Bayley and Raffi weren’t messing around and defined the resolution strategically/questionably by saying that the house was the United States federal government, and austerity meant exactly what it sounds like, but bankruptcy meant undergoing “financial ruin”. Fortunately, they backed up their definition of bankruptcy with an actual dictionary (one of the few resources you can actually consult during prep time), and one of the judges on the panel said, “I hate topicality,” in an earlier round when asked about her paradigm, so they were good to go in that regard. They set up two main contentions, that long-term prosperity is contingent on us getting our fiscal house in order now, and that all of the services we offer (Medicare, police force, etc.) would go away entirely if the United States just “went bankrupt” and we’d accordingly have a humanitarian crisis on our hands.
Bethany SS came back and said that Bayley and Raffi had a weird definition of bankruptcy, and that in the context of a country bankruptcy should mean more of a “reset button” where the country retools its finances. Bethany always plays the metaphor game really well and said the debate came down to whether the judges would prefer a quick death then being defibrillated back to life versus being slowly choked to death. Raffi took a huge swing on that via questions by continually pressing SS on what bankruptcy would actually look like for the United States, which was never made very clear. That paved the way for Raffi to really expand on the humanitarian impacts (I personally had the word “ANARCHY!” written twice on my flow), which Bayley hammered home in the rebuttal, saying the risk of essentially societal collapse outweighed any of the cuts that we would make to ensure longevity. They won on a 3-0 decision.