The Instigator
notpolicydebategod
Pro (for)
Winning
16 Points
The Contender
repete21
Con (against)
Losing
15 Points

Libertarians have it right on taxes- national sales tax, abolish that pesky income tax

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/19/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,803 times Debate No: 3702
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (24)
Votes (9)

 

notpolicydebategod

Pro

- A national sales tax discourages consumption, leading to a conservation of resources.
- The removal of an income tax encourages saving and investing, which is the key to job growth.
- Individuals would have an extra incentive to work hard and earn income, leading to a far more productive nation.
- A sales tax would be a much simpler system, eliminating the need for individuals to comply with complex tax reporting requirements and freeing up all the money & time lost on the income tax process.
- Tax rates can be targeted to encourage or discourage the consumption of certain items.
- Consumer prices of certain items would fall since labor and tax compliance costs would be cheaper to businesses.
- It would allow a greater collection of tax money from those carrying out illegal transactions, since their income is hid from the income tax system but will be taxed when they spend it in a sales tax.
- It's a tax system consistent with a free society; i.e. Americans have a choice regarding their taxes, unlike our current confiscation system.
- Kill other ridiculous taxes. How would you like to purchase a new $23,000 Ford Taurus for only $12,650? That's the price you would pay if the government didn't tax every product you buy at every stage of its production, reports Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). According to an ATR study, hidden taxes significantly boost--by as much as 26% to 75%--the price of every consumer product you buy.
repete21

Con

To make arguments easier to follow, I will use the same system as my opponent

-A logical national sales tax would cause the government to go deeper into debt; Unless national sales tax (NST)was raised extremely high, the government would lose money. The only way the government could maintain a stable income is that NST makes up for all previous taxes plus previous sales tax, if this didn't happen, the government would make less money, leading to budget cuts. The NST rate would have to be astronomically high.

-Budget cuts are a serious issue; With the United States' current budget deficit, and the occurrence of budget cuts, it has been obvious where the money comes from when it is cut. Medicare, and Medicaid have been seriously targeted, along with medical research funding, and public education. If cuts occurred as stated in first point, we could logically assume that the government would continue is current pattern of cutting from these programs, and at this point we cannot lose any more money in these programs.

-NST hurts government reliant people; If the government could somehow get the same amount of money they do now through through taxes with NST, they would have the same amount of money to put into programs such as welfare, Social Security, etc.. The problem would be that people wouldn't get the same amount for there money because of the high sales tax rates, so the poor would get poorer, and the rich would get richer, and that is the first step toward becoming a third world country.

-NST will cause prices to go up; Although hidden taxes do add up in our current system, the same thing would happen with sales tax on many necessities, which the government doesn't even focus current "hidden" taxes on. For an example, I challenge anyone to tell me a food item that is sold directly from the producer without any other companies involvement ie. making labels, boxes, jars, shipping, retailing, etc. This shows that the price of food, which is seldom hit by hidden taxes would actually go up, proving the point I make in the previous paragraph.

-Focus of taxation will cause serious economic problems; Simple economics tell us that the government needs to leave the economy alone, trying to push it is what sends us into recession. So if you try to increase the consumption of cars, for example, you help the car industry, so if a car company needs to buy steel, and a housing company needs to buy steel, the car company will be able to offer the higher price, and the housing company will be hurt. This example can be correlated with nearly every market. Another problem with this is that if you try to push a market and create more jobs in that market, when you stop helping that market those people lose their jobs, so the idea of focused taxation clearly wont work.
Debate Round No. 1
notpolicydebategod

Pro

To make arguments easier to follow, I will use the same system as my opponent

- Lack of govt. funds
+ The NRST is well researched. The sales tax would be about 13%. This would raise the cost of goods but the average America pay 43% in income taxes, this is far less money for every American depending on how much they buy. But they'll have the oppurtunity to pay more or less taxes if they want. Also, now, drug dealers, odd job workers, illegal immigrants and more pay no taxes except sales taxes. Their revenue would make up for the small loss.

-Budget cuts
+ The government would have to cut the budget. And cutting the budget is a good thing-- just the right programs. We can kill the USDA or the FDA (two organizations who are inffective and do the exact same thing). We can kill marijuana laws those cost us trillions a year. We can kill the Iraq War, a useless war that costs us in lives and money. We would not have to cut the budget but it would be nice if they did anyway.

- Welfare
+ ....Welfare would continue...
Right now, I know a family who buys lobster on food stamps, wears nicer clothes than I do on welfare, and has a nice, convenient apartment on government housing. Why is this? My mom owns a law firm adn my father is a lieutenant in the Atlanta Police Dept. Why are we worse off than that family when they dont even have jobs? Welfare should be decreased, significantly.

-NST will cause prices to go up
+ True. But the price raising is less than wgat you spend on income tax. The average American pays 43% of their income on income taxes. A higher price on goods will be less money but the government will retain the same from big spenders and current-non-taxpayers.

- Increasing consumption and spending is great for the economy. It "stimulates" the "economy."
repete21

Con

-"The NRST is well researched. The sales tax would be about 13%. This would raise the cost of goods but the average America pay 43% " I searched long and hard for this statistic, and was unable to find a reliable source, and I would like for you to show us all where you found this statistic.

-Although I disagree with the fundamentals of your budget cuts argument we aren't here to decide what should and shouldn't be cut, but for you to assume that the government will change their ways because of a new form of taxes is foolish, until you can somehow prove that the government is going to stop cutting funding from places they are now, we must assume that they will continue their current, destructive patterns.

-I am sad to say, but in case you didn't know, your story isn't the norm, and can't be generalized to everyone who is on welfare. I still believe my arguments on welfare are true.

-You state that "Increasing consumption and spending is great for the economy. It "stimulates" the "economy."" In retaliation to my argument about manipulating markets, but in your first argument you state that "Tax rates can be targeted to encourage or discourage the consumption of certain items." So you aren't just increasing consumption of one thing but also decreasing the consumption of another, and again you have failed to disprove my argument.

-The manipulation of markets which I have referred to several times now could also cause inflation, and as we all know, the worth of the dollar is already going down, and the United States' economy cannot handle something like this making it even more worthless, it would destroy are ability to trade internationally.

Again I would like to remind you of my press for evidence in the first paragraph, although I trust you.
Debate Round No. 2
notpolicydebategod

Pro

notpolicydebategod forfeited this round.
repete21

Con

I stand firm on all my points and note my opponents inability to give evidence which I pressed for, since he didn't show where he got his statistic we will leave it up to the judges as to it's validity, I personally think that is insanely low and couldn't possilby make up for all the money we wouldn't make because of a lack of other taxes.
Debate Round No. 3
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
Got what you're saying. I've been lazy in reading your replies regarding "initiation." There is probably a more appropriate word to use in making your point, since even retaliatory force must be initiated. I also agree that users fees could and should take the place of many taxes, but it sounds a bit utopian.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"Most libertarians are in favor of government (at some level) the ability to use force when needed to protect its citizens from one another-- from theft of property, bodily harm etc. If you think none is necessary, then you either plan to live isolated in your own guarded compound, or you trust your fellow citizens not to harm you or steal from you. That's all I meant.
"

Then you must seriously misunderstand the term "initiate" force. The government stopping theft of property, bodily harm, etc, is RETALIATORY force. In other words you aren't bothering to contradict my definition here, so I'm not sure what we're arguing about any more, unless you are still in favor of taxes, in which case the phrase I am quoting is an ignoratio elenchi, because taxes are not necessary to protect people from theft of property, bodily harm, etc (user fees are, but the charging of a voluntary fee for service is not force).
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
Most libertarians are in favor of government (at some level) the ability to use force when needed to protect its citizens from one another-- from theft of property, bodily harm etc. If you think none is necessary, then you either plan to live isolated in your own guarded compound, or you trust your fellow citizens not to harm you or steal from you. That's all I meant.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"
You can take your exact language and put it in place of mine, and my point still stands. It is not you who decides which "definition" of libertarianism trumps all others."

It is in the context of my argument, and in any case, the definition I gave is the only coherent definition stated in an absolute form on which logic can be used that I've ever heard for the term. If you take issue with my definition, make a better one, and convince me I should use it.

"
So you are against the initiation of force in any form whatsoever? You have a lot of faith in your fellow humans.
"
How does that follow? I am against the initiation of force because it prevents me from applying my mind to my action, and thus represents a danger to my life, because my life is in the long run dependent upon my ability to apply my mind to my actions. Those who initiate force against me often claim to do it "for my own good," isn't my disagreeing with them a sign that I DON'T have faith in them? One could almost say that the main reason I abstain from initiating force- the idea that it will make such actions less likely to occur toward me- would be a sort of faith in fellow humans. One could almost say it, but then one would have to realize that I'm prepared for the possibility they'll initiate force anyway, and I'm quite prepared to retaliate with whatever means available.
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
"One, you are repeating a straw man. I did not say the lack of force, I said the prohibition of the INITIATION of force. The subtlety seems to have repeatedly escaped you"

You can take your exact language and put it in place of mine, and my point still stands. It is not you who decides which "definition" of libertarianism trumps all others.

"I already said that I am a libertarian, at least by the definition I gave"

So you are against the initiation of force in any form whatsoever? You have a lot of faith in your fellow humans.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Also, I am not trying to do what you claim. I already said that I am a libertarian, at least by the definition I gave.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
One, you are repeating a straw man. I did not say the lack of force, I said the prohibition of the INITIATION of force. The subtlety seems to have repeatedly escaped you.

When the term libertarian has a given definition in this context, anyone who does not fit it should not be called a libertarian. Plus, I don't recall you proposing a better definition. Every word denotes a concept for the user, and it should not be used unless the concept is clear.
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
Ragnar. This is how silly you sound: You must not be a liberal because some people have defined liberals as wanting 90% tax brackets, free food, shelter, clothing, transportation, etc. for all. Since you do not want that (not that I'd put it past you) you are certainly not a liberal. Just because a definition of a political philosophy is written somewhere, it does not make it accurate. Humans write definitions, and humans do not all agree on what is liberal and what is libertarian.

But I see what you are trying to do. We have it so right on so many individual issues (which liberals and the religiour right cannot refute), that you are tempted to search for a posit a falsehood in order to discredit an entire political ideology. I'll be happy to debate you on ANY individual issue besides this rediculous claim that lack of force is the "FOUNDATION" of libertarianism.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"
Explain that one.??"

You are not consistent when it comes to advocating freedom.

"You can't strap unique individuals to your own (or some website's) strict definitions of a particular political philosophy."

I can when it's the bloody FOUNDATION of the movement in question. The term "libertarianism" came into modern widespread use when people wanted to take the political position based on the non-initiation of force and give it a label that didn't have reference to a greater context in the Objectivist.

"If all libertarians (or even the majority) believed there is never a need for force (which they do not) "

I already told you that's a straw man fallacy, at this point it's an ad nauseum fallacy too. Libertarianism is not the position that "Force is always bad," it is the position, to put it in terms you can understand, that "Force is a bad thing to START." Retaliatory force, i.e. fighting back one someone initiates force against you, is acceptable within it. But never attacking someone who hasn't done anything to you, including by sending tax collectors to rob them. If you wish to fund a government find a way to convince people to pay it voluntarily, just like you would if you wish to fund a business. Sell the product! Sell police protection, sell contract recognition, etc. That is what a libertarian government would do.

"then I would certainly not consider myself one of them."

Very well, we've come to an understanding?
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
"I'm not trying to dismiss libertarianism here, I consider myself one in case you haven't read my profile, albeit not as a primary."

It seems that primarily, and above all else, you a stickler for definitions and semantics. You can't strap unique individuals to your own (or some website's) strict definitions of a particular political philosophy. If all libertarians (or even the majority) believed there is never a need for force (which they do not) then I would certainly not consider myself one of them.
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notpolicydebategodrepete21Tied
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