The Instigator
BobTurner
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Hematite12
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points

Taxes on the top 1 percent of income earners should be increased

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Hematite12
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/11/2014 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,026 times Debate No: 48906
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)

 

BobTurner

Con

Round 1 is for acceptance
Round 2 is for opening arguments
Round 3 is for rebuttals
Round 4 is for rebuttals
Round 5 is for closing arguments

Resolution: Taxes on the top 1 percent should be increased.
Hematite12

Pro

Hi. Hopefully this will be a productive debate.

I assume BoP is shared?
Debate Round No. 1
BobTurner

Con

Burden of proof is indeed shared.

Higher tax rates on the wealthy will reduce economic growth. The literature on taxing the rich and economic growth is quite weak. There are studies purporting to look at this question, but they are often little more than looking at a historical correlation between tax rates and growth, which is simply not a very sound research method as it ignores other factors that have larger impacts on growth among other reasons.

First, we have evidence that higher tax rates in general have a negative impact on growth. An overview of this literature is available the sources. The Tax Foundation chronicles these sources [1].

We also have evidence that higher tax rates are responsible for the relative decline in hours worked in Europe relative to the USA, which has contributed to Europe being less productive [2].

Second, we have the evidence that more progressive tax rates harm economic growth. An example of some of this evidence is in the sources [3].

Finally, we have the evidence on how the behavior of rich people changes when taxes are changed. The evidence suggests that the behavioral responses are significant [4].

Taken as a whole, the evidence suggests that higher tax rates reduce economic growth in general, more progressive tax rates reduce economic growth, and rich individuals have quite large behavioral responses to changes in taxation. This is important as the main channels through which high tax rates harm economic growth are on the supply side rather than the demand side.

Entrepreneurship is one of the central drivers of economic growth [5]. After all, entrepreneurs are necessary to continually innovate in a constantly changing economy. Unfortunately, highly progressive taxation decreases entrepreneurship. This is simple to imagine if one looks at two men who both have a job that pays $200,000 and a potentially good idea. Both men pay 20% tax rates on their $200,000 income and, if they are to pursue their idea, they would be forced to give up their job. The difference is that one man lives in a country with a flat tax regime of 20%. The other man lives in a supposedly "fairer" society where the first $200,000 are taxed at 20% but every dollar after that is taxed at a punitive 80%. This would dramatically lower the chances that this man would become an entrepreneur. This is a rather extreme example, but the logic applies to any progressive tax regime to varying degrees. Not surprisingly, there is strong evidence that progressive taxation has a negative effect on entrepreneurship [6].

High tax rates discourage productive behavior such as investing, working, and taking risks and encourages unproductive behavior such as tax avoidance. The evidence provided in the sources suggests that this effect is quite powerful and makes a meaningful difference in the economy. It's also important to note that wealthy individuals are more able to change the composition of their income so they can more easily avoid taxes, which is why they have such high elasticities of taxable income [4].

There is a widespread belief that taxes on the richest 1% are low. This is simply not the case. It seems that this perception is based entirely on anecdotal evidence. There is no doubt that some rich people pay low tax rates, but, as a whole, the richest 1% pay quite high taxes.

The CBO estimates that, in 2013, the top 1% paid an average federal tax rate of 33.6%, compared to 18.1% average for all quintiles [7]. This does not include state and local taxes which, according to reasonable estimates, add another 6% or so to the average tax bill of the top 1% [8]. In total, this suggests a tax rate of around 40% on average, with some higher and some lower.

I find it very hard to argue that one's "fair share" is more than 40%. Admittedly, this is a bit subjective because everyone has a different belief system about what is fair, but I think the fact that wealthy individuals already pay almost 35% of their income to the federal government and 40% to all governments would come off to most reasonable people as, if anything, too high, especially when realizes that the wealthy are already paying a higher tax rate than other classes.

The practical problems with raising taxes on the rich have already been discussed, at length here. I also believe there is a moral element to this debate. Do we really want to live in a society where nearly half (or over half) of somebody's income is confiscated by the government?

I certainly don't. America was founded as a free nation, with free enterprise at its core. One of the key tenets of free enterprise is that the government sets no limit on wealth. It is understood that taxes are necessary to pay for basic services and such, but I think it is hard to say that people paying 40% of their income in taxes are not paying their "fair share". No, raising taxes on the wealthy, at this point, would bring us to a place with tax rates that are better described as "confiscatory" than "fair".

Confiscatory tax rates on any class or group is totally contrary to the moral core of the USA. Raising taxes further on the wealthy would be a moral and practical mistake.

1. http://taxfoundation.org...
2. http://www.economics21.org...
3. http://business.pages.tcnj.edu...
4. http://www.economics21.org...
5. http://www.nber.org...
6. http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu...
7. http://www.cbo.gov...
8. http://www.itep.org...
Hematite12

Pro

First: Capital gains and sales/excise taxes should be increased, because
otherwise the current taxation system is regressive.


Many arguments against raising taxes on the wealthy are
based in a fundamental misconception about the current state of taxation. The
current taxation system, although it is intended to be progressive, is actually
regressive, because of how low capital gains and sales/excise taxes are.


Your eighth source shows this perfectly, actually. It points
out that TEN of the states require those in the bottom 20% to pay 6 times more
than the wealthy. With all due respect, I think this shows you aren’t actually
picking sources carefully/reading them through…


While our income tax may be progressive, it hardly matters,
because, when you factor in the other taxes, poor people get screwed in
comparison to the wealthy. So complaints about progressive taxation are moot
given the current taxation system, which is almost always regressive.


Second: Taxes should be raised on the super-wealthy to
combat the market distortions caused by rent-seeking and other such practices.


Rent-seeking is a general term for practices on the part of
the wealthy that channel money from the poor to the rich. This siphoning occurs
most often when regressive taxation runs rampant, as it does now. With such a comparatively
large portion of money coming from the poor, this money gets reinvested into
the economy. How does it get reinvested? It is rarely redistributed back to the
poor. Far more often, massive sums of money are used to bail out wealthy
people.


During the 2008 economic downturn, predatory bankers, or
generally those in the financial sector, were bailed out massively by the
government. For example, Citigroup was given 476.2 billion dollars [1]. In
stark contrast, the government only spends 550-600 billion dollars a year on
average [2], far far less than the money spent on all of the bank bailouts when
you add them together. When so much of the government’s money comes from the
poor, since our current system is regressive, and this money gets redistributed
back to the wealthy bankers, money is siphoned to the top and the market is distorted.


The economy does well when people spend and reinvest in the
economy. With the combination of the aforementioned regressive taxation and its
not being redistributed back to the poor, the poor are unjustly dealt with and
our economy suffers. Bailing out bankers to combat economic crises may be
necessary, but it has to be countered by far greater taxes on the wealthy in
times of economic stability.


Third: Taxes should be raised on the super-wealthy to combat
unreasonable inequality that damages our economy and fix the deficit.


Sub Point 1: Inequality of income hurts spending and leads
to depressions and recessions. Conversely, periods of relative equality have
experienced rapid growth.

Economic growth is only 2.8% in the last 30 years as opposed to 3.6% growth in the preceding 30 years. This corresponds with the post-1980 skyrocketing inequality, AKA the "Great Divergence" [3].

Sub Point 2: Greater taxation on the super-wealthy will cut
the deficit.

CEOs can earn up to 252 times what their employees do. Honestly, I don't think I need to argue this point very much, it is very clear that the amount of revenue that would be earned from higher taxation on the super-wealthy is extremely massive.

Fourth: America is NOT a "land of opportunity" when money is siphoned from the poor to the rich by regressive taxation, and the poor do not HAVE opportunities.

If America were a land of opportunity for those in all walks of life, either poor or rich, chances of, say, winding up in the top 10 percent would be the same for a child who comes from a more poor and less educated family as one who comes from a richer and more educated family. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Economic mobility is very tied to socioeconomic background, in the U.S. moreso than any other advanced industrial country [4]. Especially since the 1980s, which again corresponds with the Reaganite lowering of taxes and skyrocketing of inequality, economic mobility has greatly decreased.

This is directly indicative of the fact that, contrary to what we would like to believe as Americans, our system in fact is not one of equal opportunity. America should become a land of opportunity- not by reducing social welfare and progressive taxation, but by increasing these things, in order to create an even socioeconomic playing field and thus ensure as equal as possible chances for poor and for rich children.

Sources:

[1] http://www.foxbusiness.com...

[2] http://www.usgovernmentspending.com...

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[4] http://www.bostonfed.org...
Debate Round No. 2
BobTurner

Con

First, Pro has violated the rules by issuing a rebuttal and addressing my sources in his opening argument. Voters, please take this into account.

Now onto my rebuttal:


Many arguments against raising taxes on the wealthy are
based in a fundamental misconception about the current state of taxation. The
current taxation system, although it is intended to be progressive, is actually
regressive, because of how low capital gains and sales/excise taxes are.

Where are your sources for this? You have not provided a link or the specific taxes you're referring to. The 33.6% rate that I cited from the CBO gave a figure of the total tax bill for the top 1 percent of Americans, and it factored in capital gains and such. It did the same for low-income Americans, and nevertheless the system is still highly progressive. That is, as you earn more in income, you pay a higher tax rate. Obviously I will like to see tax cuts, but the current system is very much progressive.


Your eighth source shows this perfectly, actually. It points
out that TEN of the states require those in the bottom 20% to pay 6 times more
than the wealthy. With all due respect, I think this shows you aren’t actually
picking sources carefully/reading them through…

This claim is absolutely ludicrous. This shows that you're not looking through the source correctly. I ask that you quote and cite the piece you're referring to directly.


Rent-seeking is a general term for practices on the part of
the wealthy that channel money from the poor to the rich. This siphoning occurs
most often when regressive taxation runs rampant, as it does now.

Where is your evidence for this second remark? Correlation does not equal causatio, but you haven't even provided that. Cite this. Otherwise, it's baseless.


With such a comparatively
large portion of money coming from the poor, this money gets reinvested into
the economy. How does it get reinvested? It is rarely redistributed back to the
poor. Far more often, massive sums of money are used to bail out wealthy
people.

First of all, the rich pay a lot more in taxes than the poor. I've already pointed this out. Second, we are not discussing bailouts, so you've got off topic on this one. I don't support bailouts.



During the 2008 economic downturn, predatory bankers, or
generally those in the financial sector, were bailed out massively by the
government. For example, Citigroup was given 476.2 billion dollars [1]. In
stark contrast, the government only spends 550-600 billion dollars a year on
average [2], far far less than the money spent on all of the bank bailouts when
you add them together. When so much of the government’s money comes from the
poor, since our current system is regressive, and this money gets redistributed
back to the wealthy bankers, money is siphoned to the top and the market is distorted

Same as above. This has absolutely nothing to do with taxation.


The economy does well when people spend and reinvest in the
economy.

Absolutely, which is why even John Maynard Keynes would advocate counter-cyclical tax cuts. Raising taxes amid a recession, as even Barack Obama acknowledges, is antithetical to growth. It destroys jobs and removes incentives for investment.

With the combination of the aforementioned regressive taxation and its
not being redistributed back to the poor, the poor are unjustly dealt with and
our economy suffers. Bailing out bankers to combat economic crises may be
necessary, but it has to be countered by far greater taxes on the wealthy in
times of economic stability.

You keep mentioning regressive taxation but you've been proven wrong. Also you keep mentioning bailouts. Please at least try to stay on topic.

Sub Point 1: Inequality of income hurts spending and leads
to depressions and recessions. Conversely, periods of relative equality have
experienced rapid growth.

Correlation does not mean causation. Prove that inequality hurts spending and leads to depressions. Even Paul Krugman disiagrees with you.

Economic growth is only 2.8% in the last 30 years as opposed to 3.6% growth in the preceding 30 years. This corresponds with the post-1980 skyrocketing inequality, AKA the "Great Divergence" [3].

Your source for this in Wikipedia. Also, you're forgetting that in the 1950s, the US wasn't competing globally. Now it has the highest corporate tax rate in the world.

Greater taxation on the super-wealthy will cut
the deficit.

No evidence. In fact it would destroy jobs and increase the deficit.

CEOs can earn up to 252 times what their employees do. Honestly, I don't think I need to argue this point very much, it is very clear that the amount of revenue that would be earned from higher taxation on the super-wealthy is extremely massive.

No, they would put their money overseas and pay themselves in stocks because their income is more elastic, so you would actually get less revenue.

If America were a land of opportunity for those in all walks of life, either poor or rich, chances of, say, winding up in the top 10 percent would be the same for a child who comes from a more poor and less educated family as one who comes from a richer and more educated family. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Economic mobility is very tied to socioeconomic background, in the U.S. moreso than any other advanced industrial country [4]. Especially since the 1980s, which again corresponds with the Reaganite lowering of taxes and skyrocketing of inequality, economic mobility has greatly decreased.

This is nothing but a baseless sob story. You have not linked this argument to tax rates at all.

This is directly indicative of the fact that, contrary to what we would like to believe as Americans, our system in fact is not one of equal opportunity. America should become a land of opportunity- not by reducing social welfare and progressive taxation, but by increasing these things, in order to create an even socioeconomic playing field and thus ensure as equal as possible chances for poor and for rich children.

No, all you would do is destroy jobs by raising taxes.
Hematite12

Pro

Rebuttal:

Higher tax rates... contributed to Europe being less productive [2].

Your first paragraph is a bare assertion.

Your other two points are not relevant to the issue. Higher tax rates in general decrease growth, it is true. But this debate isn't about raising taxes in general. I, in fact, would lower the taxes for lower brackets. You need to provide evidence that higher taxation on the wealthy actually decreases growth itself.

Second, we have the evidence that more progressive tax rates harm economic growth. An example of some of this evidence is in the sources [3].

True, usually it does harm economic growth somewhat. But two things. First, it matters how the country is spending the extra money gained from taxing the wealthy more. If that goes into military or ineffective welfare programs, there is not reverse compensation for the slight negative effect progressive taxation. Also, your source says the following in its conclusion:"The implications for fiscal policy seem obvious but are not. The effect of income
inequality on economic growth must also be studied in order to make a conclusive argument for

or

against progressive taxation. If the effect of income inequality on economic growth is greater

than that of progressive taxation and progressive taxation does indeed reduce income inequality

significantly, progressive taxation may be a sound fiscal policy"


There is more at stake than the simple negative effect progressive taxation has, and your source even recognizes this, and yet you ignore this as well. You never address the problem of inequality. I spoke about many positives brought about by progressive taxation, if the government spends/redistributes the money well.

Finally, we have the evidence on how the behavior of rich people changes when taxes are changed. The evidence suggests that the behavioral responses are significant [4].

This also is true, that the wealthy react negatively to higher taxes. But if we are to examine psychological factors, far more pressing is workers' alienation. Efficiency wage theory is one of the central tenets of modern economics, simply stating that if workers feel they are being treated unfairly, they lack motivation to do their job well and productivity drops [1]. The massive income of their superiors and the small degree to which it is ultimately taxed has a psychological effect on workers. The wealthy's negative response to more progressive taxation would certainly not outweigh the psychological effect that workers feeling like they are treated unfairly does. Greater taxation on the wealthy would alleviate much of this.

Entrepreneurship is one of the central drivers of economic growth [5].... Not surprisingly, there is strong evidence that progressive taxation has a negative effect on entrepreneurship [6].

Firstly, your sources are ludicrous. The first is a few paragraphs by an organization that plans to raise entrepreneurship, and I don't even understand what the other has to do with the issue. Perhaps you mis-linked? Regardless, I would ask voters to take into account this irrelevant sourcing. Since you provide no relevant sourcing, I don't feel I need to here either. You think the truly great American innovators have been motivated by monetary incentives? The only people who are motivated by monetary incentives are those in the financial sector, who DON'T benefit our society, but engage in predatory lending in other practices, such as those that led to the 2008 economic crisis.

High tax rates discourage productive behavior such as investing, working, and taking risks and encourages unproductive behavior such as tax avoidance.

No evidence for the first few claims, as I stated. Just because money gets taken away doesn't mean that people suddenly don't want to try to be wealthy. Wealthy people will still have more wealth than they can possibly handle, slight raises in the top brackets of income won't change their motivation to earn money.

As far as tax avoidance, this can be solved by simplifying the tax codes. Progressive taxation and high taxes have little to do with this. If we simplify the ridiculously complex tax codes that we have now and eliminate loopholes, tax avoidance won't be an issue. A big reason why loopholes even exist is the work of the wealthy to ensure that they keep all of their wealth. And the logic you are using could be applied to law. Should we not have strict laws for fear of people breaking them?

The CBO estimates that, in 2013, the top 1% paid... with some higher and some lower.

With all due respect, I am not sure if you are serious any more with your sources. You made claims about taxes in 2013 with data that only goes to 2005, and your eight source points out that in 10 states the bottom 20% pay 6 times as much as the wealthy. There isn't anything else to say, either you are trolling or you are messing something up with your links. The super-wealthy pay far less than the poor.

The practical problems with raising taxes on the rich have already been discussed, at length here. I also believe there is a moral element to this debate. Do we really want to live in a society where nearly half (or over half) of somebody's income is confiscated by the government?

And I addressed in my opening argument how America is not this land of opportunity and enterprise. Until there is reasonable socioeconomic mobility for people with poor backgrounds, don't act like the wealthy are the victims of unjustness.

Frankly, I find such "moral" appeals insulting, when so many impoverished families work 70 hours a week and live paycheck to paycheck, working far more and therefore deserving far more than people who were spoonfed opportunities from birth having come from wealthy families. THOSE are the people who are at the crux of the issue of economic morality, not people who have more wealth than they know what to do with.

Counter-Rebuttal:

Your Rebuttal was mostly a series of attacks that strawman my argument and don't put my statements in context. Also, attacks on my sources when yours were utterly nonsensical and totally unrelated.

First, Pro has violated the rules by issuing a rebuttal and addressing my sources in his opening argument. Voters, please take this into account.

I didn't address your source, I pointed it out because it was a relevant source for my argument. Calm down.

Where are your sources... very much progressive.

You cited no such rate, your link had nothing to do with your claim.

This claim is absolutely ludicrous. This shows that you're not looking through the source correctly. I ask that you quote and cite the piece you're referring to directly.

This is actually getting funny. Page 8 of 135 in your eighth source says the following:


"Ten states —

Washington, Florida, South Dakota, Illinois, Texas, Tennessee, Arizona, Pennsylvania,

Indiana, and Alabama

— are particularly regressive. These “Terrible Ten” states ask their poorest residents

— those in the bottom 20 percent of the income scale — to pay up to six times as much of their income in

taxes as they ask the wealthy to pay."

Where is your evidence for this second remark? Correlation does not equal causatio, but you haven't even provided that. Cite this. Otherwise, it's baseless.

I explain the validity of the claim right after it, if you would care to read supporting remarks before you attack my claims.

First of all, the rich pay a lot more in taxes than the poor. I've already pointed this out. Second, we are not discussing bailouts, so you've got off topic on this one. I don't support bailouts.

Same as above. This has absolutely nothing to do with taxation.

And I've pointed out your false sourcing.

Fair enough on the bailouts. You're wrong that it was off-topic, but we can let it go if you don't agree with bailouts. I suppose you don't agree with the Keynesian approach? I could get into that, but that would be a whole other debate. I have enough other arguments so that I don't think this specific point matters too much.

Absolutely, which is why even John Maynard Keynes would advocate counter-cyclical tax cuts. Raising taxes amid a recession, as even Barack Obama acknowledges, is antithetical to growth. It destroys jobs and removes incentives for investment.

Keynes also supports economic stimuli, and so do the majority of modern economists, both Left and Right. How do we afford stimuli? Further taxation on the wealthy. As mentioned earlier, progressive taxation only hurts if the money obtained is not reasonably redistributed back into the economy.

You keep mentioning regressive taxation but you've been proven wrong. Also you keep mentioning bailouts. Please at least try to stay on topic.

And your sources have been proven ridiculous, while I did provide a source for regressive taxation, yours in fact.

Correlation does not mean causation. Prove that inequality hurts spending and leads to depressions. Even Paul Krugman disiagrees with you.

If we are appealing to authority, then look up Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel prize winning economist who wrote the brilliant Price of Inequality, and its plethora of negative effects.

Your source for this in Wikipedia. Also, you're forgetting that in the 1950s, the US wasn't competing globally. Now it has the highest corporate tax rate in the world.

At least my source is relevant. Quoting random PDF files is meaningless if they have nothing to do with the topic, as you are fond of doing.

No evidence. In fact it would destroy jobs and increase the deficit.

No evidence. In fact it wouldn't. Trickle down economics has been disproved so much I shouldn't even have to argue it.

No, all you would do is destroy jobs by raising taxes.

No, I wouldn't.

Source:

[1] http://www.washingtonpost.com...
Debate Round No. 3
BobTurner

Con

No evidence. In fact it wouldn't. Trickle down economics has been disproved so much I shouldn't even have to argue it.

This is ridiculous. It's a concession. That's what this debate is on! You have to disprove trickle-down economics.

At least my source is relevant. Quoting random PDF files is meaningless if they have nothing to do with the topic, as you are fond of doing.

Not true.

If we are appealing to authority, then look up Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel prize winning economist who wrote the brilliant Price of Inequality, and its plethora of negative effects.

Paul Krugman disagrees with you and Stiglitz (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com...).


And your sources have been proven ridiculous, while I did provide a source for regressive taxation, yours in fact.

You pointed out that one of my sources speaks about regressive taxes in some states. So? That's not our debate. I want to cut taxes across the board.

Keynes also supports economic stimuli, and so do the majority of modern economists, both Left and Right.

Prove to me that a majority of economists believe this. 83% believe that deficits harm the economy (http://www.realclearmarkets.com...)


Fair enough on the bailouts. You're wrong that it was off-topic, but we can let it go if you don't agree with bailouts. I suppose you don't agree with the Keynesian approach? I could get into that, but that would be a whole other debate. I have enough other arguments so that I don't think this specific point matters too much.

That is the entire point of the debate. You have to prove Keynesian economics.


Also, here are effective tax rates up until 2014 (http://www.cbo.gov...). It says the rich pay about 33.6% in taxes, or did in 2013. The other link says that state and local taxes add about 6%. What is enough?
Hematite12

Pro

This is ridiculous. It's a concession. That's what this debate is on! You have to disprove trickle-down economics.

Incomes in the bottom and middle have been falling while incomes at the top have been skyrocketing in recent years.

http://cbo.gov...

Not true.

And you still fail to respond to the fact that several of your sources had literally nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Wikipedia is only "unreliable" as a source if you are using it for interpretive statistics. Descriptive statistics is simple fact, it can't be warped no matter how biased you are, so your attack on my using Wikipedia is a sad attempt at salvaging sources points, when you know that several of your sources are horribly irrelevant.

Paul Krugman disagrees with you and Stiglitz (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com......).

Congratulations. Stiglitz agrees with me. This is why appealing to authority is a logical fallacy, because you can almost always appeal to an authority that speaks for either side, so it is meaningless.

Furthermore, this was a small page where Krugman pointed out that he is relatively uncertain of his views, not confident enough to write a thesis. If we are just quoting other people now, I think these people's comments in the comments below that page should suffice:

"I have used a spreadsheet to track the difference in income earned by each group of tax filers according to the difference in AGI share each group received in 1980 compared to 2007.

The bottom 50% of filers lost 5.42% of AGI equal to $6,761 each in 2007.
The 25% of filers just above the bottom 50% lost 6.59% of AGI equal to $16,441 each in 2007.
The next 15% higher income group filers lost 3.91% of AGI equal to $16,259 each in 2007.
The next 5% lost 0.51% of AGI equal to $6,362 each in 2007.

This covers 95% of the tax filers. They averaged $10,787 less income in 2007 than they would have had if they had received the same share of AGI that they did in 1980.

A person with a dollar he is willing to spend is a profit opportunity for some business. How many businesses have the top 2% of income earners for customers. How many businesses have the bottom 98% of income earners for customers.

The profit opportunities have piled up in very few hands and most businesses cannot seek out those possible profits.

I beleive Dr. Stiglitz is right and Paul Krugman is wrong."

and

"I see a problem with Krugman's argument that savings is global. Since the 1980's those outside the US have been doing our saving for us, for their security and marketing reasons. Although savings appears low for US citizens, in the global economy as a whole, there is a savings glut, so no surprise that a global depression results.

A second problem is that rich people in the USA may choose to buy assets such as mansions and yachts, and also corporate stocks, another form of asset therefore not savings, which form a large portion of the wealth of wealthy in the USA. Corporations are themselves international and may have assets and valuable networks in other countries, with their savings, if any, serving more as a defensive buffer.

Inequality is different. If you look at the world as a whole, the average may show decreasing inequality (often not considering local alternatives) and from an invalid averaging effect and tendency to discount or ignore non-monetary losses. Within each nation or region there is a small group 1% to 0.01% that becomes super wealthy from trading derivatives of capital and labor across countries, but meanwhile their locals may become temporarily richer but ultimately poorer in health, freedom, and access to natural resources such as water and clean air under the crushing weight of the invisible foot of capitalism, ever more unmitigated by the race to the bottom created by free capital mobility and lack of world standards."

Furthermore, I don't understand what your obsession is with Krugman, since he is a Neo-Keynesian, when you are not, as you have stated, and he is a liberal... If you are going to quote Krugman to win an argument, I could quote his Keynesianism and just as easily win that argument.

You pointed out that one of my sources speaks about regressive taxes in some states. So? That's not our debate. I want to cut taxes across the board.

Regressive taxes in almost all states, as a matter of fact. But you are clearly evading. Here are examples of what you said earlier:

"Obviously I will like to see tax cuts, but the current system is very much progressive."

And now we agree it's regressive, right? Using your own source.

"This claim is absolutely ludicrous. This shows that you're not looking through the source correctly."

And you've been shown to be wrong, since your source clearly states these things. You are the one who isn't reading sources correctly.

"You keep mentioning regressive taxation but you've been proven wrong."

And now you've been proven wrong in your claims that the current system is progressive. So it is your job now to go back and legitimately answer my arguments that depended on the fact of regressive taxation, since before you dismissed them in this way. You've responded legitimately to almost none of my initial arguments, since your claims of progressive taxation have been shown to be false.

Prove to me that a majority of economists believe this. 83% believe that deficits harm the economy (http://www.realclearmarkets.com......)

What do deficits have to do with this? The percentage you cited was for "LARGE federal deficits" first of all. Keynes advocated for running a consistently small deficit.

That is the entire point of the debate. You have to prove Keynesian economics.

And now, as part of your evasion strategy, you somehow shift the burden of proof to me. As I've stated, I have a plethora of points in my original argument that you dismissed simply based on the fact that they assumed regressive taxation. You have been proven wrong. I am the one who still has legitimate arguments on the table, and you need to argue against them legitimately, having it in mind that I am correct in saying that the majority of tax systems in the U.S now are regressive.

Furthermore, proving Keynesian economics is not the entire point of the debate. Keynesian economics is a side debate to the one in question. Keynesian economics has no stance on inequality or the "1 percent". It is largely just a system of how to maintain a stable capitalist economy when inevitable downturns happen. Keynesian economics is not even remotely central to my arguments, it only had to do with one of them, which I stated we can let go if you disagree with fundamental Keynesianism.

Also, here are effective tax rates up until 2014 (http://www.cbo.gov......). It says the rich pay about 33.6% in taxes, or did in 2013. The other link says that state and local taxes add about 6%. What is enough?

Those tables are "based on income". That is, these tables are primarily income taxation. The income tax is progressive, true. But when you factor in all of the other taxes and the way by which the wealthy get most of their money, which is by capital investments, which only get taxed 15% long term, they end up being taxed very little.

Do you just dismiss the truth now of your own source that you used earlier that very clearly says that 10 states require bottom 20% to pay 6 times as much as the wealthy? And the majority of the other states are also regressive, though less so.
Debate Round No. 4
BobTurner

Con

You should lose conduct at this point for being so rude.

You're also wrong about Wikipedia. Where you go that interpretive vs. descriptive statistics crap I will never know.

The comment section of the Krugman article is irrelevant.

Regressive taxes in almost all states, as a matter of fact. But you are clearly evading. Here are examples of what you said earlier:

All states? Prove this. You have not proved this. You have not proven that when you factor in all taxes the system is regressive. The rich still pay more in income taxes than the poor and middle class pay in all of their taxes combined.


And now we agree it's regressive, right? Using your own source.

No, you're full of it. Prove it.

And you've been shown to be wrong, since your source clearly states these things. You are the one who isn't reading sources correctly.


Ad hominem without evidence.


And now you've been proven wrong in your claims that the current system is progressive. So it is your job now to go back and legitimately answer my arguments that depended on the fact of regressive taxation, since before you dismissed them in this way. You've responded legitimately to almost none of my initial arguments, since your claims of progressive taxation have been shown to be false.

Prove to me that overall the system is regressive -- that regressive taxes in 10 states (not even a majority!!) -- make the system overall progressive. The CBO link, also, did not deal with just income taxes. The percentage from income taxes was lower. The 33.6% came from ALL taxes. Read the source more carefully, please.


What do deficits have to do with this? The percentage you cited was for "LARGE federal deficits" first of all. Keynes advocated for running a consistently small deficit.

Now you're misquoting Keynes. Keynes never differentiated between small and large. He said run a deficit until you reach full employment.


Those tables are "based on income". That is, these tables are primarily income taxation. The income tax is progressive, true. But when you factor in all of the other taxes and the way by which the wealthy get most of their money, which is by capital investments, which only get taxed 15% long term, they end up being taxed very little.


No, capital gains taxes rose to 20% after January 2013 and there is a 3.75% surcharge under ObamaCare, so you're wrong.

Also, reread the chart. The first chart has to do with OVERALL FEDERAL TAXATION. The chwrt below is income taxes.




Conclusion:
Only 10 states have regressive tax systems. And the rich STILL pay more than the poor overall so the system is, in summary, progressive.
Tax cuts kill jobs.
My opponent is wrong on capital gains
WikiPedia is not a source.
He thinks an appeal to authority on Joe Stiglitz -- and even a sily commentator on Krugman's page -- is enough
He ad hominems like a champ
He probably has the IQ of a chimpanzee


Vote Pro!
Hematite12

Pro

Final Rebuttal:

You should lose conduct at this point for being so rude.

...

He ad hominems like a champ

...

He probably has the IQ of a chimpanzee

Seems legit. Your profile says you are 44 years old, but you have the immaturity of a 10 year old. Or you are trolling. Not sure which.

You're also wrong about Wikipedia. Where you go that interpretive vs. descriptive statistics crap I will never know.

It's not that complicated, really. What I quoted from Wikipedia was not an interpretation of data, but just data that has been gathered from other sources. Data is immune to bias. The problem is when you use Wikipedia or something like that to make an interpretive claim based on data, and then it is open to bias.

The comment section of the Krugman article is irrelevant.

So is what Krugman thinks, but you used that to argue your point.

All states? Prove this. You have not proved this. You have not proven that when you factor in all taxes the system is regressive. The rich still pay more in income taxes than the poor and middle class pay in all of their taxes combined.

On page 9 of your original 8th source, it speaks about the LEAST REGRESSIVE states in the country:

"Vermont’s tax system is among the least regressive in the nation because it has a highly progressive
income tax and low sales and excise taxes. Vermont’s tax system is also made less unfair by the size of the
state’s refundable Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) — 32 percent of the federal credit.
Delaware’s income tax is not very progressive, but its high reliance on income taxes and very low use of
consumption taxes nevertheless results in a tax system that is only slightly regressive overall. Similarly,
Oregon has a high reliance on income taxes and very low use of consumption taxes. The state also
offers a refundable EITC and has a fairly progressive personal income tax rate structure.
New York and the District of Columbia each achieve a close-to-flat tax system overall through the use of
generous refundable EITC’s and an income tax with relatively high top rates and limits on tax breaks for
upper-income taxpayers"

So, Vermont and Delaware are the only two truly progressive taxing states, logically, since the next two down are New York and the District of Columbia, both of which are close to flat-tax. So, all states except 2 are either regressive or barely flat-tax. Is this sufficient for you? I really didn't think I needed to spell it out, since it was your own source.

No, you're full of it. Prove it.

Proven using your own source, how you continue to deny this is totally beyond me.

Ad hominem without evidence.

Are you joking? I gave you evidence, I gave a direct quote and page number from your source. And my "ad hominem" statement was literally just repeating what you said to me earlier:

This claim is absolutely ludicrous. This shows that you're not looking through the source correctly. I ask that you quote and cite the piece you're referring to directly.

And I mirrored this intentionally, stating: And you've been shown to be wrong, since your source clearly states these things. You are the one who isn't reading sources correctly.

If I am using "ad hominem", I am not using it any more than you are, clearly.

Prove to me that overall the system is regressive -- that regressive taxes in 10 states (not even a majority!!) -- make the system overall progressive. The CBO link, also, did not deal with just income taxes. The percentage from income taxes was lower. The 33.6% came from ALL taxes. Read the source more carefully, please.

It has been proven, I just proved it.

Now you're misquoting Keynes. Keynes never differentiated between small and large. He said run a deficit until you reach full employment.

Keynesian revolutionaries (especially in the United States) interpreted Keynes’s General Theory as a justification for countercyclical demand management (or stabilization policy). In the Keynesian view, stabilization would be achieved by manipulating the balance between spending and taxation. Thus, faced with the threat of recession, the government would increase public spending and/or decrease taxes. Conversely, faced with the threat of inflationary expansion, the government would decrease public spending and/or increase taxes. By alternating between deficit and surplus, the government would regulate the business cycle. ( http://what-when-how.com... )

I don't think I've ever heard anywhere that Keynes advocated running a deficit until you reach full employment. Stabilization policy, which you've mentioned, is something he advocated, but not running a deficit until you reach full employment. If you could show me where he says that that would be good.

No, capital gains taxes rose to 20% after January 2013 and there is a 3.75% surcharge under ObamaCare, so you're wrong.

Also, reread the chart. The first chart has to do with OVERALL FEDERAL TAXATION. The chwrt below is income taxes.

Ah yes you are correct on the first point, I misspoke.

Your source's notes (under "overall federal taxation") says the following.

"Pretax cash
income is the sum of wages, salaries, self-employment income, rents, taxable and nontaxable interest, dividends, realized capit
al
gains, cash transfer payments, and retirement benefits plus taxes paid by businesses"

It doesn't take into account long-term investments. How do you think people like Mitt Romney pay 14% taxes?

Only 10 states have regressive tax systems. And the rich STILL pay more than the poor overall so the system is, in summary, progressive. False.
Tax cuts kill jobs. You haven't given any evidence for this in the entire debate.
My opponent is wrong on capital gains Good argument.
WikiPedia is not a source.

Oh, let's point out your faulty sourcing, shall we?

In your initial post:

Source 3 said at the end that his conclusions do NOT lead to policy, since inequality is a huge factor for which he did not take account. And yet you used it as a definitive guide to policy.

Source 5 you used to support the importance of entrepreneurship, but it was just an organization planning to promote entrepreneurs, not anything about how entrepreneurs have benefitted our society, and only because they had monetary incentives.

Source 6 wasn't even remotely related to anything, it puzzles me.

Source 8 said VERY clearly that 10 states have EXTREMELY regressive tax systems, and almost all of the rest are regressive or barely flat-tax. Ironically, you denied this for most of the debate and continued to claim that I was the one reading sources wrong.

I could find the same data I got on Wikipedia outside of Wikipedia. You know why? Because Wikipedia cites everything. I could clink on the link and find the thing that gave the data. It is certainly better to use Wikipedia occasionally for everyone's ease than to have half of your sources be totally unrelated and/or support the opponent's argument very clearly.

He thinks an appeal to authority on Joe Stiglitz -- and even a sily commentator on Krugman's page -- is enough

Let's revisit how exactly this panned out, shall we?

You said: "Correlation does not mean causation. Prove that inequality hurts spending and leads to depressions. Even Paul Krugman disiagrees with you."

That is an appeal to authority. That's right, YOU were the first one to appeal to authority. I responded: "If we are appealing to authority, then look up Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel prize winning economist who wrote the brilliant Price of Inequality, and its plethora of negative effects."

I only brought it up because you apparently think that citing some economist that agrees with you means something. Then: "Paul Krugman disagrees with you and Stiglitz (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com......)." Still appealing to authority, and not even good authority. This is a page-long blog post with a bit of data and at the end he says he isn't confident enough about it to write a thesis.

So if a blog post with a couple pieces of data by someone who isn't even confident about the truth of what he is saying is sufficient evidence for you, then why not other people who posted in the comments? The first guy I quoted actually crunched numbers in a spreadsheet to come up with his conclusion, calling it "silly" is a reverse appeal to authority, invalidating his numbers because his last name isn't Krugman.

He ad hominems like a champ Look below...
He probably has the IQ of a chimpanze Oh the irony.

Conclusion:

My opponent showed a complete and utter lack of understanding of his own sources, denying that one of his primary sources said anything about regressive taxation for half of the debate when in fact it did, and did not acknowledge that he was wrong when I gave the specific page number and quote. The majority of his sources were unrelated or did not at all say what he thought they did. My sources were relevant, and I only used Wikipedia for a single data point that is hardly debatable.

He ended his debate with "He probably has the IQ of a chimpanzee", and yet critisizes me for ad hominem. I never once attacked him, and I always acknowledged his arguments seriously, something which he did not do.

He appealed to the authority of Paul Krugman and then critisized me for appealing to authority when I mentioned Stiglitz to show that there are authorities on both sides.

The majority of my initial arguments were never addressed, even once it was made clear that the essential premise of regressive taxation was true by my opponent's own sources. In the last two rounds, my opponent clearly gave up on arguing and engaged in dismissive and evasive behavior. I addressed every single one of my opponent's points, however.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Hematite12 3 years ago
Hematite12
Lol it's fine. I reported him.

I just think it is pretty funny more than anything else. A 44 year old man who plagiarizes for his opening argument. Basic maturity hardly exists on the internet.

It was a good debate nonetheless, although I would like to debate someone in the future on the same or a related topic who knows what they are talking about more and is more mature xD
Posted by progressivedem22 3 years ago
progressivedem22
Geez, man....well, I already gave you conduct lol. I guess I could look a bit deeper into the arguments for S&G?
Posted by Hematite12 3 years ago
Hematite12
I have been informed, my opponent blatantly plagiarized for his opening argument, pure copy and paste.

Compare his opening argument to the opening argument of Con in this debate:

http://www.debate.org...

This explains the relative incoherence of his arguments after his opening when compared to his opening remarks, and his lack of understanding of his own sources.
Posted by Hematite12 3 years ago
Hematite12
Lol Jifpop
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
BobTurnerHematite12Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Blatant plagiarism in the opening round by CON of this debate: http://www.debate.org/debates/Taxes-on-the-top-1-Wealthiest-Americans-ought-to-be-raised./1/
Vote Placed by progressivedem22 3 years ago
progressivedem22
BobTurnerHematite12Tied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a pretty clear win for Pro. I'm not sure if Con was trolling, or simply didn't know how to counter Pro's arguments. Pro was right on the money in pointing out Con's hypocrisy on "appeals to authority," and even turned his own sources against him. I think the points that Pro brought up regarding bailouts, regressive taxes, et al. were especially poignant. Well done.
Vote Placed by Jifpop09 3 years ago
Jifpop09
BobTurnerHematite12Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Asked to vote