaps dangers, which may result from a vast extent of territory, can no otherwise be radically removed or prevented than by opening speedy and easy communications through all its parts. Good roads and canals will shorten distances, facilitate commercial and personal intercourse, and unite, by a still more intimate community of interests, the most remote quarters of the United States. No other single operation, within the power of Government, can more effectually tend to strengthen and perpetuate that Union which secures external independence, domestic peace, and internal liberty.” 1
Gallatin spoke in terms of infrastructure shortening distances and easing communications, even when the only means to do so were roads and canals. Every day, Americans use our nation’s transportation infrastructure to commute to work, visit their friends and family, and travel freely around the country. Businesses depend on a well-functioning infrastructure system to obtain their supplies, manage their inventories, and deliver their goods and services to market. This is true for companies whose businesses rely directly on the infrastructure system, such as shippers like UPS and BNSF, as well as others whose businesses indirectly rely on the infrastructure system, such as farmers who use publicly funded infrastructure to ship crops to buyers, and internet companies that send goods purchased online to customers across the world. A modern transportation infrastructure network is necessary for our economy to function, and is a prerequisite for future growth. President Eisenhower’s vision is even more relevant today than it was in 1955, when he said in his State of the Union Address, "A modern, efficient highway system is essential to meet the needs of our growing population, our expanding economy, and our national security." Today, that vision would include making not only our highways, but our nation’s entire infrastructure system more efficient and effective.
Our analysis indicates that further infrastructure investments would be highly beneficial for the U.S. economy in both the short and long term. First, estimates of economically justifiable investment indicate that American transportation infrastructure is not keeping pace with the needs of our economy. Second, because of high unemployment in sectors such as construction that were especially hard hit by the bursting of the housing bubble, there are underutilized resources that can be used to build infrastructure. Moreover, states and municipalities typically fund a significant portion of infrastructure spending, butare currently strapped for cash; the Federal government has a constructive role to play by stepping up to address the anticipated shortfall and providing more efficient financing mechanisms, such as Build America Bonds. The third key finding is that investing in infrastructure benefits the middle class most of all. Finally, there is considerable support for greater infrastructure investment among American consumers and businesses.
The President’s plan addresses a significant and longstanding need for greater infrastructure investment in the United States. Targeted investmentsin America’s transportation infrastructure would generate both short-term and long-term economic benefits. However, transforming and rehabilitating our nation’s transportation infrastructure system will require not only greater investment but also a more efficient use of resources, because simply increasing funding does not guarantee economic benefits. This idea is embodied in the President’s proposal to reform our nation’s transportation policy, as well as to establish a National Infrastructure Bank, which would leverage private and other non-Federal government resources to make wise investments in projects of regional and national significance.
In this report, we begin by reviewing factors that should influence investment in infrastructure. We review the economic literature regarding returns to infrastructure investment. Next, we consider the specific condition of our economy and labor market, including the availability of workers with the requisite skills, which suggest that now is a particularly favorable time to initiate these investments. Then we analyze the benefits derived by American families and companies from well-functioning infrastructure systems and the costs associated with poor infrastructure systems. Finally, we review public and business sentiment regarding infrastructure investment.
Strong federal signal is critical to boost states’ confidence and solve the budget crisis
JOHNSON ET AL ‘10 - Nicholas Johnson- graduate degree from Duke University's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Director of the State Fiscal Project, which works to develop strategies for long-term structural reform of state budget and tax systems, encourage low-income tax relief, and improve the way states prioritize funding, received the Ian Axford Fellowship in Public Policy, a program financed by the New Zealand government and administered by Fulbright New Zealand. Through this fellowship, he spent six months as an advisor to the New Zealand Treasury and the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development. AND*** Iris J. Lav- created the State Fiscal Analysis Initiative, a network of nonprofit organizations that work on state budget issues. The SFAI network began with 11 state organizations in 1993 and now operates in 31 states with groups in seven other states under development. In 1999, she received the Steven D. Gold award for contributions to state and local fiscal policy. Holds an MBA from George Washington University and an AB from the University of Chicago. AND*** Elizabeth McNichol- M.A. in Political Science University of Chicago. Senior Fellow specializing in state fiscal issues including methods of examining state budget processes and long-term structural reform of state budget and tax systems, served as Assistant Research Director of the Service Employees International Union in Washington, D.C. was a staff member of the Joint Finance Committee for the State of Wisconsin Legislature specializing in property taxes and state aid to local governments (Nicholas, Iris J. Lav,Elizabeth McNichol, “ Additional Federal Fiscal Relief Needed to Help States Address Recession’s Impact “, March 1, http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=2988)
There are a number of reasons for these lags in state fiscal recovery.
In the last two recessions, the unemployment rate continued climbing for 15 to 19 months after the recession ended and then remained high for a considerable period of time after that. That hampers the ability of state revenues to recover strongly; high unemployment reduces both income tax and consumption tax revenues. In the current economic downturn, unemployment is projected to continue rising in calendar year 2010 and to remain relatively high through 2012 or 2013. Mark Zandi forecasts that the unemployment rate will peak at 10.5 percent in the late spring of 2010 and not fall back to a rate consistent with full employment until 2013. Goldman-Sachs forecasts the unemployment rate to continue to rise throughout calendar year 2010, reaching 10.5 percent in the fourth quarter.
High unemployment also affects state expenditures, as Medicaid rolls remain swollen with residents who have lost their jobs, income, and health insurance.
As states strive to balance their budgets while doing the least harm to their economies and their residents, they initially draw down rainy day funds and other reserves, sell assets, and postpone payments. The use of these strategies, however, creates holes in future-year budgets that have to be filled. When unemployment remains high in the years immediately after a recession ends, state revenue growth generally is not strong enough to fill these gaps.
The tax increases that states enact during recessions often are temporary and expire before fiscal conditions have fully recovered.
Timing of Action
Because of state budget calendars, it would not be effective for the Administration and Congress to wait until the fall of 2010 to consider additional aid to the states for state fiscal year 2011.
In most states, the governor’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2011 is being developed this fall. At the end of calendar 2009 or the beginning of calendar 2010, governors will submit their budgets to their legislatures, to be considered between January and June 2010. Final budgets for fiscal year 2011 will be adopted at some point during that period. Some states, particularly those with short legislative sessions, require the adoption of budgets by March or April.
States budget for their fiscal years as a whole, not for six-month periods. The spending cuts and tax increases that states will institute in order to balance their 2011 budgets will be determined based on the state’s budget projections for all of fiscal year 2011. Those projections will include a significant drop-off in ARRA funds for the final half of the state fiscal year (i.e., after December 2010).
Accordingly, many of the actions that states will take to balance their 2011 budgets will be implemented next summer (or in some cases even earlier if budget gaps have reopened for the current fiscal year). To gain maximum revenue, states that plan to adopt tax increases to help address their looming fiscal year 2011 shortfalls may want to put them in place as quickly as possible. The same applies to spending reductions; for example, many cuts in education spending are likely to take effect next summer, at the start of the 2010-2011 school year.
The bottom line is that unless states know that additional aid is coming — even if they do not actually receive the dollars until calendar year 2011 — they will institute large new budget cuts and/ortax increases by next summer to close the shortfalls in their fiscal 2011 budgets.
State fiscal assistance under ARRA will end or largely be exhausted by the end of calendar year 2010. Unfortunately, big state deficits are expected to continue through state fiscal year 2012 — that is, for another 18 months or so after 2010 ends. If states do not receive additional federal assistance beyond the scheduled expiration of such aid, they will be forced to institute further deep budget cuts and/or substantial tax increases. Such actions would place a drag on the U.S. economy, impeding the recovery and costing many jobs. Such measures also could cause serious hardship for many families and individuals that have lost their jobs and are relying on Medicaid and other key state services to make it through this unusually painful economic downturn.