1. Most water companies in the United States add fluoride to tap water to help prevent cavities. Some dentists argue, however, that this practice actually causes more harm than good because people overestimate the protection afforded by the fluoride and do not take the proper steps to care for their teeth, such as brushing and flossing after every meal. If water companies did
not add fluoride, the dentists claim, people would be forced to be more active in their dental hygiene and tooth decay would decline as a result.
Which of the following, if true, most weakens the dentists’ claims?
• Fluoride is widely used in commercially available dental care products.
• Most Americans are not aware that fluoride is added to tap water.
• Annual visits to the dentist are the most effective means of controlling tooth decay.
• The United States has the lowest rate of tooth decay in the world.
• Most Americans already brush their teeth daily.
2. The current administration and Congress have once again practiced bad public policy in failing to increase Pell grants or at least limit their reduction for next year’s budget. Pell grants improve access to higher education for those who have historically been disadvantaged in our society by financial or other life circumstances, thereby helping recipients elevate themselves to the middle class. Without that access, the gap between the rich and poor in this country will continue to widen, increasingly straining the stability of our democracy.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the conclusion of this argument?
• Total spending on programs targeted at improving access to higher education
for disadvantaged students will increase in next year’s federal budget.
• The neediest candidates for Pell grants often lack information about their
eligibility for such grants.
• Congress recently authorized a bill that will increase after-school programs in
• On average, an individual Pell grant funds less than 15% of the full cost of
attending a four-year college or university.
• Federal spending on education for next year will increase as a percentage of
the total budget.
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