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Bernie Sanders tax on the rich won't work

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 4/18/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 462 times Debate No: 89810
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
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I'm new to this site, but I have experience debating. I hear a lot of people saying how a 50% tax on the rich would work, or is good. This is wrong, and I'll prove why in the debate. But simply put common sence shows the rich don't want to be taxed, and if the rich are taxed in america, they will leave america so they won't be taxed. We see how in NJ when a tax happened on the rich, the rich moved to FL We need to make america likeable for businesses and rich people. Taxing them won't do it


I am also new to this site, and I am an ardent Bernie supporter. I hope to show through logical argument that there is more benefit than cost to implementing a higher tax rate on the upper class in America. Pro asserts that the rich don't want to be taxed at higher rates. I agree, but that doesn't mean that they SHOULD NOT be taxed. Nobody wants to be taxed, but we are all part of the system, and we all have to pay our fair share in. Lowering the tax rate on the rich class in America would significantly decrease government revenue, or would levy unfair taxes on the poor, those who can't afford it. Pro's example is not particularly convincing for many reasons. First, the logical problem exists in that leaving New Jersey is not the same thing as leaving the United States. Leaving New Jersey is an easy decision, because there are many comparable places of economic opportunity and social equality in the immediate vicinity. However, travel outside the US and this is not necessarily the case. Many of the more socialistic countries in Europe will be more hostile to the upper class people who want to leave the US. Then there is the statistical analysis of the study in New Jersey itself. After having read the study, it claims no reason for the people leaving New Jersey. Pro is making a fallacy in assuming that the reason citizens are leaving due to the high tax rate, when it could be for any number of reasons, especially considering the study itself shows that immigration/emigration rates are relatively constant to within an order of magnitude for the past decade. Finally, if someone wanted to leave the United States, the process is not as simple as packing up and moving, since moving assets is a more abstract concept. In addition to the higher tax rate, Bernie Sanders would reject free trade deals which would allow companies to ship jobs overseas, and close loopholes in tax law which allow wealthy corporations and people to store assets overseas. So leaving the United States will simply not be possible under a Sanders administration. At the very least, the business would lose unacceptable amounts of revenue as they attempt to bring their products back into the US, and private citizens will find that it will be illegal to hide money in offshore accounts. In summary: common sense is not a good indicator for economic policy. Pro's claim that the rich don't want to be taxed and would leave the United States is simply not a possibility when combined with Sanders other policy programs such as anti-free trade deals and closing tax loopholes. The New Jersey example is deeply flawed, as it shows no causal link between the higher tax rate and departure of New Jersey citizens.
Debate Round No. 1


You say we should all pay a fair share. 50% on the rich, 5% on the root isn't fair. Taxing some at different percentages isn't fair at all. Taxing everyone at 10% is fair. The working poor are working in America and deserve to pay something. Fair isn't some workers paying high percents, and some workers paying a little. Fair is everybody paying the same.

As for you saying the rich won't move out if they are taxed at 50% . This is flawed. Why wouldn't one move to a place where they are taxed 10 instead of 50%? Why would Europe be hostile for rich people? Rich people bring money and better government revenue. You say a lower tax on the rich would lower government revenue, and 50% tax would increase it. In theory, like many socialist policies, this seems great. The problem is, the rich don't want to be treated unfairly and will move to a country where they are taxed fairly and less.

About Bernie trying to control world trade and tax things. If he doesn't allow the rich to store assets overseas (I'm not saying it's a good thing) won't that be another reason to leave America? You say leaving won't be possible under Bernie. That seems very communist and dictatorship-like. I'm sure if he says "nobody can leave" he will be impeached. Let's say an air conditioner company moves from the US to Mexico. European countries did trade with that company, they wouldn't be trading with the US anymore. What will happen under this high tax is rich people will leave, factories will leave (for many reasons other then taxes) and trade won't be with America anymore cause there won't be anything in America worth trading. Simply put, the Bernie tax drives people away from America.


If you are advocating for a flat tax plan, you have to be willing to explain how the federal government would be able to recoup the $20.8 trillion in 20 years in revenue loss, as reported here:
What you don't seem to understand is that the United State tax code works off of a marginal income rate, meaning that there are tax brackets which all citizens fall under. For example, the first tax bracket could be $0-20,000 per year, at a rate of 10%, and $21,000- 50,000 could be 15%. This might seem unfair if it weren't for the progressive tax system that has been in place in the US for a very long time. The way it works is, if you are making $30,000 per year, your first $20,000 is taxed at 10%, while the remaining $10,000 is taxed at 15 percent. This is the system the United States operates under, and it ensures that someone like Bill Gates will be paying the same rate, 10%, on the first $20,000 he makes as someone who makes $10,000 a year. That is fair, they pay the same rate on the same income, he just has an elevated income so he will experience a higher rate only on that specific bracket. Also, you seem to be under the assumption that all workers are the same, as evidenced by your comment about everyone paying the same, because that would be fair. That is not at all the case, because people making money at the $400,000+ bracket are not contributing to society in the same way that these people who are earning $20,000 a year. These low wage workers are working hard to produce and manufacture, doing low level jobs that stimulate economic growth. The people sitting at the top do NO work, they simply rake in cash. They contribute nothing to society, they just delegate responsibility to their employees who they underpay while they sit at the top and claim that they shouldn't be taxed at the same rate. Fair is people being taxed at the rate that they contribute to society, which, for the majority of rich people is less than nothing.

To your second point, you seem to not have read my argument as I explained why people wouldn't leave America due to less economic opportunities, increasingly socialist countries, etc. I say they will not be treated as well in other countries because that is the truth. If a rich person from America were to move overseas, they would encounter the same progressive tax rate as exists here. There is no country that allows for 10% tax on the rich that is comparable to the United States in economic capacity. You never actually addressed any of my arguments against people moving from the US, you just reasserted that it would happen, despite having no evidence that this would actually happen. As I said, your common sense does not serve as an economic indicator. If there truly was a place where the rich people could go to have their tax rate at 10%, that's where they would be because that is already lower than what they pay currently.

I'm noticing that you didn't understand my argument about free trade. There is a distinction that needs to be made between private citizens who are rich, and corporations who are rich. When I talk about free trade, and restricting the ability to leave America, that is in reference to companies. Of course, private citizens are free to leave whenever they want. However, if they do, they will experience much the same as already exists here. The vast majority of advanced economic countries have already imposed higher tax rates on rich citizens, because they are far more socialist than the US. The US is one of the most capitalistic countries on Earth, so if someone rich were to try to leave, they would almost certainly be going somewhere more heavily socialist. So leaving for them, while a possibility, would not benefit them in any way. Companies are a different story slightly. They will as well be allowed to outsource jobs, but they will have a hard time with the lack of free trade agreements and possibly tariffs imposed on their goods coming in and out of the country. Allowing the rich to store assets overseas is not an argument anyone agrees with. Nobody believes that it is acceptable for American citizens to skirt American tax laws on their American income by storing money overseas, it makes no sense for them to be able to do that. As to your point about the air conditioning company, it is just not viable for a company to not trade with America. We are the largest market in the world, for a company to cut off trade with us would spell the end of that company.
Debate Round No. 2


I think it's worth mentioning Steve Forbes likes a flat tax. The flat tax will eliminate the IRS, produce a GDP growth, and put money into the American people. If the American people have more money it means a bigger economy. Also a flat tax gives a rich more money, while Bernie's takes it away. Most Rich people are greedy ans selfish. They aren't going to spend extra money paying the same amount of people. They will fire people and move people to part time if they get taxed. Same if the minimum wage increases. So we have one plan that increases jobs, the GDP, and the economy, while one decreases the desire to live in the US for successful people (Bernie's plan does however in courage the lazy bums to not worry). About the US tax code, it's kinda long. Thousands of pages is too much. A flat tax will shorten the tax code. Bernie's plan will make it long. With a long tax code their are more holes and rich people will hire multiple lawyers to escape the tax. This does no good.

You say "The people sitting at the top do NO work, they simply rake in cash. They contribute nothing to society" hahaha. You don't magically become a CEO. You work hard at it. Reward? Being able to not do much work. But still a CEO does some work. Now if you think the rich don't contribute to society then want them in the US? Kick them out, nobody needs people that don't contribute to society. Without people that don't contribute to society the US would be a better place. Imagine the world without rich people and the stuff they did. Would the world be a better place? Nope.

Your last paragraphs seem to be about the issues I have with Bernie's tax plan, but in a world today. If Bernie's tax plan was in acted the US would be different. Bernie wants to tax the rich at 50%, I'm sure the rich can find a good country that taxes 30%. Also factories would move away under bernie. That would not help the US in trade. Countries will just trade, not including the US, since the US won't have anything to trade. We are quite a lot I'm debt, factories are moving away, Bernie's plan discourages starting a company and succeeding in the US, yet you expect the US will gain jobs, lower debt, increase trade, and encourage success. Those are things a country MUST have to succeed, not only will bernie's plan not encourage those, but he will discourage it. Imagine a country that discourages being successful and rich. That country would not be a top trade country.


It's really not worth mentioning that Steve Forbes likes a flat tax. Of course Steve Forbes advocate for a flat tax, it would mean he pays less taxes. That is the definition of a conflict of interest. Eliminating the IRS is one of the most ridiculous policies that exists in the United States. If you eliminated the IRS, how would you know whether or not I paid my taxes? How would you punish me if I didn't? Who would I even pay my taxes to? Just not a well thought out plan at all. I do like your idea, however, that if the America people have more money it means a bigger economy. Do you know what that means? Tax cuts for the poor, tax increases for the rich. That's exactly what Bernie's plan is. It has to do with a concept called velocity of money, which is directly related to the marginal propensity to consume. A higher velocity of money is good for the economy, because it means that dollars are being used productively in the economy, and not sitting in some bank account. So say you were to give a rich person a hundred dollars. What would happen to it? 9 times out of 10, it will go directly into their bank account, not contributing at all to GDP or stimulating economic growth, and they will likely never spend it because they will never need to. This is what it means to have a low marginal propensity to consume, which is equivalent to having a high marginal propensity to save. However, give a low income family a hundred dollars. What will they do? Pay their bills, put food on their table, go spend it on their local market. This is what it means to have a high marginal propensity to consume, the same as having a low marginal propensity to save. This money is being used productively in society, as it is being circulated and reused. That's why it's better to have money in the hands of lower class and middle class Americans, rather than the upper class. However, a flat tax is just the opposite. It is a decrease of taxes on the rich, and an increase in taxes on the poor. Yes, the US tax code is quite long. It would probably be very convenient if we could shorten and simplify it. However, the natural conclusion is that it should be reformed, not completely abolished. Just because it has problems doesn't mean we should completely get rid of it, it means that we should go about fixing the holes in it. A policy which Bernie Sanders is in favor of, by the way. He constantly talks about closing loopholes in the tax code.

You work hard at becoming a CEO, sure, but as far as actual difficulty of labor and hard work, it is nothing compared to a minimum wage worker. You try working sixteen hour shifts at an auto repair shop, or waiting tables for twelve hours a day. Or, as many minimum wage workers do, work two jobs a day. Maybe even three a week. Then talk to me about how a Wall Street executive who picks up the phone five times a day in his skyscraper and his shiny suit has to work so hard. However, I do understand that people worked hard to get to CEO positions, which is why I agree they should have a reward. It's called a higher salary. That is their built in reward. Now in addition to that, they get a secondary award of being able to not do much work, as you put it. There is no reason for them to have a tertiary reward from the US government in the form of tax breaks. They've already received an award for their hard work in 2 different ways.

In fact, Bernie's plan is for a NOMINAL rate of 52 percent. After tax deductions in loop holes, someone in this bracket would pay something around 36%, which is very low on the international scale. It's like I said, most other countries are more socialist than the United States, which is something you don't seem to realize. There is no country they could go to with a 30% tax rate on the upper class which is comparable to the United States economically. It just doesn't exist, because they have all already caught on to the idea that taxing the rich is a good thing. I've already explained why factories wouldn't be able to just move away as you've tried to assert, so I'll just point you back towards my last argument and hopefully you will understand it this time.
Debate Round No. 3


Everyone pays taxes, so does everyone who has a tax plan have a conflict of interest? Forbes doesn't just like a flat tax cause he will pay less, but because the economy does better. The rich get richer the better the economy gets. Of course poor people are going to vote for sanders. They want free stuff. That's a conflict of interest. (See how silly that sounds). About the IRS. Everyone hates the tax code, and the IRS. We abolish the IRS, and current tax code and replace it with something people actually understand. It will take 5 minuets to file taxes. Yes, ultra rich tax businesses and Lawyers will be out of the job. Wait... that's what you want right? No super rich people. You also said your for a tax code reform.
As to knowing about people paying taxes, there will be an office in the treasury department in charge of taxes. It's easy to look at a name of a US citizen, pull up their 1 piece of paper taxes and file it. If someone refuses to pay, they get punished. Your idea of taxing the rich and giving the money to the poor and middle class to create a good economy is great in theory, but wrong in reality. Bernie wants a 50% tax on the rich. Bernie will also eliminate loopholes and stuff. Please stop using bernie's plan with things today. It doesn't help the debate, and is pointless. I know most countries are more socialist then the US, with Bernie's policies of a 50% rate, the US becomes more socialist the countries like the UK, where a 45% income tax rate occors. . And the UK tried a 50% tax rate. My guess is they didn't like it, cause it went to a 45% rate a few years ago. So you're in favor of a plan that doesn't work? Strange. Now when the US pit's a higher tax rate on, along with restricting businesses, and making minimum wages 2x what they are now, where another country has a lower tax rate, with a way less minimum wage. Which would a rich guy with a business choose? Not the US.
What I'm going to say next, I don't mean to offend any low wage job people who contribute to society. We need jobs at all levels for america to succeed. So you say how rich people don't contribute like a poorer person does. Now a rich person buys more stuff, and pays way more in taxes. Also how would america be without guys like Steve Jobs and bill gates? Very smart people who make billion dollor deals are needed. A average guy couldn't run a billion dollor business. I agree with you when you say the rich deserve 2 rewards for working super haRd and being smart, I don't thing they should get tax breaks. A fair flat tax doesn't have tax breaks for the rich. Bernie's plan makes america undesirable for rich people, and has no incentive to work. Without workers and businesses and rich people there can't be a good economy. We are a bit in debt right now and can't afford a bad economy.


Well I think I've just about wrapped up the debate at this point. it is clear Pro doesn't actually have any experience debating, and probably meant arguing with their friends about football teams, because it is clear there is no real debate experience here. The majority of my arguments went unchallenged, and those you did attempt to address were not particularly convincing, as I will prove shortly. I will however, actually concede the point about conflict of interest. I think you're right, and that was a bad argument to make on my part, since everyone stands to make individual gains on tax policy. (Although it's important to note that what Forbes stands to gain from a flat tax is many orders of magnitude larger than what any poor person could expect to receive). But it doesn't matter, because the conflict of interest wasn't a central point in my argument. You say that the rich get richer, the better the economy gets. Please drop this supply side economics, it didn't work when Reagan tried it, and it won't work now. I wrote an entire paragraph detailing the economic theory behind demand side economics, and you did not address a single word of it, other than saying "it won't work in reality", which you have yet to provide any justification for asserting. This is what makes it clear that you are a complete novice in debate. You simply assert things as if they were fact, then you don't even attempt to provide any justification, logical or experimental, to prove your point. You have yet to come to understand the importance of verification and proofs, which is likely why you still hold the position you do. But I digress. Your next point was in reference to the IRS. Not everyone hates the IRS. In fact, those who understand the function and purpose of the IRS know that they have nothing to do with the tax code. That is not decided by them. If you hate the tax code, and you want to abolish the IRS as a result, you have completely missed the whole point. The IRS exists for the purpose of enforcing the tax code. If you abolish the tax code, you will have no more capability to do that. You say it will be easy to look at a name of a US citizen, and file it. Where do you think the government will be looking for that information, exactly? Where do you think this information is stored, who will gather this information, and who will even be looking for it? The answer to all of these questions is the IRS. There is a reason it exists, and that is to carry out the necessary job of enforcing the tax code. It doesn't just exist for fun. You say you will create an office in the treasury department in charge of taxes. Congratulations, you have just created the new IRS.

As I have already addressed, simply stating that my theory is good but "wrong in reality" is not a sufficient argument. That is an assertion, and I would like to know the justification behind it, but since you have provided none, I will assume that there likely is none, and hopefully the voters will see this as well. I don't understand what you mean by "stop using Bernie's plan with things today." Are you suggesting that I stop using real world examples? That is rather the point behind all of this. You're the one who keeps saying things won't work in theory, so I'm putting theory into real life concrete examples, yet you say that is pointless. I simply don't understand how you can say that, contextualizing Bernie's tax on the rich is very important. You say that the UK tried to implement a tax code of 50 percent and it didn't work. I looked it up and it checks out, when they went to 45%, they actually showed an increase in tax revenue, because they had people stop trying to hide their funds and use loopholes. And that's the whole point. The reason that a higher tax rate won't work there is because their tax code is riddled with loopholes, and it is too easy for people to hide their money from the Exchequer, which is (over-simplified) the British version of the IRS. That is why Bernie proposes to close loopholes in the tax code in conjunction with his tax plan so people won't be able to skip out on paying their taxes.

We do need all jobs for America to succeed. I don't mean contribute in the literal sense. I mean that if you are trying to reward someone for their actual work and effort put in, which is what you said you wanted, it would make more sense to reward the people who literally work harder, which is lower wage workers. You say that you don't think the rich deserve tax breaks but you fail to realize that transitioning to a flat tax would be a ridiculously large tax break for the upper class. we're talking about 20-30 percent of their income in additional funds if we transition to 10% tax rate, because it would decrease from the 40(ish) percent that it is right now. For people earning millions a year, that is an enormous tax break. I think I've addressed all of Pro's points that are worth addressing. Pro failed to address the large majority of my arguments, and the ones they attempted to rebut were lacking in any coherence or internal logical consistency. I'd like to thank pro for their participation in this debate, but I think it is clear that the Con argument is stronger and better supported.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by mangolife23 6 months ago
@GoOrDin Loyalist means you are loyal to Great Britain. If we are talking politics.
Posted by GoOrDin 6 months ago
I agree-ish.

I am a socialist first off. SO I think an equal amount of responsibility being distributed between members of society is important. That means everyone needs to work and contribute.

Being Communist I believe in a self-sufficient society being ideal.

As a Nationalist, I believe that immigrants invading the land, and saying, "this is hear, so we can have it" about land and resources is entirely delusional. And I am pro for preventing those trespasses against the Land and also trespasses against the moral-standards of a population.

But I am also a Loyalist,
I believe that it is important to acknowledge people who have a seniority and respect that. They are not to be jealous of, or angry with. Those people are held accountable for their actions immediately through psychological algorithms as well as through the permanent Legacy they leave behind.
I don't want their money. I don't think the government handing out money solves laziness, indulgence, neglect, disrespect, inconsideration and perversion in society. In fact I would venture to say that economic prosperity leads to corrupt populations.

Furthermore, I am a capitalist, IN that
I think I should be able to reserve my funds, invest my funds and equity, as well as bargain with people.
IN a communism, money doesn't exist, so if you don't spend your share of the goods will be consumed, and your share isn't coming back unless someone else relents.
I do not see a problem with rich people investing.
100% of their money technically is being invested in the economy, infrastructure, technological advancements, wages, etc... when it is stored in the bank. The bank invests it if the owner doesn't do it himself. maybe not 100% gets invested... but the money of the wealthy does not sit dormant. You're collecting it as a wage.

.... what else am I? a Feminist and a Revolutionist.
live to lick a pusssy. Kill a rapist
(unless you're a woman. Then, smack a kid, and say please.
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