One tournament (90 q’s)


American Politics
1. Are Democrats overreacting to Neatanyahu’s visit?
2. Are Republicans showing they can govern?
3. In 20 years, will President Obama be popular?
4. Should Congress have a staff of better-paid civil servants?
5. Is Scott Walker the favorite for the Republican nomination?
6. Who is to blame for the state of news media: the media or the public?
7. Will the 114th Congress tackle entitlement reform?
8. Which policy issue will dominate the 2016 election?
9. How should Congress reform the budget process?
10. What should Democrats learn from the 2014 election?
11. Will President Obama be an asset or a liability for Democrats in 2016?
12. Should Republicans stop focusing on Obamacare?
13. Which Democrat is most likely to beat Hillary Clinton in 2016?
14. Who will the Department of Homeland Security fiasco hurt most?
15. Can immigration be a winning issue for Republicans in 2016?

Economic and Fiscal Policy
1. Are liquefied national gas exports in the U.S. national interest?
2. Should manufacturing be a national economic priority?
3. Should population growth be an economic goal?
4. Does the U.S. spend enough on research?
5. How much can President Obama do to help the middle class?
6. Would Obama’s plans for deportation relief help the economy?
7. Who does the rising dollar hurt?
8. How should Congress reform the tax code?
9. Is Dodd-Frank succeeding?
10. Does the NFL deserve tax-exempt status?
11. Are capital gains taxes holding back American innovation?
12. Should the minimum wage be determined by independent economists?
13. Should minimum wages be determined on a state-by-state basis?
14. Should Congress increase Social Security benefits?
15. Should most companies be required to automatically enroll employees in retirement plans?
16. Should Congress cut appropriations further?

Social Policy
1. What is the right level of legal immigration for America?
2. Did President Obama’s policies cause last summer’s surge of child migrants?
3. Will the President’s deportation relief programs prevail in court?
4. Why hasn’t DHS fulfilled its mandate to complete an entry-exit system for border control?
5. Are biometrics the solution to identity security?
6. Has President Obama pursued the right course on education?
7. Will anything change after the recent backlash against police brutality?
8. Was the 2002 creation of the Department of Homeland Security a mistake?
9. Should the federal government enforce marijuana laws in D.C.?
10. Should public schools field football teams?
11. Should sugary foods be taxed?
12. Is Medicare too generous?
13. Why hasn’t school choice lived up to the hype?
14. Is pay-for-performance the solution to America’s educational challenges?
15. Would the expansion of nuclear power be an environmental victory?
16. Does America do enough to promote young citizens’ character?


Middle East and Africa
1. Is OPEC still relevant?
2. Is ISIS a terrorist group?
3. How has Lebanon managed to remain stable amid so much chaos?
4. Has the tide turned in Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram?
5. Will the U.N.-led peace talks bring peace to Libya?
6. When do economic sanctions work?
7. Is South Africa’s new budget a recipe for success?
8. Will Congo’s new offensive against the FDLR succeed?
9. Will Malawi’s rise continue?
10. Who will be the winners and losers from the Trans Pacific Partnership?
11. Will the Houthis be able to govern Yemen effectively?
12. Can war defeat terrorism?
13. How does the change of power in Yemen affect U.S. interests?
14. Was the rise of ISIS inevitable?
15. Will Japan make a dent in the war on terror?

Asia, Europe, and Latin America
1. Should India ally with other rising economies or the west?
2. Should Japan remilitarize?
3. Can Myanmar get back on track?
4. Is “Abenomics” working for Japan?
5. Why is the EU in trouble?
6. Would leaving the EU serve the UK’s national interest?
7. Should Europe form an energy union?
8. Do close ties to the west serve Germany’s national interest?
9. Why is Russia’s economy struggling?
10. Will millennials liberalize Russia?
11. Will the Ukraine conflict help Russia’s economy?
12. What explains the rise of anti-immigrant parties in Europe?
13. Did Greece get a bad deal from the EU?
14. Why is organized crime thriving in Central America?
15. Why is Nieto losing support in Mexico?

U.S. Foreign Policy
1. Does the U.N. help America accomplish its goals?
2. Why is the U.S. attempting to extend its presence in Afghanistan?
3. Should the U.S. continue increasing its military presence in Asia?
4. Should the U.S. allow private citizens to pay ransoms demanded by terrorists?
5. Should the U.S. withdraw aid from Israel?
6. Does the U.S. have too many troops in Asia?
7. Should the President shy away from discussing negative aspects of U.S. history?
8. Is the global system of agriculture sustainable?
9. How does cheap oil affect global security?
10. Is the U.S.-India relationship built to last?
11. Is unauthorized immigration to the U.S. good for the sending countries?
12. Does Russian expansionism threaten U.S. interests?
13. How much would a DHS shutdown harm American security?
14. Is the sequester harming U.S. national security?
15. How should the U.S. respond to the Houthi takeover in Yemen?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Foreign (47 Q’s)

US Foreign Policy
1. How should the U.S. respond to state-sponsored cyber attacks?
2. Should the U.S. send ground troops to fight ISIS?
3. Should the U.S. update the Authorization for Use of Military Force?
4. Should Congress enact harsher sanctions on Iran?
5. Should Congress accept whatever deal the White House negotiates with Iran?
6. Does the Obama Administration have the right plan to combat violent extremism?
7. Should the U.S. spend more on national defense?
8. Should the U.S. keep its military bases in Afghanistan?
9. Should the U.S. repeal the “wet foot, dry foot” policy for Cuban migrants?
10. Would a voluntary climate treaty make a difference?
11. Has Central American migration to the United States peaked?
12. Is President Obama charting the right course for U.S.-Cuba relations?
13. Should the U.S. ally with Bashar al-Assad for the sake of taking out ISIS?
14. Does Chinese expansionism threaten U.S. interests?
15. Is the U.S. shouldering too much of South Korea’s defense burden?
16. Will the Trans-Pacific Partnership advance U.S. interests?

Middle East and Africa
1. Will the Middle East remain united against ISIS?
2. Will ISIS continue to expand?
3. Is ISIS really a terrorist group?
4. Why don’t counterinsurgency campaigns work?
5. Should foreign policy decisions be responsive to public opinion?
6. Why would Iran want to pursue a nuclear weapon?
7. Is addressing Congress a smart move for Benjamin Netanyahu?
8. Can Bashar Al-Assad hang on to power in Syria?
9. Should national boundaries be redrawn in the Middle East?
10. Why is internet access important for developing countries?
11. Will a military conflict erupt over the Nile Waters Agreement?
12. Is the world doing enough to help Africa after the Ebola outbreaks?
13. Should the international community be doing more about Boko Haram?
14. Can Malawi sustain its economic momentum?
15. Is President Obama to blame for the chaos in the Middle East?

Europe, Asia, and Latin America
1. Are the U.S. and Europe doing enough to help Ukraine?
2. Would Russia escalate operations in Ukraine in response to increased U.S. military aid?
3. Will the recent agreement end the conflict in Ukraine?
4. Is Vladimir Putin charting the right course for Russia?
5. Will Russia get the economic concessions it wants from Ukraine?
6. Would new international sanctions on Russia work?
7. How is the rise of right-wing nationalism affecting Europe?
8. Is the European Union too big?
9. Is Hungary headed toward dictatorship?
10. Is Europe being too hard on Greece?
11. Will Greece’s current austerity programs undermine its long-term economic potential?
12. Should Germany offer citizenship to more of its immigrants?
13. Why isn’t “Abenomics” improving Japan’s trade balance?
14. Should China be worried about its slowing economic growth?
15. Will Nicolas Maduro manage to hold power in this year’s Venezuelan elections?
16. Will Cuba expand on its recent moves to liberalize the economy?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Economic and fiscal policy

1. Do sports stadiums deserve taxpayer subsidies?
2. Should companies be required to pay all of their interns?
3. Should Congress place a tax on sugary foods?
4. Should Congress expand the Earned Income Tax Credit?
5. Should Congress move to a two-year budget cycle?
6. Do corporate executives have enough legal accountability?
7. How can the U.S. regain its edge in innovation?
8. Does U.S. law over-protect intellectual property?
9. How should the U.S. fight back against patent trolls?
10. Why hasn’t the economic recovery been faster?
11. Is the rising value of the dollar good for the U.S. economy?
12. Should the Federal Reserve tighten monetary policy?
13. Does the Federal Reserve have too much independence?
14. Why did Wal Mart increase wages?
15. Can the U.S. Postal Service be restored to financial health?
16. Should Congress increase the number of H-1B visas?
17. Does the immigration system put too much emphasis on family reunification?
18. How is expanded U.S. oil and gas production changing the economy?
19. Should Congress adopt President Obama’s proposals to increase participation in retirement savings plans?
20. Are defined-benefit pensions a relic of the past?
21. Should reducing economic inequality be a priority for the government?
22. Should the federal government make major new investments in the electric grid?
23. Should cities provide free high-speed internet?
24. Should electric utilities charge more when use is high?
25. Has the sequester held back the economic recovery?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Health, education, environment

1. Will Republicans pass significant immigration legislation this congress?
2. Should the U.S. stop awarding citizenship to the children of unauthorized immigrants?
3. Does the U.S. do enough for refugees and asylum seekers?
4. Should public school systems include universal preschool?
5. Should the government use performance measures to determine funding for colleges?
6. Should students’ standardized test scores directly determine teachers’ salaries?
7. Should out of school suspensions for preschoolers be legal?
8. Does Teach for America do more harm than good?
9. Are America’s education struggles the fault of schools or society?
10. Does the federal government play too large a role in education policy?
11. Was Race to the Top a failure?
12. Has the Affordable Care Act been a success?
13. Should the U.S. double the NIH budget to $60 billion?
14. Why has health care cost growth slowed in recent years?
15. Should parents be allowed to refuse their child vaccinations based on personal beliefs?
16. Why is American health care so expensive?
17. Should Congress encourage the expansion of alternative payment models (APMs) for health care?
18. Does Medicaid work?
19. Should grand jury proceedings in high-profile cases be public?
20. Should the natural gas boom be viewed as an environmental victory?
21. Are CAFE standards for vehicle fuel efficiency set high enough?
22. Should the U.S. make greater use of nuclear power?
23. Should Congress repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard?
24. Is solar power finally on the verge of a breakout?
25. Should history classes purposely portray America positively?
26. Is American education too privatized?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

American politics

1. Will Jeb Bush’s name sink his candidacy?
2. Will Hillary Clinton prevail in the primaries?
3. Is Chris Christie a serious presidential contender?
4. Will Republicans’ majorities in Congress be an asset or a liability in the 2016 election?
5. How many vetoes will President Obama issue during the 114th Congress?
6. Will Congress pass more legislation in the 114th Congress than in the 113th?
7. Has President Obama abused his executive authority?
8. Are Democrats serious about solving the immigration issue, or are they playing politics?
9. Has President Obama helped or hindered the cause of immigration reform?
10. In the wake of the recent court ruling, should Democrats back down and allow Republicans to block President Obama’s executive action?
11. If DHS shuts down at the end of February, who should the public blame?
12. Are lobbyists good or bad for the way the government functions?
13. Will the 114th Congress tackle tax reform?
14. Do unions have too much power?
15. Will the Keystone XL pipeline overcome President Obama’s veto?
16. Is President Obama’s opposition to the Keystone pipeline political or practical?
17. Should politicians comment on crimes that the legal system has not resolved?
18. Is American Exceptionalism bad for politics?
19. Will the Supreme Court overturn the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance subsidies?
20. Is Scott Walker ready for prime time?
21. Which major political party is set up better for the long term?
22. Is Jeb Bush really the Republican frontrunner?
23. Which dark horse candidate is most likely to seize the spotlight in 2016?
24. Is Rand Paul a serious presidential contender?
25. Did Republicans do enough to limit the number of presidential debates?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Harvard Questions (80)

Thanks to Nathaniel Donahue for sending these questions from the Harvard tournament.

Domestic Politics
1. Will Jeb Bush be the “establishment candidate” in the 2016 Republican Primary?
2. Will Obama be an asset for Democrats in 2016?
3. Is Obama abusing executive authority?
4. How should the Democratic Party respond to losing control of the Senate?
5. Should the US allow any exemptions for vaccination requirements?
6. Has the influence of the internet improved journalism in America?
7. Would a competitive primary be good for the Democrats?
8. Can a Republican Congress undo Obama’s policy victories?
9. Should Bernie Sanders run for president?
10. Is skipping Netanyahu’s speech a good political move for Democrats?

Security Policy
1. Can the CIA be effectively regulated without compromising national security?
2. Has torture made America safer?
3. Will the #blacklivesmatter movement substantively reduce police brutality?
4. Should America weaponize space?
5. What role should large combat ships play in the future of the American military?
6. How can the US best protect its cyberinfrastructure?
7. Is a completely secure border with Mexico a feasible policy objective?
8. Are we doing enough to combat domestic terrorism?
9. Is America’s police force over-armed?
10. Does America need stronger tools to contain foreign pandemics?

Domestic Economics
1. Should states be allowed to issue visas without federal approval?
2. Will Obama’s work permits help or hinder American economic growth?
3. Does inequality reduction necessarily impede economic growth?
4. Do rising wages indicate a nascent economic recovery?
5. Is Dodd-Frank too weak?
6. Should Congress audit the Fed?
7. Is high frequency trading economically beneficial?
8. Has greater financialization stabilized economic growth?
9. Who has the most to gain from a stronger dollar?
10. Would stronger unions help the economy?

American Foreign Policy
1. Should the US provide military support to Ukraine?
2. How should the US respond to Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea?
3. Are the current sanctions on Russia counterproductive?
4. Does America need to exercise “strategic patience”?
5. Is torture an important tool for protecting domestic security?
6. How much does America have to fear from ISIS?
7. Does the world need American leadership?
8. Can America limit the proliferation of armed drones?
9. Would America benefit from a stronger UN?
10. Should Netanyahu cancel his address to Congress?

The Developing World
1. Should the international community intervene in Northern Nigeria?
2. Should developing countries subsidise home ownership?
3. How should Argentina address its current debt crisis?
4. Should South Africa aggressively redistribute its land?
5. Should Afghanistan abandon opium poppy eradication efforts?
6. Do candidates from political dynasties pose an existential threat to nascent democracies?
7. Should the African Union (and its member states) leave the International Criminal Court?
8. Do China’s limits on internal migration facilitate economic growth?
9. How can Pope Francis best facilitate economic growth in the developing world?
10. Is protectionism the key to economic development for small countries?

1. Do low oil prices benefit Saudi Arabia?
2. Can Vladimir Putin’s regime withstand sustained low oil prices?
3. Will low oil prices be the death knell of green energy investment in the US?
4. Do recent oil price swings suggest that America needs larger or smaller futures markets?
5. Will cheap oil cause China to defect on its climate change agreement with the US?
6. Has inexpensive oil made the world more or less safe?
7. Would the world be better without OPEC?
8. Can the Venezuelan government survive a world of cheap oil?
9. Should major oil producers be allowed to buy green energy patents?
10. Should America attempt to guide global petroleum prices?

1. How should the rest of the EU respond to Syriza’s victory in Greece?
2. What should the EU do about member states that ignore ECJ rulings?
3. Is the current emphasis on multiculturalism in Europe helpful to immigrant communities?
4. Can NATO still guarantee stability in Europe?
5. How will the Charlie Hebdo attacks affect Europe’s tolerance for Islam in the long term?
6. Should anti-EU parties be allowed to compete in EU elections?
7. Will recent ECB actions help resolve the standoff between Greece and Germany?
8. Is Germany destroying the EU?
9. Is real supply side reform a politically feasible solution to Europe’s economic woes?
10. Can a European Monetary Authority succeed without stronger fiscal discipline among member states?

Asia and the Middle East
1. Should India ally itself with other emerging economies in opposition to the Western order?
2. Will the Trans-Pacific Partnership benefit the small economies of Southeast Asia?
3. Is China a more valuable ally for Pakistan than the United States?
4. Can Afghanistan combat the Taliban without foreign support?
5. Will the dream of an ASEAN political union ever be realised?
6. Is the rise of an anti-corruption alternative to Modi’s BJP good for India?
7. Is Japan about to remilitarize?
8. Should Arab-Israelis seek election to the Knesset?
9. Is military intervention a legitimate way for Israel to respond to Hezbollah?
10. Does ISIS pose an existential threat to Jordan?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Please send in questions!

You may have noticed that until just now, the site hadn’t been updated this year. I want to keep it going, but I don’t have as much time as I used to. But I figure if there’s any time of year that people might want practice questions…

Please send me questions–from your tournaments, practice, wherever. I am determined to keep this site going, but I need your help!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Foreign & Domestic (~75 Q’s)

These were written a week ago for a tournament this past weekend, so sorry if any on Russia/Ukraine are already outdated!


Russia and Ukraine
1. Will the Ukranian conflict grow into a larger European war?
2. If Putin wants Crimea, should the international community let him have it?
3. What is Vladimir Putin’s intention in Ukraine?
4. Should NATO get involved in Ukraine?
5. Should the U.S. and E.U. place targeted sanctions on Russia?
6. Should Crimea become a separate country?
7. Will the Sochi Olympics have any lasting effects on Russia’s international prestige?
8. Will the U.S. and E.U. aid package for Ukraine improve the situation?
9. Should the U.S. open oil and gas exports to Ukraine?
10. Is U.S. condemnation of Russia’s actions in Ukraine hypocritical?
11. Should Russia be kicked out of the G-8?
12. Has Russia successfully avoided demographic crisis?
13. Is Moscow trying to recreate the Soviet bloc?
14. If the Crimean people vote to join Russia, should the U.S. and Europe accept this result?
15. Has the U.S. overplayed its hand on Russia and Ukraine?
16. Does the U.S. have a legitimate national interest in opposing Russia’s actions in Crimea?

Asia and the Americas
1. How much leverage does the U.S. have to end Venezuelan violence?
2. Is John Kerry an effective Secretary of State?
3. Is President Obama diminishing America’s influence abroad?
4. How does the oil and gas boom impact the U.S.’ international strategic position?
5. Will the Maduro government manage to hold power in Venezuela?
6. Will Canada regret its decision to eliminate its immigrant investor program?
7. Are North Korea’s recent weapons tests game-changing?
8. Does rising ethnic violence threaten China’s stability?
9. Would Narendra Modi be the right president for India?
10. Will China’s economic ascendance make the world more or less secure?
11. Can chemical and biological weapons be eliminated?

Middle East and Africa
1. Will Egypt’s upcoming elections be genuinely democratic?
2. Is the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization?
3. Will Egypt’s ban on Hamas activity improve its national security?
4. Have Syria’s rebels lost the war?
5. Was the chemical weapons agreement with Syria a failure?
6. Can the Taliban be converted from an insurgency to a political organization?
7. Is the U.S. too aggressive in labeling foreign organizations as terrorist?
8. Should the U.S. pause security negotiations with Afghanistan until it elects a new president?
9. Will Nigeria become the world’s next hotbed of terrorism?
10. Is Nigeria’s government taking the right approach toward Boko Haram?
11. How significantly does Nigerian instability threaten U.S. national security?
12. Should France maintain its troop presence in the Central African Republic?

1. Does the recent Netflix-Comcast deal signal the end of internet freedom?
2. Should the National Football League penalize the on-field use of racial slurs?
3. Should the NCAA allow cost of living stipends for athletes in revenue sports?
4. How did the Apple-Samsung patent wars impact the market?
5. How quickly should the Federal Reserve phase out asset purchases?
6. How should the U.S. regulate patent trolls?
7. How should the U.S. reform the patent system to promote innovation?
8. Will high youth unemployment have a lasting impact on the economy?
9. Do the benefits of pollution regulation outweigh the cost to businesses?
10. Should pharmaceutical advertising be banned?
11. Should health providers receive bonuses based on performance measures?
12. Do government job training programs work?
13. Have companies become too unwilling to provide on-the-job training?

1. Was the health reform push a misuse of President Obama’s political capital?
2. Should candidates be allowed to simultaneously run for Congress and the Presidency?
3. Will recent Voter ID laws boost Republican electoral fortunes?
4. Are U.S. elections being conducted fairly?
5. Will Arizona’s vetoed gay discrimination law significantly harm the GOP?
6. Are the Democrats too inflexible on immigration reform?
7. Are immigrant advocacy groups getting too aggressive?
8. Does the Congressional Budget Office improve or constrain U.S. public policy decisions?
9. Would Dave Camp’s tax freeform proposal be the right approach?
10. Will House Democrats’ discharge petition efforts succeed?
11. Has President Obama appointed too many donors to ambassador positions?
12. Should the U.S. enact Congressional term limits?
13. Should Congress repeal its ban on earmarks?

Social Policy
1. Do children have too much access to violent content?
2. Can we stop the rising tide of antibiotic resistance?
3. Will “minute clinics” improve American health care?
4. Is synthetic biology adequately regulated?
5. Will public reporting of health care prices improve quality of care?
6. Should artificial colors be banned from the U.S. food supply?
7. Would universal early childhood education work?
8. Have the Race to the Top competitions been a success?
9. Was the U.S. right to ease restrictions on asylum seekers with limited terrorist ties?
10. Is asylum fraud a serious problem in the U.S.?
11. Should states increase oversight over home schooling?
12. Should civilian courts have jurisdiction over military sexual assault cases?
13. Are mandatory minimum sentences too harsh?
14. Are humanities degrees worth the cost?
15. Are federal programs to limit domestic violence working?
16. Why has the abortion rate decreased in recent years?

Posted in Domestic, Education, Health, International, US Foreign Policy, US Politics | Leave a comment

Foreign and Domestic (146 Q’s)

Thanks so much to Andre Cossette for sending the questions from the Inland Empire, WA district tournament.

Extemp Domestic

Presidential Politics
1. Is the Republican party the party of NO?
2. What fresh ideas are coming out of the Republican party?
3. Is Obamacare here to stay?
4. Will Ted Cruz lead the Republican party?
5. Is Joe Biden positioning himself for a 2016 presidential run?
6. What would a “new GOP” look like?
7. Does the Ninth Circuit’s recent ruling on concealed firearms signal the beginning of the end of the American gun control movement?
8. Was the passage of a clean debt ceiling bill a significant political victory for President Obama?
9. Will Hillary be the first female president?
10. Should the Senate abolish the filibuster?
11. Does the debt ceiling promote responsible governance?
12. Which Republican has the best shot at beating the Democrats?
13. Is Obama an asset or a liability to purple state Democrats?
14. Are the death penalty’s days numbered?
15. Are Democrats too inflexible on immigration?
16. Has the Republican stance on immigration doomed its chances to win over Hispanics?
17. Is the Tea Party dead?

1. Has fracking turned the US into Saudi America?
2. Has Obama administration’s economic stimulus plan worked?
3. What can banks do to improve the security of credit cards?
4. Should the federal government limit the transportation of oil by rail?
5. Has America’s labor market suffered permanent harm?
6. What effect does a weaker economy have on America’s labor unions?
7. Will raising the minimum wage cost Americans jobs?
8. Would a higher minimum wage reduce poverty?
9. Is the US doing enough to help the underemployed?
10. Is the budget deficit falling too fast?
11. How will the US economy change with the rise of intelligent machines?
12. Will 6.5% be the new normal unemployment rate?
13. Is the Fed’s unconventional monetary policy coming to an end?
14. How can the US save the middle class?
15. Should the government try to stabilize energy prices?
16. Does Obamacare kill jobs?
17. Is financial innovation good for the economy?

Health, Education, and Welfare
1. How can the United States federal government improve math and science education?
2. Would the unionization of college football players harm athletes that compete in less publicized intercollegiate sports?
3. Has the “war on tobacco” succeeded?
Is the National Football League ready for an openly gay player?
4. Has the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman refocused authorities on
5. combatting heroin use?
6. Will the future of the same sex marriage debate be decided more by courts or
7. legislatures?
8. What can California do to confront its dwindling water supply?
9. Ain’t charter schools the answer to America’s edumacation problems?
10. Will rising health care costs cause more Americans to seek medical care abroad?
11. Will marijuana legalization be the gateway to legalization of other drugs?
12. Should ex-felons retain the right to vote?
13. Will gay marriages be nationwide?
14. Is universal pre-Kindergarten the key to curing America’s educational woes?
15. How can Obama win the messaging war over Obamacare?

United States Foreign Policy
1. Would a free trade agreement with Asia be good for the United States?
2. Is the war on terror slowing down?
3. Should the US withdraw its troops from Okinawa?
4. Why is Obama sending John Kerry to Asia?
5. What stance does the U.S. need to take with Ukraine?
6. Should the U.S. take measures to prevent a hegemonic China?
7. Did America lose the war in Iraq?
8. Should the Senate grant Obama fast-track authority for the TPP?
9. What steps should the US take to protect gay rights abroad?
10. Is global dependence on oil helpful or harmful for American interests?
11. How can America ensure continual access to rare earth metals?
12. Is Russia an enemy of America?
13. Should the US militarily protect Taiwan from Chinese expansionism?
14. Should the US ban domestic tech firms from helping dictators abroad?
15. Did US sanctions of Iran work?
16. Is free trade good for America?
17. What should the U.S.’s response be if Russia invades Ukraine?


1. Should the Netherlands leave the European Union?
2. Why are Bosnians protesting?
3. Will protests in Bosnia create a Balkan Spring?
4. Will a unified Cyprus solve its problems?
5. Should Switzerland join the European Union?
6. What are the benefits and costs of an independent Scotland?
7. What effect would an independent Scotland have on the rest of Europe?
8. Will Scottish nationalists prevail in their upcoming referendum on independence?
9. Have the Olympic games helped or hurt Russian prestige?
10. Who will emerge victorious in Ukraine: forces oriented toward Western Europe, or forces closer to Russia?
11. What steps can be taken to preserve the cultural identity of the Roma people?
12. Is Britain’s Labour Party moving too far left for electoral success?
13. Is the Spanish economy recovering?
14. Can united left-wing parties take control of Hungarian politics?
15. Will Matteo Renzi be an effective prime minister of Italy?
16. Does Francois Hollande have his affairs in order?
17. Will Ukraine be partitioned?
18. Will Russia invade Ukraine?

Asia and Oceana
1. Will Narendra Modi be the next Prime Minister of India?
2. Will India’s Aam Aadmi party change the landscape of Indian politics?
3. What reforms does India need to reach its potential?
4. Will the opposition’s decision to boycott Thailand’s elections undermine the legitimacy of the country’s government?
5. Have protests against Yingluck Shinawatra failed?
6. Will the recently negotiated peace in Mindanao, Philippines, hold for long?
7. Will Japan demand that the U.S. withdraw from Okinawa?
8. What problems plague Pakistan?
9. Is Japan embracing Western ideals?
10. Would it be a mistake for Japan to abandon nuclear power?
11. Is China warming toward Taiwan?
12. Is the historic visit between Chinese and Taiwanese officials more symbolism than substance?
13. Will greater levels of interdependence prevent conflicts between China and Japan?
14. Will disputes in the South China Sea lead to armed conflict between China and Japan?
15. Would the world be worse under the rule of a hegemonic China?
16. How has capitalism turned China into a freer country?
17. How can China improve its environmental record?
18. Is the death of Australia’s automobile industry a sign of trouble?
19. Should Kim Jong Un crack down on growing underground markets?
20. Will the U.N.’s scathing report on North Korea have any weight?
21. How will North Korea respond to US-South Korean joint military exercises?

Middle East
1. How will Syria’s civil war impact Palestinian refugees?
2. Are peace talks to end the conflict in Syria a waste of time?
3. Can Hassan Rouhani tame Iran’s hardliners?
4. Should the west arm Syria’s rebels?
5. Is Turkey’s prime minister losing his grip on power?
6. Should Jews driven out of Arab states after the formation of Israel be entitled to compensation?
7. Is Hamid Karzai an irrational or calculating leader?
8. Are Yemen’s efforts to achieve renewed national unity succeeding?
9. Can Palestinians find safe haven anywhere?
10. Will a nuclear deal with Iran happen?
11. Are Turkish aspirations of joining the EU dead?
12. Why are the Syrian peace talks going nowhere?
13. Is Pakistan right to negotiate with the Taliban?
14. Will new leadership bring stability to Egypt?
15. Can John Kerry bring peace to Israel?
16. Is Yemen a failed state?
17. Should the US keep giving aid to Afghanistan?
18. Would an independent Kurdistan make the Middle East more stable?

Africa & The Americas
1. Can diplomatic pressure force African nations to not enact anti-gay legislation?
2. Is the young government of South Sudan in danger of collapsing?
3. What is the root cause of conflict in the Central African Republic?
4. Is it time for Mugabe to go?
5. Does Nigeria deserve its bad reputation?
6. Has President Goodluck Jonathan brought bad luck to Nigeria?
7. What can be done to curb sectarian violence in the Central African Republic?
8. Is the ANC’s control of South African politics harming the nation?
9. What caused Argentina to go from boom to bust?
10. Who has the better solution to gang violence, Mexico or El Salvador?
11. Is President Nieto the right man to fight the banditos?
12. Is Brazil the right country to host the World Cup?
13. Will Dilma Rousseff be re-elected?
14. Will Mexico be the next big emerging market?
15. Will Venezuela’s opposition be helped or hurt by ongoing protests against the government?
16. Is it time to end the Cuban embargo?
17. Why is Venezuela in an uproar?
18. Does Venezuela miss Hugo Chavez?
19. Can Canada successfully balance its budget before 2015?


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Foreign & domestic (160 q’s)

These questions were used at the Western Slope, CO district tournament on March 1.


International Institutions, Latin America, Middle East
1. Does the World Bank need a president from the third world?
2. Should the International Monetary Fund be abolished?
3. Has the European Union expanded too quickly?
4. Should U.N. voting be based on the amount of money each country contributes?
5. Do developing countries have enough influence in international affairs?
6. Is global democracy in retreat?
7. Do drones make the world safer?
8. Why wasn’t there more political activity at the Olympics?
9. In the next 25 years, will the number of nuclear nations increase or decrease?
10. Can NGOs promote economic development as effectively as governments?
11. Do economic sanctions work?
12. Why is access to financial services important for economic development?
13. Do foreigners have legitimate reasons to dislike the U.S.?
14. Should Mexico fully privatize its energy sector?
15. Is Mexico winning the war against drug cartels?
16. What is needed to stabilize the situation in Venezuela?
17. Has Venezuela’s government helped or hurt the country’s poor?
18. Will Venezuela’s tensions be resolved peacefully?
19. Will Maduro manage to hold power in Venezuela?
20. Is Afghanistan’s democracy working?
21. Is there a viable win-win solution for Israel and Palestine?
22. Is the recent progress on Iran sustainable?
23. Is Turkey’s secular democracy in danger?
24. Is President Rouhani genuinely committed to easing repression in Iran?
25. Should the U.S. have started negotiating with Iran earlier?

US Foreign Policy
1. Has America’s policy toward drones been responsible?
2. How should the U.S. react to Chinese territorial claims in Asia?
3. Should the U.S. assassinate Assad?
4. Does the U.S. have a Middle East strategy?
5. Is the U.S. military too large?
6. Should the U.S. pressure Israel to give up its nuclear weapons?
7. Should the U.S. government be more transparent about its use of drones?
8. What country presents the greatest security threat to the U.S.?
9. Is U.S. foreign policy too focused on terrorism?
10. Will rising domestic energy production allow the U.S. to reduce its Middle East presence?
11. Does globalization threaten American power?
12. Should the U.S. attempt to contain Chinese power?
13. Is U.S. foreign policy hypocritical?
14. How significantly does cyber warfare threaten U.S. security?
15. How should the U.S. respond the crisis in Venezuela?
16. Should the U.S. end restrictions on trade with Cuba?
17. Should the U.S. give up on dominating Asian territorial waters?
18. Should the U.S. support Japan’s military expansion?
19. How could the U.S. make its foreign aid more effective?
20. Should the U.S. make a large commitment of foreign aid to Ukraine?
21. Should President Obama publicly condemn Turkey’s prime minister?
22. Should American policy toward Iran more heavily emphasize human rights?
23. Should the U.S. support adding more permanent members to the U.N. Security Council?
24. Should the U.S. push to keep troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014?
25. Should the U.S. be more open to negotiating with its enemies?

Europe and Asia
1. Should Ukraine split into two countries?
2. Would Ukraine be better off turning toward Russia or Europe?
3. Why have Eastern European politics become so volatile?
4. What is needed to stabilize the situation in Ukraine?
5. How long will Putin hold power in Russia?
6. Should Russia grant independence to Chechnya?
7. How will Russia’s behavior change now that the Olympics are over?
8. How long will the Russian public tolerate authoritarianism?
9. Can Russia successfully restore its great power status?
10. Should Europe strive for complete political unity?
11. Should the United Kingdom leave the European Union?
12. How should Russia respond to Ukraine’s crisis?
13. Will Russia send troops into Ukraine?
14. Should the European Central Bank expand bond-buying programs in struggling countries?
15. How should Europe restore financial stability?
16. Is U.S.-Russian cooperation possible on Ukraine?
17. Is the Chinese government serious about its territorial claims in Asia?
18. As China grows, will it seek to project military power around the world?
19. Will the recent thaw in China-Taiwan relations continue?
20. Should the U.S. support an effort to forcibly overthrow North Korea’s regime?
21. Will the next round of Six Party Talks be successful?
22. Is China poised to take a tougher stance on North Korea?
23. Why does China maintain an alliance with North Korea?
24. Will the recent U.N. report on North Korean human rights have any effect?
25. Can China sustain its high rate of economic growth?


Politics and Government
1. Does the Constitution give too much power to Congress?
2. Is the same sex marriage debate over?
3. Should Supreme Court justices be required to retire after thirty years of service?
4. Is the second amendment still a credible check on the government’s authority?
5. Why did the Obama Administration renig on its promise of unprecedented transparency?
6. What should future presidents learn from President Obama?
7. Can President Obama salvage his legacy?
8. Should the filibuster be abolished?
9. How should America reform its regulations on collecting and using consumer data?
10. How much government surveillance should be allowed?
11. Can modern governments be trusted to monitor their citizens’ private lives?
12. Does the American government have too much power to act outside the rule of law?
13. Do the U.S. government’s recent actions confirm the worst fears about secrecy?
14. What would be an appropriate punishment for Edward Snowden?
15. Did Snowden and Wikileaks significantly undermine American national security?
16. Do too many people have top-secret clearances?
17. Will Jeb Bush capture the Republican nomination?
18. Will Republicans take the Senate in 2014?
19. Would passing immigration reform help or hurt the Republican party?
20. Is the Republican leadership serious about moving immigration reform?
21. Will Mitch McConnell lose his Senate seat?
22. Is lobbying out of control?
23. Will Congress pass tax reform this year?
24. Will the CBO lose its status as a neutral arbiter?
25. What does Ted Cruz hope to accomplish?

Economics and Immigration
1. Should Congress raise the minimum wage to $10.10?
2. Which is more important: fighting poverty or creating jobs?
3. Should the government make risky investments in emerging technologies?
4. Should the U.S. liberalize energy exports?
5. Is the U.S. experiencing another dotcom bubble?
6. Why haven’t workers gotten much from the economic recovery?
7. Are we too obsessed with GDP?
8. How does cheap natural gas impact the U.S. economy?
9. Will rising domestic energy production insulate the U.S. from market volatility?
10. Are stagnant wages the new normal?
11. Should the U.S. tax the foreign profits of its corporations?
12. Should long-term unemployed people receive subsidies to move to states with better economies?
13. Is the decline in interstate mobility bad for the economy?
14. Should the government provide housing assistance that would allow poor families to move to wealthier neighborhoods?
15. Should Democrats accept legalization without a path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants?
16. Is immigration bad for American workers?
17. Does the U.S. need a national ID card?
18. Should individual U.S. states be allowed to request additional immigrant visas?
19. Does immigration enforcement make our communities safer?
20. Are penalties against hiring unauthorized immigrants strict enough?
21. Why do business interests support immigration?
22. Why is the population of unauthorized immigrants from Mexico in decline?
23. Are Republicans right to be skeptical of President Obama’s will to enforce immigration law?
24. Is the estate tax unfair?
25. Are trade deals bad for American workers?

Social Policy (Education, Health, Environment)
1. Have environmentalists placed too much emphasis on climate change?
2. Is the rise in natural gas production an environmental victory?
3. Should the U.S. build a bullet train connecting the mid-Atlantic and New England?
4. Should the U.S. eliminate subsidies for fossil fuel consumption?
5. Should the U.S. double the gas tax?
6. How will rising American energy production impact global dynamics?
7. Has the U.S. adequately accounted for fracking’s environmental risks?
8. Should American colleges abolish fraternities?
9. Is college worth the price of admission?
10. Is today’s model of college outdated?
11. Does our society expect too little of young people?
12. Do Americans undervalue education?
13. Did the No Child Left Behind Act improve American schools?
14. Should school choice be expanded?
15. What strategy would most effectively improve America’s teacher workforce?
16. Should companies make heavier use of on the job training?
17. Should companies attempt to snap up talented people before they finish their degrees?
18. Is the ACA back on track?
19. Does American health care have too much government or too little?
20. Will accountable-care organizations generate significant Medicare savings?
21. Should private prisons be banned?
22. Does the U.S. imprison too many people?
23. Is the U.S. criminal justice system fair?
24. Is “innocent until proven guilty” myth or reality?
25. Should junk food advertisements in schools be banned?
26. Does the ACA damage the economy?

• Should Americans be pleased or disappointed that social mobility hasn’t changed much in 30 years?
• Does America have too much government or too little?
• Have federal investments in clean energy been a failure?
• What should the U.S. do to boost patriotism?
• How should Russia handle its increasing Muslim population?
• Are Ukraine’s protestors justified?
• Is America more or less vulnerable to terrorism than it was on September 10, 2001?
• Is Nigeria’s economy on the right track?
• What is the recipe for successful economic development?
• How significantly has microfinance helped the world’s poor?
• Does the U.S. have enough influence at the U.N.?
• Should the U.S. concede the Taiwan issue to China?
• Was Hugo Chavez’s regime a failure?
• Will the housing recovery continue?

Posted in Domestic, Economics, Education, Energy/Environment, Health, International, US Foreign Policy, US Politics | Leave a comment

Foreign and Domestic (~120 q’s)

Thanks to Jeff Plinsky of Lawrence High School for sending his tournament’s questions.

1) How should the international community respond to the civil strife in the Central African Republic?
2) In what ways can the African Union and the United Nations help prevent bloodshed in the Central African Republic?
3) Is the ANC’s control of South African politics harming the nation?
4) Will a new round of South Sudanese peace talks be successful?
5) What steps must African nations take to contain the threat of Islamic extremism?
6) Should the US cut off military aid to Egypt in response to its recent crackdown on journalists and religious institutions?
7) Do actions by insurgent Muslim and Christian extremists in the Central African Republic amount to ethnic cleansing?
8) How does talk of sanctions against Israel impact Middle Eastern stability?
9) Will the “Bosnian Spring” lead to more conflict in the Balkans?
10) Is Tunisia becoming an economic and political model state in the Middle East?
11) Is Somalia slipping back into chaos?
12) Is Nigeria transitioning to a more representative form of democracy?
13) Will Hassan Rouhani of Iran move to substantively improve relations with the West?
14) Is the escalating sectarian crisis in northern Iraq an indicator of where the rest of the country is going?
15) Is Kenya sliding toward authoritarianism?
16) Have the Syrian rebels already lost?
17) How can Africa prevent further brain drain from its least developed nations?

1) Will Aung San Suu Kyi be able to run for the Burmese Presidency in 2015?
2) Have protests against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s government failed?
3) How do closer economic ties between Sri Lanka and the People’s Republic of China effect India?
4) Will the high-level talks between North and South Korea result in a thawing of relations?
5) Is China moving off its war footing in the South China Sea?
6) How will Afghanistan fare after the United States pulls out at the end of 2014?
7) Should Japan abandon nuclear power all together?
8) In light of recent provocations by PM Abe Shinze, how should the international community prevent an escalation of conflict between China and Japan?
9) Do recent talks between the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan mitigate security dilemmas in the South China Sea?
10) Has China stopped coddling North Korea?
11) Does China’s economic slowdown represent a larger trend in East Asian markets?
12) How can emerging markets in Southeast Asia weather an impending slowdown in the global economy?
13) Should Prime Minister Shinawatra’s government call for new parliamentary elections in the face of widespread protests?
14) Can Iran pull itself out of its economic slump barring the lifting of sanctions imposed by Western nations?
15) Is Buddhist extremism on the rise in the ASEAN countries?

1) Should Germany continue to subsidize their renewable energy industries?
2) Should Great Britain become a full member of the European Union?
3) Should the European Union accept Serbia as a member?
4) Will the “Bosnian Spring” lead to more conflict in the Balkans?
5) Will joint US-Italian anti-mafia raids be effective in curtailing the drug trade in Southern Europe and Latin America?
6) Would the success of the Sochi Olympics legitimize Putin in the eyes of the international community?
7) Have pro-democracy protestors in Ukraine gone overboard?
8) Is the Spanish economy finally recovering from the effects of the global recession?
9) Should the international community seek out Russia as a mediator to resolve the escalating conflicts in the Middle East?
10) Will the Euro ever be able to compete with the American Dollar or the Chinese Yuan?
11) Will the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill pass the British Parliament granting Scotland independence?
12) Will Greece pass radical legislation due to their all-time low jobless rate?
13) If Spain does overhaul their tax system, will it affect their economy for the better or worse?
14) Should Germany and Poland continue to mediate in Ukraine?
15) What would be the effects on Austria if the nationalized Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank International fails?

1) Has Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, done enough to combat corruption in the government?
2) Can the Colombian government come to a peace agreement with the FARC?
3) Do anti-government riots in Venezuela signal an end to the Chavista era?
4) Will Brazil be ready to host the 2014 World Cup?
5) Is Mexico’s legalization of auto defense groups a wise move for the government?
6) Would a free trade agreement (FTA) hurt Central American countries more than it would help?
7) Will Uruguay’s decriminalization of marijuana lead to lower rates of drug violence?
8) Do Cuba’s economic and political reforms amount to a substantial change in domestic policy?
9) Are organized crime cartels on the decline in Mexico and Central America?
10) Will Argentina’s fiscal mess push the government to intervene more aggressively in the Falklands islands?
11) Will Brazil’s flirtations with economic nationalism hurt its position as an emerging player in global markets?
12) Can newly elected Chilean President Michelle Bachelet deliver on her promises of free higher education?
13) Will Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa follow through with plans to expel American military and diplomatic attaches from the country?
14) Does the lack of law enforcement in Central America and the Caribbean hinder governments’ abilities to protect the environment in biodiverse hotspots?
15) Is the Canadian electorate becoming more conservative?

DX Round 1: Politics, Policy, and Elections
1. Can Hillary Clinton secure the Democratic presidential nomination before the primaries even begin?
2. Will the Affordable Care Act’s botched rollout spell trouble for the Democrats in 2014?
3. Will the GOP take control of the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections?
4. Should mainstream Republicans split from the Tea Party?
5. Should Kathleen Sebelius resign from the Department of Health and Human Services?
6. Has John Kerry been an effective Secretary of State?
7. Who is the Republican frontrunner for the 2016 presidential nomination?
8. Could John Boehner win another term as House Speaker?
9. Would moving on immigration improve Republican fortunes in the 2014 elections?
10. Has Paul Ryan’s stance on immigration reform cost him the 2016 Republican presidential nomination?
11. Has the New Jersey traffic scandal permanently damaged Chris Christie’s presidential ambitions?
12. Which social issues will prove key in the upcoming 2014 mid-term elections?
13. Is a comprehensive approach the best way to enact immigration reform?
14. Was Janet Yellen a good choice to head of the Federal Reserve?
15. Who is Hillary Clinton’s biggest challenger for the Democratic 2016 presidential nomination?

DX Round 2: Foreign Policy, National Security, and Military
1. In the long run, will Edward Snowden’s actions help or harm the U.S.?
2. Does the US need to place greater restrictions on its intelligence agencies?
3. How seriously will the NSA scandal damage U.S. foreign relations?
4. How should the U.S. respond to reports of Iranian warships near the U.S. maritime border?
5. Should the U.S. take a harder line against China’s regional expansionism?
6. Should the U.S. continue to allow Dennis Rodman to visit North Korea?
7. Should the U.S. send troops back to Iraq to help the Iraqi government fight Sunni militants linked to al-Qaeda?
8. Is the U.S. power grid safe from terrorism?
9. Is the government doing enough to support veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?
10. Should Congress reverse its cut to military pensions?
11. Will American companies be prepared for large scale cyber-attacks like the one that affected Target in December?
12. Are additional border resources the answer to unauthorized immigration?
13. Should commercial drones be allowed to operate in the United States?
14. Should Congress place sanctions against Iran?
15. Will the changes to the N.S.A’s Phone Data Collection Program harm the US National Security?

DX Round 3: Social, Environment, and Education
1. Would universal preschool be a worthwhile investment for the U.S.?
2. What effect will Michael Sam’s announcement of his sexuality have on gay rights moving forward?
3. Do the Northwestern football players have the right to unionize?
4. Did A&E properly handle “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson’s homophobic remarks?
5. Should the Affordable Care Act have mandated contraception coverage in insurance plans?
6. Does the government provide enough support for clean energy?
7. Should Congress restructure agricultural subsidies to favor healthy eating?
8. Should other states follow New York and raise the smoking age to 21?
9. Should the U.S. institute a carbon tax?
10. Will more states adopt “death with dignity” bills by 2020?
11. Will more U.S. states legalize marijuana use in 2014?
12. Will Common Core education standards improve learning for America’s school children?
13. Will the recent school shooting in New Mexico finally lead to gun control reforms?
14. Will the West Virginia chemical leak lead to more regulations?
15. Should the NFL and other professional sports leagues be held responsible for players who suffer traumatic brain injury from concussions?

DX Finals: Economy & Trade
1. Should the U.S. Congress reinstate the long-term unemployment benefits that expired at the end of 2013?
2. Should Congress raise the debt ceiling?
3. What impact would the Keystone XL Pipeline have on the U.S. economy?
4. Has NAFTA lived up to original expectations?
5. Will economic benefits of legal recreational marijuana sales outweigh the possible negative social ramifications?
6. How can the U.S. government address the growing income inequality in the nation?
7. Will the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement, if ratified, be beneficial to the U.S. economy?
8. How will the implementation of Obamacare affect health care spending in 2014?
9. Will Obama be successful in raising the federal minimum wage?
10. What are the implications of Detroit’s bankruptcy for other financially strapped cities?
11. Is cutting food stamps the right way to reduce the deficit?
12. Should the U.S. look to expand regional free trade agreements?
13. Should the United State expect GDP growth in 2014?
14. Would a housing market recovery help revive the US economy?
15. What does the declining power of labor unions mean for the U.S.?

Posted in Domestic, Economics, International, US Foreign Policy, US Politics | Leave a comment

Harvard questions (~90)

Uninhabited Areas → aka The Finals Frontier
“That all there is to it?” -Bubbles
1. Should “space dominance” be a military goal for the United States?
2. How does Arctic governance need to change in response to global warming?
3. Can we expect to see conflict over Arctic resources in the near future?
4. Should the international community recognize private property in Outer Space?
5. Has the rise of space tourism changed space exploration for the better?
6. Would a Sino-American space race be good for the world?
7. How can America best capitalize on new opportunities in the Arctic?
8. Can America do space exploration on a budget?
9. Will the Northern Sea Route lead to environmental catastrophe?
10. Is war in space a legitimate foreign policy concern?

“What they need is a union” -Russel
1. Will greater levels of interdependence prevent conflicts between China and Japan?
2. What reforms does India need to reach its potential?
3. Should Kim Jong Un crack down on growing underground markets?
4. Would the world be worse under the rule of a hegemonic China?
5. Does China’s naval buildup pose a threat to American interests?
6. Will economic development in Asia put the global environment at risk?
7. How will North Korea respond to US-South Korean joint military exercises?
8. Is Pakistan right to negotiate with the Taliban?
9. How should China solve its image problem in Africa?
10. Will the current pan-Korean detente last?

US Economy
“They used to make steel there, no?” -Vondas
1. Would a higher minimum wage reduce poverty?
2. Is the US doing enough to help the underemployed?
3. Is the budget deficit falling too fast?
4. How will the US economy change with the rise of intelligent machines?
5. Will 6.5% be the new normal unemployment rate?
6. Is the Fed’s unconventional monetary policy coming to an end?
7. How can the US save the middle class?
8. Should the government try to stabilize energy prices?
9. Does Obamacare kill jobs?
10. Is financial innovation good for the economy?

US Politics
“The bigger the lie, the more they believe” -Bunk
1. Should the Senate abolish the filibuster?
2. Does the debt ceiling promote responsible governance?
3. What should Ron Wyden’s first priority be as Chair of the Finance Committee?
4. Is the media unfair to female presidential candidates?
5. Which Republican has the best shot at beating Hillary Clinton?
6. How can Obama win the messaging war over Obamacare?
7. Is Obama an asset or a liability to purple state Democrats?
8. Are the death penalty’s days numbered?
9. Should progressives prioritize local elections over federal elections?
10. Is campaign finance reform the silver bullet for Congressional dysfunction?

Domestic Security
“The Gods will not save you” Burrell
1. Should the US respect a foreign right to digital privacy?
2. Is Congress exercising sufficient oversight over the DHS?
3. Can America trust other countries to take the lead in the fight against extremism?
4. Is America’s maintenance of its dominance in military technology worth the cost?
5. Is Obama doing enough to prevent national security leaks?
6. Does America need to invest more in its naval capabilities?
7. Should the average American be more afraid of a terrorist attack or the NSA?
8. Should the US prioritize fighting Al Qaeda over other terrorist groups?
9. Would a federal journalist shield law improve national security?
10. Does the US have a credibility problem in the Middle East?

US Foreign Policy
“The king stay the king” – D’Angelo
1. Did America lose the war in Iraq?
2. Should the Senate grant Obama fast-track authority for the TPP?
3. What steps should the US take to protect gay rights abroad?
4. Is global dependence on oil helpful or harmful for American interests?
5. How can America ensure continual access to rare earth metals?
6. Is Russia an enemy of America?
7. Should the US militarily protect Taiwan from Chinese expansionism?
8. Should the US ban domestic tech firms from helping dictators abroad?
9. Are sanctions working in Iran?
10. Is free trade good for America?

“Ain’t never gonna be what it was” -Little Big Roy
1. Does Europe need a free trade agreement with America?
2. Would Turkey be better off with the Euro?
3. Should the EU guarantee member states’ debts?
4. Should America care about Ukraine?
5. Would independence be good for Scotland?
6. Does Russia have @SochiProblems?
7. Does Francois Hollande have his affairs in order?
8. Is David Cameron doing enough to address widespread flooding?
9. Is the European Union doing enough to promote democracy abroad?
10. Will Ed Miliband’s swing to the left land him control of Parliament?

International Institutions
“World goin’ one way, people another” -Poot
1. How can the WTO stay relevant?
2. Are bitcoins here to stay?
3. Does the UN constrain or amplify American power?
4. Should NATO refocus its resources towards the Middle East?
5. Should the US take Chinese hacking to the WTO?
6. How can the UN improve its peacekeeping forces?
7. Is the G8 obsolete?
8. Does the world need a special legal regime for cyberwarfare?
9. Is OPEC’s power waning?
10. Is the ICC too focused on the Global South?

Middle East
“It’s a thin line ‘tween heaven and here” – Bubbles
1. Can intervention from colonial powers bring peace to the Middle East?
2. How can America address anti-Americanism in Iran?
3. Will a post-American Afghanistan be democratic?
4. Will international boycotts bring political change in Israel?
5. Would a Sisi presidency bring stability to Egypt?
6. Is the Muslim Brotherhood a threat to al-Sisi?
7. Can John Kerry bring peace to Israel?
8. Is Yemen a failed state?
9. Should the US keep giving aid to Afghanistan?
10. Would an independent Kurdistan make the Middle East more stable?

Thanks to Nathaniel Donahue for sending these.

Posted in Domestic, Economics, International, US Foreign Policy, US Politics | Leave a comment

Foreign and domestic (~100 q’s)


Economic and Fiscal Policy
1. Should the U.S. lower the tax rate on foreign profits?
2. Should Congress repeal the Estate Tax?
3. Should companies be allowed to disclose the full details of all government requests for data?
4. Do security concerns justify government mining of consumer data?
5. Which is more important: wage growth or GDP growth?
6. Can the decline in labor force participation be reversed?
7. Should the U.S. provide relocation subsidies for the long-term unemployed?
8. Do Americans work too many hours per week?
9. Should the U.S. pass a balanced budget amendment?
10. Did the U.S. lose the War on Poverty?
11. Should states be allowed to request immigrant visas?
12. Is cutting food stamps the right way to reduce the deficit?
13. Should Congress abolish the Debt Ceiling?
14. Does the government provide enough support for clean energy?
15. Should America attempt to restore youth employment to historical rates?
16. Should the U.S. government stop subsidizing flood insurance for coastal properties?
17. Do government benefits increase or reduce social mobility?
18. Why is it so difficult to close tax loopholes?
19. Should the U.S. increase the annual number of employment-based green cards?
20. Should Congress reverse its cut to military pensions?

Social and Environmental Policy
1. Would universal preschool be a worthwhile investment for the U.S.?
2. Should Congress mandate network neutrality?
3. Should Congress defund the Healthy Food Financing Initiative?
4. Should Congress restructure agricultural subsidies to favor healthy eating?
5. Should food stamps be part of the Farm Bill?
6. Does the U.S. adequately punish companies for causing environmental disasters?
7. Should the government pay people to go to parenting classes?
8. Does Teach for America improve schools?
9. Should nurses and physician assistants take more work from doctors?
10. How much environmental harm would the Keystone XL pipeline cause?
11. Should environmentalists embrace nuclear power?
12. Should military commanders have the authority to pardon sexual assault convictions?
13. Are the educational struggles of young boys a crisis?
14. Should Democrats accept legalization without citizenship for unauthorized immigrants?
15. Why don’t American students perform better on international tests?
16. Should President Obama use executive power to halt all deportations?
17. Is the free market the answer to high health costs?
18. Should America have more charter schools?
19. Should Congress repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard?
20. Should the gas tax be indexed to inflation?

1. Have Debt Ceiling fights helped Republicans achieve their goals?
2. Is the political system broken, or is this how divided government works?
3. Is the current political gridlock the fault of the Constitution or just current politics?
4. Would moving on immigration improve Republican fortunes in the 2014 elections?
5. On an A through F scale, how did President Obama do on the State of the Union?
6. Why can’t well-funded pro-immigration groups overcome their cash-strapped opponents?
7. Will Michelle Nunn take the race in Georgia?
8. Is the rise of one-party control in the states good for politics?
9. Is Mitch McConnell in serious danger of being unseated?
10. Will the new focus on inequality save Obama’s presidency?
11. Since Obama took office, have Republicans or Democrats been more effective strategically?
12. Will Hillary Clinton face a primary challenger?
13. What issue will decide the 2014 election?
14. How did Obama overcome Congressional opposition on Iran negotiations?
15. Should Republicans shift their focus to fixing the ACA rather than repealing it?
16. Has the Heritage Foundation destroyed its brand?
17. Which party’s vision for America is more mainstream?
18. If elected president, who could most effectively unite America?
19. Are Republicans too anti-government?
20. Are Democrats too inflexible on immigration?


Asia and Europe
1. Should Western countries attempt to disrupt Putin’s vision for a Eurasian Union?
2. Will Russia sponsor a Ukranian coup attempt after the Olympics?
3. Should the European Union intervene to ensure fair elections in Ukraine?
4. Is the European Union expanding too aggressively?
5. Should the European Union emphasize inclusiveness or economic self-interest?
6. Does the European Union need a unified foreign policy?
7. Is Korean unification in China’s strategic interest?
8. Is China getting serious about pollution control?
9. Why is China stirring up territorial disputes?
10. Are Thai anti-government protestors acting in their country’s best interests?
11. Will a revived Japanese military threaten regional security?
12. Will Asian territorial disputes escalate into war?
13. How should China’s neighbors view its planned military spending increase?
14. Does China’s rise signal a need for the U.S. to reduce its regional naval presence?
15. Should Australia repeal its harsh new asylum policies?

Middle East and Africa
1. Should Taliban members be permitted to run for office in Afghanistan?
2. Should the international community mount a campaign for Israeli nuclear disarmament?
3. Could a two-state solution in Israel and Palestine remain peaceful?
4. Is Egypt’s military overplaying its hand?
5. Will the current Iran negotiations lead to a breakthrough?
6. Are the Syrian rebels prepared to govern?
7. Who has the upper hand in Syria?
8. Will an Afghan peace be reached without serious negotiations with the Taliban?
9. Is America leaving a power vacuum in the Middle East?
10. Was Hamid Karzai wrong to have secret contact with the Taliban?
11. Should the U.S. cut off military aid to Egypt in response to its recent crackdown on journalists?
12. Will the ANC lose its way without Nelson Mandela?
13. Will the Central African Republic’s new interim government be able to restore order?
14. Does France do enough to support its former African colonies?
15. Will Libya’s transition to a new government go better than Egypt or Iraq’s?

U.S. Foreign Policy
1. Should the U.S. offer to reduce its presence in East Asia in exchange for help overthrowing the North Korean regime?
2. Should the U.S. end the Cuban embargo?
3. Should the U.S. support efforts to establish an international legal framework for the internet?
4. Was the U.S. too quick to embrace the Arab Spring?
5. Does Afghanistan figure too heavily in U.S. strategy toward Pakistan?
6. Is American exceptionalism dead?
7. Does apologizing for misdeeds help or hinder U.S. national security?
8. Should the U.S. commit to the IAEA for another 40 years?
9. Is President Obama being too lenient with Iran?
10. Should the U.S. authorize the President to militarily defend Israel in any conflict against Iran?
11. Was the recent Senate consideration of a new Iran sanctions bill appropriate?
12. Is America the greatest nation on earth?
13. Does the U.S. give Israel too much influence over its foreign policy decisions?
14. Should the U.S. take sides in the Ukranian dispute?
15. Should the U.S. look to expand regional free trade agreements?
16. Should the U.S. support the Phillippines in its territorial dispute with China?
17. Should U.S. diplomats publicly rebuke Nigeria’s anti-gay crackdown?


Posted in Domestic, International, US Foreign Policy, US Politics | Leave a comment

One tournament (~80 q’s)

These questions were used this past weekend at the Charlotte Latin, NC tournament.

Domestic I: Policy
1. Are doctors overpaid?
2. Should trans fats be banned?
3. Will new performance measures improve medical care?
4. Will a lack of young insurance subscribers torpedo the ACA?
5. Is the ACA contributing to the recent slowdown in health cost growth?
6. Should the U.S. allow the export of liquefied natural gas?
7. Should the U.S. focus on accelerating economic growth or adjusting to a new normal?
8. Is America still the land of opportunity?
9. Does the government have a responsibility to reduce income inequality?
10. Did the U.S. lose the war on poverty?
11. Do we expect too much of the education system?
12. Does border security get too much attention in the immigration debate?
13. Should immigration be limited at all?
14. Will the slowdown in Mexican unauthorized immigration to the U.S. be permanent?
15. Will the IPAB succeed in cutting health costs?
16. Did the ACA do enough to change American health care?
17. Should nurse practitioners be allowed to diagnose and treat certain ailments?

Domestic II: Politics
1. What does the declining power of labor unions mean for the U.S.?
2. Why does government spending grow fastest under Republican presidents?
3. What is the most likely timing for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform?
4. Is Libertarianism becoming mainstream?
5. Who is the Republican frontrunner?
6. Are Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the Democratic nomination overrated?
7. Has the recent criticism of Wendy Davis been fair?
8. Is Mitch McDonnell’s political career over?
9. Will Arizona’s Republican party successfully oust John McCain?
10. Can President Obama recover from 2013?
11. Would Condoleezza Rice win the Republican nomination?
12. Is same sex marriage still electorally useful for Republicans?
13. Could John Boehner win another term as House Speaker?
14. Should the government regulate dangerous professional sports?
15. Are energy subsidies too high?
16. Will income inequality be a winner for Democrats?

IX 1: U.S. Foreign Policy
1. Does morality drive American foreign policy?
2. Is China’s rise a threat to the U.S.?
3. Did the U.S. back down too soon in Iraq?
4. Is the U.S. military or the U.S. economy a more important power asset?
5. Should the U.S. contribute troops to the Central African Republic peacekeeping effort?
6. Will John Allen find a breakthrough in Israel?
7. Was cutting U.S. aid to Afghanistan the right decision?
8. Should the U.S. prosecute Dennis Rodman for his gifts to Kim Jong-un?
9. Is the U.S. approach to al Qaeda outdated?
10. Should the U.S. take a stronger stand on environmental issues in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations?
11. Should the CIA assassinate Edward Snowden?
12. Can the U.S. salvage its relationship with Hamid Karzai?
13. Was the Senate right to back off its Iran sanctions proposal?
14. In light of rising domestic energy production, should the U.S. reduce its presence in the Middle East and North Africa?
15. Should Congress be more open to international agreements?
16. Should the U.S. take a harder line against China’s regional expansionism?

IX 2: International Issues
1. Has Ban-Ki Moon been an effective Secretary-General?
2. Do NGOs play too large a role in international development?
3. Will the Geneva II talks produce meaningful progress on Syria?
4. Who has the upper hand in the Geneva II talks?
5. Should Syrian Kurds have their own delegation to the Geneva II talks?
6. Was Sudan’s division a mistake?
7. Should the international community accept the results of Egypt’s constitutional referendum?
8. Do the recent tensions between China and Japan represent a real security threat?
9. Will the protests in Ukraine lead to civil war?
10. Will the re-emergence of Japan’s military improve or detract from regional security?
11. Should China institute stricter pollution controls?
12. Do developed nations do enough to help Africa?
13. Will the recent agreement put an end to the violent insurgency in the Philippines?
14. Are U.N. peacekeepers effective?
15. Is Egypt’s revolution over?
16. Will Tunisia’s new constitution survive?

IX Final
1. Would Iran’s interests be better served if it supported a transitional government in Syria?
2. Would Iran be better off if it abandoned its nuclear ambitions?
3. How can China reduce U.S. influence in Asia?
4. Should Russia offer to extradite Snowden in exchange for U.S. concessions on Syria?
5. To enhance its long term strategic position, should Russia turn east or west?
6. Should Mexico fund groups that support U.S. marijuana decriminalization?
7. Has Assad allowed himself to become too dependent on foreign fighters?
8. Should Nepal’s opposition parties abandon their calls for a new election?
9. With growth slowing, what can China’s leaders do to prevent political unrest?
10. Should the EU admit Serbia?
11. Would a two state solution improve Israel’s security?
12. Should Mexico seek to expand free trade with the U.S.?
13. Do China’s crackdowns on dissidents ultimately help or hurt the ruling party?
14. Should the Ukranian opposition accept Viktor Yanukovych’s concessionsbe enough for him to remain in power?
15. Can Abdul Fattah al-Sisi hold on to power in Egypt?
16. Should Israel unilaterally withdraw from the West Bank?


Posted in Domestic, International, US Foreign Policy, US Politics | Leave a comment

One tournament (~100 q’s)

These questions were used at Grand Junction High School’s tournament this past weekend:


American Politics
– Will the traffic study scandal foil Chris Christie’s presidential ambitions?
– Was Robert Gates’ criticism of President Obama justified?
– Has Hillary Clinton been prematurely anointed as the 2016 Democratic nominee?
– Will the House pass legislation granting legal status to unauthorized immigrants in 2014?
– In the long term, would passing immigration reform help or harm the Republican party?
– Are there too many millionares in Congress?
– Will the U.S. have a viable third party candidate in one of the next three presidential elections?
– Will Paul LePage earn a second term in Maine?
– Was 2013 the low point for American politics?
– Should same day voter registration be allowed?
– Can Rand Paul take advantage of his rivals’ struggles and capture the 2016 nomination?
– Can President Obama salvage his legacy?

Economic and Fiscal
– Should professional sports leagues be allowed to benefit from taxpayer-subsidized facilities?
– Will “Promise Zones” succeed?
– Should the U.S. increase the minimum wage?
– Are taxes too high in the U.S.?
– Has the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau been a success so far?
– Are U.S. government workers underpaid or overpaid?
– Is the U.S. generous enough with unemployment benefits?
– Was Janet Yellen the right choice to lead the Fed?
– Is President Obama’s focus on income inequality misplaced?
– Should the Social Security retirement age be increased to 70?
– Is falling unemployment illusory?
– Is 2 percent economic growth the new normal?

Social Policy
– How will the Affordable Care Act be viewed in 10 years?
– Will enough young and healthy people sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act?
– Would we be better off if employers played a smaller role in providing health coverage?
– Have some conservatives crossed the line by encouraging people to go without health insurance?
– Are Americans tired of hearing about Obamacare?
– Do too many parents send their children to private schools?
– In light of safety concerns, should public schools continue fielding football teams?
– Does incentive pay for teachers improve schools?
– Should Pres. Obama use executive power to stop deportations of unauthorized immigrants with citizen children?
– Should the U.S. admit more H-1B guest workers?
– Should states issue driver licenses to unauthorized immigrants?
– Are additional border resources the answer to unauthorized immigration?
– Should the U.S. adopt policies geared at increasing the fertility rate?

Security, Energy, and Environment
– Has the U.S. government’s investment in clean energy been a failure?
– Should the U.S. government eliminate subsidies to fossil fuel producers?
– What does the record cold snap imply about climate change?
– Is sustainable economic growth possible?
– Does the U.S. strike the right balance between the economy and the environment?
– Are incidents like the West Virginia spill an inevitable consequence of economic development?
– Should Congress repeal the defense sequester?
– Have military pay and benefits risen too quickly?
– Should the U.S. military increase its use of reserve troops?
– Did Edward Snowden do the right thing?
– Is extensive NSA surveillance in the national interest?
– What is the greatest threat to U.S. national security?


US Foreign Policy
– Was the United States right to release Devyani Khobragade?
– Is the U.S. too obsessed with al Qaeda?
– Was the Iraq war a complete failure?
– Should the U.S. send additional troops back to Iraq?
– Should the U.S. step in and fund the Afghan police force?
– Was President Obama’s embrace of the Egyptian uprising premature?
– Did the U.S. give up too much in the recent interim deal with Iran?
– Is the U.S.’s differential treatment of the Iranian and Israeli nuclear programs hypocritical?
– Does the U.S. have standing to criticize Chinese cyberattacks?
– How should the threat of leaks change the way the U.S. conducts foreign policy?
– In response to leaks, should the U.S. apologize to the international community or assert its right to act in the national interest?
– Should the U.S. boycott the 2014 Olympics?

Middle East and Africa
– Will the new interim agreement prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons?
– Should the Senate move forward with its Iran sanctions bill?
– Should the U.S. withdraw its financial support to Israel?
– Is Egypt better off under military rule?
– Will Egypt’s vote on a new draft constitution restore order?
– Does Israel’s reaction to John Kerry’s proposals show that a peace deal is impossible?
– Will Syria become an Islamist state?
– Should Iran be part of Syria peace talks?
– Should Assad be exiled from Syria as part of any peace agreement?
– Will Tayyip Erdogan manage to hold onto power in Turkey?
– Should the United States designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization?
– Now that Michel Djotodia has resigned, will the situation improve in the Central African Republic?

Asia and Global
– Is Pope Francis acting in the best interests of the Catholic church?
– Do man-made viruses pose a serious threat?
– What nation is the greatest threat to world peace?
– Should stockpiles of illicitly-obtained ivory be destroyed?
– Can international treaties to stop governments from torturing people?
– Will the international community ever negotiate a binding climate agreement?
– Who is responsible for deplorable working conditions in third world factories?
– Will slowing economic growth in China result in increased domestic unrest?
– Should China repeal its one child policy?
– Will the protests in Thailand ignite a civil war?
– Can Indonesia sustain its recent economic success?
– Is South Korea’s economy overly dependent on trade?

Europe and Latin America
– Why couldn’t Europe’s social democrats take better advantage of the financial crisis?
– Why has the United Kingdom soured on immigration?
– Should Scotland choose to become independent?
– Will a challenger outseat Viktor Orban in Hungary’s 2014 election?
– Does France do enough to assist its former colonies?
– Was austerity the right path for Europe?
– Will Poland’s economic boom continue?
– Should the Mexican government allow citizen militias to form against drug cartels?
– Was NAFTA good for Mexico?
– Should the international community replace food aid to Haiti with cash?
– Will President Nieto place Mexico on the path to prosperity?
– Will NATO remain relevant after Afghanistan?

Posted in Domestic, International, US Foreign Policy, US Politics | Leave a comment