The Instigator
RoyLatham
Pro (for)
Winning
32 Points
The Contender
Sydneymarinie
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Obama's plan to tax the rich would do little to solve the debt problem.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
RoyLatham
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/22/2012 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 585 times Debate No: 21371
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (6)

 

RoyLatham

Pro

President Obama says that Republicans are protecting millionaires and billionaires from increased taxes. He further implies that increasing such taxes could have a substantial impact towards balancing the budget. He has proposed a "Buffet Plan" whereby the rich would have to pay a minimum of 30% tax on income. This debate is about whether this plan would generate enough revenue to significantly reduce the ongoing deficits in the United States. Symbolic or social reasons are not a subject of this debate; it's all about the money.

The "rich" are people declaring an income of one million dollars or more on their Federal income tax returns.

President Obama's position that taxing the rich will make great strides towards resolving the deficits:

"“Do we want to keep these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans or do we want to keep investing in everything else?” he said at an event in Las Vegas. “We can’t do both.” [P1. http://www.rawstory.com... ]

The implication is that if the rich are taxed then we can continue "investing in everything else." The strong implication is that the tax increase would completely solve the deficit problem.

We can dismiss the idea of a 100% solution as political exaggeration. I think the tax would be a substantial contribution if reasonably expected to reduce deficits by at least 25% in the next ten years, independent of spending cuts. My opponent may argue that some lesser percentage is significant. Arguments that even tiny reductions are somehow significant are disallowed. Ultimately readers will decide if the plan would go a substantial way towards solving the debt problem.

The "debt problem" is continuing expenditures by the US Federal government in excess of revenues.

The importance of taxing the rich will probably be a focus of the presidential campaign this year. This is chance for DDO to get a head start on understanding the issue. I'm looking forward to a good debate.


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Sydneymarinie

Con

Although our country leader has decided on evening out our economical budget. We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well while a growing number of Americans barely get by, or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.
Income -- that is to say, very high income -- has become a charged topic even during the Republican presidential debates. Mitt Romney's recent release of his tax returns has added new fuel to the class warfare fire. What Mr. Romney's detractors, including the president and Newt Gingrich, insinuate is that he came to his wealth by breaking the rules.
The rub -- according to the president and others -- is that Romney paid only $3M in federal taxes. Three million sounds like a lot, so for the president and Occupy, it is rather self-serving to say that Romney's income tax rate was 14%, or about $3M on $20M of income. This rate is far less than the top income tax bracket of 35% and far less than many lower-income-earners pay, leaving many confused.
To this point, the president said:
Right now, because of loopholes and shelters in the tax code, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households. Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.
We should note that the loophole the president clamors about is really a benefit to all Americans with an investment account. America has the highest corporate tax rate in the world -- 35% -- on earnings, but any gains paid to shareholders are accessed via another tax at the personal level. To mitigate the double-taxation, the Bush tax cuts lowered the tax on investment gains to a maximum of 15%. Before 2003, a corporation might pay up to 35% on profits, and the investor might pay up to 35% in income taxes, for a total tax of 58%.
The Occupy movement and the president either don't realize or purposely neglect to mention that our country has one of the most level economic playing fields of any country that has ever been. Most who have wealth in our country got it the old-fashioned way: they earned it. The president proposes that the rich have gotten richer while everyone else has gotten poorer and that the rich have gotten richer at the expense of everybody else. In a free-market society like ours, Steve Jobs got rich by developing great products that we all benefit from and that we all chose to purchase freely -- not by stealing.
It is an economic truism that wealth trickles down. Despite what the president and the New York Times say, in real terms (adjusted for inflation), the middle class increased their income and spending by 50% over the last three decades. In the last decade alone, the gap between the rich and the middle class actually shrank, and income growth was greater for the middle class than was the income growth rate of the rich.
With sterling delivery and broad smile, the president continued:
We don't begrudge financial success in this country. We admire it. When Americans talk about folks like me paying my fair share of taxes, it's not because they envy the rich. It's because they understand that when I get a tax break I don't need and the country can't afford, it either adds to the deficit, or somebody else has to make up the difference -- like a senior on a fixed income, or a student trying to get through school, or a family trying to make ends meet. That's not right. Americans know that's not right. They know that this generation's success is only possible because past generations felt a responsibility to each other, and to the future of their country, and they know our way of life will only endure if we feel that same sense of shared responsibility. That's how we'll reduce our deficit. That's an America built to last.
This statement is so misguided that it's upsetting. The president says that tax breaks add to the deficit -- in fact, only government spending can add to the deficit -- and that the only way we can reduce our deficit is by giving the government even more responsibility for its citizens and by increasing taxes on the rich. The president is proposing that by increasing the taxes on the top income-earners, he can balance the budget. This line of reasoning is plain fallacy; if every American paid twice the federal income taxes in 2011, there would still be a $207-billion spending deficit. A 100% tax on the top 5% of income-earners wouldn't solve the problem either.
What no one seems to mention is the astounding increase over the last thirty years in what the top ten percent of income-earners already pay in income taxes -- matched only by the stunning decrease in the percent that the bottom half of income-earners pay.

It would be unjust to take from the rich, who have by far worked their way up to economical success, and give to the poor for the things they haven't earned.
Debate Round No. 1
RoyLatham

Pro

Apparently someone created an account to kill this topic. The account was created one minute before accepting the debate.

In any case, con's arguments are a word-for-word copy of an article posted on American Thinker, http://www.americanthinker.com... since the source is not acknowledged, this is a conduct violation.

The undited copy-and-paste produces the wall-of-text style problem,

My opponent has not won any debates, so is in violation of the rule requiring an experienced debater.

The first round is for acceptance only. Con violated the rule by spamming in the opening round.

The argument presented does not address the resolution. The article copied argues that increasing taxes on the rich would be unfair, a conservative viewpoint as one would expect from American Thinker. the debate is solely about how much revenue the Buffet Plan would raise, not whether it is fair or unfair.

The revenue is at most 3% of the deficit

An optimistic estimate of the revenue generated is

"In 2008, there were 236,883 tax filers reporting income of $1 million or more. The Patriotic Millionaires, a group advocating the repeal of the Bush tax cuts on tax filers making $1 million or more a year, estimated that their plan would raise $500 billion to $600 billion over 10 years." [P2. http://blogs.wsj.com... ]

That includes implied savings in interest on the national debt. "the tax would actually raise $40 billion to $50 billion a year: equal to about 3% of the annual federal deficit." [P2]

The revenue would actually be substantially less than the optimistic estimate, because the rich are able to evade taxes by not taking capital gains and by moving money to offshore accounts.

The revenue raised would be trivial compared to the magnitude of the deficit problem.

The resolution is affirmed.
Sydneymarinie

Con

Sydneymarinie forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
RoyLatham

Pro

Even though Con's arguments are copied, I would argue them if they were relevant to the debate. The point of e copied argument is that it is unfair to tax the rich as proposed. The debate topic is not about that, but rather how much revenue is likely to be raised if the Buffett Plan were enacted. con's case does not address the topic.

If Con thinks I mischaracterized the Con position, it is appropriate to argue that in the debate.

My arguments are extended.
Sydneymarinie

Con

Sydneymarinie forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
RoyLatham

Pro

Con copied an article that does not oppose the resolution, and has since forfeited without making arguments. My arguments stand unrefuted.

Con shows bad conduct by plagiarism, forfeits, and violating the experience requirement for accepting the debate.

The resolution is affirmed.
Sydneymarinie

Con

Sydneymarinie forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 2 years ago
RoyLatham
Con, You can attempt to refute any claim I made as part of your argument. That's fair. Go down the list of things I said and counter them one-by-one.
Posted by Doulos1202 2 years ago
Doulos1202
Con plagiarizing does not look good for your argument.
Posted by innomen 2 years ago
innomen
Reporting Roy is kind of silly too, just because you're losing the debate it won't help your case to try and disqualify it with false reports.
Posted by innomen 2 years ago
innomen
Con, your reports on this debate are unfounded.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by TUF 2 years ago
TUF
RoyLathamSydneymarinieTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeits.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 2 years ago
Maikuru
RoyLathamSydneymarinieTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Full forfeit by Con.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
RoyLathamSydneymarinieTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Guitar_Guru 2 years ago
Guitar_Guru
RoyLathamSydneymarinieTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Multiple FF loses conduct and Arguments. Copying and pasting your arguments without carding the source loses sources.
Vote Placed by imabench 2 years ago
imabench
RoyLathamSydneymarinieTied
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Reasons for voting decision: con plagiarized then left....
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 2 years ago
1dustpelt
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.