The Instigator
Corgi_Attack
Pro (for)
The Contender
ScryMind
Con (against)

Tax Policy

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/28/2017 Category: Economics
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 719 times Debate No: 103675
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

Corgi_Attack

Pro

This debate will be a comparison of the "Bernie Sanders" and "Donald Trump" tax plans. I will be arguing that the Trump plan is superior to the Bernie plan. My opponent, ScryMind will argue the opposite (Pro Bernie plan). The first round is for acceptance and agreement of the terms of the debate. For the purpose of this debate the Bernie sanders tax plan is as follows:

https://taxfoundation.org...

The Bernie tax policy will accomplish these goals (among others):

""Adds four new income tax brackets for high-income households, with rates of 37 percent, 43 percent, 48 percent, and 52 percent.
"Taxes capital gains and dividends at ordinary income rates for households with income over $250,000.
"Creates a new 2.2 percent "income-based [health care] premium paid by households." This is equivalent to increasing all tax bracket rates by 2.2 percentage points, and would raise the top marginal income tax rate to 54.2 percent.
"Eliminates the alternative minimum tax.
"Eliminates the personal exemption phase-out (PEP) and the Pease limitation on itemized deductions.
"Limits the value of additional itemized deductions to 28 percent for households with income over $250,000.

Payroll Tax Changes
"Creates a new 6.2 percent employer-side payroll tax on all wages and salaries. This is referred to by the campaign as an "income-based health care premium paid by employers."
"Creates a 0.2 percent employer-side payroll tax and 0.2 percent employee-side payroll tax, to fund a new family and medical leave trust fund.
"Applies the Social Security payroll tax to earnings over $250,000, a threshold which is not indexed for wage inflation.

Business Income Tax Changes
"Eliminates several business tax provisions involving oil, gas, and coal companies.
"Ends the deferral of income from controlled foreign subsidiaries.*
"Changes several international tax rules to curb corporate inversions and limit use of the foreign tax credit.*

Estate Tax Changes
"Decreases the estate tax exclusion from $5.4 million to $3.5 million.
"Raises the estate tax rate from 40 percent to a set of rates ranging between 45 percent and 65 percent.
"Changes several estate tax rules involving asset valuation, family trusts, gift taxes, and farmland and conservation easements.*

Other Changes
"Creates a financial transactions tax on the value of stocks, bonds, derivatives, and other financial assets traded by U.S. persons. The rate of the tax ranges from 0.005 percent to 0.5 percent, depending on the type of asset.*
"Limits like-kind exchanges of property to $1 million per taxpayer per year and prohibits the use of like-kind exchanges for art and collectibles.*
"

For the purpose of this debate the Trump tax plan is as follows -

https://assets.donaldjtrump.com...

As a brief overview the Trump tax plan will accomplish these goals (among others):
"
1. If you are single and earn less than $25,000, or married and jointly earn less than $50,000, you will not owe any income tax. That removes nearly 75 million households " over 50% " from the income tax rolls. They get a new one page form to send the IRS saying, "I win," those who would otherwise owe income taxes will save an average of nearly $1,000 each.
2. All other Americans will get a simpler tax code with four brackets " 0%, 10%, 20% and 25% " instead of the current seven. This new tax code eliminates the marriage penalty and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) while providing the lowest tax rate since before World War II.
3. No business of any size, from a Fortune 500 to a mom and pop shop to a freelancer living job to job, will pay more than 15% of their business income in taxes. This lower rate makes corporate inversions unnecessary by making America"s tax rate one of the best in the world.
4. No family will have to pay the death tax. You earned and saved that money for your family, not the government. You paid taxes on it when you earned it.
"
ScryMind

Con

I accept the terms of the debate. We will argue the effectiveness of the two tax policies on different aspects on the nation.
Debate Round No. 1
Corgi_Attack

Pro

Donald Trump is the definition of a great American success. He is very, very rich and is a billionaire" He makes the best deals, you better believe it! He knows the economy better than anyone" Donald Trump"s tax policy will Make America Great Again!

Socialism is NOT Ethical and NOT American Values of FREEDOM and LIBERTY

Bernie"s Plan: My opponent is pushing the tax plan of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders is a socialist (democratic) and desires a socialist tax policy. There is a reason people from communist Cuba fled to become refugees in America. When was the last time Americans fled to a communist country? Young people today do not understand the horrors of communism. If millennials were more intelligent" they would support Trump. The track record of leftist economic policy: Russia, China, Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and many others speaks for itself. Socialism is a failed ideology that has brought unbelievable poverty and suffering throughout history" SAD! They say "The way to HELL is paved with good intentions."

Let"s look at this from a moral standpoint. Bernie wants to place astronomical tax burdens on the "evil" top 1%. I will now give some statistics on this misunderstood group.

The top 1% contribute more than their fair share of taxes. Even the liberal CNBC says: "According to a projection from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, the top 1 percent of Americans will pay 45.7 percent of the individual income taxes in 2014"up from 43 percent in 2013 and 40 percent in 2012 (the oldest period available)"(1). Also "The bottom 60 percent are expected to pay less than 2 percent of federal income taxes"(1). Let me repeat this important information; the top 1% pay almost HALF of all income taxes" while the bottom 60% of all Americans pay less than a tiny 2% of all taxes. 1 out of 100 Americans pay so much taxes, believe me. This shows that the "evil" 1% is supporting everyone else. This is 2014 data but my guess is the top 1% pay a greater share of income than back then. Under a socialist tax plan the top 1% might end up paying 90% of ALL taxes, NOT FAIR!

Let"s look at something very important: philanthropy. I"m not talking about the Clinton Foundation" I am talking about REAL charitable giving. Here is another statistic:
"Households with more than $1 million in income donated more than $150 billion to charity last year, roughly half of all US charitable donations. Greedy? It hardly seems so"(2).

Also what kind of careers do the rich pursue? "Roughly a third were entrepreneurs or managers of nonfinancial businesses. Nearly 16 percent were doctors or other medical professionals"(2).
Many wealthy Americans work as doctors, dentists or surgeons where they SAVE lives. Many others are entrepreneurs who create JOBS and bring innovation. Furthermore, "roughly 80 percent of millionaires in America are the first generation of their family to be rich. They didn"t inherit their wealth; they earned it"(2).

These are the FACTS and they prove that the rich are hard working, contribute greatly to society, create jobs, pay a high amount of taxes and donate generously to philanthropic causes.

Trump"s Plan: Fair tax rates which will allow job creators to keep some money for themselves.

Bernie Sanders does NOT understand basic economics. Donald Trump was the smartest student at the top business school in the world. He earned a degree in Economics" did Bernie?

High Corporate Taxes Weaken Economic Growth:

My opponent supports our current corporate tax rate of 35% which is among the highest in the world. This tax rate destroys economic growth and makes American companies unable to compete with international corporations, SAD! This unfair difference in tax rates force companies to move to other nations. This costs us tax revenue and sends our jobs overseas" destroying potential jobs in America.

Our Unreasonable Corporate Tax Rate Hurts Small Businesses

Estate Tax MUST be Repealed:

In The Communist Manifesto Karl Marx argues for the "abolition of all rights of inheritance" as one of the main principles of communism. He also wanted "abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes." Marx would have been a fan of the estate tax because it brings America dangerously close to the failed ideology of communism. Bernie Sanders wants a top estate tax rate of 65%. This means that if you become rich, the government is going to wait until you die and then steal almost two thirds of your wealth. Would you rather have most of your wealth go to your children" or the government?
The estate tax makes the government entitled to the money of the wealthy. For instance in one of the debates CROOKED Hillary Clinton said this about Trump: "If you believe that he"s as wealthy as he says," she said, killing the tax "would save the Trump family $4 billion. " "Just think about what we could do with those $4 billion."(3). My opponent, like Clinton feels the government should be entitled to the money of the rich" this is communism, believe me.
Additionally, the estate tax allows the government to tax money twice. When someone earns money they pay income tax or capital gains/investment/property tax. After they die they get taxed again. It is unfair to tax people twice especially when Bernie"s plan taxes them so heavily the first time. Imagine being taxed 50% on all the money you earn and then being taxed 60% after your death; the vast majority of your hard earned wealth would go to the government. This government enforced theft should be seen as a moral outrage.
One reason many Americans work hard is so their children can never have to worry about living in poverty. Sometimes people want to become wealthy so they can give their children a financial advantage in life. It is perfectly acceptable for people to work hard for this reason. Bernie"s high estate tax destroys much of this incentive, SAD!

Sources:

[1] https://www.cnbc.com...
[2] https://www.cato.org...
[3]https://www.usatoday.com...)
ScryMind

Con

Without delving into Trump's economic expertise or his financial success, I will point out that his companies have filed bankruptcy 6 times, at least partly because of using excessive debt financing. Many economists believe that his tax plan will not pay for itself, but instead just increase the debt.

But, if you do believe that he knows the economy and business so well, then wouldn't it be a great idea to have him making decisions with a a higher amount of tax income?

The countries my opponent listed as failed states are not the only examples of socialist countries. They are arguably not even the best examples of the philosophy. According to studies for happiness and GDP, 7 of the top 10 countries ranked by happiness were socialist, while the United States came in at number 14 (2014-2016) and 4 of the top 20 countries, including the #2 country) were socialist. 70% and 20% of those groups. But, just as with the failed countries, there are many relevant factors to these numbers, and many of them have nothing to do with socialist/capitalist policies. But regardless, the US government is a representative democracy. If the will of the populace is for more socialist policies, they are free to pursue tax policies to reflect that as we live in a representative democracy.

Sure, the top 1% contribute a large % of the taxes, because their income is so much more. I suspect if we could total up all the benefits people get from taxes, we would see that the 1% get a large % of those as well. It isn't necessary to call the 1% evil to support these tax policies. Does the 1% want a better educated workforce? Consumers? People that are in general healthier due to better healthcare? Lower crime rates and better infrastructure? The 1% are often more capable of exploiting loopholes in the current tax system to avoid paying the same rates that hard working Americans are required to. These tax changes are intended to help the whole country. But you want to speak of real charity, what is more charitable than giving to the less fortunate of society? That is a group these policies are intended to benefit. The 1% are in the best position to afford this charity, and should they oppose the policies, they are also better able to structure their businesses and income streams to avoid the taxes.

Many "charities" are more form than substance. That is, they give only a small % to the actual causes they claim to represent, while at the same time paying large salaries to employees, and creating tax deductions for the 1%. I'm not against charity, certainly not real charity, but these tax increases aren't so large to eliminate contributions.
As far as incentives, the tax isn't high enough to destroy the incentive to provide for one's children. It doesn't abolish rights of inheritance or land ownership. And to say all the wealth is stolen by the government implies that the people (tax payers and their children/grandchildren) receive little to no benefit from the taxes collected. While the claim is up for debate, my opponent is overstating the reality.
Debate Round No. 2
Corgi_Attack

Pro

My opponent has made several false claims. I will take this round to refute his dishonest arguments and then go back to the countless benefits of the Trump tax plan.

I have quoted his points below.

"I will point out that his companies have filed bankruptcy 6 times, at least partly because of using excessive debt financing."

Trump has an extensive track record of successful businesses. He has created hundreds of companies/products that have succeeded. You have only cherry picked 6 companies that failed. The vast majority of his companies have prospered showing he has the skills to run our economy.

"wouldn't it be a great idea to have him making decisions with a higher amount of tax income?"

No because what he has learned throughout his business experience is that low taxes can drive growth. This has been proven by economic research. A free market, capitalist approach is the best way to grow the econ. Big gov is inherently wasteful and counterproductive.

"According to studies for happiness and GDP, 7 of the top 10 countries ranked by happiness were socialist, while the United States came in at number 14 (2014-2016) and 4 of the top 20 countries, including the #2 country) were socialist. 70% and 20% of those groups."

Not sure if there"s a meaningful way to calculate happiness. What we do know is the US has a superior economy, superior technology innovation, better medical research and of course much higher GDP than those socialist nations. Our free market system sets us apart and that"s a good thing. Those successful socialist countries have:

1.Much lower population than the U.S. This is a critical distinction because the more people you have in a country the harder it is to pay for expensive socialist programs

2.Population that tends to commit less crime and have lower single motherhood rates

3.Often got rich from abundant natural resources relative to population size

4.Higher educated workforce, more hard working workforce on average

5.Have virtually zero military spending; require the US to provide them w/ military protection. This frees up their budget to spend on wasteful social programs

6.Are running unsustainably high national debts (take the example of Greece)

This is simply an apples to oranges comparison. Furthermore, the USA destroys those nations in technological advancements and entrepreneurship.

"If the will of the populace is for more socialist policies, they are free to pursue tax policies to reflect that as we live in a representative democracy."

If the will of the people was for socialism they would have voted for Bernie Sanders. The American people overwhelmingly voted for a Republican president, republican senate and republican house. They willingly gave full control of the government to the GOP. Trump said he was going to have huge tax cuts. GOP congress always favored high tax cuts. The people wanted Trump because he would deliver free market, capitalist policies that would spur economic growth - like this policy. People in poverty are counting on this tax policy to pass.

"Sure, the top 1% contribute a large % of the taxes, because their income is so much more. I suspect if we could total up all the benefits people get from taxes, we would see that the 1% get a large % of those as well."

This is wrong" the rich don"t benefit more from social programs versus the poor. In fact they never collect welfare, medicaid etc. If there was free college the rich would probably send their kids to private colleges. Therefore, the rich definitely don"t receive more benefit from the government versus the poor. They just pay a hugely unfair and disproportionate portion of the taxes.

"The 1% are often more capable of exploiting loopholes in the current tax system to avoid paying the same rates that hard working Americans are required to."

Trump"s policy doesn"t create loopholes in fact it tends to try to remove them. The plan greatly simplifies the tax code which helps to remove those harmful loopholes. The ultra rich will continue to use loopholes under Bernie Sanders.

"Many "charities" are more form than substance. That is, they give only a small % to the actual causes they claim to represent, while at the same time paying large salaries to employees, and creating tax deductions for the 1%. I'm not against charity, certainly not real charity, but these tax increases aren't so large to eliminate contributions."

Proof?

"the people (taxpayers and their children/grandchildren) receive little to no benefit from the taxes collected."

High taxes take money from the rich and let the gov do whatever they want with the money. This leads to very wasteful spending. The federal government is very inefficient because they are not using their own money" they waste other people"s money. The free market is a much better way to benefit society. Jobs, jobs, jobs will really improve the lives of the American people.

My Case -

Individual Tax Cuts:
Now I will give a hypothetical case study about Bernie"s plan for raising the taxes on hardworking Americans.

Let"s look at Paul the famous brain surgeon, a member of the top 1%. Paul is extremely successful, saves many, many lives (including young children) and is paid 2 million a year in salary. He is also a savvy investor and makes an additional 2 million from the stock market/real estate. Total Income: 4 million a year. He lives in San Francisco, California. Let"s look at what percentage Paul pays under my opponent"s plan:
Income Tax: Since he makes 4 million Paul pays at least 45% for income tax
New Healthcare Premium Tax: 2.2%
New Family and Medical Tax: 0.4%
California State Tax (highest bracket): 12.3%
California Mental Health Tax: 1%
Fica Tax (Social security, medicare): 12.4%
(1).

Total: Around 73% The government steals 73%... the vast majority of Paul"s hard earned wealth when he is alive" and up to 65% (estate tax) of his remaining wealth when he is dead"

Is it fair for the government to take 73% and later an additional 65% of someone"s hard earned money" after that individual likely contributed greatly to the country through creating many jobs and investment? We have a wonderful word that perfectly describes my opponent"s tax policy: communism.

Keep in mind what happens to Paul if he refuses to pay most of his wealth. The government will literally put a gun to his head, handcuff him and lock him away in jail" and then gleefully take his money. It is NOT freedom to have most of your wealth STOLEN by a greedy, greedy government". A government full of gratuitous waste, fraud and abuse" a government where politicians get filthy rich from taxpayer money. One word sums this up: SAD!

Let"s look at this from an economic standpoint. Christina Romer was a famous economist that was chosen by President Barack Obama to run the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA). Christina Romer and David Romer (another economist) decided to perform a study about tax increases. Romer writes "an exogenous tax increase of 1 percent of GDP lowers real GDP by roughly 2 to 3 percent. These output effects are highly persistent"(2). She also states that "indeed, the strong response of investment helps to explain why the output consequences of tax changes are so large"(2). As the government raises taxes they cripple the productivity of our workforce. They seek to crush incentives for people to invest.

My opponent"s plan will cause irreversible damage to the U.S economy, believe me. I will add more about corporate taxes in future rounds.

Sources:

[1] https://taxfoundation.org...
[2] http://www.nber.org...
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Corgi_Attack 10 months ago
Corgi_Attack
Let me know if any questions/concerns.
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