The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
13 Points

Should the Rich pay more taxes?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/18/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,380 times Debate No: 39139
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)




On the subject of the ACA, which may induce higher taxes to cover the costs, should the wealthy pay more taxes and be prevented from avoiding taxes through their own means?


I would like to thank Pro for furnishing the resolution. The burden of proof stands as this:
  • (PRO) - The Rich should pay more taxes to support ACA funding.
  • (PRO)- The Rich should be prevented from using their own wealth to manipulate the system to avoid higher taxation.
I look forward to debating the topic. I await your opening arguments.
Debate Round No. 1


Let's begin this debate by introducing what I know:

The rich, on average (this includes Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and even most politicians) can get "richer" through something called Capital Gains which give annually about $40 Billion in tax breaks to the wealthy.
"Capital gains are highly concentrated," says Rebecca Wilkins, senior counsel for Citizens for Tax Justice. "Most of the capital gains are earned by folks in the top 10 percent, and it's even concentrated more than that. So the capital gains tax break, which is a 20 percentage-point difference in the amount of tax that is paid on those, is going almost all to the top 5 percent."
Now obviously even the middleclass can't make enough to successfully dodge taxes through other means, such as the "Charitable deduction". The more you donate, the more you can get a break on your taxes (and thereby the less you contribute to government programs). The problem with this is it's based on income, so the less you can donate and still get a huge break on your taxes.

These are just a few examples on how the wealthy can avoid funding government programs. My next point is why we should tax the rich and prevent excessive tax breaks:

With the ACA passed into law you can bet the wealthy republicans will be finding any way possible to avoid helping to fund it, where the middleclass and poor don't have these options. If we tax the rich more there will be more money flowing to the government whom (with any decency) will use that money wisely to fund programs and other causes.

It's only fair that the rich pay their share, and we should find a way to prevent their tax breaks so that they pay an equal amount to the underclass dollar; for instance, a poor person has $5, whereas a Rich one as $50. if we make the poor person pay the full 5$ it ruins them, but if we make the Rich person pay $5 it's nothing, now if you're rich you can find a way to avoid paying the 5$ altogether, and thereby the poor stay poor and the rich stay rich.

A fair way to do this is to tax the Rich more to the underclass dollar: Poor: 1$ to the Rich: $10.

If we allow the rich to avoid their taxes we are essentially stealing from the poor and giving to the rich.

(please excuse the shoddy format, this is my first debate on this site.)


Let's begin this debate by introducing what I know:


  1. Capital Gains – The increase in value of a Capital
    asset (Stocks, Bonds, etc) above the original price of purchase. The
    value of the increase can be sold off for profits. To encourage the
    investor to spend the gain on the economy, the profit is taxed at a
    lower rate, allowing the investor to keep more of it. [1]


The Pro Argued that the rich are “Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and most politicians”.

Rebuttal: My opponent stigmatizes the rich as “White, old, possibly Republican, establishment
types with suits and a “Bah-Humbug” attitude towards the poor.

  1. The Hip-Hop producer “Birdman” was ranked by Forbes at
    170 million dollars with an influx of 15 million a year from a
    record label that has an estimated worth of 700 million dollars.[2]

  2. Puff-Daddy is valued at 343 million dollars and enjoys an
    annual influx of over 50 million dollars. [3]

  3. JayZ is pulled 43 million dollars last year. [3]

  4. Kanye West was blessed with 20 million. [3]

The Pro Argued that the “rich” gain 40 billion in tax breaks.

Rebuttal: There was no source cited with this argument, so we do not know
where this figure comes from, whom it applies to and why it's a bad thing that needs to
be stopped.

The Pro Argued that “Capital gains are highly concentrated”, with “most of the capital
gains are earned by folks in the top 10 percent”.

Rebuttal: Perhaps the Pro would like to explain why it's wrong for the top 10% to
receive the majority of capital gains, since they risked the most amount of their own
money? Capital gains are relative to investment. The more money I put at risk, the more I
stand to gain. What the Pro has conveniently left out is: The more money I invest,
the more I also stand to lose.

Since Capital Gains are relative to Capital Investments, I challenge my opponent to explain
how he plans to spread the return amongst the other 90% of the investors. The way I
understand it now, the Pro wants the top 10% to invest 90% of all capital investments,
but he wants the vast majority of the capital gains to be given to the people who invested
the least amount of money and took the smallest possible risk.

I dare say that's theft.

My Counter Point: The United States is already heavily taxing the Capital Gain of the rich.
This is not a good thing, because if I get less money for my investment, I'm less likely to
make risky future investments. I may decide NOT to fund a new company, because my gains
came at too high a cost for the risk involved. That means, new jobs won't get created and my
gains will sit in a bank account and not fuel the economy. [4]

The Pro argued that the middle class can't successfully dodge taxes.

Rebuttal: They certainly can't now, with the implementation of ACA, which creates the highest
premiums for the middle-class. [5] The average American Family (20-30 year old) earn
52,000 dollars a year. [6] The Average Household size is 2.6 according to the U.S. Census
Bureau. If we plug those figures into the ACA application, then the average family pays $368.00
per month for health care and 209 dollars get pushed on the tax payer, per month, and
refunded to the family at the end of the year as a tax credit. That's a 2508.00 US Tax credit.

The monthly income, after taxes, is 3250.00 USD. That means, the average Joe pays more than
10% of their household income on Health Insurance.

If we take that same figure, for a family of the same size, same age but higher income bracket
(73,000 USD per annum), that family pays 578.00 USD per month and receives NO TAX CREDIT.

ACA is already set up to take from the rich, in order to subsidize the poor. That's why it's called
“Social Healthcare”.

Now, let's calculate the same process for the low income family. The average size of a low-income
family is a single parent with two kids. The average income is 27,000 USD and the healthcare cost per
month for all three people is 74.00 USD. The income tax credit is 423.00 USD.

That means, at the end of the tax year, that family is receiving a refund check with 5076.00 USD.
Yet they only spent 888.00 USD for health insurance. They made a 4000.00 non-taxable profit off
the middle-class tax-payer, which receives NO TAX CREDIT.

This is called “redistribution of wealth” and it's inherently Socialism.

My opponent made a ratio argument of “Poor $1, Rich $10”. This shows you (the reader) how
radically misinformed the general public is about HOW ACA functions.

I look forward to the next round of discussions.


[1] Investopedia, Accessed October 19th, 2013, Link -

[2] The Richest, Accessed October 19th, 2013, Link -

[3] Forbes Magazine, Cash Kings 2013,
Accessed October 19th, 2013 Link -

[4] “The High Burden of State
and Federal Capital Gains Taxes,” Kyle Pomerleau, Tax Foundation:

[5] The UC Berkley Labor Center, Accessed October 19th,
2013, Link

[6] U.S. Household Income, Doug Short, September 17, 2013, Link -

[7] Project Self-Sufficiency – Accessed October 19th,
2013, Link -

Debate Round No. 2


Link for previous round:
Note before I continue: I do not know everything about this subject, this is a school assignment so I'm still researching and looking at the counter argument to this (I'm supposed to argue pro), so forgive me if my argument isn't sound; this is just research for me at the moment.
Second Argument (not necessarily relating to the previous round):

The rich are obviously at an advantage, whether through pure luck or hard work they still have come out on top, and with their wealth they have power. I believe it should be the rich's responsibility to use that power to benefit others as well. Now I am not saying that they should be just giving their money away, but they should still pay their part to balance things out.

Two of the richer members of our country have both stated that the Rich should pay higher taxes (Bill Gates, Warren Buffet), Warren Buffet has been quoted as saying, "stop coddling the super-rich"[1].

According to Professor Richard D. Wolff we no only get 25 cents from corporations to every dollar we take from the underclass.[2]

[2]: Why the Rich Can and Should pay more taxes (much better argued than my points so far):


I thank the Pro for continuing the debate. I would like to encourage the Pro to
actually compose an argument, rather than simply dropping links to a website
and expecting the reader to let the source material argue. I am in a debate
with the Pro, not

However, being the good sport that I am, I will indeed argue the merits of my
opponent's sources. [1]

The source provided enlists several slides to explain tax proportions (or disproportions)
between the rich and the middle-class. (Note, the lower class is not mentioned.
Somehow the poor have zero stake in the argument of taxation. I challenge
the Pro to explain how this elitism isn't the same flavor of discrimination
he places on the super-rich.

The relevant slide in the argument is slide 3 of 6 (Capital Gains). The slide outlines that
the Super rich are able to draw income from their investments and that this income
is taxed at 15%, rather than 35% compared to normative wage taxation in the labor
market. That figure is actually outdated. Long term Capital gains are now taxed at 20%,
one of the highest rates in the world.

Neat. I challenge the Pro to explain how income from financial gain payments are the same
thing as an income based on hourly wages. If I place 1,000.00 USD in a bank account, and
over the period of 1 year accumulate 35.00 USD in interest, should I (or the Government)
be able to classify that 35.00 USD as a “wage”? No, of course not. This income is classified
as a “financial investment gain”.

Yet, drawing a parallel between wages and investment returns is exactly what this article did,
simply because both are incomes. As quoted by the source: “Long-term capital gains,
which derive from the sale of investments such as stocks and bonds held for more
than a year, are taxed at 15 percent. That's well below the 35 percent maximum tax
rate on
ordinary income such as wages.” [1]


  1. Wage
    - Payment for labor or services to a worker, especially remuneration
    on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis or by the piece. [2]

Capital Gains are not wages. Capital Gains are risk-related investments. People who
work a 9-5 job don't risk “not being paid”. Investors, however, risk losing their
investment and thus truly do have a chance of “not getting paid”.

Now, what this article and my opponent have both failed to mention, is the difference
between a long term and short term capital gain. This is best described by a Vegas analogy.

Example: I sit down with 1000.00 USD at a card table and play three, four, maybe five
hands of Texas Hold'em No Limit. I get lucky and win two hands. I took a profit of 350.00 USD.
I immediately decide not to push my luck and I take my winnings and “cash-out”.

In the Capital Gains world, that's called a “short-term” gain. Guess what?
Short-term gains get taxed as regular income, at the full 35%.

Now, let's say I don't cash out. Instead, I dig in. (See the excellent example in the posted video.)
I make bold moves, calculate my chances and stay vigilant over the course of a 20 hour grind. I take a beating to
my wallet, but once in a while, I also take a pot. Chances are, unless I'm lucky or
simply talented, that I will have lost most of my money by the end. However, let's say,
for the sake of the argument, that I won 25,000 USD. That is considered a long-term gain. I took
the risk. I invested my assets. Every time I made a profit, I didn't keep it. Instead, I put it back
into play (invested it back into the economy). The reason that long term gains are taxed at a lower
rate, is to prevent short-term gain style “cut and run” profits. Long-term gains benefit everyone. All the
other black-jack players (the economy) enjoy bigger wins. The house (the Government) enjoys bigger
wins. Yet I (the investor) take a huge risk. The only way that you can convince me to stay at that card table,
is to allow me to keep more of my winnings, after taxes.
The Pro stated that he believes “it should be the rich's responsibility to use that power to benefit
others as well. Now I am not saying that they should be just giving their money away, but they should
still pay their part to balance things out

: Actually, the rich do pay their part. As described above, short-term capital gains are taxed at the
same rate as labor wages.

So let's compare:

If I earn a 45,000.00 USD salary, what do I pay in taxes?

A: 15,750.00 USD <---Deduction from Guaranteed Paycheck.

If I earned 45,000.00 USD in short term Capital Gains, what do I pay in taxes?

A: 15,750.00 USD <--- Deduction from Low Risk Paycheck.

If I earn 45,000 USD in long-term Capital Gains, What do I pay in taxes?

A: 9,000.00 USD <--- Deduction from High Risk Paycheck.

Conclusion: The only people who keep more of their income, are the people who
took more risks and waited a longer period of time to gain access to their income.

I challenge the Pro to explain, how he would encourage investors to bankroll the
economy, without giving any incentive for putting their money at risk? After all, the long
term investor only made an additional 6,750. USD, compared to the short-term investor/ laborer.

I look forward to the next round of discussion.


[1] – 5 Tax deductions that favor the Rich, Jay McDonald, Accessed October 20th,
2013, Link -

[2] - wage. (n.d.) The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth
. (2003). Retrieved October 20 2013 from

Debate Round No. 3


Skipping my turn for round 4, I've been busy with my actual government class and haven't had time to come up with a response, sorry. (not sure what happens when the deadline is up), I will have my official rebuttal by round 5.


Opponent forfeits round 4. Arguments extended.
Debate Round No. 4


nightclown forfeited this round.


Opponent forfeits. Please vote CON.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Heineken 3 years ago
Thank you Sir. It was tough trying to squeeze all the information into a readable argument. It's why I heavily relied on the Vegas analogy to do my job for me.
Formatting the debate is half the battle.
Posted by brett.winstead 3 years ago
Heineken, your argument was simply fantastic. I thought I knew a lot on the subject but I did learn from you about the difference between the short-term and long term tax ramifications on capital gains. The 15% and the 35% Vegas explanation was really juicy. It was interesting to note that your opponent had basically made up his mind before learning virtually any of the facts and by the end of the debate, he all but admitted defeat which is not a bad thing since he could have stood his ground in spite of the facts. It is obvious that government schools influence young minds in this way to first hate freedom and capitalism and when he decided to research this with this debate, he walked into a mine field. The facts always win whether people admit it or not.
Posted by Heineken 3 years ago
I like the argument. Very Hannity.
Posted by brett.winstead 3 years ago
Nicolas, you could not be more wrong when you said: "The rich or upper 1% have a social responsibility to all citizens they employ/exploit for the outrageous profits they generate."

I can tell by your word "exploit" where you get your information but I digress. When people get rich in business, it is because they sold a large number of products or services that people seriously want. Let's say Company ABC sells a pretty cool garden rake for $15. Joe Public agrees to trade his money for that rake. That is an even trade, isn't it? No one is forcing anyone to make this trade but both parties willingly do it. What if Company ABC sells millions and millions of these rakes and makes $5 profit on each one. They are rich, right? Why do they have a "social responsibility" to give anyone anymore than the rake they traded to the public for $15. If you bought a rake, do you have a social responsibility to go and break the ground in your neighbor's garden for free because you are now benefiting from having that cool new rake? If not, why do you feel Company ABC has some other kind of obligation to society because they sold lots of rakes. They already supplied the rake in the agreement and they are already paying taxes.
Posted by Nicolas_Augustborn 3 years ago
The rich or upper 1% have a social responsibility to all citizens they employ/exploit for the outrageous profits they generate. If you want to be rich you need to understand that the second you have that much capital, you have power over peoples lives. Power requires responsibility, and the more power you have, the more responsibility and liability you should have. Taxes are suppose to be the equalizer. Those that contribute most to the economy are not these people, they hold it hostage and cause horrible economic collapses due to their greediness and unwillingness to fulfill their social responsibilities. Investments should not be like gambling at a casino, that's the main problem, it should be an investment into the greater good, to better everyone else. If it doesn't work out, oh well. Anyone making more than 1 million has already far surpassed the required earning to have a very comfortable life.
Posted by Kiwidrew 3 years ago
Personally I sit on the fence regarding the issue as to whether the rich should pay more tax.
After all the wealthier class already pay more in the sense that they contribute in higher amounts to the economy. They buy more cars, houses and other material goods. In many cases they are business owners; they generate employment and stability for other people. Why should they have to pay more?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: I know it's effectively an FF, however pro gets credit for trying to not let it expire; therefore I shall count it as a concession due to time constraints instead of merely dropping out.
Vote Placed by makhdoom5 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF.
Vote Placed by Volkov 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited two rounds, so conduct goes towards Con. Spelling and grammar is tied. Con had more convincing arguments by virtue of being more fleshed out and completed than Pro's by a long mile, so both argument and sources go to Con.