The Instigator
1Historygenius
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
dairygirl4u2c
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Flat Tax

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
1Historygenius
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/8/2012 Category: Economics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,034 times Debate No: 23963
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

1Historygenius

Pro

I believe a flat tax is a good tax.

Flat tax - A true flat rate tax is a system of taxation where one tax rate is applied to all income with no deductions or exemptions.

Let's debate!

Round 1 is for acceptance.

No semantics!
dairygirl4u2c

Con

I believe a progressive tax system should be used. the richer you are the more you are taxed. i'm not wed to a certain number, just that it should be progressive.

the richer should be taxed more because they use more resources, and are primarily responsible for those who "don't have" for not having.
a flat tax does in fact cause the richer to pay more, as the same percentage as someone else but on a higher income is a higher tax. but, this is only the beginning of what should be done. this might account for how the rich use more police, courts, transportation systems, national parks and resources, IRS workers, space flight use, represent more needing protected with the military, etc. poorer people participate in all that but not to the same degree... they just exist.
we should add a surtax onto the flat tax for the richer because the government often must redistribute to the poor just for the basics. food stamps, health, whatever. i'm sure we could squibble about what the poor should have access to, but by far most people agree they should have access to at least the basics, if it's through no fault of their own... like food stamps etc. hypotheitcal. an average family have five pigs five cows five apple trees. a poor person collects the rubble they find on the ground. a rich man has thousands of pigs cows and apple trees. the average family is just existing really.... the rich man has the excess that causes the poor man to not have anything. the only thing preventing the poor man from getting the apples etc, is man made law and technology claiming it. natural law would allow the poor man to get what we needs, and if we deprive him, we owe him something for depriving him of his rights. it comes most naturally from the rich man who "has too much".
we could be principled about the excess that the rich pay as a percentage... perhaps to the extent it's for poor programs etc. the bottomline though, is that we shouldn't just have a flat tax simple as that.
Debate Round No. 1
1Historygenius

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate!

"the richer should be taxed more because they use more resources"

OK, so my opponent has the decided to make the argument here, that is random, but OK. First my opponent needs to define what he sees as "rich". Is it the top 1%? Top 5%? Top 10%? What is the rich to him? For that matter, what is the poor? He has no sources to back him up.

"the rich use more police, courts, transportation systems, national parks and resources, IRS workers, space flight use, represent more needing protected with the military, etc."

Uh.....WTF?! OK, look not trying to be rude but I have no idea what my opponent just said. There is no logic behind it. How do the rich, by my opponent's definition, "use up" more police. I think poor people cause more crime than rich people. Also, rich people never really join the police. In terms of transportation, the "rich" would probably take planes if by rich we mean in terms of money. The "poor" then would probably take more cars and walk on sidewalks or subways, thus using up more transportation. Rich people rarely join the army and being in the army should not be taxes because these men are fighting for our country and risking their lives.

Your entire argument really makes no sense and while I am only addressing a few, I think the voters would agree.
Right now I would like to take some to address the fact that my opponent did not follow the most simple rule that round 1 is for acceptance. I request the point of conduct. My opponent also sucks are grammar because she does not capitalize letters so I request the point of spelling and grammar.

"the government often must redistribute to the poor just for the basics. food stamps, health, whatever. i'm sure we could squibble about what the poor should have access to, but by far most people agree they should have access to at least the basics,"

Yet we still do not know who the poor is. However going back to money, my opponent seems to think that the wealth is fixed to the rich and that it is there responsibility to help the poor, but in a free market there is not fixed amount. A free market creates new wealth. He seems to think that natural law (whatever that is) allows a poor person to become rich and that man made law does not, but what is natural law?

Onto my own arguments.

A Flat Tax Creats Economic Growth

A flat tax lowers the current tax rates and allows people to save more and invest more allowing a boost in the economy. Even if it grows as low as 0.5%, the average family would have $5,000 that they would have under current tax laws.

Instant Wealth Creation

There is a possibility that a flat tax could boost national wealth to $5 trillion. Part of this reason is because all income-producing assests would rise in value since the flat tax would increase the after-tax stream of income that they generate.

Simplicity

The IRS, which manages our tax, itself costs a lot of money to run and is very complex in terms of tax returns. With a flat tax, taxes is simply put a postcard-sized form. This saves tens of billions of dollars.

Fairness

Everyone in this system is treated equally. It does not matter if you are a CEO of a big corporation or someone working at McDonald's, a flat tax is fair. Basically, the complex progressive tax that our country has right now taxes people based on income, but a flat tax does not and taxes everyone fairly. For example, no matter if you ma $100 or $1,000,000 if a law says you both pay 10%, you will give up 10% of your income. That is fair and equal.

Ends Corruption

While this nation's progressive tax system allows for corruption, a flat tax eliminates all deductions, looholes, credits, and exemptions. Politicians would lose their power to use the tax code to pick winners and losers and because the flat is pro-growth, corporations would not waste their times hiring lobbyists for their own special interests from the government. Even if it does not get rid of all corruption, it gets rid of a large amount.

http://www.heritage.org...
dairygirl4u2c

Con

my opponent has not explained why defining rich or poor is relevant. we seem to be talking about this stuff just fine without it... they are relative terms, and the details do not matter for the essence of the debate. it'd be like me claiming that since you have not defined what percent we should tax everyone, that that suddenly makes a difference in the debate.

perhaps they use police less, the rich. but i stand by the other examples. as far as the military, as i said, they represent more that needs defended.... they are a certain percent of the nation's wealth etc, and they should pay more for it. also, the rich should pay more cause they take more natural resources etc from the earth.
at the end of the day though, my points about using more resrouces etc is why i agree with you about the rich paying more, due to the fact they earn more and would be taxed more even if all were taxed at like 20%, a flat tax.

i felt i needed to explain all that. how else would you personally say that we should have a flat tax, and not, say, a flat fee? say, everyone pays ten thousand dollars a year. obviously we'd have to make some rules for those who don't. but why do you say it's fairer that mitt romney pay 30 million per year while bill gates pays 300 million, if both were taxed at a flat tax as you propose? i don't know the actual figures, those are just for argument's sake. (i could pretend it matters that you didn't define the actual percent, but i'm not going there) one's a millionaire, the other a billionaire.

the essense of why i think it should be progrsesive tax is because of the redistrubution problem. and that the rich should be more responsible for it. con merely says that the free market would create more wealth. so that man with a thousand trees gets a thousand more trees... does that mean the poor man collecting rubble got anything? not necessarily. if it's through no fault of his own, society owes him a way to get his leg up. if we tell him to pull himself up by his boot straps, we need to ensure he has bootstraps to pull himself up with, kind of thing.
and even if we did something that was a boon to society and created a lot of wealth, perhaps even causing some poor to be eleveate in wealth.... that dosen't mean that all poor did, or that there won't be new poor who exist.

as for con's arguments....
"instant wealth creation":
-first think about what a flat tax would probably do. it'd probably decrease the most rich's taxes and increase the less rich. unless we tax everyone at the highest 30+ tax rate, that currently exists, that is. this means some will be richer, the rich, but others will not
-also con didn't define how this would create new wealth. how would income producing assets rise in value? all i can deduce is something like, a landlord once was being taxed at thirty percent, and now it's twenty, and so he makes more money
"Simplicity":
i agree it would reduce costs. that's not debateable. a progressive tax system similar to exists now isn't all that complicated, though. the complications in our current system comes from all the technicalities... deductions, credits, different types of business organization taxes, capital gain type stuff, etc etc.
"fairness"
this is of course the most debateable. i'd reiterate all my points about why we should ahve a progressive tax system. also, con needs to show why it's more fair to tax romney thirty million and bill gates three hudnred million. instead of finding a fixed amount. or why John has to pay ten thousand and frank has to pay twenty, even when both are in the same social class... i'm sure frank could see much more 'fairness' in the flat amount system.
"corruption"
i'll go with this general sentiment that you gave. but pretty much reiterating most of my points from the "simplicity" response i gave
Debate Round No. 2
1Historygenius

Pro

"my opponent has not explained why defining rich or poor is relevant. we seem to be talking about this stuff just fine without it... they are relative terms, and the details do not matter for the essence of the debate."

We wouldn't even be talking about this had you not made the opening arguments. The reason why "rich" is so hard to define is because many people have different terms for what they see as rich. It can be the top 1% for them, or the top 5%, or the top 10%, and so on. There might be people who even think the top 99% is the rich and the poor are the bottom 1% who have the most poverty. My argument was that we should tax everyone at the same rate and your argument is that the rich should pay more, but you have not defined to me your tax system or what you see as the rich.

"perhaps they use police less, the rich. but i stand by the other examples. as far as the military, as i said, they represent more that needs defended.... they are a certain percent of the nation's wealth etc, and they should pay more for it. also, the rich should pay more cause they take more natural resources etc from the earth."

Remember that the military's job is to protect the United States. It does not discriminate anyone, it protects all Americans. There are less wealthy to protect than people in poverty. They are not defined by wealth, but by the fact that they are American citizens.

My opponent then says that the rich pay more because they take up more resources than the earth, but he has not sources to prove this. Also, everything costs money and some states have a sales tax so they do pay more.

"obviously we'd have to make some rules for those who don't. but why do you say it's fairer that mitt romney pay 30 million per year while bill gates pays 300 million, if both were taxed at a flat tax as you propose?"

Because everyone is being taxed at the same rate and a flat fee sounds stupid. If everyone was payed a fee then we would lose tremendous finances for the government. Also, there are not many people who can pay a flat fee of $10,000 a year. Over 70 million Americans make $25,000 a year [1]. That sounds like much, but not when you have to pay a flat fee to the government of $10,000. I gets rid of a lot of their money and leaves them with just $15,000 a year for essential things and bills. Around 8,000,000 households make less than $10,000. Around 6,000,000 make $10,000 to $14,999 a year and you are tremendously eliminating their income with the flat fee. It would still be bad for the 13,000,000 households that make $15,000 to $24,999 a year and it would probably be bad for another 13,000,000 households that make $25,000 to $34,999 a year [1].

Already, my opponent's flat fee plan of $10,000 a year would damage some 40,000,000 households.

"the essense of why i think it should be progrsesive tax is because of the redistrubution problem. and that the rich should be more responsible for it."

The rich do pay more under a flat tax. They pay an equal rate, but because the rich own more, they pay more in a percentage. If the flat tax is 10% personal income, then someone with $100 will pay $10 to the government and keep the rest. Someone with $1,000,000 would pay $100,000. So the rich do pay more under a flat tax. A progressive tax like the one Con supports would make the rich pay even more causing them to spend less time saving and investing to stimulate the economy. This system is also discriminatory towards someone how works hard and earns more money.

"so that man with a thousand trees gets a thousand more trees... does that mean the poor man collecting rubble got anything?"

Yes, more rubble, because that is what he is collecting. Also, in the most recent decades that poor have been getting richer at a faster rate. In 1975, the average salary for the bottom 20% increased over $27,000 by 1991, while the salary in that time period for the top 20% increased by over $4,000. This is continuing in the 2000s and 2010s. No worries my friend! The rich are getting richer, but the poor are to and at a faster rate [2]!

A Flat Tax Creats Economic Growth

My opponent has not challenged

Instant Wealth Creation

My opponent argues that this will only benefit the rich, yet he has no proof. To back him up. I on the other hand placed a source. Remember that if it were just a 10% a flat tax, someone making $100 would only have to give $10 to the government. That is low and they get to keep $90. I did explain how income producing assets rise in value which is because the flat tax would increase the after-tax stream that they generate. This allows society to benefit from more investment in housing. Furthermore, Russia and the Baltic States are perfect examples as they all have flat tax systems and hold significant economic results [3,4].

Simplicity

My opponent agrees that it would reduce costs and make the tax system simpler. I have won this.

Fairness

The reason it is a fair is because one equal rate. It makes equality.

Corruption

My opponent has decided to go with the general sentiment I gave. I have won this area.

1. http://www.mybudget360.com...
2. http://www.ajc.com...
3. http://www.heritage.org...
4. http://harvardmagazine.com...

dairygirl4u2c

Con

you have yet to explain why the definition of rich v poor is relevant. we're takling about the issues fine enough without definiing it, aren't we?
i'd probably keep the way the progresive taxes are sex up now, a stair ladder approach... but the point of the debate is whtehr we should be progresive about it at all. that i'd do the staire ladder or how i define rich is irrelavant to the debate.

if anything your relucktance to say what we should tax at is more of an issue that is relevant. do we tax all at the higher bracket of thirty plus percent? or lower? it matters cause some people's taxes are going down, or up, depending on the number. if we used your example and say ten... that matters cause it has effects on other things, like how we pay for things. we'd have to cut spending to allow all people to have the lowest tax bracket. not a triumph because of the flat tax but an accounting trick that causes it to be lopsided to those with more, or via spending cuts.

you say the flat tax would create economic increases. but how exactly? you can't just cite a source and not explain the details. the only way it'd create increases is either by.... cutting spending to ensure all can pay ten percent. this economic increase is by spending cuts, though, not a victory due to flat taxes.
or if we try to keep spending similar to now or not reduce all the way, we'd have to increase the lowest brackets that we currently have in order to offset the highest being lowered. this would be an increase for the richer people... not everyone. (con probably thinks anything good for the rich is good for everyone else... and i will refute that if that's his case) moreover, we live in a demand economy where it's more important for those who creat teh demand to exist, cause the rich or the supply side has the money if only tehres a place to make more... that means we'd be hurting the over all economy given the demand is being lessend, by increasing lower brackets.
you might try to argue it's fairer, a flat tax.. but you've yet to show how it'd be an increase economically.
even if you examined increased values, it's only because of decreasted spending, or at the expense of other brackets going up.... eg, landlord pays ten instead of thirty.... now his property produces more income so his assets are worth more. but only at the expense of spending or other people, and not due to a victory of the flat tax.

you argue against the flat fee because we won't be able to support our spending with cuts like that. but, i could make the same argument with progressive taxes... we won't be able to support spending now if we cut taxes for everyone to a flat tax lower than the highest bracket.
as to the fact some don't make ten thousand a year etc... i meant to address that in the qutoe you quoted but it was typo'd.
"obviously we'd have to make some rules for those who don't. but why do you say it's fairer that mitt romney pay 30 million per year while bill gates pays 300 million, if both were taxed at a flat tax as you propose?"
i meant, we'd have to make an exception for poor people. it wouldn't be a true flat tax any more... but at least it'd be more truly even. besides the inability to sustain current levels, and simply calling it stupid though.... u haven't given any philsophic or reasoned prinicples about why bob pays ten thousand and john pays twenty, or romney pays thiryt mill and gates pays three hundred.
as to econ stimulation, you seem to like things that help the rich..... gates will surely invest more if he doesn't have to deal with the arguable inequialities of a flat tax, and pays a flat fee instead. course, this isn't optimal econ stimulation... but given it is in your book, you should be at elast admitting the benefits of getting gates' taxes as low as possible, including flat fees if necessary.

as to the progressive nature of flat taxes on those who make more... that's not enough. obviously you and i both agree at a base level that john should pay ten dollars and bob should pay twenty if they were taxed at the same rate. the only difference between me and you though, is that i actually factor in redistribution some... and that translates into more than however you justify a flat tax, thus, a progressive tax results if i take your reasoning and add mine.
actually, you say the rich do pay more as if they are playing their part in the "being responsible" thing that you responded to... but then you go on to say they aren't responsible for it.

i agree that the poor have a fast or faster rate of increase overall. i'm familiar with said statistics. but, that doesn't maen there's a man collecting rabble, or dying, because he doesn't have food if we don't redistribute some. you can be sure, people would be robbing etc if they didn't have food to eat. per food stamps. some people aren't made to increase much on the econ scale... but they are made to be able to get by, at least if we give them a decent shot. think about those in the ghetto... unable to get out and get a formal job but able to get by if only they had a means. like that apple tree over there that we won't let him eat of. why does man's law that the apple tree is bob's trump the natural law that he can go pick one, espeically when bob has thousands and doesnt' ened them all? that's why social philsophers often say a person should have to put actual labor etc into an object more than legal transactions and man made laws.
Debate Round No. 3
1Historygenius

Pro

"you have yet to explain why the definition of rich v poor is relevant. we're takling about the issues fine enough without definiing it, aren't we?"

Because we are talking about making tax equal between the rich and the poor. With a progressive tax system, you tax based on a person's wealth. This debate is largely about the rich and the poor. Its about people of all wealth.

My opponent believes the issue that I am "reluctant" to say what we should tax and at what bracket, but all I am debating is that a flat tax is good, not at what bracket or what, mainly because there are many different possible forms of a flat tax. Never in round 1 did I say we wold be debating over a certain bracket. I am using a 10% income tax as a mere example.
My opponent believes that cutting spending is not a triumph of the flat tax, but the whole reason spending would be cut is because of the flat tax in the first place. If you raise taxes you can raise spending, which is triumph of raising tax. If you cut taxes you can cut spending, which is a triumph of lowering tax. Also, just because you have a flat tax in place does not meant you need to lower spending if it is enough to generate a surplus. A low flat tax would be able to cause low spending. My opponent needs to realize that what taxes you make allows you to spend, so taxes directly effects government spending.

"you say the flat tax would create economic increases. but how exactly? you can't just cite a source and not explain the details."

Actually you can. The source has the details in it. If were to waste time typing up everything on how the flat tax creates wealth I might run out of characters. My opponent seems to live in this weird world where the only way the economy can do well is based on government spending. Yet the United States itself has had heavy spending before with record defecits and we can be in a time of economic properity.

Also, demand might lower for some items, but in fact demand would increase because people would have more money to spend for other items that they might had not been able to buy before this (more cars, houses, food, a pet, furniture, etc.). They can also save and invest more, thus creating economic growth.

"you argue against the flat fee because we won't be able to support our spending with cuts like that. but, i could make the same argument with progressive taxes... we won't be able to support spending now if we cut taxes for everyone to a flat tax lower than the highest bracket."

That is why you cut taxes before setting up the flat tax.

You believe that anyone you cannot pay a flat fee of $10,000 should be exempt, but what about people barely making over that? If you have a household making $15,000 and they have to pay a flat fee of $10,000 as taxes then they will probably end up homeless. With a flat tax of 10% income you eliminate that problem for not just the ones barely oer $10,000 but also the ones under it. If you are right on the line paying $10,000 and you have to pay 10% in a personal income tax, then you just give the government $1,000.

I don't think I have to give reason principles of why Bob pays $10,000 and John pays $20 because if you make everyone pay the same fee then you will have a huge revenue problem. The principle of a flat tax is to keep everyone at the same marginal rate which is fair. If you have more money yo should obviously pay more, but not excessively like a progressive tax system does.

"as to econ stimulation, you seem to like things that help the rich..... gates will surely invest more if he doesn't have to deal with the arguable inequialities of a flat tax, and pays a flat fee instead. course, this isn't optimal econ stimulation... but given it is in your book, you should be at elast admitting the benefits of getting gates' taxes as low as possible, including flat fees if necessary."

With a low flat tax EVERYONE can invest more because they have to ability to. The poor and middle class also invest in things as well and more would be able to with a low flat tax. Its not just fort the rich, it is for everyone.

"as to the progressive nature of flat taxes on those who make more... that's not enough. obviously you and i both agree at a base level that john should pay ten dollars and bob should pay twenty if they were taxed at the same rate. the only difference between me and you though, is that i actually factor in redistribution some... and that translates into more than however you justify a flat tax, thus, a progressive tax results if i take your reasoning and add mine."

If you tax people more then you there will be less economic growth and people maybe more poor. You can just cut the size of social programs and keep them. You can still have money going into social programs. That is why there is no redistribution tax as my opponent thinks there needs to be. Money that you want to redistribute obviously can be in the form of an income tax. You don't need a special redistribution tax. Otherwise, that will cause the IRS to grow with more paper work which is not what a flat tax is meant to acheive.

Conclusion

First off, my opponent broke the code of conduct because round 1 was just for acceptance. Instead he created a whole argument. I have had sources and my opponent has had none. I have proven that a flat tax is fair because everyone pays the same rate and that a flat fee tax is wrong because it is way to low. I have proven that you can still redistribute and have social programs with a flat tax. I have proven a flat tax creates economic growth because people can spend more and save more. I have proven a flat tax is simple. I have won this debate.
dairygirl4u2c

Con

it's relevant how much we tax each group of people how much when we're deciding the actual amounts to tax... yes. but for the purposes of the debate, whether we should have progressive taxes or not... it's not relevant. and we're talking about this issue just fine without me defining it. this is starting to be a broken record thing. and you have yet to say why it's relevant to the discussion at hand. pro says "Never in round 1 did I say we wold be debating over a certain bracket." when i confront his lack of definition but insists i can't say the same thing.
instead of taking his own advice, he uses my argument and insists it is irrelvant that he define what tax level we use. in many ways it is like my argument and not really relevant as we can still talk about flat tax or not at more abstract elevls.... but it's definitely more relevant than the progressive tax level as flat taxes are what we are talking about.

flat taxes don't cause spending cuts. we can have a level of flat that that would be revenue neutral to our current spending levels. spending levels are cut because we decide we want less spending. that means less spending can only be a triumph of spending cuts. flat taxes are incidental to our spending, only. flat taxes dont cause it.

actually you can't just cite that source. it doesn't explain how the economic increase would come. also, you with the BOP should be able to articulate the mechanics of how this occurs.
"If were to waste time typing up everything on how the flat tax creates wealth I might run out of characters." this is an excuse. i gave plenty of ways it might be said to cause econ increase. they were all flawed to true econ increase, but i was able to do it in a few sentences. we're talking about the gist and prime examples, not every possible example.
"My opponent seems to live in this weird world where the only way the economy can do well is based on government spending." i never even hinted at that. this is just you stereotyping me and making strawman arguments. to be sure, there's economic value to gov spending too, but i never claimed it.
sure demand would be higher if we cut spending. i only said demand would not be as high if we raised lower income brackets to make up for if we lowered higher income brackets.

"If you have more money yo should obviously pay more, but not excessively like a progressive tax system does."

you haven't gievn a principled reason why this should be so, though. perhaps we can have a flat tax for labor income, and a flat fee for higher incomes? there's no reason gates should pay more than romney. well, i think there is... but you've yet to articualte a reason beyond it's obvious or other systems are stupid etc. mere assertions.
you say the tax is for "EVERYONE" but there's no reason rmney shoulld get preferential treatment over gates and pay less.
you think there shouldn't be a redistirution tax. i think there should be. for whatever reason you think there should be a flat tax, we can be in agreement about on that level. you seem to think redisturtion shouldnt occur, but i do. so if i use your reasoning and add mine... it's the only way to do it. otherwise we're not being principled about how we tax people flat to begin with. ie how you would do it.
sure we could use flat tax money to redistribute but then we're ignoring that folks like you dont want to redistirbute., and consider that the rich are more responsible for the poors lack... a prorassive tax should be there in addition to a flat base.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
I'm joking...
Posted by 1Historygenius 4 years ago
1Historygenius
Your serious?! I could barely make out what the heck she is saying.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
Con convinced me!!
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
1st round acceptance

R1 is irrelevant until repeated
Posted by 1Historygenius 4 years ago
1Historygenius
I feel terribly bad for you to not be able to complete the other debate. Would you like to debate me on this one?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by ScottyDouglas 4 years ago
ScottyDouglas
1Historygeniusdairygirl4u2cTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Far and away Pro makes alot better arguements.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
1Historygeniusdairygirl4u2cTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Sources -- Pro had them. Argunments -- CON failed to negate the premise as well as failed to have any coherent argunments, which is a problem. PRO proved the rich actually pay more, still, 9 of one million is more then 9 of 40,000. Etc. Essentially, this is an easy vote and little RFD is required. S/G -- CON never, never, ever, used a capital letter in her response.