The Instigator
smurfy101
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Unitomic
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Churches, mosques, synagogues, etc. ought not be exempt from federal taxation.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/15/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 564 times Debate No: 103555
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (12)
Votes (1)

 

smurfy101

Pro

Argument 1: Tax exemption constitutes an endorsement of religion.
Tax exemptions give these institutions more money. This is a simple fact. Regan v. Taxation with Representation (US Supreme Court) decided that a tax exemption has the same effect as a cash grant. This is unconstitutional.

Argument 2: Tax exemption favors larger churches, which are often predatory.
This credit varies from church to church. Your average church may pull in a good amount, but definitely not as much as Kenneth Copeland's church worth hundreds of millions of dollars. A larger amount of money would be taken from his church if it was taxed than your average church. This means the bigger churches (which don't need help) are helped more. Sadly, these big churches are often the predatory ones, taking money from sick people in exchange for a promise of healing that never comes.

Argument 3: We need the money
Source 1: http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
Source 2: http://bigthink.com...

According to source 1, churches have $300-500,000,000,000 in untaxed property. According to source 2, this could make us $71 billion per year. This could have paid for the war in Vietnam. This can pay for free college tuition (estimated cost $60 billion per year). This could be channeled into social security to increase benefits or to be saved for the future. It could be used to help the drastically underfunded VA. This money could be used for so many things that are a good for all of society.
Unitomic

Con

Preface: As my Opponent began the first round with arguments, I will assume I may use this round to post rebuttals and arguments of my own.


Synopsis: The Resolution is interpreted to suggest that religious communities (the definition of “Church/Mosque/Synagogue” being used) should pay Taxes, and not have tax exempt status. The word “Church” will be used in substitution to all forms of related Religious Communities.


Proposition I: Definitions

Tax: A compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers' income and business profits or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions. {1}


Exempt: Free from an obligation or liability imposed on others {2}


Endorsement: An act of giving one's public approval or support to someone or something. {3}


Sources:

1} http://bit.ly...

2} http://bit.ly...

3} http://bit.ly...


Proposition II: BOP will be on my Opponent, as he desires a change from the Status Quo, is Pro, and the instigator of the debate. Additionally, I claim that all money, being properly acquired, is exempt from tax until otherwise made compulsory. In this way, not being required to pay tax is the natural system, and therefore, Pro must show that there is a proper justification to extend taxation over a currently untaxed organization.


Counter-Case I: Endorsement of Religion / Favouring Large Churches


Counter: This is purely non sequitur. Allowing people to keep more of what is already theirs does not count as endorsing them. Rather, giving them money would count as Endorsement. They aren’t being given money, they are keeping the money that was already theirs. It would be endorsement to give a different status to other religious communities. Which means all Religious communities would either need taxed, or exempt. My opponent referenced a SCOTUS decision, however it isn’t sourced, so it can be disregarded, since no details are linked. Regardless, I will go ahead and point out that it is still an appeal to authority, and doesn’t matter in a discussion on what we believe should/n’t be done. Regardless of their decision, being allowed to keep more of your money is not the same as being given money. SCOTUS seems to speak from the position that our money is the government's money until we are told we can keep it. But that isn’t how it works.

The issue with Pros second claim is that it assumes removing tax exemption will somehow be more fair than allowing both Large and Small Churches to keep all their income. In truth, Larger churches are more easily capable of paying taxes, while Smaller Churches risk falling under and failing, in the same way that small business’ are hurt more than large business’. Whereas a similar tax rate will still allow large organizations enough income to accomplish their goals and obligations, it would leave smaller organizations a smaller income to do so, preventing growth. With that said, I will further point out that there is a break in the logic that says allowing two people to keep all their money benefits the richer more because he has more money to keep. Saying a wealthier organization makes more money, so we should take it, doesn’t work. In actuality, giving a different tax liability to different Religious Organizations risk creating “endorsement” by forcing larger ones to pay more. Giving the same Liability endorses the larger ones by hurting smaller “competitors”.


Conclusion:I have shown here that there is no endorsement or unfairness in giving the same tax exemption to all organizations of the same type. Rather the only way to avoid the government influencing religion is to keep Government out of Church coffers.


Counter-Case II: Use of Tax Revenue.


Counter: So? Firstly, I’ll let Pro know that Blogs, which do not have links to direct sources, are not themselves sources. So Pro’s first source is not valid. Regardless, it doesn’t matter. We cannot simply justify increased taxation by the amount it will provide. Instead of sustaining increased spending with increased taxation, we must first work to decrease spending. Funneling the money into systems like the VA is a waste, as it is not an issue of money, but of structure and efficiency, like many other budgets. Other budgets are similarly well funded, but suffer from inefficiency and wasteful bureaucracy (Such as education, where we have one of the highest spending per students in the world {4/5/6}), or otherwise has dedicated revenue (SS is supported by largely by Pay Roll Tax {7/8}). And to say we could fund the Vietnam war is also a terrible thought. Taxing Charities to fund unpopular wars?


Pro is listing how we can use the money, but I argue we should try to fix the problems that lead to the failure of these programs. Taxation from Churches look like a lot, but will not fix our problems. So we should try something that can. Streamline bureaucracy, modernize systems, and try to fix our financial problems by decreasing financial needs. If the systems are not able to be fixed without constantly increased taxation, then the system is broken and should be replaced. Pro sets a dangerous precedent of fixing problems by taking more money.

I will lastly point out that Religious organizations are highly charitable (sourced in Case I below). Pro is wanting to take this charitable money, lose half of it in Bureaucracy, and use the rest for welfare. It will not help, but rather it will decrease national social assistance.

Of course, this doesn’t really matter, as the Churches will not pay taxes regardless of their religious status, as I will point out in my Case below..

Conclusion:Here it is shown that the notion that our budget should be fixed by increasing taxes is flawed and dangerous, and that the problem should be fixed from the expenditure end. If Pro had his way, our government could spend as much as they want, and simply charge us more for the right to exist, rather than taking responsibility for our money which they have forced us to hand over. Why should we be forced to give more and more to an irresponsible Robber Baron that won’t at least try to minimize the costs? No, be accountable to our money, then we can talk about taking our holy dollars.


Sources:

4} CBS: http://cbsn.ws...

5} OECD: http://bit.ly...

6} Investopedia: http://bit.ly...

7} http://bit.ly...

8} Heritage: http://bit.ly...


Case: Churches are Non-For-Profit / Funded by Donation.


Thesis: I will prove here that removing the tax exempt status will not change anything, as Churches are inherently tax exempt through being Charitable organizations.


Rationalization: Churches are non-for-profit. They are highly charitable {9, yes the source says the catholic church doesn’t provide half of SA, but it does show they alone still provide a great portion}. The church's income largely goes to paying workers (like most Charities, which is subject to income tax), debt {like most Charities}, mortgage/rent {like most Charities}, maintenance {like most Charities}, and Bills {like most Charities}. The remainder is largely charitable or related to religious programs {10}. Like all Charities, they are inherently Tax-Exempt. I will point out that Churches must meet certain 501c3 requirements, such as not attempting to intervene in political campaigns. They may, under certain instances, be subject to UBIT Tax. {11} Churches are Charitable, and therefore tax exempt, even without their status as churches, as their non-administrative expenses deal with social aid, and religious expansion, rather than commercial or financial profit. {12} So even with removing the religious exemption, Churches will not be paying taxes anyhow. Pro would have to also support altering the 501c3 requirements, which risk forcing other non-religious charities to pay taxes, or otherwise to add in a clause preventing non-religious organizations from being class as Charities, which would be worse as that would become religious discrimination.


Conclusion:Here I have successfully shown that Churches, being charitable organizations, would be tax exempt even barring religious exemptions. The impact of this coincides with Counter-Case II. Pro spoke of all the ways we can use Religious Taxes, but since these Churches, as charitable groups, will pay no tax anyhow, there will be no extra income for the inefficient social programs that Pro wants to support. All the effort of forcing through a controversial law to get the Churches taxed, and absolutely no increase in revenue.


Sources:

9} Politifact: http://bit.ly...

10} http://bit.ly...

11} Score: http://bit.ly...

12} Investopedia: http://bit.ly...


Closing Statement: My opponents arguments are basically that we should fix our fiscal problems by increasing taxes, rather than fixing the problems inherent in the current system. I rather suggest we fix the problems so that we need not increase taxes. Beyond this, Pro gives no other real argument because the non-sequitur that letting Groups keep their own money is the same as giving them money, when it is different on principle, and that tax exemptions benefit richer churches more, when in reality, taxation would hurt smaller churches more. Regardless of religious status, the sheer majority of these organizations are Charitable, and would not be taxable regardless. Any money taxed would be used less efficiently with the added layers of bureaucracy. I’ll point out that there are major moral problems if money taxed from Church went to things (or freed other money to go to things) which are fundamentally against the Church’s views.

Lastly, I repeat myself, not for the last time this debate: The Budget should be fixed streamlining, removing redundant or aged programs/departments/regulations, and fighting wasteful/corrupt spending. Not by following the never ending policy of increased taxation, which will only reward their fiscal incompetence rather than force fiscal reform. {13/14}


Sources:

13} Heritage:http://bit.ly...

14} The Hill:http://bit.ly...


==Unitomic==

Debate Round No. 1
smurfy101

Pro

I agree with my opponent"s definitions.

I disagree with their proposition II which states that the natural state is not being taxed. Rather, churches are corporations, not charities, which are subject to tax. This is how I plan to implement the resolution, by changing churches" status to that of a corporation. First, let"s look at what a corporation is through looking at what it attempts to do. A corporation"s goal is to make money [1]. This is exactly what religion has done since the dawn of time. Since ancient Mesopotamia and before, religions have required sacrifices of property to be part of said religion, sometimes enforced at gunpoint. This isn"t the case now in most of the world, but let"s take churches in America as an example. The collection box, basket, etc. is passed around in front of sometimes the entire town. This incredible social pressure combined with the fact that many religions command a tithe make it so that "donation" is not truly voluntary. You pay for the service of religion. This is how religion has been viewed by the cynical upper class for millennia, and why the cynical upper class proselytizes. Thus, the burden of proof is on both of us. I must prove that churches are corporations (see above) and my opponent must either prove they are not or that churches must be an exception to other corporations.

1-http://www.investopedia.com...

Counter-Case I

My opponent makes the point that allowing groups to keep money doesn"t count as an endorsement. That is EXACTLY what it is. When these groups enter society, they give up the right to not be taxed. When the government chooses not to act on this, it shows the government is in support of the group. Thus, the government is neutral towards the private citizen and the corporation, but not to the charity. My opponent called my use of the SCOTUS an appeal to authority, but if that"s an appeal to authority, so is every source we both used. The SCOTUS decides what the Constitution means. They decided that the government giving money to a lobbying church is no different from tax exemption [2]. I take that line of reasoning to its inevitable conclusion and say that the government giving money to a church is no different than a tax exemption. My opponent claims that our money doesn"t start as the government"s to take. Rather, when a group such as a church enters a democratic government, they give the government permission to tax them, as I note above.

My opponent also makes the claim that small churches could fall under and fail. So what? The government can then provide an economic stimulus as it would to any other business, or let it file for bankruptcy or die. The government is in no position to keep a failing business afloat. If so many would go under, though, churches can utilize tax credits given to small businesses once classified as them. My opponent then points out that we shouldn"t take money from the rich simply because they are rich. That"s not what I"m saying. I"m saying that 30% of a million is more than 30% of a thousand. We are allowing these large, predatory churches to grow exponentially, leaving the smaller churches (often the ones doing the charity work my opponent references) in the dust, thus incentivizing churches to adopt this model.

2-https://en.wikipedia.org...

Counter-case II

First, Con discounts my source because it"s a blog. Well, the Washington Post puts the number possibly higher while referencing the same study. [3] Con talks about bureaucratic waste and how funneling more money in to programs doesn"t solve that. First, our education system is worse than others not because of bureaucracy but because of a lack of funding for poor schools and because our focus on testing and curriculum sucks. However, college is a different sort of thing. Our universities are some of the best in the world. [4] More money helps more people access them. On social security, Con points out it is well funded by the payroll tax. I don"t dispute that. But Con"s source points out that some people may be entitled to as few as around 10,000 dollars per year. That"s less than the poverty line, which is already too low. This money could be used to increase their benefits. On the Vietnam War, that comes from the standpoint of the Ford or Carter administration which wants to offset the damage done. The examples Pro gives of bureaucracy gone awry aren"t where the money will go, and so the bureaucracy isn"t the problem here. Hell, the money could simply be used to pay off the debt!

3- https://www.washingtonpost.com...
4- https://www.timeshighereducation.com...

Case

The Con"s case rests on the church being a charity. A church"s motivation is not to be a charity, nor does being a church necessitate charitability. Take Scientology. Not exactly a charity. It exists to make money. Even the smaller churches which may be genuine in their efforts to be charitable take a cut for themselves, and the charity is merely an additional "product" they sell to their members who want to be charitable. Join the church, pay a tithe, and you can be charitable. When something exists to make money, and second help their consumers, it is no longer a charity; it is a corporation, and ought to be treated as such.

Conclusion

We need to implement this resolution through making churches considered corporations because that"s what they are, not charities. We can use this money to fund things listed above, or countless others.
Unitomic

Con

Preface: I would ask Pro if the next round, or perhaps the round after, be made the concluding round. This debate will devolve into repetition and nonsense if we go all 5 rounds.


Proposition: My Opponent challenged my view that Tax Exemption is natural. However, he does not elaborate further. Therefore, he has effectively left the matter in my favour. What we earn is naturally ours, ergo, to have what is ours taken is not natural, even if necessary. I will follow up later.


Counter-Case I: Corporate Tax


Summarization: My opponent claims that we will simply label churches as Corporations.


Counter: Churches are not Corporations. This is simple, objective fact. Pro can no more relabel them then he could relabel me rich. Pro claims that Churches seek to make money. This means nothing. All charities seek to acquire revenue. What matters is the use of this money. A Corporation will make money to benefit its leaders/shareholders through financial profit. A church seeks to gain revenue in order to benefit everyone else, through charitable means. Ergo, the Churches are in fact Charities, and cannot be labeled as anything else, any more then he can relabel the Salvation Army. To do so in order to expand tax revenue would be a grievous abuse of power, and a sign of a Government that is falling beyond the threshold. No, Churches will be labeled as what they are, Charitable organizations.

Pro says Tithes are mandatory, I ask for sources. Social Pressures are also given when charities stand outside walmart, or when we are asked to donate at the register. But this doesn’t change the nature of the charities responsible. No, Pro may be too weak to resist social pressure, but he cannot redefine “Voluntary”. No matter how much pressure is applied, the fact that you can say no (Often times without people knowing) means it is completely voluntary. I, for example, did not give tithe in church today.


Conclusion: Pro failed to prove that Churches are Corporations, and merely declared them to be so. Or rather, declared that he would label them Corporations, regardless of what they actually are.


Counter-Case II: “Counter-Cases” / “Cases”


Summarization: Pro has attempted to attack my Counters, while presented a new case that Churches aren’t Charities.


Counter: “When these groups enter society, they give up the right to not be taxed.” This is one of the most philosophically bankrupt views I have seen in awhile. Again, to keep what we earn is the natural way, and to be taxed is unnatural, if necessary. To act as though taxation is inherent until otherwise said shows a lack of understanding of the nature of taxation. Saying that government withholding tax is a sign of support further shows his flawed philosophy toward taxation. The inability to distinguish between not having our income stolen, and being money suggests he views our money as Government Property, with the money we have left being our allowance. I will allow the Voters to make of this philosophy what they will.


Once the smaller Churches begin going under, Pro will then give them a stimulus. This means taking money from wealthier churches, and giving it to smaller churches, to make up for the tax that is now implemented. This is the endorsement of religion the First Amendment is against. This means benefiting the smaller churches at the expense of the large ones (ironically, more so than Pro’s claim that exemption benefits larger churches more). Or perhaps we not tax them at all, and not need to give taxpayer money to Churches. Or they collapse. Then tax revenue is lost. Now no one gets Social Aid.


My opponent declares SCOTUS to be the final authority, yet again committing the Appeal to Authority, without giving evidence that they are right. SCOTUS has been wrong before. They are largely an opinion with authority, whereas my sources are academic. I have shown the flaw in their reasoning, Pro has not shown flaw in my sources.

Pro says that our education system is underfunded, without source. I have sourced that it is among the most well-funded in the world. All other problems are in administration, and therefore extra funding won’t help. Our SS problems are derived from a broken system. Money will be wasted without change. Pro fails to express how taking the money from a charity, and wasting half of it will benefit us more than just letting the Charity use the money. Paying the debt is no better than war. It is taking more money to pay for the government's own inefficiencies, rather than trying to fix it from the government’s (expenditure) end.


Pro fails to show how these churches are not charitable. Rather, he makes the unsubstantiated claim that they “keep a cut for themselves”. What he is referring to is unknown, and thus irrelevant. Any administrative/maintenance/debt costs are normal for charities. They are still Charities.

Scientology has a controversial tax status. It has even been revoked because it didn’t meet the requirements to be a non-for-profit Church. {1} Thus Churches can lose status.


Pro also mentions that bureaucracy won’t waste the money. I sourced that there was waste. Here is another {2}

Conclusion: Pro’s Counters fail to dispel my arguments, and he fails to revive his own. As it stands, his logic is shown to be faulty. Pro says my argument relies on Churches being Charity, but as this is the established fact about Churches, it is actually Pro’s job to show they are not Charities. He has failed in this endeavor, as his statements, when looked at carefully, can be seen to apply to any Charity.

His failure to show that churches can even be taxes further defies his claim that taxing them will benefit social programs. He further continues making unsubstantiated claims that adding money to these programs will help, when I have shown the problems are often not financial.


Sources:

1} Wikipedia: http://bit.ly...

2} Slate: http://slate.me...


Case: Long-Term Loss


Thesis: I will show here that increasing taxation will only lead to a less successful future, with a dangerous precedent in place, and decreased taxation is prefered.


Rationalization: A fact that many people seem not to realize is that taxation harms long term economic growth {3}. With less capital, business/people have less spare income for expansion. This will not change for churches. Their decreased growth will lead to the revenue from them dropping overtime relative to inflation and government spending. Eventually, the Social assistance gained from this tax (which is already less than lost by taxing charities) will further decline relative to had the Churches been able to simply invest the money into expension (something Charities are allowed to do).


But worse, is the precedence. After taxing the Churches, the Government will find that it is not enough. Because 71 Billion won’t fix the anything. Instead of fixing their fiscal incompetence, they simply added a tax, on a 501c3 eligible group with strong legal defenses. The precedence is almost certainly set. If it has already been set (very likely given increasing tax/GDP ratio {4}), it will be further enforced. New taxes, expanded taxes. This will lead to slowed economic growth, and cause long-term harm to revenue. If taxes are lowered instead, the economy will grow from increased investment/ease-of-business. The increase in economy will eventually reach a point will more revenue can be brought in with lower and less taxes. A long-term solution, along with fixing the bureaucratic mess, and destroying waste. Far better and more efficient than the short-term solution of taxing more, which will only necessitate (and precedate) further taxation increases.


Conclusion: Pro’s economic policies would see decreased economic/church growth, leading to a situation where tax revenues will be lower (relative to inflation) in spite of higher tax rates. Lower taxes and smaller/efficient government is best.


Sources:

3} TPC: http://tpc.io...

4} http://bit.ly...


Closing Statement: Pro fails to resuscitate his arguments, often merely repeating them without further elaboration. He fails to realize that simply referring to SCOTUS’ position doesn’t justify their claims. Pro doesn’t really make any headway against my claims, beyond relying on the notion that he can tax them as something they aren’t (Corporations). And if they don’t fit the classification, he’ll tax them as such anyhow. This doesn’t work, and Pro failed to show Churches to be anything but Charities, as his descriptions of the churches are little different than other Charities once analyzed.

Perhaps most crippling is Pro revealing his faulty philosophy toward taxation, implying that theft of our earned money is natural, and to be allowed to keep all of our earned income is a gift from government. This is a dangerous notion. Pro may not have stated this philosophy word-for-word, but the implication is there. Especially, when he says not having our money taken is the same as being given money. This is a stockholmesque view.

Taxation is Theft. Taxation is necessary, but it is theft. It must be done carefully, and every single effort must be made to keep it as low as possible. If government fails in this endeavour, and choses to keep raising tax, then it must be seen as an aggressive parasite to our economic system, taking more, and giving less. Pro would prefer this parasite, because his disdain for religion justifies expanded taxation on charities simply due to their religious nature. {5/6}


Sources:

5} http://bit.ly...

6} Mises: http://bit.ly...


Taxation is Theft, Vote Con,

==Unitomic==

Debate Round No. 2
smurfy101

Pro

Preface: I am OK if we make the 3rd round the final round.

Proposition: My challenge is what Con referred to later, which is my statement that joining society necessitates being taxed (essentially). I will rebut their attack to that here. One thing Con notes is that my philosophy treats money as the government's. In a literal sense, yes it is. All currency is government property, and the government is the only thing giving the dollar, pound, yen, etc. any value. However, that's probably not what Con referred to (I make that argument in case it was). The government needs money to run. No dispute there by Con. That money must come in the form of taxes. Taxing certain arbitrary groups more or less than others is unnatural. Ergo, taxing churches removes the arbitrary distinction (I will show the arbitrary distinction later when I defend my point that churches are businesses, thus validating my point here).

Corporate Tax

To quote Con, "a corporation will make money to benefit its leaders/shareholders through financial profit." Well, most churches do this. The church leaders are paid a salary. This salary is generally proportional to the income of a church, just as with a business. In fact, the church leaders are the only group always benefited by a church. Con says a church seeks to benefit everyone else through charitable means. Nothing about being a church NECESSITATES this. None of the ones I went to growing up did such a thing. Let's remind ourselves that the purpose of a church is to be a place for worship or other religious activities, and that religion is not necessarily charitable.

I had assumed that it was common knowledge that some churches require a tithe. This well off church [1] (I assume they're well off if they have a website) requires tithing. The social pressures go beyond merely standing outside of Walmart, but it often goes further in places like Utah. These ex-Mormons tell of how much one has to lose by leaving the church (and thus it loses financial support) [2].

1-http://www.tfh.org...
2-http://exmormon.org...

Counter-cases

Con claims an economic stimulus constitutes an endorsement of religion. True, it creates an excessive entanglement, which is why it only should be given if the government can ensure it is solely used for secular purposes, and why I said it "could" be used. My preferred solution is simply allowing them to take advantage of small business tax credits. It shouldn't be any worse if a church goes under than if a bakery goes under.

The so-called appeal to authority in this case is justified. Why? Because the argument the SCOTUS makes is justified by my earlier argument about taxation being the natural state.

On the education system being underfunded, I meant that it is not evenly funded. It is often funded through property taxes (common knowledge), meaning that schools in poor areas are worse. Con claims the social security system is broken. Con doesn't show how, and SS is certainly working fine now. Con also says that paying the debt is no better than war. This is simply wrong. The problem exists. Reducing spending stops it, and begins to slowly chip away. More money helps solve it, or slows it down until Congress can get its act together.

On the DoD waste, Con's source notes that the Pentagon is already working to get rid of the waste, and the money can still be used elsewhere.

Economic growth

Con's own source says that tax cuts harm the economy-essentially, a really low tax rate also harms the economy. This means there's a sweet spot-probably between 25 and 40 percent, which is where it's been for the Obama and Clinton administrations, which have had sustainable economic growth [common knowledge]. Thus, the current business tax rate is a lot closer to the sweet spot of economic growth than 0%.

Conclusion

Vote Pro to protect the separation of church and state, to give the government more money it can use, to call churches what they are (businesses), and because it will stimulate the economy, contrary to the Con's arguments.
Unitomic

Con

Preface: Pro has agreed to make this the final round. Thus, no further Cases or Counter-Cases will be made (except in regard to new information he releases), instead currently standing Cases and Counter-Cases will be defended. In turn, both Debaters will merely Sign further Rounds, not Post Cases/Counter-Cases.


Proposition: Nature of Taxation

Pro admits straight out that he perceives all our money to be Government property. This is against the very nature of US governance philosophy. The Government does not own us or our property, we own the government. No, our property is our own, not leased to us by government. This includes our money. My hard work doesn’t give me revenue leased to me. It gives wealth which belongs to me, and me alone {1}. He suggests a defense is government minting. No, this is a service of government, owed to us, as we own the government. The government is not a this-for-that organization. It is here purely to protect, and provide certain things. We pay taxes out of necessity, not because the government is entitled to our wealth.


Beyond this, no other substantiation is given to support this radical change is economic philosophy. It is for the Voter to decide from here if they buy my opponents view, and how it further affects their views.


I will point out that highly Pro’s cases are dependent on his views of Money of property of Government.


Sources:

1} FEE: http://bit.ly...


Counter-Case I: Corporate Tax


Summarization: Pro continues his claim that Churches are corporations, simply by saying that pay workers.


Counter: Pro claims that Churches are corporations because they pay their workers. As I’ve said before, all charities pay their workers too {2}. He claims churches aren’t always charitable. As I’ve earlier said, Churches can lose their tax exemption, such as Scientology. I will further comment that these church workers do pay income tax.


Pro sources that Tithes are sometimes required, however nowhere in his sources is this shown to be required. In fact, his Source 2 deals entirely with “Exit Costs”, and admits there are no financial exit costs. There are “social costs” as Mormonism is a sub-culture, and leaving the sub-culture means losing a lot of the friends and family in that culture. This tends to be the same in all cultures/sub-cultures. Pro’s sources don’t show that the actual religion forces any tithing. The Source makes this clear. Voters should go through those sources to confirm.


Sources:

2} http://bit.ly...


Counter-Case II: “Counter-Case” / “Cases”


Summarization: Pro has made several claims, which I shall debunk here.


Counter: Pro admits that economic stimulus is endorsement, and therefore is unconstitutional. He further moves to claim that SBTCs could be used. Is that not also endorsement, since they are being given advantage? To say a charity going under is as bad as a business going under in the name of increased revenue is a flawed notion. I will allow Voters to decide how their view these statements.


Pro continues claiming that Scotus is right because they said so. Again, Appeal to Authority, as them merely saying something is so doesn’t make it so. If they say our money is government property and taxation is natural, but my statements show the flaws in their views, then that means SCOTUS is wrong, until proven correct subsequently by Pro. Pro failed to show them to be correct, because merely sighting their “authority”. Ergo, he is using an Appeal to Authority.

Pro actually claims SS is working fine. By this reasoning, there is no need to further fund them. He says Education is unevenly funded. So instead of evening the funding, he will prefer to increase the budget unnecessarily. This is the very same inefficiency creating the fiscal issue of government. Pro ends his counter-case by saying that the DODs waste could be spent elsewhere. This is largely the point of my statements. Streamline, Restructure, and Show respect for the money the government takes from us. Don’t increase taxes.

No, increasing taxation to pay for the debt, rather than simply decreasing expense, is a flawed and philosophically bankrupt notion. Additionally, the debt is not serviced in the way Pro seems to think. We pay interest for a set amount of time until a bond is repaid. Effectively, we need not increase the money going to this interest (in fact, doing so would hurt our credit rating, as people buy debt in order to make a profit. Paying too fast lowers the profit by lowering yearly interests, hurting incentive to purchase bonds).


Yes, my source mentions that the deficit increase can hurt the economy. Not the Tax Cut. The Increased deficit. We need merely reduce the expenditure, as I’ve said several times, through increased efficiency and smaller government. Done right, this will lead to decreased or only slightly altered deficits. Thus the cause of economic slowdown will not be present, and lowered taxation will be able to increase GDP growth. As the economy grows, our revenue will ultimately grow, even with lowered taxation. Increased long-term revenue, with decreased expenditure, will eventually diminish the deficit to such as a point that the debt will shrink, perhaps not in absolute numbers, but as a percent of GDP (the current measurement for judging debt). Best Case Scenario, the deficit eventually vanishes as tax revenue increases (from economic growth, not tax rate increase) and expenditure decreases.


Obama’s economy, according to Pro, was a success. In reality, his unsourced statement is wrong. Economic growth was less than exciting. Their GDP growth was 2.1% average, much less than the 2.8% average from the preceding 28 years. This is highlighted by the fact that the average for the 28 years included 2 major recessions, and some smaller recessions {3}. Additionally, workforce participation (better than simple “unemployment” charts, which include people who have stopped looking {4}) has decreased under Obama. {5 / 6} Relatively poor economic growth is a sign of issues with Obama’s economic policy. As Pro has failed to list charts or sources, I have nothing further to debunk on this count.

As for Clinton, a lot of his success came from reduced expenditure growth, leading to a lower expenditure/gdp ratio {7}. Many point out that he also increased taxes, however as Forbes and Heritage points out, the economic growth actually increased after turning around and cutting taxes a few years in {8 / 9}. It was the growth after this point which was substantial enough to give Clinton his above-average growth. So while Pro says we saw economic growth under Clinton, the reality is that this growth came from decreased relative spending, and in the end, decreased taxes. As Pro failed to present either charts or sources, there is nothing further to say.


Basically, as I’ve been saying, the answer is increased efficiency and smaller government, combined with lower taxes, not larger.


His comment in the conclusion basically says we should designate Churches as something other than what they are for the Tax Revenue, actually saying it protects Separation of Church and State, when it actually compromises it by giving Government power over Church money, and creating “excessive entanglements” (to quote Pro). He says these entanglements can be avoided by requiring “secular” use of the money. The government created Secularization of Churches is a sign of compromising Separation of Church and State. No, Separation of Church and State is created by not taxing at all. He says it will give the Government more money to use, I say it gives them more money to waste. And eventually they will decide they need even more money to waste. What Charity will they reclassify next?


Sources:

3} Realclear Markets: http://bit.ly...

4} Forbes: http://bit.ly...

5} BLS: http://bit.ly...

6} Politifact: http://bit.ly...

7} Tax Foundation: http://bit.ly...

8} Forbes: http://bit.ly...

9} Heritage: http://bit.ly...


Closing Statement: Pro has failed to substantiate that Churches are corporations, or to defy my Cases that Churches are Charities. In fact, the subject of the Church makes up only a small part of his Round. Nothing else he mentions matters unless he can prove that Churches can be taxed. He hasn’t. He has failed to show that Churches could lose 501C3 status, or that there is any grounds to remove Religious Tax Exemption. In light of this failure, nothing further about the use of the money matters, and actually suggests a desire to compromise Separation of Church and State and a gross breach of government/taxpayer faith by fraudulently miscategorizing Organizations, for nothing other than increased revenue.

The fact is, Pro’s views are founded in his Extreme Authoritarian notion that our Financial Property belong to the Government, which ultimately means our very lives are Government Property (without money, we have nothing). This is flawed and dangerous. It is against the very nature of a free nation, and is not compatible with any Western World. This is made worse if we support his idea that we can give false categorization to increase taxes, which gives further power to government to own us, as they need not even follow their own rules.


If his views of our money are not adopted, his arguments entirely fall through. His cases rely on this Economic/Political Philosophy, and cannot survive without it (and barely survives with it).

I remind Pro at this point that, per our agreement, he must not post any further arguments from here on. He can only sign the next two Rounds, as this is the final debate round. I have refrained from posting new Cases, and merely defended my already stated Cases/Counters, adding new Counters only in regard to his new statements. Any Cases/Counters/Defenses Pro attempts to post will be disregarded, per this agreement.


Taxation is Theft. Vote Con.


==Unitomic==



Debate Round No. 3
smurfy101

Pro

Bla bla bla 3rd round is final bla bla bla
Unitomic

Con

==Unitomic==
Debate Round No. 4
smurfy101

Pro

Bla bla bla 3rd round is final bla bla bla
Unitomic

Con

Vote Con.
==Unitomic==
Debate Round No. 5
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by smurfy101 4 months ago
smurfy101
I'll agree to that.
Posted by Unitomic 4 months ago
Unitomic
This topic isn't a 5 round matter. We will be simply repeating and going in circles by round. I ask Pro to agree to make round 3 or 4 the Final Round, and we will simply sign the remaining rounds to avoid FF.
Posted by Unitomic 4 months ago
Unitomic
This topic isn't a 5 round matter. We will be simply repeating and going in circles by round. I ask Pro to agree to make round 3 or 4 the Final Round, and we will simply sign the remaining rounds to avoid FF.
Posted by donald.keller 4 months ago
donald.keller
Most church leaders do have other jobs, and many aren't even paid.

You've literally described every Charity in the world just now... The Red Cross, Salvation Army, March of Dimes, they all have leaders who run them, manage their finances and work to encourage higher revenues, and they each paid for it too.

Charities and Non-Profits are about why they receive money, not how they are run.
Posted by smurfy101 5 months ago
smurfy101
Interesting, I didn't realize that church leadership had other jobs.
They dedicate their lives to running the church. They are not taxed twice, their profits are, as is literally every business', but they are not. The church leadership is generally a group of people who make their money through the church and run it like a business.
Posted by donald.keller 5 months ago
donald.keller
"My opponent also makes the claim that small churches could fall under and fail. So what?"

That's the most laughable response I've ever seen, ever. Here's some advice, when you propose making the Government do something, and someone explains that this would have incredibly bad results for the people you're doing it to (good, caring people who have done nothing wrong), replying with the equivalent of "so what, f*ck them" is not okay.

Secondly, funding social programs by bankrupting socially charitable groups is counter-productive, and disregards the concepts of freedom and private ownership. Basically saying people only have the right to their property when you don't need it.

"When these groups enter society, they give up the right to not be taxed."

You seem to not realize what a Church is. It's a private group of individually pooling together their pre-existing assets to fund the needs of the group's worship (and pooling together additional funds to meet the needs of the impoverished or hurt.) They have already been taxed. To then tax that same money because it's been brought together in a community pool is double-taxation. This isn't like taxing an investment or a business expense. It's taxing pre-taxed income because it's being combined with other's income to fund a private, non-profit group. The group gets taxed on purchases, property, and wages. This "church tax" is basically like taxing two people's wages, and then taxing them for pooling together their funds in a shared bill accounts or a shared vacation account.
Posted by donald.keller 5 months ago
donald.keller
"My opponent also makes the claim that small churches could fall under and fail. So what?"

That's the most laughable response I've ever seen, ever. Here's some advice, when you propose making the Government do something, and someone explains that this would have incredibly bad results for the people you're doing it to (good, caring people who have done nothing wrong), replying with the equivalent of "so what, f*ck them" is not okay.

Secondly, funding social programs by bankrupting socially charitable groups is counter-productive, and disregards the concepts of freedom and private ownership. Basically saying people only have the right to their property when you don't need it.

"When these groups enter society, they give up the right to not be taxed."

You seem to not realize what a Church is. It's a private group of individually pooling together their pre-existing assets to fund the needs of the group's worship (and pooling together additional funds to meet the needs of the impoverished or hurt.) They have already been taxed. To then tax that same money because it's been brought together in a community pool is double-taxation. This isn't like taxing an investment or a business expense. It's taxing pre-taxed income because it's being combined with other's income to fund a private, non-profit group. The group gets taxed on purchases, property, and wages. This "church tax" is basically like taxing two people's wages, and then taxing them for pooling together their funds in a shared bill accounts or a shared vacation account.
Posted by smurfy101 5 months ago
smurfy101
@Purushadasa Also, if you want to debate me, challenge me. Unless you're afraid...
Posted by smurfy101 5 months ago
smurfy101
I copied and pasted a section of the amendment. Your comment will be reported for ad hominem.

Hinduism is a religion. https://en.wikipedia.org...

Discrimination against anyone who has done nothing to deserve it is objectively wrong. Note that you conceded by omission that this discriminates against Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc.
Posted by Purushadasa 5 months ago
Purushadasa
You failed to quote that Amendment correctly, you ignorant, lying POS.

Hindu is an ethnicity, not a religion or a faith.

Discrimination against atheism is not objectively wrong.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by BryanMullinsNOCHRISTMAS2 1 month ago
BryanMullinsNOCHRISTMAS2
smurfy101UnitomicTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con by default!