The Instigator
righty10294
Con (against)
Winning
27 Points
The Contender
Julius_Kael
Pro (for)
Losing
21 Points

Progessive Tax

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/4/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,656 times Debate No: 144
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (16)

 

righty10294

Con

The progessive tax is wrong. It calls for people to bay a higher income tax based on teir income. This was proposed by Democrats and hopefully it won't get threw Congress. You can't make people pay more taxes just because they make more money. Here are some facts:

1) The top 1% wealthiest tax payers pay 39.38% of taxes in 2005

2) The top 50% payed 96.93% of the taxes

3) The bottom 50% pay only 3.07%

So, why should the rich pay more?
Julius_Kael

Pro

1) Your conception of right and wrong is a poor way to set up a tax system. Taxation is perfectly legal and constitutional. Just because you don't want to pay taxes, doesn't mean it's "wrong".

2) The richest 1% control 35% of the country's wealth. The fact is that they pay slightly more taxes than the amount of wealth that they control. Your figure is hardly staggering given this fact.

3) Making lower and middle income people pay a larger share of the taxes is not efficient. We provide government services like Head Start, Medicaid, SCHIP, and student loans not only because they benefit individuals but because they benefit society as a whole. If we raise taxes on lower and middle income people, more people will need these services since they will have less income. If we don't allow more people to lose these services then we lose the public benefit.
Debate Round No. 1
righty10294

Con

Hello Julius:

You read my argument totally wrong. I believe in taxes and don't mind paying them. What I'm arguing is that the bottom 50% of tax payers need to stop whining and saying the the rich keep getting richer. No doubt over the years the numbers will grow on how much we have to pay, but that is the way it is. For example $100 was a lot more in 1800 than in 2007.

"Making lower and middle income people pay a larger share of the taxes is not efficient." -Julius

This isn't what I'm arguing (I now relieze that it wasn't that clear). But this is what makes the United States of America the greatest country in the universe. If you work hard enough you can go from the lower class to the upper class.

The taxes must be raised and the amount you pay should be one fixed percent for everyone. The way the Democrats want it will be the upper class will pay a higher percent than the lower class. For example( these a fake numbers, just using it as an example) the upper class will pay the federal government 50% on the dollar, the middle class 25% and the lower class 10%. Now how's that fair? If you ask me that sounds like a communist system.
Julius_Kael

Pro

Again, you're basing this on your conception of "fair". There's nothing inherently unfair about progressive taxation. It's based on the concept of ability to pay. Lets say there was a flat tax with 25% tax rate across the board. After that tax, a person making $1 million would have $750,000 after taxes and a person making $10,000 (below the poverty line already) would make $7500 after taxes. Some people would consider it more fair to make the person who earns $1 million to pay 50% and the person making $10,000 to only pay 5%. The person making $1 million will still have $500,000, quite a bit of money, and the person making $10,000 will have $9,500 left. The poor person needs that extra $2,000 far more than the rich person needs that extra $250,000. That is fair in some peoples' minds.

Now, the purpose of that was to demonstrate that people have different conceptions of what is fair and what is not fair and it's not an absolute. I am, however, not arguing that your system is unfair, I'm arguing that it is completely impractical.

Progressive taxation has been around pretty much since the 16th amendment was passed. The first time the rates were raised to very high levels on the rich, was to finance our involvement in World War I. This was done again during the depression and World War II. After the war, tax rates on the rich remained high. This additional revenue was used to finance New Deal Programs and programs like the GI Bill that sent our soldiers to college when they returned home from World War II.

Programs like this are what allow people who are poor to become successful and in some cases become rich. Ask almost anybody from the Greatest Generation that didn't come from a wealthy family where they would be without the New Deal and without the GI Bill. They would be nowhere because those programs created the opportunities that they needed to be successful.

These programs can't be financed through a flat tax. Financial assistance for college is much less effective when it's being financed equally by the people who are receiving the assistance. The reason that we give the assistance in the first place is that people can't afford to pay for college by themselves.

Furthermore, there's absolutely nothing about a progressive income tax that keeps people from becoming wealthy. Again we've had a progressive income tax since the 1910's and it certainly has not led us to this "communist" society that you speak of.

A progressive income tax allows people to acquire great wealth. All it does is tax a higher percentage of that wealth than a flat tax would and places less of the tax burden on people who can barely afford to pay their bills as it is. Shifting more of the tax burden to the lower 50%, as you propose, means that more of them won't be able to send their kids to college, won't be able to afford health care, and in some cases won't be able to afford to pay their mortgages.

Progressive taxation is efficient in preventing these things from happening. If you want more uninsured people, more uneducated people, and more homeless people then a flat tax is certainly more efficient. If you want to see less of these things, then progressive taxation is the most efficient means to do so.
Debate Round No. 2
righty10294

Con

Hello Julius:

Let me just say that this has been a good debate and a rather tougher one. Thanks for debating. I'll break down your argument now:

"After that tax, a person making $1 million would have $750,000 after taxes and a person making $10,000 (below the poverty line already) would make $7500 after taxes. Some people would consider it more fair to make the person who earns $1 million to pay 50% and the person making $10,000 to only pay 5%"-Julius

That is really unfair. Just because a person is rich doesn't mean that they don't have to save up for things. They still have car, house, mortgage, college payments to worry about. Sure they will have more money, but it doesn't make sense. First if they have 3 kids that each go to college for $30,000 a year for 4 years, that is $360,000 right there and on top of that is a $400,000 dollar house to that they have to pay for. Just because they're rich, doesn't mean they should have to give up HALF of their earnings to the government. Now that person probably worked hard all threw college and his early years to make $1,000,000 a year. The person that is making $10,000 a year was likely to think that life was a joke all threw school and thought they were going to have it made, well it didn't work out now didn't. I will acknowledge that there will be some exceptions to that statement, but not many.

You also say that if we didn't have progressive tax, no one could get rich. Well that is untrue. If you look at all the richest people in the world (a good example is Warren Buffet) they weren't that rich to begin with, but they got rich by working hard. This is what is wrong with my generation, we all think once high school is over we will make millions, that won't happen. It will down the road if you work hard. Hard work will all ways payoff and if the poor works hard, they can make millions with or without a flat tax.

For the people who can't payoff their mortgage, it has nothing to do with taxes. If they got a fixed rate they would be able to pay it off every month, because they know what they'll have to pay every month, because it'll never change. Adjustable rates, you don't know how much you have to pay every month. SUre, it could be lower, but it can be higher (most of the time). By saving money this way they will be able to pay for health care, and send their kids to college, it's just with a little hard work.

Another thing with the progressive tax, their wealth would stay the same most of their life, because their taxes would go up everytime they made more money. For example if a person makes $500,000 in 2007 and payed a 45% tax rate, they would have $275,000 left. In 2008 they make $1,000,000 and their tax rate jumps to 65% they will have to pay $650,000 in taxes, now is that fair when their total income would be $350,000. They double the amount they took in, but only made $75,000 more than last year.

Thanks again for debating.
Julius_Kael

Pro

Julius_Kael forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by ggravelle 9 years ago
ggravelle
Here is why a flat tax is superior to a progressive tax:

While most people in favor of a progressive tax argue that the wealthy should pay a higher percentage for a number of reasons, there is one major factor these proponents don't consider; The wealthy often end up paying significantly less than lower tax brackets, because the progressive tax structure has so many breaks and loopholes that its complexity and non-uniformity ends up to the advantage of the wealthiest tax payers.

Also, a simpler flat tax would allow for the elimination of a cap on social security taxes, which the wealthiest tax brackets only pay on up less than $100,000 a year.

If you fundamentally believe that the wealthy should pay more than lower tax brackets on a percentage basis, then consider that the wealthiest tax bracket in this country pays almost 40% of tax revenue. The key to tax reform in this country is not to maintain a progressive tax structure, but rather to create a simpler tax structure, which would also significantly decrease government spending on certain agencies, including the IRS.
Posted by Conspicuous_Conservative 9 years ago
Conspicuous_Conservative
Very true Phil when will people learn that taxation never solves problems but increases problems. When taxes are lowered the American people strive to achieve more and spend the economy back into a surplus.
Posted by Phil 9 years ago
Phil
The real problem with the progressive tax is that it seriously diminishes the possibility for the lower and middle class to become wealthy. It basically places a ceiling on each class in America, making it difficult to progress to the next level.

People really need to wake up and realize that when taxes are lower (for everyone), the IRS actually gets more tax money because of economic growth. This has been proven every time taxes are cut. If the government takes more money in taxes, then those that would have invested it in a new company, expanding their business, etc, no longer have that opportunity to invest it.

We often hear that Democrats (who are in favor of higher taxes) are like Robin Hood, because they steal from the rich and give to the poor. In reality, Robin Hood stole from the government and gave it back to the people from whom it was taken.
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