2012 – 2013 Debate Topic Announced: Transportation Infrastructure

Earlier this spring, the National Federation of High School Associations announced after a vote of coaches in all 50 states that the 2012 – 2013 policy debate topic would be:

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment in the United States.  

Here’s a brief summary of the topic from NFHS – coaches wishing to read up further and get some initial affirmative and negative argument ideas and links can start with the full topic paper:

Over the last ten years, there have been a series of significant transportation infrastructure failures indicating the nation’s once world-class infrastructure is falling apart and other nation’s are pulling ahead of the United States. Transportation infrastructure policy featured prominently in President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address and is likely to be a main component of his re-election campaign. This topic offers debaters a rare opportunity to consider how government and policy affect the physical structures of daily life; at the same time as the public at-large considers these investments. The national policy debate topic has only discussed transportation policy once, in 1939-40, and the national topic has never considered “infrastructure.” Proponents of increasing investment in transportation infrastructure argue there is a substantial need to invest in transportation infrastructure and that infrastructure is central to a modern economy, the United States’ leadership position in the world, the security of our nation and a high quality of life. Opponents argue that government spending in this area is unnecessary and further complicates fiscal policy. Examples of affirmative cases include direct investment in high-speed rail, highways, bridges, airports and seaports. Other affirmatives might propose new federal structures to finance transportation infrastructure projects. Negative positions could focus on the economic consequences of additional spending, the effectiveness of various transportation solutions, the political implications of infrastructure investment and critiques of economic development.

We’ll post some more links to early research and information later this spring, including a sneak peak at some of the possible arguments in the 2012 – 2013 Core Files.

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