The Instigator
1Historygenius
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
dragonb95
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

2,000 Days of DDO: When in Recession, Taxes Should be Lowered

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
1Historygenius
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/7/2013 Category: Economics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,920 times Debate No: 32154
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (27)
Votes (3)

 

1Historygenius

Pro

For my debate to celebrate the 2,000 day anniversary of Debate.org, I have decided to do taxes.

Arguments

I am arguing that when the US is in a recession, taxes should be cut and not raised. My opponent must argue why it is better to not cut taxes and either keep the tax rates where they are or raise them.

Rules

Round 1 is for acceptance. No trolling or semantics. Shared burden of proof.
dragonb95

Con

I accept. Raising taxes is the only way to exit a recession.
Debate Round No. 1
1Historygenius

Pro

Cool, were debating for the third time! This is awesome.

My Arguments

The argument that it is better to lower taxes in an economic recession is an easy one to make if you have a vast knowledge of history like myself. There are two key examples of how tax cuts that were passed in response to a recession. These were in response to the recessions of 1920-1921 and 1981-1982:

Top tax rates over history.

Let's look at both.

I. 1920-1921

The radical economic policies and the end of World War 1 under Woodrow Wilson brought the economy into a recession. Real GDP growth had been declining. Federal revenue was dropping and unemployment was rising. The new Republican president, Warren G. Harding, passed a tax cut. Wilson had taxes as high as 77% and Harding lowered this to well under 60%.

Unemployment declined from 6.5% to 3.1%. Real GDP grew from 2% to 3.4% and federal revenue grew from -9.2% to 0.1%. When Harding died, these policies were continued under President Calvin Coolidge. The top tax rate was by then as low as 25%. This allowed consumer spending to grow and many Americans could now afford goods that the rich could only purchase. The works of Harding and Coolidge brought a massive economy recovery and ended the recession. In fact, Coolidge holds the record for most stock market growth in US history. [1,2]

Coolidge holds the record for largest growth in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

II. 1981-1982

Republican Ronald Reagan entered the presidency and faced the 1981 recession. To combat this recession, Reagan cut taxes deeply to bring economy growth. This was a massive success. Real GDP went from 0.9% to 4.8%. This clearly proves that there was massive growth in the recovery. Unemployment peaked at 10.8% in November 1982, but declined to 7% by December.

For real income tax revenue growth, it grew from -2.8% to 2.7%. This clearly points that tax cuts work to fixing a recession. Finally, the stock market grew incredibly under Ronald Reagan. [1]

Stock market growth under Ronald Reagan.

Sources

1. Laffer, Arthur. "The Laffer Curve: Past, Present, and Future." The Heritage Foundation. N.p., 1 June 2004. Web.
2.
Blaine, Charley. "Stocks Have Had a Great Run in Obama's Term." MSNMoney. N.p., 5 Nov. 2012. Web.
dragonb95

Con

Sorry for the late post.

Refutations

1. 1920-1921 Recession

My opponent is trying to get one by you. Tax decreases did not end the depression of 1920. What ended it, hilariously enough, is the government supporting welfare programs for the unemployed, which actually required taxes to be funded. My opponent is citing two unrelated things here. The recession, and then the tax decrease. There is no correlary between the two. And in fact, even more hilariously, according to the graph that my opponent shows on tax increase and decrease, raising taxes is what pulled us out of the Great Depression. Hilarious, no?

http://en.wikipedia.org...

2. 1981-1982 Recession

My opponent is forgetting that Ronald Reagan raised taxes as well. This turned out to be equally good for the country, if not better. It is worth noting that Reagan raised taxes multiple times, and supposed to lowering them only once. My opponent is saying that lowering taxes is good for a recession, however clearly Regean, who he cites, thought raising taxes was better.

http://www.politifact.com...

Argument

Here is a quote from the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com...)

"Economists ignore, or treat as relatively unimportant since they have more trouble understanding it, the most critical element of an economic recovery: individual and group human psychology, aka, confidence"

What Paul Abrams is getting at here is that when we raise taxes, the government gets more money, which can be used to improve our infrastructure and to secure our nation's future. Do you know what happens when we invest tax money in to schools? Kids get smarter! And do you know what happens with smart kids? They become smart adults, and they in turn improve our nation by providing the science, art, and engineering that makes our nation as great as it is today. When we improve our country with tax money, we are insuring that we will have a better future. It's really simple if you think about it. More taxes, more money for the government, pump it back into education, public services, etc., better future. This, is how we get out of recessions.

Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize Award Winning Economist, likes to use the analogy of an alien invasion (if you are interested, he has written a book called End this depression now! Which is all about how raising taxes improves our infrastructure and will inevitably help us end our depression).

Anyways, back to the alien invasion.

Imagine that aliens declare war on our nation. What do we do? We need to prepare! We strengthen and fortify our military, pump money into education to train people how to fight the aliens and create anti-alien weaponry, all of which improves our nations country (we fund all this by raising taxes). So, now let's imagine that after all this it was a hoax. There are no aliens, and the declaration of war is a joke. Now we have smarter students, a more capable military, and a better nation.

Now, to get on to some real numbers: Bill Clinton raised taxes during his presidency and the economy produced jobs faster than ever before.

http://www.marketplace.org...

Reagan raised taxes eleven times, and greatly improved our infrastructure and economy by doing so.

http://www.politifact.com...

So, in conclusion, to tie this in to the resolution, we should not lower taxes when in recession. All my opponent has done is showed pictures and graphs, thinking he can sway you. He has provided no reasoning for lowering taxes, so how can we trust him? We want reasons that lowering taxes is a good thing to do. In fact, after checking the arguments, the only reasoning he gives is that Ronald Reagan did it to "bring economic growth". Maybe some explanation would be cool.

That being said, I have proven with reasoning that raising our taxes makes our country better.

I rest my case. A vote for con would be highly sensible.
Debate Round No. 2
1Historygenius

Pro

My Arguments

I. 1920-1921

"My opponent is trying to get one by you. Tax decreases did not end the depression of 1920. What ended it, hilariously enough, is the government supporting welfare programs for the unemployed, which actually required taxes to be funded. My opponent is citing two unrelated things here. The recession, and then the tax decrease. There is no correlary between the two. And in fact, even more hilariously, according to the graph that my opponent shows on tax increase and decrease, raising taxes is what pulled us out of the Great Depression. Hilarious, no?"

We are not discussing the Great Depression in the arguments for the 1920-1921 recession, this is irrelevant. My opponent argues that what brought us out of the economic recession was welfare programs for the unemployed and that the low taxes passed at the time did not work. However, let's look at the government response according to the entire wikipedia article:

"President Warren Harding convened a President's Conference on Unemployment at the instigation of then Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover as a result of rising unemployment during the recession. About 300 eminent members of industry, banking and labor were called together in September 1921 to discuss the problem of unemployment. Hoover organized the economic conference and a committee on unemployment. The committee established a branch in every state having substantial unemployment, along with sub-branches in local communities and mayors' emergency committees in 31 cities. The committee contributed relief to the unemployed, and also organized collaboration between the local and federal governments."
[1]

However, this is about what was given to help the unemployed, which was simply relief. This is not discuss how we got out of the recession. This was the tax cuts. When discussing this committee, the debate would be if unemployment relief is good and beneficial in an economic recession. We are discussing if tax cuts got us out of the recession, which it did.

II. 1981-1982 Recession

My sources are comparing when Reagan lowered taxes, not when he raised it. This is critical, because the tax hikes occurred after the recession. When we look at the top marginal tax rates however, they were lowered twice during Reagan's presidency, but the one of major importance is the 1981 one. The 1986 cut is irrelevant since it occurred after the recession. It is also important to note that tax laws take time to come into effect. What's also important to remember is that Reagan's only signed one major tax hike, but the rest were minor and not in response to a recession.

Refutations

"What Paul Abrams is getting at here is that when we raise taxes, the government gets more money, which can be used to improve our infrastructure and to secure our nation's future. Do you know what happens when we invest tax money in to schools? Kids get smarter! And do you know what happens with smart kids? They become smart adults, and they in turn improve our nation by providing the science, art, and engineering that makes our nation as great as it is today. When we improve our country with tax money, we are insuring that we will have a better future. It's really simple if you think about it. More taxes, more money for the government, pump it back into education, public services, etc., better future. This, is how we get out of recessions."

I think that it is important to note that funding for schools is a different subject because we are talking about getting out of recession. Schools are for our children's future, but when we go into recession we don't increase public funding for schools, or should we should not anyway, since that is not an economic issue. This is an issue in education. Public services on the other hand, are more economic depending on what they are, but my opponent is too in general here (almost everything the government does is public services and some don't matter to an economic recession), so I as ask my opponent to be more specific.

"Imagine that aliens declare war on our nation. What do we do? We need to prepare! We strengthen and fortify our military, pump money into education to train people how to fight the aliens and create anti-alien weaponry, all of which improves our nations country (we fund all this by raising taxes). So, now let's imagine that after all this it was a hoax. There are no aliens, and the declaration of war is a joke. Now we have smarter students, a more capable military, and a better nation."

This could be debatable if its on par with the subject, but I will go with it anyway. The problem here is too ask if we now still need a capable military when the aliens are a hoax. After, or when wars are not occuring, we have a low military budget because we would be wasting money. My opponent again argues education, but to pump money into education to train people how to fight is rather wrong. If anything, in school I learned that when a disaster comes you get out (fire), go to the safest area (tornado), or duck and cover (mass murderer or nuclear bomb). Also, we don't exactly have a better nation if we just have a strong military and government funded education system. What about economics? What about overall happiness?

By the way, we were never in recession during Clinton's presidency. We were sailing smoothly. It would also like to note he cut taxes to, much Reagan he did both.

"So, in conclusion, to tie this in to the resolution, we should not lower taxes when in recession. All my opponent has done is showed pictures and graphs, thinking he can sway you. He has provided no reasoning for lowering taxes, so how can we trust him? We want reasons that lowering taxes is a good thing to do. In fact, after checking the arguments, the only reasoning he gives is that Ronald Reagan did it to "bring economic growth". Maybe some explanation would be cool."

Cutting taxes is typically part of the supply-side strategy of economic, which both Harding/Coolidge and Reagan did during their recessions (although back in the early 1900s it was called lassiez faire capitalism). When you cut taxes, people have more money in their pocket to use to invest in businesses and goods. This gives businesses more flexibility to react to how the market is. With demand-side strategy, we don't exactly get demand since families may not spend their money on wanted goods.

Conclusion

I have kept my arguments that taxes should be lowered to save countries when they're in recession, not maintain or raise the rates. I felt my opponent was too general and only specifically targetted education and the military. Bill Clinton was not president during a recession.

Sources

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
dragonb95

Con

Counter Counter Refutations
1. 1920-1921
My opponent barely responds to my refutation. I say we used welfare programs, he points out it is just relief. Potato potaato. I admit that it was relief. I misread and I apologize. Either way, relief requires tax funding. Also, my opponent said that tax cuts take a while to go into action, so why wouldn't this apply here? He has not shown a source that correlates the tax cuts to the end of the recession. My opponent also says that the great depression is irrelevant to my refutation. Okay. Fine then.
Arguments
1 The Great Depression
According to my opponent's graphs, tax raising got us out of the great depression, certainly the worst depression our country has ever been in. Is that okay for you?
Back to counter counter refutations
2. 1981-1982
My opponent again barely responds to my refutation. He uses Reagan as an example. So let's look at Reagan. According to my opponent, only one tax cut of his is worth mentioning. So, Reagan has one important tax cut. Then, he says that Reagan had one major tax hike. So, my opponent is saying that Reagan did equal tax cuts and hikes of importance. Now, looking at hikes and cuts that were not important, Reagan had one cut and ten hikes. Obviously, by the theories of logic, unless my opponent can find a direct Reagan quote, Reagan favored tax hikes, otherwise known as my argument. Reading this over and it sounds confusing. Here is a visual:
Reagan Tax CutsReagan Tax Hikes
One of importanceOne of importance
One of unimportanceTen of unimportance
Tax Hikes>Tax Cuts

Counter Refutations

My opponent's main concern with my arguments is that I talk too much about education. I'm sorry if I didn't clarify this, but having a smart country is good for the economy. It means people who make smart choices and have a knowledge of economics and how to support our country. Smarter country, better country.

My opponent asks me to be specific about public services that would help us get out of a recession.
  • Welfare
  • Unemployment
  • Food stamps

Sorry if I wasn't specific enough before.

My opponent now refutes little tiny irrelevant parts of my alien argument without looking at the big picture. He has not refuted that when the government has more money, it creates a better nation with better infrastructure and public services.

My opponent says that we were never in a recession with Bill Clinton.
Read this list of official US recessions.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
There was a pretty deep one in the beginning of Clinton's presidency.

My opponent also says that Clinton issued tax cuts, however he has no source for this. To the best of my knowledge, he never issued a tax cut, much less one of importance. If my opponent wants to win the Clinton argument, he will have to weight important and unimportant tax cuts and hikes and see if the cuts outweigh the hikes that Clinton issued.

Conclusion
So, in conclusion, I have well defended all of my arguments while my opponent has chipped away at the branches of my argument, whereas the trunk still stands.

Debate Round No. 3
1Historygenius

Pro

My Arguments

I. 1920-1921

"My opponent barely responds to my refutation. I say we used welfare programs, he points out it is just relief. Potato potaato. I admit that it was relief. I misread and I apologize. Either way, relief requires tax funding. Also, my opponent said that tax cuts take a while to go into action, so why wouldn't this apply here? He has not shown a source that correlates the tax cuts to the end of the recession. My opponent also says that the great depression is irrelevant to my refutation. Okay. Fine then."

Taxes was cut in the 1920-1921 recession and my first source explains how the tax cuts were successes in fixing the economy. I can give more sources if my opponent is happy. The tax cuts took a while, but when they effectively came in the sources note the difference before and after the cuts came into effect. What we can conclude than is that the small unemployment compensation did not work and the tax cuts did. [2,3,4]

II. 1981-1982

My opponent wants a Reagan quote? Here:

“Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
-- Quote by Ronald Reagan, Remarks to the White House Conference on Small Business (August 15, 1986) [5]

This is Reagan’s negative view on government taxes and regulations. The only tax bill of importance when discussing the 1981-1982 recession is the 1981 tax cut which, as my sources prove, significantly brought economic growth. It came into full effect in 1982 which significantly dropped unemployment while raising real GDP. This was a massive tax cut and the 1982 increase came into effect after the recession. [1,2,3,4]

Just some information, Reagan signed two major tax cuts and one major hike. The other ten increases are not major increases, so these are not hikes.

My Refutations

I am confused where my opponent thought a graph helped him with showing how taxes helped end the Great Depression. There are three graphs I posted for this debate. The first is a graph on simply the top tax rates from 1913 to 2003. The second graph simply shows stock market growth after the recession to prove that Harding and Coolidge’s policies worked. Stocks from the Great Depression are shown, but these are much smaller compared to stock growth after the 1920-1921 recession. Finally, the third graph simply shows stock growth after the 1981-1982 recession. This is past the 1920s and the 1930s, so there is no way the Great Depression is shown in that graph.

“My opponent's main concern with my arguments is that I talk too much about education. I'm sorry if I didn't clarify this, but having a smart country is good for the economy. It means people who make smart choices and have a knowledge of economics and how to support our country. Smarter country, better country.”

That’s nice, but that does not talk about how raising taxes to fund education can fix recessions.

I’m happy my opponent has clarified what specific programs help to fix the economy. However, the problem here is that tax cuts have proven to work better than maintaining or increasing the tax rates and spending money on social programs and stimulus packages as has occurred in the 2008 recession. If we compare growth from the recessions under Reagan and President Barack Obama, we see the Reagan recovery was better. [7]


“My opponent says that we were never in a recession with Bill Clinton….There was a pretty deep one in the beginning of Clinton's presidency.”

What? The Clinton presidency lasted from January 1993 to January 2001. The only recession that would be close is the early 1990s recession, but that lasted from July 1990 to March 1991. This is the presidency of George H.W. Bush, not Clinton’s. [6]

“My opponent also says that Clinton issued tax cuts, however he has no source for this. To the best of my knowledge, he never issued a tax cut, much less one of importance. If my opponent wants to win the Clinton argument, he will have to weight important and unimportant tax cuts and hikes and see if the cuts outweigh the hikes that Clinton issued.”

This has nothing to do with the recession, but he did sign a capital gains tax cut later in his term which raised revenue significantly. [2,4]


Sources

1. Niskanen, William A., and Stephen Moore. "Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 261: Supply-Side Tax Cuts and the Truth about the Reagan Economic Record." Cato Institute. N.p., 22 Oct. 1996. Web.
2. Cain, Herman, and Rich Lowrie. 9-9-9: An Army of Davids. Herndon, VA: Velocity ; Mascot, 2012. Print.
3. Laffer, Arthur. "The Laffer Curve: Past, Present, and Future." The Heritage Foundation. N.p., 1 June 2004. Web.
4. Graber, John. "Conservative Economics." The Conservative Politico. 2012.

5. http://history1900s.about.com...

dragonb95

Con

Okay. Some final refutations and then a weigh.

The Great Depression
He is confused about the graph I used from him. Here it is. Observe closely. Taxes were raised sharply to combat the Great Depression and it worked.
Top tax rates over history.
Regean
The quote he shows says nothing about Reagan's views on raising taxes. This quote basically says nothing about his opinions. A proper quote would read: "I disapprove of raising taxes and much prefer lowering them"

Clinton
I apologize about my innacuracy and concede on the Clinton point, understanding that his presidency did not overlap with a recession.

Obama
My opponent wants to compare growth under Reagan and Obama, however the recession ended one month after Obama took office, so this is irrelevant.

Weigh

1920-1921-My opponent is pretending there is a link between the tax cuts and end of recession. I have proven that ending that recession actually required tax funds. I win this point

1980-1981-Reagan quote is inconclusive. Reagan had more tax hikes than tax cuts. Reagan favored tax hikes. I win this point.

Great Depression-My opponent did not refute this because he was confused about which graph I was pointing towards. I clariifed. He does not have a chance to refute. I win this point.

Confidence and funding-WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR ENDING A RECESSION. My opponent never clarifies. Here it is: ECONOMIC GROWTH. Meaning, "growing the economy", by improving and bolstering our nation's infrastructure. I win this point.

Clinton-This argument is irrelevant to the debate because no recession occured in Clinton's presidency. Sorry for the confusion. Do not include in "convincing arguments" vote.

Obama-This argument is also irrelevant to the debate because no recession occured in Obama's presidency.

I have won this debate. Vote con.
Debate Round No. 4
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by davidw 4 years ago
davidw
The historical analysis of tax rates is simply too complex to debate here. I mean, the top rate was mentioned. Who cares? What you want is a measure of all the tax rates, state local and federal.

Instead, just look back at the Bush tax cuts. It didn't prevent the recession. If you go back farther than recent memory, you run the risk of confounding factors.

It might be better to simply make an argument why taxes should be cut in a recession. But this assumes we know what a recession actually is., what it's cause is.

The standard textbook economic model used to say that a recession may be caused by too little consumer demand - and too much savings. A tax cut will stimulate consumer demand and raise overall output. But why is demand 'too low', and what does that even mean? Why doesn't the lower demand lower prices and have the economy return to equilibrium?
Posted by Sleezehead 4 years ago
Sleezehead
Cutting taxes would be great but taxes kelp the economy going kids. And what say we have our rich brethren pay a little extra. We'll call it "patriotism."
Posted by Subutai 4 years ago
Subutai
The debate starts out by basically showing the two opinions - pro that tax cuts stimulate the economy, and con that social spending stimulates the economy. Pro glosses over important points in the beginning, and con takes an early lead, with a seemingly "better" solution.

Pro never really countered con's entire argument, but then again, neither did con pro's. Neither side had any valuable resources in R3 for refutations and were basically trying to subvert each other. No real victory here, however, con makes several incorrect statements, such as that Reagan favored tax hikes.

Pro cleaned up his act in R4, and finally provided evidence and substantial proof. He effectively proved that recessions dealt with by tax cuts are superior than to those dealt with by spending. He even refutes con's arguments. Con never replyed back, basically telling the same arguments that pro had already disproven.

Not really the best debate, but overall, pro had good performance in R4, and that clinched the debate for him. Both sides could have done better in providing evidence.
Posted by 1Historygenius 4 years ago
1Historygenius
Meanwhile, I got the most awesome prime minister ever.
Posted by dragonb95 4 years ago
dragonb95
Except my character is a rapist from a famous fifties novel who murders and assaults young girls. Yours is a donkey.
Posted by AStevenson 4 years ago
AStevenson
And Thatcher is ugly.
Posted by AStevenson 4 years ago
AStevenson
Mine is looking in the distance and dargon's is to.
Posted by AStevenson 4 years ago
AStevenson
Our two profile pictures are somewhat in the same pose.
Posted by 1Historygenius 4 years ago
1Historygenius
@dragon that's just a graph that shows taxes. World War 2 ended the Depression.
Posted by 1Historygenius 4 years ago
1Historygenius
organization sucked here
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Subutai 4 years ago
Subutai
1Historygeniusdragonb95Tied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Lordknukle 4 years ago
Lordknukle
1Historygeniusdragonb95Tied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Dat votebomb. Countering.
Vote Placed by TN05 4 years ago
TN05
1Historygeniusdragonb95Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro pretty much outmanned Con here. Pro a least explained how a tax cut can end a recession, but Con argued tax hikes help education funding - without explaining how education funding could end a recession. Further, Con never gave a real reason as to how tax cuts wouldn't help the economy. Pro also used more sources and had slightly better grammar; I considered giving conduct to Pro, but ultimately conduct was pretty even.