The Instigator
Double_R
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
medic0506
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

The Bush Tax cuts for the top 2% should be allowed to expire.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
medic0506
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/29/2011 Category: Economics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,820 times Debate No: 16770
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)

 

Double_R

Pro

This is the debate we know we will be having in 2012. As Pro I will argue that we should allow the Bush tax cuts to expire for the top 2% income earners (those making $250,000 yr or more) back to the rates they were under Clinton. My opponent will argue that we should make the current tax rates permanent or even a more drastic solution in that direction if he/she sees fit.

My basic argument is as follows:

1. As our national debt continues to soar we will inevitably have to make sacrifices. Spending will have to be cut in some areas which will only hurt the lower classes. We need to share this burden as a nation.

2. The Republican and conservative talking point of "taxing the job creators" is a mischaracterization of reality. Individuals do not create jobs, businesses create jobs. A business will hire employees if it is believed that doing so will help the businesses bottom line (profit). The taxes in question are applied the individual after that profit is made and thus has no relation to the number of employees the business employs.

3. As our capitalistic society continues to mature the rich continue to get richer while the poor continue to get poorer. This is harmful to us as a nation and needs to be balanced for the good of the country.

4. I understand the argument that this would hurt a fragile economy but that is irrelevant considering that the question we face is not a matter of if we will have to take a hit but how.
medic0506

Con

Thanks to pro for initiating this discussion. I accept the challenge to debate this topic. I agree with pro that, unfortunately, we will be dealing with this issue once again. I am in favor of making the cuts permanent, rather than having another temporary extension, or letting them expire.

There is nothing in history to lead us to the conclusion that giving government more money to spend, makes us a better country, financially. For the most part, tax revenues, over the past 50 years, have remained relatively stable, yet debt has increased exponentially (1)(2). This can only mean that our government is not using fiscally sound principles, when it comes to managing those revenues. If the income that you bring in remains at a particular level, and you know, pretty much, how much you have to work with, yet you go out and spend more than you know you have coming in, that creates debt. We all know this. Furthermore, if you're already spending everything that you're bringing in, you have nothing left to work with, to pay down that debt. Our leaders know this, and have for some time. They know they're limited in their revenue, yet they continue to spend far above that revenue, knowing that we have no means to repay our debt. This is the very definition of fiscal irresponsibility. If they were to show some signs of fiscal responsibility, with something such as a balanced budget amendment, line item veto, or something of that nature, then a good argument could be made for higher tax rates. As it stands now, though, there are no signs of such responsibility, therefore, it's my contention that, when we know our leaders are going to act irresponsibly, with the money we give them, giving them even more of OUR money will not help the situation.

Counter

1. As our national debt continues to soar we will inevitably have to make sacrifices. Spending will have to be cut in some areas which will only hurt the lower classes. We need to share this burden as a nation.

I agree that sacrifices have to be made, but they have to be made starting at the top, by those doing the spending. If the culture of overspending in Washington is not changed, all OUR sacrifices are for naught, and they'll just keep coming at us for more. Spending will have to be cut in MANY areas, but why does it necessarily have to be in an area that will hurt the lower classes. I agree that something will probably have to be done with entitlement programs, but more responsibility in other areas, can make the impact on entitlements more palatable.
Some creativity with budget spending can go a long way. I'm not arguing for this, it's just a couple hypothetical examples. If we were to defund NASA for one year, we would have almost 20 billion to use for more high priority areas (3). Defunding public broadcasting (4), and planned parenthood (5), for one year, would net approximately a billion dollars that could be used elsewhere.
Those amounts don't sound like alot, by themselves, but added to many other cuts that can be made, those amounts can add up to a lot.

2. The Republican and conservative talking point of "taxing the job creators" is a mischaracterization of reality. Individuals do not create jobs, businesses create jobs. A business will hire employees if it is believed that doing so will help the businesses bottom line (profit). The taxes in question are applied the individual after that profit is made and thus has no relation to the number of employees the business employs.

This isn't a mischaracterization. It is true that businesses create jobs, but someone has to own those businesses, or has to start them, in order to create jobs. Yes, the business owner is taxed as an individual, by the taxes in question, but a person's investment in their business isn't a one time thing, it's continual. The more money we take out of their personal profit, the less they have to re-invest in that business, or start new ones.
We should leave the politics of Democrat vs. Republican out of this discussion. It's no longer a political issue, and BOTH parties are at fault, for the situation we're in. We need to roll up our sleeves, STOP looking for a way to blame the other party, and START looking for bipartisan solutions.
Hey, with sentences like that last one, I wonder if I might have a future as a speech writer for the Palin campaign...lol

3. As our capitalistic society continues to mature the rich continue to get richer while the poor continue to get poorer. This is harmful to us as a nation and needs to be balanced for the good of the country.

There are reasons that the rich get rich, and we're not going to end poverty by taking more money from people who are successful. That's like stealing from your workplace, and justifying it by saying that they can afford to replace it, more than you can afford to buy it. It's their money, and they have a right to keep what they've earned.

According to the Tax Foundation, in 2010, the top 5% of earners paid 58.7 % of all federal individual taxes (6). Meanwhile, though 2007 was the last year for which I could find complete data. 46.6 million tax returns were filed, that ended up with 0 taxes paid. That means that about a third of all returns filed, got back every penny that they paid, during the year. "In about half those cases, substantial additional money was "refunded" to the tax filer, although that portion is classified as a government expenditure since it is actually welfare spending, not a tax refund" (7).
So you see, we're actually taxing successful people higher, so that we can pay people for not paying any taxes at all. That's income redistribution, no matter how one tries to spin it.

If we let the Bush cuts expire, nothing will change regarding poverty. The only thing it will do is give the government more money, and take more money away from those who have earned it. What happens afterwards, when that doesn't fix the problem?? Only two things can happen, they'll come back to that same group for even more, or they'll start raising taxes on the next income group below them. Where does it end?

4. I understand the argument that this would hurt a fragile economy but that is irrelevant considering that the question we face is not a matter of if we will have to take a hit but how.

Yes we're all going to have to take a hit, but as I explained earlier, it HAS to start with a change at the top, in how the government handles revenue. If there are some fundamental changes made, I wouldn't even argue against an, across the board, tax increase. As it stands, though, it's just a waste of money if we increase taxes, and since we know it's a waste, it's doubly wrong to volunteer someone else's money to be wasted.

I look forward to round 2.

(1) http://www.cbo.gov...
(2) http://www.cbo.gov...
(3) http://www.whitehouse.gov...
(4) http://www.npr.org...
(5) http://www.plannedparenthood.org...
(6) http://www.taxfoundation.org...
(7) http://www.taxfoundation.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Double_R

Pro

I’d like to thank Con for accepting this debate and for providing a well though out and well laid out response. I’d like to start by clarifying my position in response to Con’s opening statement. I do not advocate for raising taxes for the purpose of giving government more money to spend. As we all know the US faces a massive annual deficit of 1.5 trillion and a national debt of over 14 trillion. To get this debt under control we will have to take drastic measures all around, which in my opinion will certainly need to include tax increases.

Con’s opening statement can be pretty accurately summed up with his last sentence:

“…when we know our leaders are going to act irresponsibly, with the money we give them, giving them even more of OUR money will not help the situation.”

I agree that our government needs to show more responsibility with our money. However, the issues we face are not going to simply wait till we decide to have faith in our leaders. I also refute the general premise that “we know” our leaders will not act responsibly. This country has never before taken such a deep interest in this subject. And as proven in 2010, the voters will hold our leaders accountable. So in short we can not simply wait for our leaders to develop a track record we are satisfied with, before deciding to take additional steps to solve this massive problem.

Rebutals to Cons Counter arguments

1. I disagree with Con’s premise that cuts in spending will not necessarily hurt the lower classes. First of all I would point out that in the hypothetical examples used, defunding any of those programs would have no effect to anyone in that top tax bracket but would cause many middle class Americans to loose their jobs. But more importantly I disagree with the idea that we can make significant changes, without a significant and harmful effect on lower and middle class Americans. The following is a breakdown of Obama’s 2012 budget proposal (1):

Medicare……………………………...............22.62%
Medicaid and Children’s Insurance….......7.28%
Social Security……………………….............20.04%
Income Security…………………….............14.48%
Interest…………………………….…..............6.31%
National Defense……………………............19.27%
Other…………………………………..............10.00%

As you can see the top 64.78% of the proposed budget directly affects those who may otherwise struggle with basic life essentials. And 90% of the budget in total, are areas many consider “off the table” when it comes to controlling spending. It is easy to talk about government spending being wasteful in the abstract, but applying that mentality to actual programs is not quite so easy. Reducing our deficit will not be as easy as cherry picking minor programs to defund or eliminating waste fraud and abuse. Many will have to sacrifice. And as you can see by these numbers, cutting alone will not be asking everyone to share in that sacrifice. I stand by my original point.

2. My quote may not have been a mischaracterization in a technical sense, but is a mischaracterization in what it implies to those whom the quote is targeted to appeal to. The purpose of the “taxing the job creators” talking point is to make Americans feel as if the people who supply our employment will not be able to and thus we will loose significant amount of jobs. I first of all find this talking point offensive because it implies that these individuals in the top income bracket are the only Americans capable of creating jobs. There are many hard working and capable Americans who strive to own their own business but struggle because it is nearly impossible to do so with out start up capital. But the opportunity to earn that start up capital is slowly diminishing in a maturing capitalistic society. I will go more into that in point 3.

Yes I understand that business owners investments are continual and yes taking money out of their hands will affect their ability to start new ones. I do understand that these tax increases would in fact hurt our overall economic situation, but anytime you take money out of the economy that will be the end result weather by increasing taxes or cutting spending. That is the dilemma we face as a nation. It is not a question of if our economic situation will suffer but how.

3. As Con pointed out the top 5% income earners in 2010 paid 58.7% of all federal taxes. By contrast the top 5% Americans in terms of financial wealth own 71% of the financial wealth in this country (2) so this is not unfair to say the least.

My comments about balance refer to the disparity in this country and what causes it. As I pointed out the top 5% own 71% if the financial wealth, also the bottom 80% of Americans own just 7% of the financial wealth in this country (2). I do not think anyone can dispute that these numbers are staggering. The issue with this disparity is that contrary to a belief shared by many, it is by no means proportional to how hard an individual works. How can one justify a CEO earning nearly $20 million while those at the bottom of their company earn $10 hr? Can a person truly be worth that much? Can a person truly work that much harder then their employees? I believe the obvious answer is no. I believe that although these individuals owe much of their success to hard work and sacrifice, they are also beneficiaries of the opportunities this country has provided them and owe much of their lifestyle to this country. Take a baseball player as an example. Many baseball players earn close to $20 million per year. Yet they did nothing to build the great empire that is the major leagues, and they individually are not the reason fans watch the game or buy team memorabilia. Yet they sure do benefit from it. The vast majority of successful Americans owe many aspects of their success to systems that were in place before them. Asking them to pay a higher rate in taxes is by no means unreasonable.

I do not feel that it is the government’s responsibility to regulate success but it is the government’s responsibility to do what is best for the greater good. As capitalism matures it becomes harder and harder for individuals not born into a wealthy family or not smart enough to attend Harvard, to accomplish anything meaningful with their lives. This is what is contributing to the disappearance of the middle class, and without a strong middle class our country will no longer be able to compete with the rest of the world. Our government needs to protect the middle class. Spending cuts that directly effect the middle class, while inevitable, is not the best way to do so and should be limited as much as possible meaning that we have to look for other ways to help our deficit hence, raising taxes on the top 2%.

4. I addressed most of this already so to save space I will move on.

Summary

In summary I feel that Con’s arguments support ideals that we can all believe in but do not provide solutions for the problem that this particular question poses. In round 1, I proposed a specific action (allow the Bush Tax Cuts to expire), and in response Con proposed a very general action (make changes to the way government handles revenue). This general action sounds wonderful but as I pointed out is much more difficult to propose once those changes are specified.

It is easy to say that an idea is bad. In order to truly answer the question of weather we should allow the Bush Tax cuts to expire on the top 2% we would need an alternative solution to compare it to. Allowing our debt to explode is clearly not a better one. Improving government efficiency is one thing but is not a comparison, it is something we will need to do anyway. In fact it is difficult to bring any alternative idea that would truly be “alternative” since the scope of our issues are so massive. Therefore it is my contention that allowing these tax cuts to expire will be just one necessary step in our efforts to get our deficit under control.

(1) http://www.whitehouse.gov...
(2) http://sociology.ucsc.edu...
medic0506

Con

I'd like to thank pro for his timely response.

" I do not advocate for raising taxes for the purpose of giving government more money to spend. As we all know the US faces a massive annual deficit of 1.5 trillion and a national debt of over 14 trillion."

I understand pro's point here, the problem is this. We don't know what the extra money, raised by the tax increase, will be used for. To my knowledge, there is no agreement that the extra money will be applied to the debt. We would like to think that it would go toward the debt, but we just don't know for sure because no one has said where it will be used.

If we raise the tax rate, on the top 2%, that will bring in about 70 billion a year. That's nothing to sneeze at, but by the same token, it won't make a dent in the overall debt, and we'll still be running that 1.5 trillion dollar per year budget deficit. The other problem is that the group effected by the cuts, is the group that creates jobs. Taking that money from them will just take it out of the economy. It won't be there for them to invest, and when investment in companies goes down, unemployment goes up, or at best, job creation slows. So, in the end, it's best to let them keep their money, and put it back in to the economy. That's where it is doing the most good.

"However, the issues we face are not going to simply wait till we decide to have faith in our leaders. I also refute the general premise that “we know” our leaders will not act responsibly."

I understand what you're saying here, but we're not going to change the culture in Washington, by increasing taxes. That 70 billion isn't going to change anything. Throwing more money at a problem, isn't always the answer, if it were we'd have the best education system in the world. If anything that just enables the problem. They're like addicts, and the more we give them the more they'll use. With all the problems that we've had, they still can't get together and come up with ways to reduce the annual budget deficit. Until we get that annual budget tamed, nothing is going to get significantly better.

The federal government is just giving money away. In the 2011 budget, there is almost 700 billion dollars being given out in grant money, just given away never to be repayed, and many of those grants are regular, given out yearly. That amount doesn't even include the statutory block grants given to states. The amount of grant money given out should be decreasing, because of our problems, but it's not, it's up from 2010. This is an example of what I mean about wanting to see some signs of sanity, with the budget, and that's enough to show me that our leaders are not going to act responsibly. After the 2010 election, you would think they would be inspired to do something significant, but apparently they didn't get the message. They're still bickering. The only thing significant being discussed right now is raising the debt ceiling even higher. That doesn't sound responsible to me.

Pro's Rebuttals

1. I'm not trying to argue that the lower classes won't be affected. As I said earlier, responsibility in other areas will make the effect on the lower classes "more palatable". I wasn't arguing for those particular cuts, just trying to give an example of how creativity can raise significant money. With such a high percentage of our money going to programs that effect the lower and middle classes, it's not surprising that those are the classes that are going to be impacted.

As it relates to raising taxes on the top 2%, though, that amount is not going help them significantly, and could end up hurting them, in the long run. If those tax increases, on the wealthy, slow job growth, or raise unemployment, the lower classes are going to be impacted far more significantly. Another issue to look at is charitable contributions that help the lower class. The more we take away from the rich, the less they're going to give voluntarily. The risks far outweigh the benefit, because of that, I think raising taxes on that group, right now, is a bad idea.

2. Do we have reason to believe that "taxing the job creators", has a POSITIVE impact on employment rates?? Many would find that surprising. I'm sorry that my opponent finds that offensive, but the simple fact is that rich people create jobs. The top 2%, those affected by the increase in question, are those making 250,000 or more. I won't argue with SOME, but below that figure, there isn't a whole lot of job creation going on. I agree that there are many people who can't start a business because of capital, but taking the 70 billion, that we're talking about, out of the economy isn't going to help that situation, at all.

"Yes I understand that business owners investments are continual and yes taking money out of their hands will affect their ability to start new ones. I do understand that these tax increases would in fact hurt our overall economic situation, but anytime you take money out of the economy that will be the end result weather by increasing taxes or cutting spending."

Here pro agrees that increasing taxes on the rich will have a negative effect on jobs, and will hurt our overall economy. If that's the case, then why would we want to go ahead and raise those taxes??

3
. It makes sense that those paying the most taxes, have the most wealth, I don't believe that fact to be unfair.

"The issue with this disparity is that contrary to a belief shared by many, it is by no means proportional to how hard an individual works. How can one justify a CEO earning nearly $20 million while those at the bottom of their company earn $10 hr? Can a person truly be worth that much?"

We're way off topic here, but as long as I have space, I don't mind. I agree with the sentiment here, it doesn't seem fair, but bottom line is that in capitalism, it's not about how hard the people work, it's about what the market says they're worth. Most any of us can step in and do the $10/hr jobs, as they don't usually require special skills. But how many of us qualify for, and can step in and successfully be a CEO?? Is he/she really worth that much?? It depends on supply and demand. If there is demand in a highly specialized position, those that qualify are going to be paid more, it's that simple. Those people have worked to gain the qualifications necessary for that position, so shouldn't they be rewarded for it?? I don't believe that we should say that a person can only make so much money, and the rest has to go to the government for redistribution to the rest of the population.

The same principle applies to athletes. Very few people can hit or throw a 95 mph pitch, if there's a demand for fans to see ball games, those guys are going to make big bucks. I disagree that they do nothing to make the major leagues what it is. They are the history makers, they are the ones who bring fans to the stadiums, it's their names that are on the jerseys. Yes, many came before them, that built the history, but they are the one's continuing it for future generations. You also have to look at the fact that their ability to play, and continue to earn, could end at any minute, with an injury.

"...but it is the government’s responsibility to do what is best for the greater good."

My opponent and I both agree that this tax increase will have a negative effect on jobs, and hurt the overall economy, so is that what's best for the greater good?? I don't believe it is, in fact, if what we agree on is true, then the tax increase will be detrimental to the greater good.
Pro talks about protecting the middle class but I would argue that protecting jobs is the best thing for the middle class. Raising taxes only puts jobs at risk, and the benefit is not great enough to justify that risk.

Pro is asking for an alternative solution, but with all due respect, that's not the debate. My only responsibility here, is to show why we should extend all the Bush tax cuts. I would ask that voters vote within the scope of the debate.

I look forward to the next round.


Debate Round No. 2
Double_R

Pro

As we enter into this final round, the fundamental disagreements in our views are starting to be made clear. For this final round I will focus on these disagreements as opposed to individual rebuttals.


Scope of this debate

“Pro is asking for an alternative solution, but with all due respect, that's not the debate. My only responsibility here, is to show why we should extend all the Bush tax cuts."

I believe my opening statement in this debate was clear and that it should not require further explanation. However... as Newton’s law of motion states: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Therefore when deciding on an action, the reaction must also be considered.

Deciding weather we should raise taxes on the top 2% is not a question of weather it will have a positive impact on our economy, or weather it is morally or principally right for those Americans to pay more then they are paying now. To make a decision you must consider ALL factors. In this case you must consider the debt that our country faces. You must consider what programs will have to be cut as a result of making these tax cuts permanent. In the last round I showed a breakdown of where the money in our budget is allocated. These are the very programs that will have to be cut as a result of our debt.

Throughout this debate Con has not made any references to this very important point. As we all know, in order to balance our budget we must spend only what we take in. So if we decide to take in $70 billion less (by not renewing these tax cuts) then we have to cut $70 billion more. This is very simple math and does not need further explanation.

So first let’s ask ourselves what are we asking the top 2% to sacrifice? What is being proposed is that they pay an additional 4.6% of their income (just like they were paying under Clinton) in taxes. I do not think this will take food off of their table. Especially when you consider that the top 2% own more financial wealth (money) then the other 98% of the country combined. And this is after paying the higher tax rates many feel are “unfair”.

Now let’s compare an alternative area to cut from to balance this. Medicare anyone? How about Social Security? So let’s see… should we ask Warren Buffet to give up one of his helicopters, or instead ask a couple of hundred senior citizens to reduce their healthcare benefits? OK, I realize that was an exaggeration but… well… not really.

Of course in reality both of these scenarios will likely need to be true if we are going to get serious about balancing the budget, therefore I believe it is clear that the question this debate poses is should Warren Buffet and friends share in that sacrifice?


Reasons to take action

“We don't know what the extra money, raised by the tax increase, will be used for”

This seems to be another constant theme in Con’s arguments. He asserts that government leaders need to earn the right to make these decisions, while seemingly ignoring the fact that they already have. That is why we have elections. I am sorry that Con does not have faith in our political system, but this is a democracy. Our leaders and their views are a reflection of what we the people believe. Right now the strong sentiment in this country is that we need to control our budget.

Not believing in our political system is not reason to disregard our responsibility to govern. And by suggesting an action which is clearly an important step should not be taken because “We don't know what the extra money… will be used for”, Con is doing just that.

Although it is a very important point that part of the problem is the fact that our political system is so divided. One side wants to raise taxes, while the other wants to cut spending. Politics unfortunately is a factor here, which means compromise is necessary. We know spending will have to be cut. There is no way around that. So if the other side does not give up something then how do we realistically compromise? What I find funny is that Con in this debate appears to be taking the no compromise position that put us in this situation in the first place, while simultaneously arguing that the government is irresponsible.

“The only thing significant being discussed right now is raising the debt ceiling even higher. That doesn't sound responsible to me.”

The debt ceiling will have to be raised in order to pay the bills this country has ALREADY incurred. Failure to do so is the opposite of responsible.


Moral argument

“Those people have worked to gain the qualifications necessary for that position, so shouldn't they be rewarded for it??”

As stated, the top 2% own more financial wealth then the other 98% combined. I think they have been rewarded quite nicely. Paying an additional 4.6% of their income is really not asking a lot, especially when considering what the rest of the country will have to sacrifice.

“…they are the ones who bring fans to the stadiums, it's their names that are on the jerseys.”

Yes it is. But if they suddenly could not play anymore, it would be somebody else’s name on that jersey. And the fans would still go to the games. This analogy was originally used because it is a clear demonstration of what is going on in America. It is not the individual that created the revenue stream, but it is the individual that is being rewarded for it. There is nothing wrong with that, but the idea that we should not raise their taxes because they earned it fails to consider many aspects of the reality of capitalism. Once again however, I do not suggest that they should not be entitled to it, but to make a moral debate out of this point when compared to what the rest of us will all have to sacrifice through no fault of our own, I feel is absurd.


Economics

“…it's best to let them keep their money, and put it back in to the economy. That's where it is doing the most good.”

There is no dispute that taking money out of the economy will hurt the economy. And there is no dispute that raising taxes on the top 2% is taking money out of the economy. However cutting spending is also taking money out of the economy. If the debate here is about stimulating the economy or in what would hurt the economy the least, it is important to note that according to the Congressional Budget Office Report, lowering taxes was the least simulative of the 11 options they analyzed(1). Now some will agree, some will disagree but the point is that taking money out of the economy will hurt either way. And when facing a $1.5 trillion deficit, money will have to be taken out of the economy. Suggesting that raising taxes on the top 2% is the worst thing we can do economically in light of this, is simply not true according to our own economists.


Conclusion

I would summarize that Con’s debate is focused on his lack of confidence in our government, belief in capitalism and his belief in maintaining jobs. I share his general beliefs but I feel that beyond the surface there is much more to it then that. I do not believe that lack of confidence in our government should dictate what we believe to be the right decision. If that is the case we might as well all give up and tell our children to start saving their lunch money cause they’re gana need it. I believe in capitalism but feel its maturity is reaching dangerous levels and is contributing to our diminishing economy. Ignoring the reality of this on the basis that “that’s capitalism” does not seem logical to me. In terms of economic arguments we seem to mostly agree except that I factored our national debt into the discussion. Con to this point, doesn’t seem to believe it should be. And the moral argument, I think speaks for itself.

I’d like to thank Con for a great debate and look forward to reading his final comments. To all the readers, I think the choice is clear: Vote Pro.


(1)
www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/108xx/doc10803/01-14-Employment.pdf
medic0506

Con

I thank pro for his response.

Scope of Debate

Pro's opening statement, "My opponent will argue that we should make the current tax rates permanent or even a more drastic solution in that direction if he/she sees fit."

It's clear by pro's statement, that my burden of proof does not include providing a better alternative. I felt it necessary to call the voters attention to that issue, in case they were reading pro's comments the same way I did. If I misunderstood pro's intent, with those comments, then I sincerely apologize.

I agree with my opponent that ALL factors must be considered, when deciding this issue. The effect it will have, on the OVERALL economy, must be considered. As I pointed out, in round 2, pro made the following statement, "I do understand that these tax increases would in fact hurt our overall economic situation".... OK, so we agree on that. "Overall", used as an adjective, would mean, "including everything, comprehensive, regarded as a whole" (1). So if he concedes that it will hurt our OVERALL economic situation, then what is the benefit of raising these taxes?? His argument for a possible benefit, basically, boils down to three issues.

1. We need to raise taxes, on the top 2%, because of our growing debt.

I agree that the debt needs to be addressed. The problem is, as I showed earlier, there is no assurance that the 70 billion raised, by this proposed increase, is actually going to go towards the debt. That extra revenue could very easily go toward a high speed rail line, to help fund Libyan rebels, another stimulus package, or any number of new ventures.

It is my contention that, if we are going to volunteer someone else's money, to be taken away by the government, and the debt is going to be used as part of pro's justification for taking that money, then it needs to be shown that it's going to be used for the stated purpose. Beyond making the assertion, pro does not even attempt to argue that it will be used for the debt. Rather he chooses to try to dispute my argument by focusing on my lack of faith, in our leaders, to use that extra revenue in a fiscally responsible manner. I am addressing that at various points, throughout my closing. As pro is claiming debt, as a reason that we need to raise taxes, he needs to show, at least "some reason to believe" that the extra revenue will be used for that purpose. Otherwise, it's not a valid reason to increase taxes. Since he can't do that, it can't be assumed as fact, and can't be used as a good reason for raising taxes.

2. If we don't raise taxes on the rich, the rest will suffer cuts, to their entitlements.

Pro says, "Now let’s compare an alternative area to cut from to balance this. Medicare anyone? How about Social Security?"

Throughout the debate, and again here, rather than looking at other ways to save, pro goes directly to the programs that should be the last, to be affected. Our budget is massive, and I would argue that there are many places where we could save, before getting to those key programs, that would either eliminate the need to cut, or significantly reduce the impact on, those key programs. If we are at a point where those key programs are first to be targeted for cuts, then why are we INCREASING the budget for NASA, by 1.2 billion per year, for the next five years??(2) What's more important, taking care of people who have contributed to these funds their entire lives, or exploring space?? This, once again, speaks to the issue of responsibility in spending, and along with other points I've made, gives justification for my lack of faith in our leaders' fiscal responsibility.
I've also raised the issue of that 70 billion having minimal overall effect, with regard to saving these key programs. This fact was not contested by pro.

3. They can afford it.

Pro states, "So if we decide to take in $70 billion less (by not renewing these tax cuts) then we have to cut $70 billion more." The Bush tax cuts were passed in 2001, and this money has not been in the federal budget for years. So what is the basis for the claim that renewing these tax cuts, will cause us to have to cut 70 billion MORE?? I think pro's statement highlights one of the biggest fundamental disagreements, between the two sides. The only way that statement even makes sense, is if you start with the assumption that you are entitled to that money, and are doing those people a favor by letting them have it. It's almost as if the other side has the opinion that, as long as there are successful people, there will always be a constant stream of revenue, that we can increase at our leisure. I would argue, however, that those people made themselves successful. They got the education, worked for the experience, and put in the sacrifice necessary to get where they are. Therefore, their income belongs to THEM, and we need to have a darn good reason before we lay claim to it.

Pro would have you believe that we're talking about just the Buffets, Trumps, and Hiltons, of the world being affected, but that would be misleading. The top 2% would include individuals making 200,000 or more, and a family of four at 250,000. Whether they can afford it or not, shouldn't even matter unless one side is arguing for, what amounts to, income redistribution. Do we, as a nation, want to take yet another step, in that direction??

Pro states, " What I find funny is that Con in this debate appears to be taking the no compromise position that put us in this situation in the first place, while simultaneously arguing that the government is irresponsible." I strongly disagree with this statement. Though I did register my displeasure, with our leaders' spending habits, I also gave pro a way of assuring my cooperation. In round 1, I stated, "If there are some fundamental changes made, I wouldn't even argue against an, across the board, tax increase". Just point me to something they have done that even attempts to fix, what we all know is the main problem, overspending. Give me something to hang my hat on, and I'll compromise. Pro was unable to do that. In absence of that, we shouldn't be ok with raising taxes on the people who create jobs, in this country, just so we can say that we're doing something. Lip service has gotten us nowhere, I don't think it unreasonable to ask to see some action.

Key issues, in this debate, that pro has not effectively countered, in no particular order of importance:

1. This money belongs to them, and they have a right to keep it, unless pro can show sufficient reason for taking it.
2. Pro can't even show that the money will be used for the reasons that he is claiming.
3. History shows that those in charge of the money, once it's taken from the taxpayer, are fiscally irresponsible, and pro has shown nothing to lead us to believe that the irresponsibility won't continue, leading to the need for FURTHER tax increases. In spite of debt, expenditures have not decreased.
4. The proposed increase will be of very minimal benefit to the poor, or to key programs.
5. There are many things that can be done, aside from this tax increase, to save money before immediately targeting key programs for cuts.
6. Top earners already pay almost 60% of taxes. One-third of all taxpayers don't even pay any taxes. Half of that one third receives "refunds" anyway, causing a government expenditure, in addition to other government assistance they may already be receiving.
7. Those affected by this increase, are the ones who create the majority of jobs.
8. Raising taxes on those making over 200,000, risks a slow down in job creation.
9. The risk of job loss, and the negative impact of that result, far outweigh the benefit that this increase will provide.

For these reasons, I ask for a vote for con.
I thank pro a very interesting debate, and wish him the best of luck in future debates.

(1) http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
(2) http://www.gpoaccess.gov...
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
The issues you raised were not in relation to the tax cuts, but government responsibility in general. Government responsibility, or lack there of, is not a fault with the tax code. Just like the number of innocent people executed is not a fault of the DP, but of the legal justice system itself.
Posted by medic0506 5 years ago
medic0506
@Orele

You say I was outside the scope, how?? My responsibility was to show WHY the tax cuts should be renewed. How in the world do you show something like that, if you don't raise issues like the ones I raised??
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Double_Rmedic0506Tied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: There was quite a bit of back and forth here and a clear objective summary could have helped. In the end I do not think Pro could carry the BoP and provide warrant that that tax cuts would be positive and frankly made a lot of assertions without historical evidence that such would be positive. Con's counter could also have been stronger and was mainly asking for justification but this is valid as the BoP was clearly on Pro. 3:2 Con.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
Double_Rmedic0506Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Most of Con's arguments against the government and that spending cuts would be better were not in the scope of the resolution. The resolution wasn't that the tax cuts were the best single option or that they were the only option needed, but that letting them expire was better than not letting them expire. To that, Con had very few arguements. Pro correctly stated that taxes only come out of profit after expenses are deducted, so if you are making a profit before taxes, you will still make the
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
Double_Rmedic0506Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con waited until well into the debate to make the important point that the tax increase would at most raise $70B in revenue against the $1500 billion deficit. It would tax job creators, so even that small increase is doubtful; note small business owners often file business taxes as personal income. Hence the Pro case was mainly about the morality of punishing the rich, not compelling. The debate as a whole would have benefited from having more factual data.