The Instigator
Con (against)
5 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

Instituting A Flat Income Tax In America

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/14/2013 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,207 times Debate No: 42372
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)




1st Round will be for acceptance.


I accept , I wish my esteemed opponent luck please state your case.
Debate Round No. 1


I'd like to open with this statement: The more you have of something, the less valuable it becomes. Depending on how much money you make, you value each dollar differently, and so your tax should be treated differently. I will expand on my justifications for differential treatment of people of different income brackets as my argument goes on.

1) Survival
The American Income Tax System is based on a bracket style, with the poorest ($8,925 per year or less) paying a 10% tax, and the richest ($400,000 per year or more) paying 39.6% tax[1]. The poor man is left with $8,032.50, and the rich man is left with $240,000 (roughly). The United States is relying on a lot of money from our richer folks. If a flat tax was to be instituted, the tax would have to be somewhere in between 10% and 40%, in order to provide for our government's operational needs. Any meeting in the middle would massively hurt the poor. Let's say for theoretical purposes, the tax goes right in the middle of the two, at 25%. This new tax would take $2231.50 from the poor man, leaving him with $6693.75. The difference between our current tax system and this theoretical flat tax is $1338.75. If this came out of an upper class person, this wouldn't be too big of a deal, but for a man who is barely scraping by, that $1,338.75 could make all the difference to whether or not he can squeeze out his house payments, whether or not he can survive the cost of an ambulance ride, should the need occur. An ambulance ride can cost between $500-$1000[2], and it is not uncommon for the poor to be uninsured, simply because they don't have the budget for it.
If any kind of flat tax was instituted, the poor would have to have their tax rate raised, and their economic survivability consequently lowered.

2) It's Also A Big Cash In
As I've already stated, instituting a flat tax would require meeting somewhere in between 10% and 39.6%. In my first point, I stated this would be a problem for the poor, because it dips into their 'survival money'. A flat tax would definitely not dip into the 'survival money' of rich people, and neither does a normal tax, for that matter.
If we stick with my theoretical income rate, the rich would save a ton of money, $60,000, by my count. This is a huge robbery. The poor pay more, and they pay money that matters more to their survival, the rich actually save money-- money they need less!

I'd like to close my half of round 2 by saying I have no animosity towards rich people, and that I look forward to my opponent's points.


Thank you con for that.

Seeing as there are no guidelines I’ll take round 2 as opening statements and further rounds as rebuttals.

I will be upholding 3 contentions.

P1)Fairness and equality.
Would it be fair and equal if you work hard and are a productive member of society that you should have a larger percentage of your wealth taken away from you Of course not.

P2) Simplicity.
A flat tax is easy to understand and comply with, thereby reducing errors and tax fraud and professional tax preparers and advisors no longer needed, saving money for taxpayer.

P3) Economic success.
I will argue that by decreaseing the percentage at which the wealthy get taxed, will cause a favorable impact on the middle class.

Which make up most of the population, and relieve some of the financial burden they have to endure, which could potentially help them become more financially stable.

If I make a product, and I sell it to make a living, the only way I am going to be able to make a living off of it is to make a profit off of the good or services I am offering.

This means that after production, advertisement, and everything else that goes in to it, my price has to be one that will make a profit.

Taxes are like any other expense that gets worked into this equation. The higher my taxes are, the more I have to offset that in the price of my product.

Therefor the people paying for my product (since the majority of Americans fall in the middle class bracket they are the majority of the buyers will fall in this bracket) will be paying a higher price, to compensate for some of my losses.

This is why raising or keeping a higher percentage on the rich, doesn't work to accomplish the end task it was meant to accomplish, because in the end it is hurting the people it was meant to protect.

Now in the same way that having a higher tax percentage on the rich, ultimately gets reflected in the price of the product, so to does having a lower, flat tax. The lower the expense to produce, the lower the price of the product, the less the buyer pays.

That means you save money. Now it doesn't stop at just the product price. As a wealthy business owner, if I am taxed less that means I have more money to invest in the growth of my company. With company growth comes more employees, with more employees comes more citizens earning an income and with more citizens earning an income comes, you guessed it, more taxes. This means more money flowing back into the government.

Which could help to reduce our debt as a nation and provide economic success.

We surely see that a flat income tax rate would increase the economic success of everyone and as a nation.


I look foward to my opponents rebbuttals.

Debate Round No. 2


You've got good points, thank you. I will provide a rebuttal for all three.

Rebuttal 1)
My opponent begins by saying that is unfair to take a greater percentage of the money of rich people, in comparison to the percentage taken from lower income people. I do not dispute that rich people are productive members of society, nor do I dispute that it is unfair. I will say that it is necessary however. I say this because there are two evils to weigh against each other, and one must be chosen according to acceptance of reality. The first evil is what my opponent brings up in his first point, that the rich lose a greater % of their wealth, compared to other levels of income. The other evil that must be considered is the evil of taxing the poor to the point that they cannot handle it.
It is completely unfair to allow either of these evils I have mentioned, however, reality dictates that we choose the lesser evil. The evil described in my opponent's first point is the lesser evil, because the rich are more financially able to deal with the evil than the poor are. The poor would be taxed to the breaking point by a flat tax, through necessity of providing the government funds(my opponent has a point to counter this, which will be defended against later in my argument).
So, to summarize, the burden must fall somewhere, and though it is not fair, through decent treatment of our fellow man, the burden must be placed on the rich. Why? Because they can handle it far more safely than the poor can.

Rebuttal 2)
My opponent is not incorrect in saying that a flat tax would be simpler. Very few things are all wrong or all right, and neither is the idea of a flat tax. While there are many things wrong with it, this is not one of those things. However the right must be weighed against the wrong, and if that is done, I believe we can all see that this benefit does not outweigh the disadvantages.

Rebuttal 3)
My opponent's third point is his best, in my opinion. He says that a flat tax would reduce the tax on the rich, and consequently lower the price of the products their companies sell, and give them more money to invest into expanding their companies, and thus providing more jobs. He also says this increase in jobs will make up for the loss in government funds which would occur through the cut on taxes on the rich. I shall split my rebuttal into three parts to counter his arguments.

A) The Idea of Lowered Product Prices
I do not believe it is incorrect to say that lowering taxes on the rich lowers the cost of the products they will sell. Obviously this will be nice for whoever is buying their stuff. For instance, if the owners of McDonald's suddenly got $60,000 more than they did last year, and were able to cut their burger price from $1 to $.85, and did so, I'd be happy about that. However, if I'm dirt poor, getting fifteen cents off on my lunch is not going to be a significant help if I'm losing $1338.75 more than I usually do per year. Lower prices would not assuage the pain caused to the poor by the tax hike that would occur under a flat tax.

B) Richer Rich People=More Jobs
Additionally my opponent argues that the rich having more money would lead to them expanding their businesses, and thus creating jobs. If a flat tax were to be instituted, this would probably prove to be true. The unemployment rate in America is 7.8%[1]. Some of these people would receive low income jobs from big companies.
My chosen example of this company and worker relationship is McDonald's. If the owners of McDonald's were to have their taxes dropped by 15%, they would no doubt hire more people. The average yearly income for a McDonald's worker is $28,000, and the low/high range is estimated at $18,000-$36,000[2]. All of those numbers fall under 15% taxation, with our current system. So, if a flat tax were to be instituted (continuing my theoretical rate) the rate would be 25%, and companies would be able to hire more. The people they would hire, who would usually be taxed at 15%, would now be taxed at 25%. And for anybody who had a job with these big businesses before the flat tax, and before the expansions, would have their incomes lowered. In summary, the flat tax would create low income jobs for a portion of the 7.8%, but would lower the value of all the low income jobs, due to the tax hike that would come. A portion of the unemployed would have their lives improved, but the entirety of people with lower income jobs before the flat tax would have their lives degraded. If this wasn't a flat tax(and it was just a tax cut for the rich), and there was no tax hike on the lower income, then this wouldn't be an issue. There are better ways to create jobs for the unemployed, ways that won't hurt those who already have low income jobs.

C) Job Creation=More Taxpayers
Lastly, my opponent says that the jobs created by owners of companies who have received tax cuts will create more taxpayers, and more than make up for the money lost by the government when they drop taxes on those earning $400,000 or more by 15%. I have two statistics that I will use to refute this. [3]The median income of Americans: $41,650 per year, and [4]that the median income falls under the third lowest tax bracket. That means that one half of Americans will receive a tax cut, and one half will receive a tax hike. The half that receives a tax hike makes less than the side that receives a tax break, and yet Pro asserts that the lower half will be able to make up the difference, because more jobs will be created by rich business owners, even though these will be lower income jobs.
In summary, the kind of jobs and incomes created will not be enough to make for the four tax brackets (all with wealthier people than the bottom three) that will receive cuts. Even though there may be more tax payers on the bottom half, their lower incomes cannot possibly be greater than that of the tax break that the richer half will receive.

Lastly I'd like to note that I agree with my opponent on the fact that tax cuts on the rich would be beneficial. However I disagree with him over the flat tax because while it would help the rich, it would do damage to the poor(despite lowered prices and some additional jobs), and this is what makes a flat tax not worth it. I


Thank you Con , I will breifly provide reasons why your agruments fail and infact i belive you are close to agreeing with me.

Con states.
"My opponent is not incorrect in saying that a flat tax would be simpler."

"My opponent begins by saying that is unfair to take a greater percentage of the money of rich people, in comparison to the percentage taken from lower income people. I do not dispute that rich people are productive members of society, nor do I dispute that it is unfair"

We see that Con already agrees with my first and second contention,also voters notice the spelling mistake"is"not "its" points to Pro.

All of Cons following arguments rest on his following contention.

"The poor would be taxed to the breaking point by a flat tax"

However,the flat tax would generate more economic growth ,under a10% flat tax somone makeing $100,000 annually would pay $10,000 in income tax it's simple and would not punish anyone unfairly.

Further more the middle class would most likely be paying less of what they are currently paying and the goverment would have more money than it currently does Con seems to dissagree however we can logically see that the jobs that would be created enmasse would have a dramatic positve effect on our entire economy and create far more tax revenue for the goverment than taxing the wealthy would.

I advocate the flat tax being as low as possible. Of course, accompanied by significant spending cuts. The flat tax would remove special interest loopholes from the tax code and allow individuals to file their taxes within five minutes .It's been successful in countries, the flat tax has been adopted in roughly 25 countries. There’s a flat tax revolution going on around the globe and the United States needs to get in.

In closeing I would like to thank Con this has been an interesting debate. :) Vote Pro.
My opponent begins by saying that is unfair to take a greater percentage of the money of rich people, in comparison to the percentage taken from lower income people. I do not dispute that rich people are productive members of society, nor do I dispute that it is unfair
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent ends the back half of Round 3, bringing up the portions of my writing in which I state I agree with certain parts of his arguments. He says he believes we are close to agreeing. I would like to say that I am nowhere near agreeing with him on flat taxation. The areas where I agree are the areas where he talks about what would happen to the rich if they were to receive tax cuts. There is a major difference between that and flat tax, mainly the tax hike we would see for the poor.

Which is what my opponent touches on next: my problem with the probability of the poor being too harshly taxed under flat tax. He counters this idea with his own, that a flat tax would generate economic growth. As I have already stated, I don't dispute the fact that there will be more jobs, but they will not be of very good quality to those working them, because of their new, higher tax rate that comes as the bad part of the flat tax. Creating jobs is not the only way to determine economic success. The quality of the jobs, and how well they provide for those working them, is a big factor.

He also makes mention of a 10% flat tax rate. Firstly, this would not be feasible a way to acquire funds for our government. Under our current system which provides funds to our government, there is only one income bracket that is taxed at 10%, and that's the lowest income bracket[1]. To reduce government funding like that would be like giving a pack-a-day smoker only one cigarette. It's asking for trouble. I'm not a fan of our government's extravagant spending, but to bring it down that low is an unreasonable way to try to fix that problem. Something else to note is the furthering of the gap that would occur between the rich and the poor if a 10% tax were given to all of them.

My opponent then goes on to talk about the benefit of the large job growth that could occur. These jobs however would be degraded because of the new, higher tax that would be placed on their income. The other important thing to note is that while many jobs would be created, even more pre-existing lower income jobs would be degraded by the tax hike on the poor.

He also disagrees with me on the idea of tax revenue, saying that adding jobs will cover the tax cuts given to the wealthy. I have already explained my reason for why this could not work: the bottom half of lower income jobs cannot make up for the upper half of well-paying jobs. But this obviously didn't change Pro's mind, so repeating it won't change his mind or anybody else's who is Pro, so I'll say this instead: Let's pretend Pro is right. The shifted taxes will still be able to provide for the government. It still doesn't justify the harsh taxation that the poor (refer to my Round 2 arguments) would receive. This gets back to the argument I provided in Rebuttal 1 of Round 3.

Next my opponent says he advocates the flat tax being as low as possible. I've already stated that dropping it down to 10% wouldn't be feasible, so I won't repeat myself too much there.

My opponent finishes off by stating many countries have adopted the flat tax. To that I would say this: every country has different economic situations. Their 'classes' may be in better shape compared to ours. Their progressive tax system's tax rates may have already been closer together in regards to lowest and highest tax rate prior to their adoption of the flat tax. Due to the fact that every country is different in many, many small ways, and often in a few big ways, we cannot say that we should get involved in flat tax, simply because other countries are.

Closing Statement:
There are positives to the flat tax that can be had without the flat tax. If I was to propose taxation reform, it would be tax cuts for the rich. Tax cuts for the rich, done reasonably, provide more jobs to people. However taxing the poor more than usual on their new-found jobs' incomes mitigates the effect of this, and it should be avoided for the economic prosperity of our nation. America has never collected a flat tax[2], and we have persevered through thick and thin. It is natural to look for quick and easy fixes during times of economic discomfort, but our progressive tax rates have gotten us through. I return to the idea I started with: The more you have of something, the less valuable it becomes. Conversely, the less you have of something, the more valuable it becomes. If that is the case, and it is (look at inflation), then the flat tax is taking things of more value from the poor, and taking things of lesser value from the rich.

Note To My Opponent:
Great debate! This is my first debate that I've actually been able to finish fully. So thank you for your prompt responses and engaging arguments.



Thanks con , I must reiterate however how close I have brought Con to agree with me on this topic.
I will make my points breif and to the point

Agian Con's entire case falls on one statement he supposes that a 10% flat tax rate would not be a feasible way to fund our goverment.
Con himself says that our lowest income bracket is 10% so under my proposed flat tax rate indeed the entire middle class would be saveing money and paying less tax.

From statistics...americans currently spend $300 billion a year in tax preparation costs, to navigate a tax code that is thousands of pages long.Thats right $300 Billion.

From the further economic growth that would result from a flat tax it would surely be a better if not equal way of funding our goverments needs and lower the unemployment rate as a result adding jobs would not only cover the tax given by the wealthy but it would give a surplus and spurr economic growth.

America could and would be doing much better with a flat tax rate,that is if we want to create jobs , reduce our debt and grow as a nation.

2)Cons own arguements
Americans currently spend $300 billion a year in tax preparation costs, to navigate a tax code that is thousands of pages long.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
Well at least you were able to see it, one of the voters couldn't.
Posted by Soureggnog 2 years ago
I like how Pro states spelling errors, like not having an ' between the "t" and "s" in it's. Dear hypocrite- "Would it be fair and equal if you work hard and are a productive member of society that you should have a larger percentage of your wealth taken away from you Of course not." Notice anything about the last sentence? Pro also acts like the average politician, twisting and cropping what the Con said, trying to make it seem like the Con is agreeing with him.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
No problem and same here.
Posted by imsmarterthanyou98 2 years ago
This was a fun debate thanks.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
No problem I know them feels.
Posted by imsmarterthanyou98 2 years ago
I apologize please ignore the last 2 lines of my rebuttal Con said them i had them copied and was going to use them i did not notice them there when i submitted it just ignore when reading i apologize.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
I ran out of space in round 2, so here are my sources:
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
What am I missing?
Posted by NarcissisticOverthinker 2 years ago
Resolution, too vague.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by ndedo 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Solid debate, props to both sides. While I strongly agree with Pro's position, the arguments were really too close to call because both made good points and refuted well. But Pro had weak sources (logic doesn't count for backing up statistics) compared to Con. Also, Con's S&G was much better than Pro. Conduct was even.
Vote Placed by Romanii 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:20 
Reasons for voting decision: Sources to Con because Con cited actual sources, unlike Pro who repeatedly cited "logic". I was actually unable to decide on whose arguments were better because Con actually ended up agreeing with Pro's point that a higher tax percentage for the rich is unfair, and since fairness is at the heart of the debate, it would have majorly benefited Con's argument to have countered that point.