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CR

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Though discussed many times, I am still not clear.

Press Secretary: Our critics claim that the President's recent highway project cancellations demonstrate a vindictive desire to punish legislative districts controlled by opposition parties. They offer as evidence the fact that 90 percent of the projects canceled were in such districts. But all of the canceled projects had been identified as wasteful in a report written by respected nonpartisan auditors. So the President's choice was clearly motivated by sound budgetary policy, not partisan politics.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the press secretary's argument depends?

A. Canceling highway projects was not the only way for the President to punish legislative districts controlled by opposition parties.
B. The scheduled highway projects identified as wasteful in the report were not mostly projects in districts controlled by the President's party.
C. The number of projects canceled was a significant proportion of all the highway projects that were to be undertaken by the government in the near future.
D. The highway projects canceled in districts controlled by the President's party were not generally more expensive than the projects canceled in districts controlled by opposition parties.
E. Reports by nonpartisan auditors are not generally regarded by the opposition parties as a source of objective assessments of government projects

Please do explain your logic!!

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A?

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I think the answer is E.

E basically states that - The oppositin guys think that the nonpartisan auditors might not be giving impartial analysis.
Basically that the assessments might have been rigged and hence not fair, and if thats what the opposistion guys believe then the argumennt falls apart.

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is it {B}?

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ani781 wrote:
Press Secretary: Our critics claim that the President's recent highway project cancellations demonstrate a vindictive desire to punish legislative districts controlled by opposition parties. They offer as evidence the fact that 90 percent of the projects canceled were in such districts. But all of the canceled projects had been identified as wasteful in a report written by respected nonpartisan auditors. So the President's choice was clearly motivated by sound budgetary policy, not partisan politics.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the press secretary's argument depends?

A. Canceling highway projects was not the only way for the President to punish legislative districts controlled by opposition parties.
B. The scheduled highway projects identified as wasteful in the report were not mostly projects in districts controlled by the President's party.
C. The number of projects canceled was a significant proportion of all the highway projects that were to be undertaken by the government in the near future.
D. The highway projects canceled in districts controlled by the President's party were not generally more expensive than the projects canceled in districts controlled by opposition parties.
E. Reports by nonpartisan auditors are not generally regarded by the opposition parties as a source of objective assessments of government projects
Mapping:

Press Sct.:
Critics say = President's actions vindictive --> Most HW projects cancelled were in districts controlled by opposition.
BUT
reports by neutral auditors say = the cancelled projects were actually wasteful
THUS President's choice was not unfair.

Conclusion: President's choice was clearly motivated by sound budgetary policy, not partisan politics.

In assumption question the correct answer can be found easily using the Negation-Test (it should destroy the argument completely):

A. Canceling highway projects was not the only way for the President to punish legislative districts controlled by opposition parties.
Other ways to punish are not relevant. We need to find out whether he was partial (or not) to districts owned by his party.
B. The scheduled highway projects identified as wasteful in the report were not mostly projects in districts controlled by the President's party.
Negation works well here. Negation: The projects identified as wasteful in the report were mostly projects in districts controlled by the President's party --> His districts were wasteful but he cancelled the projects of the opposition's districts! The president has been partial towards his districts & thus unfair to districts owned by the opposition. Lets keep his for now as the negation destroys the argument.
C. The number of projects canceled was a significant proportion of all the highway projects that were to be undertaken by the government in the near future.
The number might be high, but this has no bearing on the president's choice --> we cant find out whether he was partial to the districts owned by his party.
D. The highway projects canceled in districts controlled by the President's party were not generally more expensive than the projects canceled in districts controlled by opposition parties.
There is a difference between expensive and wasteful (wasting something without purpose) projects. Argument doesn't mention the expensive part. D is out.
E. Reports by nonpartisan auditors are not generally regarded by the opposition parties as a source of objective assessments of government projects
Close. Negation : Reports are generally regarded by the opposition parties as a source of objective assessments --> ie. the reports are just factual and not biased. So this negation in a way strengthens the argument so E is also out

We are left with B by Negation Technique

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Thanks a lot Vivek. That was indeed very very helpful analysis.

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