Should every 18 year old citizen be required to provide at least one year of military service?

Military Service is currently not required in India. India has never required military service under British rule or since it gained independence in 1947. In WWII the Indian Army became the largest all-volunteer force in history, rising to over 2.5 million men in size. And it has since maintained the world's third largest army and the world's largest all volunteer army.

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Should the government take a stronger position against Chinese influence in the region?

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Should India accept refugees from Syria?

President Obama recently declared that the U.S. will accept 10,000 refugees from Syria. The U.S. has been under pressure from its Syrian allies to help out with the crisis in which 3 Million refugees have fled Syria in the past year. Those in favor of accepting refugees believe that the U.S. has a duty to join its allies in Europe and accept at least 10,000 refugees. Opponents argue that the U.S. should stay out of this crisis and accepting refugees from the Middle East leads to a risk of letting terrorists into our borders.

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If Pakistan attacks, should the government respond with devastating force?

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Should India increase or decrease its amount of military weapons?

India ranks #8 in the world for military expenditures, spending $46B or 2.5% of GDP per year.

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Should the government increase or decrease military spending?

In the global ranking of military budgets India currently ranks #6 with an annual budget of 2.47 lakh crore. India's military budget is #7 in military spending as a measured percentage of GDP (2.3%).

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Should the government attempt to influence foreign elections?

Foreign electoral interventions are attempts by governments, covertly or overtly, to influence elections in another country. A 2016 study by Dov H. Levin concluded that the country intervening in most foreign elections was the United States with 81 interventions, followed by Russia (including the former Soviet Union) with 36 interventions from 1946 to 2000. In July 2018 U.S. Representative Ro Khanna introduced an amendment that would have prevented U.S. intelligence agencies from receiving funding that could be used to interfere in the elections of foreign governments. The amendment would ban U.S. agencies from “hacking foreign political parties; engaging in the hacking or manipulation of foreign electoral systems; or sponsoring or promoting media outside the United States that favors one candidate or party over another.” Proponents of election interference helps keep hostile leaders and political parties out of power. Opponents argue that the amendment would send a message to other foreign countries that the U.S. does not interfere in election and set a global gold standard for preventing election interference. Opponents argue that election interference helps keep hostile leaders and political parties out of power.

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Should India increase or decrease foreign aid spending?

The budget reveals that the Indian government’s foreign aid expenditures will reach $1.3 billion in 2014-15 — more than double New Delhi’s anticipated net foreign aid receipts of $655 million that financial year. New Delhi’s foreign aid spending has been rising steadily since 2009-10. Between 2013-14 and 2014-15, Indian foreign aid expenditures are slated to increase by 18 percent.

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Should the government provide all citizens with a free of charge education?

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Should tuition at public universities be free?

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Should the government require children to be vaccinated for preventable diseases?

In January 2014, 102 measles cases linked to an outbreak at Disneyland were reported in 14 states. The outbreak alarmed the CDC, which declared the disease eliminated in the U.S. in the year 2000. Many health officials have tied the outbreak to the rising number of unvaccinated children under the age of 12. Proponents of a mandate argue that vaccines are necessary in order to insure herd immunity against preventable diseases. Herd immunity protects people who are unable to get vaccines due to their age or health condition. Opponents of a mandate believe the government should not be able to decide which vaccines their children should receive. Some opponents also believe there is a link between vaccinations and autism and vaccinating their children will have destructive consequences on their early childhood development.

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Do you support the use of nuclear energy?

Nuclear power is the use of nuclear reactions that release energy to generate heat, which most frequently is then used in steam turbines to produce electricity in a nuclear power station. By 2050 25% of India's power will be produced by nuclear power. Proponents argue that nuclear energy is now safe and emits much less carbon emissions than coal plants. Opponents argue that recent nuclear disasters in Japan prove that nuclear power is far from safe.

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Should India increase the use of private international firms to build infrastructure?

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Should the government pay for the construction of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya?

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Should the government eliminate codes that protect the culture of minority groups?

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Should the government invest in building a high speed rail?

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Should the government increase spending on public transportation?

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Should the government require people to wear face masks in public during the COVID pandemic?

In 2020 face masks were mandated by certain countries as a control measure against the spread of SARS-CoV-2. As of early May 2020, 88% of the world's population lived in countries that recommend or mandated the use of masks in public. Opponents argue that masks do little to combat the virus since most people do not wear them properly. Proponents argue that a mask mandate would help stop the spread of CV19 and prevent tens of thousands of deaths.

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Should there be more public or private involvement in healthcare?

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Should the government increase funding for mental health research and treatment?

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Should there be more or less privatization of hospital and healthcare services?

The private healthcare sector is responsible for the majority of healthcare in India. Most healthcare expenses are paid out of pocket by patients and their families, rather than through insurance.

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Should the government guarantee the legal right to food for two-thirds of the population?

The Indian National Food Security Act, 2013 (also Right to Food Act), was signed into law September 12, 2013, retroactive to July 5, 2013. This law aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of India's 1.2 billion people. Under the provisions of the bill, beneficiaries are to be able to purchase 5 kilograms per eligible person per month of cereals at the following prices: rice at INR3 (4.9¢ US) per kg; wheat at INR2 (3.3¢ US) per kg; coarse grains (millet) at INR1 (1.6¢ US) per kg. Pregnant women, lactating mothers, and certain categories of children are eligible for daily free meals. The bill has been highly controversial. It was introduced into India's parliament in December 2012, promulgated as a presidential ordinance on July 5, 2013, and enacted into law in August 2013.

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Should the government prioritize lowering the cost of healthcare or improving the quality?

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Should cities open drug “safe havens” where people who are addicted to illegal drugs can use them under the supervision of medical professionals?

In 2018, officials in the U.S. city of Philadelphia city proposed opening a “safe haven” in an effort to combat the city's heroin epidemic. In 2016 64,070 people died in the U.S. from drug overdoses - a 21% increase from 2015. 3/4 of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. are caused by the opioid class of drugs which includes prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl. To combat the epidemic cities including Vancouver, BC and Sydney, AUS opened safe havens where addicts can inject drugs under the supervision of medical professionals. The safe havens reduce the overdose death rate by insuring the addicted patients are given drugs that are not contaminated or poisoned. Since 2001 5,900 people have overdosed at a safe haven in Sydney, Australia but no one has died. Proponents argue that the safe havens are the only proven solution to lower the overdose fatality rate and prevent the spread of diseases like HIV-AIDS. Opponents argue that safe havens may encourage illegal drug use and re-direct funding from traditional treatment centers.

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Do you support a single-payer healthcare system?

Single-payer healthcare is a system where every citizen pays the government to provide core healthcare services for all residents. Under this system the government may provide the care themselves or pay a private healthcare provider to do so. In a single-payer system all residents receive healthcare regardless of age, income or health status. Countries with single-payer healthcare systems include the U.K., Canada, Taiwan, Israel, France, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.

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Should the government fund the World Health Organization?

The World Health Organization was founded in 1948 and is a specialized agency of the United Nations whose main objective is “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.” The organization provides technical assistance to countries, sets international health standards and guidelines, and collects data on global health issues through the World Health Survey. The WHO has led global public health efforts including the development of an Ebola Vaccine and the near-eradication of polio and smallpox. The organization is run by a decision-making body composed of representatives from 194 countries. It is funded by voluntary contributions from member countries and private donors. In 2018 and 2019 the WHO had a $5 billion budget and the leading contributors were the United States (15%) , the EU (11%) and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation (9%). Supporters of the WHO argue that cutting funding will hamper the international fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and sap the U.S. of global influence.

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Do you support the legalization of Marijuana?

Marijuana is currently illegal to possess, grow, distribute or sell in Ireland. People caught possessing small amounts of marijuana may receive 6 months of imprisonment and a fine of 10,000 Rs. Those in possession of large amounts of marijuana may be charged with trafficking and sentenced to long prison terms.

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Should Jammu and Kashmir be granted special autonomous status?

Article 370 of the Indian constitution is a law that grants special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir. According to this Article, except for defence, foreign affairs, finance and communications, the Parliament needs the state government's concurrence for applying all other laws. Thus the state's residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians. As a result of this provision, Indian citizens from other states can not purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir. Under Article 370, the Centre has no power to declare financial emergency under Article 360 in the state. It can declare emergency in the state only in case of war or external aggression. The Union government can therefore not declare emergency on grounds of internal disturbance or imminent danger unless it is made at the request or with the concurrence of the state government.

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Are you in favor of decriminalizing drug use?

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Bill, 1985 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 23 August 1985. It was passed by both the Houses of Parliament and it was assented by the President on 16 September 1985. Under the NDPS Act, it is illegal for a person to produce/manufacture/cultivate, possess, sell, purchase, transport, store, and/or consume any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.

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Should India allow religion based political parties?

A well known accusation that Indian political parties make for their rivals is that they play vote bank politics, meaning give political support to issues for the sole purpose of gaining the votes of members of a particular community. Both the Congress Party and the BJP have been accused of exploiting the people by indulging in vote bank politics.

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Do you support the Jan Lokpal bill which would create an independent organization to investigate corruption of government employees?

The Jan Lokpal Bill, also referred to as the Citizen's Ombudsman Bill, is an anti-corruption bill drafted and drawn up by civil society activists in India seeking the appointment of a Jan Lokpal, an independent body to investigate corruption cases. The Jan Lokpal Bill aims to effectively deter corruption, compensate citizen grievances, and protect whistle-blowers. The prefix Jan (translation: citizens) signifies that these improvements include inputs provided by "ordinary citizens" through an activist-driven, non-governmental public consultation.

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Do you support caste based reservation in the private sector?

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Should the government pass laws which protect whistleblowers?

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Should teachers be allowed to carry guns at school?

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Should the government increase video surveillance in public places?

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Should it be illegal to burn the Indian flag?

Flag desecration is any act that is carried out with the intention of damaging or destroying a national flag in public. This is commonly done in an effort to make a political statement against a nation or its policies. Some nations have acts that ban flag desecration while others have laws that protect the right to destroy a flag as a part of free speech. Some of these laws distinguish between a national flag and those of other countries.

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Should internet service providers be allowed to speed up access to popular websites (that pay higher rates) at the expense of slowing down access to less popular websites (that pay lower rates)?

Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers should treat all data on the internet equally.

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Do you support caste based reservation?

Reservation in India is the process of setting aside a certain percentage of seats (vacancies) in government institutions for members of backward and under-represented communities (defined primarily by caste and tribe). Reservation is a form of quota-based affirmative action. Reservation is governed by constitutional laws, statutory laws, and local rules and regulations. Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) are the primary beneficiaries of the reservation policies under the Constitution – with the object of ensuring a "level" playing field.

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Should social media companies ban political advertising?

In October 2019 Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that his social media company would ban all political advertising. He stated that political messages on the platform should reach users through the recommendation of other users – not through paid reach. Proponents argue that social media companies don’t have the tools to stop the spread of false information since their advertising platforms aren’t moderated by human beings. Opponents argue that the ban will disenfranchise candidates and campaigns who rely on social media for grassroots organizing and fundraising.

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Should the government regulate social media sites, as a means to prevent fake news and misinformation?

In January 2018 Germany passed the NetzDG law which required platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to take down perceived illegal content within 24 hours or seven days, depending on the charge, or risk a fine of €50 million ($60 million) fines. In July 2018 representatives from Facebook, Google and Twitter denied to the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary committee that they censor content for political reasons. During the hearing Republican members of Congress criticized the social media companies for politically motivated practices in removing some content, a charge the companies rejected. In April 2018 the European Union issued a series of proposals that would crack down on “online misinformation and fake news.” In June 2018 President Emmanuel Macron of France proposed a law which would give French authorities the power to immediately halt “the publication of information deemed to be false ahead of elections.”

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Should a third of all seats in parliament be reserved for women?

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Should Indian voters be able to exercise the "None of the Above" (NOTA) option for candidates?

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Should regional parties be allowed to contest Parliament elections?

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Should India give all poor households the right to homestead?

According to the National Land Reforms Policy, more than 31% of households in the country are landless. Almost 30% own less than 0.4 hectares, meaning 60% of the population owns only 5% of the country’s land. The National Right to Homestead Bill of 2013 aims to ensure that every shelterless poor family has a right to hold homestead of not less than 10 cents within a period of 10 years commencing from the date of notification. Government employees, landowners, income tax payers are all exempt

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Should there be term limits for members of Parliament?

A term limit is a law which limits the length of time a person may serve in an elected office. In India there are no term limits on the office of the President. The Prime Minister and Parliament must be re-elected every five years.

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Should the government be able to monitor phone calls and emails?

In 2008 the Indian parliament passed the Information Technology Act of 2008 which gave the government fiat power to tap all communications without a court order or a warrant. Section 69 authorizes the government to intercept, monitor or decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource deemed necessary.

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Do you support the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh?

Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 commonly called Telangana Bill is an Act of Indian Parliament proclaiming the bifurcation of the Andhra Pradesh state into two states, Telangana and residuary Andhra Pradesh. The Act consists of all aspects of division of assets and liabilities, finalize the boundaries of the proposed new states and status of Hyderabad. The Bill was rejected by Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly on January 30, 2014.

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Should government workers be allowed to strike?

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Should the government increase taxes on private business?

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Should the government provide tax incentives to private companies to keep jobs within the country?

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Do you believe labor unions help or hurt the economy?

Trade unions in India have experienced tremendous growth in the past five years. The Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), affiliated to the Congress party, has emerged as the biggest of the seven central trade unions, with a membership of 33.3 million.

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Should India allow international retail chains such as Wal-Mart and Tesco more or less entry into India?

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Should pension payments be increased for retired government workers?

A government pension is a fund into which a sum of money is added during the period in which a person is employed by the government. When the government employee retires they are able to receive periodic payments from the fund in order to support themselves. As the birth rate continues to fall and the life expectancy rises governments worldwide are predicting funding shortfalls for pensioners. In 2016 retired central government employees will now get a minimum pension of Rs 9,000. This is an increase of up to 157.14 per cent from the current Rs 3,500.

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Should the government use economic stimulus to aid the country during times of recession?

An economic stimulus is a monetary or fiscal policy enacted by governments with the intent of stabilizing their economies during a fiscal crisis. The policies include an increase in government spending on infrastructure, tax cuts and lowering interest rates. In 2015 the Indian government introduced a 1.5 trillion rupee stimulus that will be spent on roads and railways.

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Should the government break up Amazon, Facebook and Google?

In 2019 the European Union and U.S. Democratic Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren issued proposals that would regulate Facebook, Google and Amazon. Senator Warren proposed that the U.S. government should designate tech companies who have global revenue of over $25 billion as “platform utilities" and break them up into smaller companies. Senator Warren argues that the companies have “bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else.” Lawmakers in the European Union proposed a set of rules which include a blacklist of unfair trading practices, requirements that companies set up an internal system to handle complaints and allow businesses to group together to sue platforms. Opponents argue that these companies have benefited consumers by providing free online tools and bring more competition into commerce. Opponents also point out that history has shown that dominance in technology is a revolving door and that many companies (including IBM in the 1980’s) have cycled through it with little to no help from the government.

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Should welfare recipients be tested for drugs?

5 U.S. states have passed laws requiring welfare recipients to be tested for drugs. India does not currently test welfare recipients for drugs. Proponents argue that testing will prevent public funds from being used to subsidize drugs habits and help get treatment for those that are addicted to drugs. Opponents argue that it is a waste of money since the tests will cost more money than they save.

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Should the government guarantee wage employment to every low income household?

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is an Indian law that aims to guarantee the 'right to work' and ensure livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. The statute is hailed by the government as "the largest and most ambitious social security and public works programme in the world". The more comprehensive survey of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, a ‘Supreme Audit Institution’ defined in Article 148 of the Constitution of India, reports serious lapses in implementation of the act.

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Should the government raise or lower the tax rate for corporations?

India currently levies a 35% tax on all businesses. The average corporate tax rate worldwide is 22.6%. Opponents of argue that raising the rate will discourage foreign investment and hurt the economy. Proponents argue that the profits corporations generate should be taxed just like citizen's taxes.

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Should India allow foreign countries to transfer their military production to India?

India's current limit on foreign direct investment for defense manufacturing is 26%.

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Should the government classify Bitcoin as a legal currency?

Bitcoin is a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank. Bitcoins are stored in a digital wallet, which is like a virtual bank account that allows users to send or receive bitcoins and pay for goods or services. Bitcoin is anonymous, meaning that, while transactions are recorded in a public log, the names of buyers and sellers are never revealed.

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Should India raise taxes on the rich?

Australia currently has a progressive tax system whereby high income earners pay a higher percentage of tax than low income tax. A more progressive income tax system has been proposed as a tool towards reducing wealth inequality.

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Should the government raise the national minimum wage?

The federal minimum wage is the lowest wage at which employers may pay their employees. The minimum wages are set according to Minimum Wages Act, 1948 and vary from 150 rupees ($2.40) per day in Bihar to 361 rupees ($5.80) per day in Delhi. State governments set a separate minimum wage for agricultural workers.

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Should India abolish the inheritance tax?

The inheritance tax is a tax on money and possessions you pass on when you die. A certain amount can be passed on tax-free, which is called the "tax-free allowance" or "nil rate band". The current tax-free allowance is £325,000 which has not changed since 2011 and is fixed at that rate until at least 2017. The inheritance tax is an emotionally charged issue as it comes up during a time of loss and mourning.

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Should the government use incentives or punishment as a means to bring black money back to India?

Black money refers to money that is not fully legitimately the property of the 'owner'. A white paper on black money in India by the Government of India suggests two possible sources of black money in India. The first includes activities not permitted by the law, such as crime, drug trade, terrorism, and corruption, all of which are illegal in India. The second, more likely source is that the wealth may have been generated through a lawful activity but accumulated by failing to declare income and pay taxes. Some of this black money ends up in illicit financial flows across international borders, such as deposits in tax haven countries. According to a 2010 The Hindu article, unofficial estimates indicate that Indians had over US$1456 billion in black money stored in Swiss banks (approximately USD 1.4 trillion).

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Do you support a universal basic income program?

A Universal Basic Income program is social security program where all citizens of a country receive a regular, unconditional sum of money from the government. The funding for Universal Basic Income comes from taxation and government owned entities including income from endowments, real estate and natural resources. Several countries, including Finland, India and Brazil, have experimented with a UBI system but have not implemented a permanent program. The longest running UBI system in the world is the Alaska Permanent Fund in the U.S. state of Alaska. In the Alaska Permanent Fund each individual and family receives a monthly sum that is funded by dividends from the state’s oil revenues. Proponents of UBI argue that it will reduce or eliminate poverty by providing everyone with a basic income to cover housing and food. Opponents argue that a UBI would be detrimental to economies by encouraging people to either work less or drop out of the workforce entirely.

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Should the government acquire equity stakes in companies it bails out during a recession?

A state-owned enterprise is a business enterprise where the government or state has significant control through full, majority, or significant minority ownership. During the 2020 Coronavirus outbreak Larry Kudlow, the White House’s top economic advisor, said the Trump administration would consider asking for an equity stake in corporations that needed taxpayer aid. “One of the ideas is, if we provide assistance, we might take an equity position,” Kudlow said Wednesday at the White House, adding that the 2008 bailout of [the automaker General Motors] had been a good deal for the federal government. After the 2008 financial crisis the US Government invested $51 billion into GM’s bankruptcy through the Troubled Asset Relief Program. In 2013 the Government sold its stake in GM for $39 billion. The Center for Automotive Research found that the bailout saved 1.2 million jobs and preserved 34.9 billion in tax revenue. Proponents argue that US taxpayers deserve a return on their investments if private companies need capital. Opponents argue that governments should never own shares of private companies.

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Should there be fewer or more restrictions on current welfare benefits?

In 2011 the level of public spending on the welfare state by the British Government accounted for £113.1 billion, or 16% of government. By 2020 welfare spending will rise to 1/3rd of all spending making it the largest expense followed by housing benefit, council tax benefit, benefits to the unemployed, and benefits to people with low incomes.

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Should India reduce income taxes on the wealthy in an effort to reduce black money?

Black money refers to money that is not fully legitimately the property of the 'owner'. A white paper on black money in India by the Government of India suggests two possible sources of black money in India. The first includes activities not permitted by the law, such as crime, drug trade, terrorism, and corruption, all of which are illegal in India. The second, more likely source is that the wealth may have been generated through a lawful activity but accumulated by failing to declare income and pay taxes. Some of this black money ends up in illicit financial flows across international borders, such as deposits in tax haven countries. According to a 2010 The Hindu article, unofficial estimates indicate that Indians had over US$1456 billion in black money stored in Swiss banks (approximately USD 1.4 trillion).

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Should the government add or increase tariffs on products imported into the country?

A tariff is a tax on imports or exports between countries.

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Should bankers’ bonuses be capped at 100% of their pay?

n 2014 the EU passed legislation that capped bankers’ bonuses at 100% of their pay or 200% with shareholder approval. Proponents of the cap say that it will reduce incentives for bankers to take excessive risk similar to what led to the 2008 financial crisis. Opponents say that any cap on banker’s pay will push up non-bonus pay and cause bank’s costs to rise.

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Should VAT rates be increased or decreased?

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Should citizens be allowed to save or invest their money in offshore bank accounts?

An offshore (or foreign) bank account is a bank account you have outside of your country of residence. The benefits of an offshore bank account include tax reduction, privacy, currency diversification, asset protection from lawsuits, and reducing your political risk.

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Should the government make cuts to public spending in order to reduce the national debt?

Proponents of deficit reduction argue that governments who do not control budget deficits and debt are at risk of losing their ability to borrow money at affordable rates. Opponents of deficit reduction argue that government spending would increase demand for goods and services and help avert a dangerous fall into deflation, a downward spiral in wages and prices that can cripple an economy for years.

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