The Instigator
bcarrnhs
Con (against)
Tied
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The Contender
jiacononhs
Pro (for)
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Taxes and the U.S. Government

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/16/2013 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 621 times Debate No: 39006
Debate Rounds (5)
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bcarrnhs

Con

Taxes for U.S. citizens should be diminished completely increasing the cash flow in the economy in the country. Not having taxes would also implore the communities of the country to be more independant due to not having to rely on the government to hire workers to make repairs and maintain things such as roads, highways and other government funded assets.
jiacononhs

Pro

Taxes should be lowered across the United States. Taxation is one of the biggest financial burdens on Americans; Americans are taxed at both the state and federal level. They"re taxes on almost everything that you buy, sell, or own (1). The United States also has an unfair income tax base; taxes should be regressive so that everyone pays the same percentage of their income. Much of the money that the government collects (taxes) is used carelessly on many unnecessary social programs that should not be funded and should be privatized. We are evolving into the era where people must rely on the government to live, this should not happen. By minimizing government, and reducing taxes we can promote job growth, create an incentive for people to work (people become more independent), and improve the standard of living (2).

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...

(2) http://www.cato.org...
Debate Round No. 1
bcarrnhs

Con

Everyone who looks at the numbers knows that taxes must be raised to sustain the growing debt in the country. If nothing is done about the current situation, deficits of up to $3.5 trillion dollars outside of the surplus in Social Security are speculated to have built up by 2016. But doing nothing assumes that all the Bush tax cuts will be allowed to expire as scheduled in 2010. also if the tax cuts are extended, and spending remains generally unchanged, the 10-year deficit will total to $7.8 trillion. To balance the budget under these conditions would require cutting defense spending by 67 percent, Medicare by 54 percent, or every other program by a third, which is not an option as far as most politicians are concerned.
jiacononhs

Pro

jiacononhs forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
bcarrnhs

Con

bcarrnhs forfeited this round.
jiacononhs

Pro

In order to decide whether or not policy makers should have high or low tax policies, we should look to the empirical evidence regarding taxation and its relationship to economic growth and income growth. It turns out, the majority of empirical research has found increasing taxation leads to negative impacts on economic growth, which can be measured as Gross Domestic Product (GDP). These negative impacts are not just coincidence, even when researchers control for other factors such as government spending, business cycle conditions, and monetary policy, they still reach the same results. In a study titled, "The robust relationship between taxes and U.S state income growth", published in the National Tax Journal, the author, Robert Reed, concluded that:

"My analysis suggests that tax policies take time to work its full effects on the economy. When the specification is sufficiently general to pick up these effects, a negative relationship between taxes and income growth emerges." (1)

Additionally, a study of 15 developed countries by the International Monetary Fund found that "a 1 percent spending cut has no significant effect on growth, whereas a 1 percent tax increase reduces GDP by 1.3 percent after two years." (1)

In contrast, a study published in the American Economic Review found that "A 1 percentage point cut in the average personal income tax rate raises real GDP per capita by 1.4 percent in the first quarter and by up to 1.8 percent after three quarters." (1)

These are just some peer-reviewed study which show negative impacts of taxation on economic growth. Even more can be found at the first link cited.

So why do higher taxes result in decreased economic growth? Perhaps it is because a dollar in the hands of the private sector is spent more efficiently than in the hands of the government. Perhaps it's because taxation reduces the incentive for people to work and invest. Theoretically, taxing someone for hiring a worker, or investing in capital goods, etc basically makes it more expensive to do those things, and thus, less of it will be done. This explanation makes sense and is loosely confirmed by the results of empirical research.

(1) http://taxfoundation.org...
Debate Round No. 3
bcarrnhs

Con

bcarrnhs forfeited this round.
jiacononhs

Pro

For taxes to be greatly lowered in our society we first need to reduce our spending. Government does not generate revenue, the people do, everything that the 'government' spends money on is funded by the people (their taxes). To cut taxes we need to reduce government spending, this includes cutting major government expenditures such as welfare and warfare (defense spending). By cutting our spending we can reduce our taxes which will benefit the individual and the economy. Any form of tax cut such as the Bush Tax cuts would be beneficial to the economy such as creating jobs and expanding growth. Over the last 100 years taxes have increased greatly and the amount of different types of taxes have also increased dramatically (1). The federal income tax was not even a tax in the United States until the early 1900's through the passage of the 16th amendment which was a controversial amendment to pass. Even after its passage the income tax did not even effect most people until the 1950's and 1960's, up until that point only a certain percentage of Americans payed income tax (2). If we reduce our unnecessary spending through cutting certain programs (privatizing programs) and bringing our troops home we can reduce our taxes and even eliminate most taxes like the income tax.

http://en.wikipedia.org... (1)

http://www.loc.gov... (2)
Debate Round No. 4
bcarrnhs

Con

bcarrnhs forfeited this round.
jiacononhs

Pro

So what does the federal government spend our tax dollars on? The biggest expense that the government spent in 2012 was Social Security with 22% of all spending, next was healthcare 21% (Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP), the next biggest expense was defense (military) with 19%, then safety net programs 12% (food stamps etc...) and then paying interest on our already massive debt 6% (1). By reducing our spending we can reduce our taxes. We can cut or greatly reduce all of our government expenditures. Social Security should be privatized and the government should not collect or manage money for such a program, this should also be applied to healthcare which will save the government (taxpayers) a lot of money (2). The military must also be greatly reduced, we do not need the military that we have, and we do not need our fatherly presence in every country, we should bring back our troops and cut the spending. The next thing we can cut is safety net programs, people need to become more independent and rely less on the government even for scenarios they don't expect, cutting safety net programs over night is not a good idea but reducing the funding to it will save us a great amount of money. Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for someone else"s living situation, the best answer to funding safety net programs is through voluntary donation not a forced tax. The U.S government spends 6% of its budget on paying off the debt alone (in 2012). We must lower our debt and borrow less money so the government does not have to pay interest. Overall we need to reduce our spending at both a state and federal level to reduce our taxes, by reducing our taxes we will grow the economy and make people more independent.

http://www.cbpp.org... (1)

http://socialsecurity.procon.org... (2)
Debate Round No. 5
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