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

The Rich Should Take a Hike

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/22/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,896 times Debate No: 23771
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (14)
Votes (3)




The resolution is that the wealthy should take a hike in taxes. I will be advocating for an expiration of the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy, or additional taxation of the wealthy on top of that. I support ending nearly all the tax loopholes and deductions, but that will not likely be a large point in this debate.

No semantics or trolling.

R1: Acceptance and Definitions
R2: Arguments/ Rebuttals
R3: Arguments/ Rebuttals
R4: Rebuttals and Closing*

Since of the net contender advantage of last word, PRO will be able to rebut only 2 points in the last round. CON will be able to only rebut 1 point in the last round.

Good luck!



Thanks for the topic, Contra. After our spirited conversations in the forums, it seems that our paths inevitably would cross into the realm of formal debate.

The definitions seem clear enough. I also agree, to an extent, that loopholes ought to be ended--if one must have an income tax, let it be done legitimately. There will be no debate here. Rather, my advocacy is not just against ending the Bush tax cuts, but rather against the inane and unjust logic behind a progressive tax system; my advocacy is that more taxation will not fix our problems, indeed it is likely to make them worse.

With that, I turn the debate over to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for accepting! Hope you don't crush me. So, I am going to argue that the rich should take a hike.

C1: Fiscal Responsibility has Beneficial Results

Stronger Economic Results

The nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities have found that raising taxes on the wealthy would not be harmful, and would be beneficial. They recommended that it be included in a balanced effort to reduce the deficit, and the effects of the tax increase would be minimal, if any towards small businesses, investment, and the work and labor of the wealthy. [3] This is because, with lower deficits, there is greater fiscal responsibility, and greater stabililty in the economy.

Entrepreneurship is possibly increased slightly with higher taxes on the wealthy, or no change at all, with the idea that there is less income volatility being a hypothesis in the economic community. [4]

The Congressional Research Service concluded additionally that capital gains tax increases are likely to have a positive overall impact on national saving and investment, because of the public savings as a results of deficit reduction. [5]

The vast majority of small businesses are not taxed at the high income brackets. In fact, only 2.5% actually are in the high income tax brackets. [3]

Increase Revenue

Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize winner in Economics, has shown that the Laffer Curve is in the near 70% range, so the idea that revenue would fall is absurd. Other prominant economists have found the same conclusion, the Laffer Curve peaks at about 70%. Since the mathematics involved is very esoteric, I will leave sources to prove it. [1] [2]

Better Future

The nonpartisan CBO also stated that by letting the Bush tax cuts expire, it would be beneficial for long term economic growth, [7] and Peter Orszag has stated that since the debt must be eventually paid for, the Bush tax cuts hurt everybody, except the top 1%. [6] The economy is driven by consumption for the vast part, so by improving the economic condition of the middle class job creators, it leads to improved job creation. We must thus pursue a better future.

The Graph Below Helps Show my Point:

With higher investments in our middle class and people, with funding by the wealthy who themselves are well off, growth improves higher at higher rates (to an extent).

C2: No Economic Benefits With Tax Cuts for Wealthy

Modestly higher top tax rates are strongly correlated with stronger economic growth. [8] I have already proved how this can be true, because with higher confidence, and with government facilitating prosperity by giving everybody a fair shot at success (job retraining programs, education, etc.), and with greater fiscal responsiblitiy and investment, the economy improves with greater consumption, the middle class being the real job creators.

The CBO said the least efficient way of helping the economy was extending tax cuts for the wealthy. [11] THIS correlates with my other proofs and theories as well! [9] That tax cuts and low taxes for the wealthy are not economically desirable!

Tax cuts for the wealthy in particular are not good for the economy, because they are not used to create new jobs, and are most importantly the funds could be put to better use to help improve the economy, such as investing in our future instead of burdening our children. [11]

Plus, the Progressive Budget Plan, which would increase taxes on the wealthy among other measures, would balance the budget by 2021, and shows that it is important if you seek true deficit reduction. [11]

The CBPP has said that tax cuts on the long term usually only have modest economic benefits, and this is if they are fully paid for. This fully matches the analysis of the CBO that showed the Bush tax cuts being harmful because they weren't paid for, and also matches my argument that the Bush tax cuts have been bad, and the rich should take a hike. [12]

C3: They Can Afford It

The top 400 taxpayers could:

So, when you consider this, and the other economic detriments of tax cuts, why not ask for modest tax increases! Seriously!?!?

And over the last 30 years, the top 1% have seen their income rise by over 300%, while the lowest class has seen their income rise by a modest 16% in comparison. [9] They can obviously afford to give up more of their salary.


We can conclude that higher modest taxes on the wealthy improves the economy, not just based on the evidence and the correlation, [12] but on the theory. When fiscal responsiblity is improved, confidence increases, leading to higher economic performance. Government can thus in turn facilitate a better, broader prosperity by giving all Americans a fair shot at the American Dream. So, it not only fulfills our values that make our nation, but it is economically sound. By also helping ensure opportunity, and a level playing field, and smart investments in our future, it is the common sense approach, that has worked in the past.

By using America's tax dollars, the wealthy also have a moral responsibility to give back.

Bill Gates Sr., the father of the richest guy in the world, pointed out why a progressive tax was the better option (than not having it). He said that,

"Bill Gates didn't invent the Internet. [He] just used it -- to make billions. There is no such thing as a self-made man. Every businessman has used the vast American infrastructure, which the taxpayers paid for, to make his money. He did not make his money along. He used taxpayer infrastructure, [which included] the banking system, Federal Reserve, etc. These taxpayer investments support companies and wealthy investors. There are no self-made men! They owe the taxpayers of this country back a great deal and should be paying it back." [13]

Based on how extremely well the wealthy have done over the past 30 years, it is the moral thing to do, to help all Americans have a shot at success. Especially when all the other Americans made them get to success. Tax cuts are economically disastrous, and are inefficient, and very immoral. Thus, the rich should take a hike.





[5] Jane G. Gravelle, “Small Business and the Expiration of the 2001 Tax Rate Reductions: Economic Issues,” Congressional Research Service, January 6, 2011.

[6] Thomas L. Hungerford, “An Analysis of the “Buffett Rule,” Congressional Research Service, October 7, 2011.






[13] Lakoff, George. Don't Think Of An Elephant!. 1st ed. Chelsea Green, 2004. p. 25-26. Print.

^ Investments in our Future and People Really Do Pay Off


Let it first be recognized:

I. Presuming the tax revenue is good, decisions that increase it short term at the expense of long term growth should be avoided. That is, since a government with control of 10% of a 15 trillion dollar economy would have more revenue than a government with control of 11% of a 14 trillion dollar economy. As such, we need to look to what leads to greater, sustainable growth.

II. The resolution specifies the wealthy in particular. My opponent has, as of yet, given no logical reason that tax increases should be limited to the wealthy. His entire case, with the exception of his uncommonly silly contention 3, gives reasons to increase taxation for all, not just the wealthy. From this it follows that he’s failed to affirm the resolution.

III. Unwarranted impacts should be ignored. The more one gets into debate, the more one realizes that there is evidence for literally everything (case in point: here is a card advocating the existence of a Nazi colony on the Moon: ). Most, if not all of my opponents impacts stem from correlation causation fallacies or bare assertions on the part of their authors. Until he explains logically why, for example, stealing more money from the wealthy leads to higher savings rates (Card 5), you ignore it. Since my opponent refused to show the logic behind this in the comments section, you can presume that he refuses to do so because he knows it’s illogical.

Let’s turn to his arguments now. First, I question the validity of income taxation at all. My opponent must first justify why the federal government should get a cut from everyone’s income, until he morally and economically justifies this he loses the debate by default. The resolution is not about if we should have an income tax, but if income taxation is recognized as an evil than more income taxation (hence more evil) is something to be avoided. Governments produce nothing save for substandard protection and tyranny, and as such ought not be funded by the incomes of private producers. Further, raising taxes on the wealthy alone is discriminatory.

Stronger economy

His first contention is a misnomer, it is not “fiscal responsibility” to increase taxes to meet every deficit in funding—a fiscally responsible family does not steal money whenever they are in need, they acquire it from other means. My opponent presumes that it’s just ok to steal the incomes of private producers, and moreover he’s failed to argue any impact. His first contention is again a misnomer because it is not praise of high taxes, but rather a series of defensive arguments.

My Opponent laughably argues that greater “fiscal responsibility” (AKA greater wealth depletion and theft) would make the economy more stable. He is right that it will reduce the deficit at first, but given the inefficiencies in our government the increased revenue would probably just be wasted anyway. Unless he proves that the money from the tax increases would be used to pay off the debt, he gains no advantage. Turn his DBO card, as it argues that increased taxation would increase “national saving and investment, because of the public savings”. It’s extremely doubtful that there would be any public savings at all considering that the federal government does very little but spend-it is conceded that public waste (“investment”) would increase, of course it would. The federal government is incapable of saving. He has failed to weigh this in any broader economic sense-that is, he hasn’t explained why public sector investment is preferable to private sector investment; his hypothesis posits that there would be no investment from the private sector, an obvious flaw. He argues that “only” 2.5% of “small businesses” would face increased taxation-turn: 2.5% of them would. I fail to see why it’s bad for “small businesses” to face increased taxation, but good for large business to suffer in such a way, and he has failed to explain it.

Laffer curve/”better future”

My Opponent didn’t explain what the Laffer curve is, and how it’s relevant to the debate. I can tell you that a new episode of Modern family came out yesterday, and there’s a 70% chance it was funny, but unless I explain how it is relevant to the debate it doesn’t matter.

This is a broader critique on my opponent’s style of argumentation, he cites sources without explaining the data or logic behind them. Why on Earth does it matter what Peter Orszag thinks, for instance? He’s already lost the debate because his sole offense lies in arguments outside of the site. This is not a debate between Paul Krugman and myself, it’s a debate between Contra and I. He can use sources to back up arguments, but he can’t use them as arguments themselves.

My opponent commits a HUGE correlation-causation fallacy with his graph; he ignores the economic conditions that were occurring during the levels of taxation. For example, we all know that the 90 taxation rate occurred during and after WWII[1], so it should be no surprise that the GDP grew during the post-war boom. The fact is that the GDP rose IN SPITE OF the ridiculous tax rate, rather than because of it. Further, the federal government back then was much more efficient than the one of today. It defeated the Japanese and Nazi war machines in 4 years for example while our modern federal government could not conquer Iraq in 8 years. He even concedes that a 90% taxation rate is absurd and unjust, yet has failed to draw a threshold. What amount of income is it just to steal? Anyone who honestly believes that a 90% income tax is economically desirable needs to be laughed out of the world of debate-communism has failed everywhere.

No economic benefits

This is empirically false, Heritage Foundation reports that after the Bush tax cuts[2]: “GDP grew at an annual rate of just 1.7% in the six quarters before the 2003 tax cuts. In the six quarters following the tax cuts, the growth rate was 4.1%. The S&P 500 dropped 18% in the six quarters before the 2003 tax cuts but increased by 32% over the next six quarters. The economy lost 267,000 jobs in the six quarters before the 2003 tax cuts. In the next six quarters, it added 307,000 jobs, followed by 5 million jobs in the next seven quarters.”

This makes sense, considering that if ones money is all stolen from the government, they have less money to invest. My opponent had quite the mountain to climb in order to disprove a fact of common sense such as this. He argues that the government should facilitate prosperity. I agree, and the way to do it is not to steal money from producers to redistribute it to non-producers or warfare. This is how an economy gets destroyed. He ASSERTS that the saved tax money isn’t used to create jobs. 1. No link stating that government would create jobs, 2. No warrant, how on Earth does he or anyone else know how wealthy individuals prefer to spend their money, and 3. So what? It is their money and they are under no obligation to use it for others. I honestly could not care less what the CBO says. It should be no surprise that a thinktank run by the government would argue that the government needs more money, and as with all his other arguments he doesn’t explain WHY its true. This would be the equivalent of me citing the Bible to prove God exists, logical warrants outside of the source need to be present.

They can afford it

My opponent rants about income inequality and how if we stole the wealth (wealth not income-his source is wealthiest households) of others we could pay back some of the damage from our own irresponsibility. No thanks.


My Opponents case revolves almost entirely around correlation causation and appeals to authority. It contains virtually no empirical evidence or analysis. He has failed to meet his burden, so you can only vote Con.



Debate Round No. 2



"He is right that it will reduce the deficit at first, but given the inefficiencies in our government the increased revenue would probably just be wasted anyway."

In the 1990s, the Clinton Administration conducted various and very detail oriented study to determine the waste in the Federal Budget. Waste accounted for only about 2% of total spending. [1] The thought that waste would eliminate all the increased revenue is a laughable excuse.

"Deficits and Public Saving"

It was implied that the revenue collected would be directed towards reducing deficits, creating more fiscal responsibility. With lower deficits, it would save more money, and inevitably concluded that with all the public savings (less deficits), it would exceed any losses in private savings, which would be low. [2] There has been not much of a connection between savings and the after tax returns, but the huge reduction in deficits would clearly outperform the changes the come from the adjustment in tax rates, which usually do not affect behavior among the wealthy by a large degree. [2]

"Laffer Curve? WTF?"

The Laffer Curve, as most of us know, states that there is an optimal rate at which more revenue is collected at a certain rate than at different rates.

The top tax rate under Clinton was 39.6%. Revenue was collected at an average of slightly higher than 20% of GDP. Under Bush, this fell to around 18%, at the highest rates. The Laffer Curve therefore showed us that yes more revenue is collected at the Clinton era rate, and thus a hike of taxes on the rich to the Clinton levels would indeed raise more revenue. The source is for clarification. [3]

"The fact is that the GDP rose IN SPITE OF the ridiculous tax rate, rather than because of it."

First, my opponent ignores several aspects. First, many of the good economic conditions came because of vital government investments in our nation's economy to facilitate prosperity. After WW2, the GI Bill allowed millions of returning veterans to go to college, get a home, and/ or start a business. Furthermore, the GI Bill allowed more than 7.5 million veterans receive college and/or vocational training, and homeownership rose to a rate of 60%. [4] As we can tell from these effects, government investments that are responsible, bring prosperity.

The massive utilization of resources for WW2 demonstrated clearly that government can create prosperity, and that a Welfare state was not harmful to the population, as the following decade of the 1950's with lower income inequality and greater access in the economic ladder contributed to one of the greatest eras of economic strength our economy has seen.

Saying that growth happened in spite of high tax rates is absurd. The conditions for growth to occur would of had to have been extremely helped by another variable in the economic environment. As we saw after WW2, this was massive employment, and low income inequality. Therefore, higher taxes, which were directed for equal opportunity initiatives (GI Bill and other measures) DID create a stronger economy, refuting my opponent's argument here.

"Tax Cuts HEPLED!"

Developed nations on the whole tax more than other countries. This does not necessarily mean that high taxes = prosperity, but it correlates strongly. My opponent says that low taxes are the key to prosperity, but nations with higher tax rates on the whole do better economically, look at Scandanavia. The key results from a Welfare state, are positive, since the high taxes, when used smartly, such as in education, help the economy.

My opponent goes on to find some "benefits" of the Bush tax cuts. What Thett fails to point out is the article itself. The author of the article was a Bush insider who as part of the Bush administration promoted the tax cuts, and now is one of the heads of a Solar energy corporation. The article itself is complacently biased, one line: "Liberals want higher taxes because they love big government".

Contrasting, the empirical evidence from the CBO showed that fundamentally, extending the Bush tax cuts would hurt the economy by 1.3% by the end of the decade. [5] My evidence is fundamentally strong with a much stronger base.

"Government is harmful to Prosperity"

This kind of antigovernment rhetoric is false.

In Europe, many welfare states have free college. Job retraining programs allow for equal access to opportunity. Government can thus promote and facilitate prosperity. One such program was a local job retraining program that trained disadvantaged workers higher working skills. The results? A 32% increase in earnings for each of the workers. [6]

This is not alone. In Europe, programs that provide equal access to opportunity, as a result provide greater economic mobility. [7] How do they do this? A level playing field with equal opportunity initiatives. Free college, improved childhood K-12 education, and investing in communities as they do in Europe have resulted in greater economic mobility. Since revenue would increase with the rich taking a hike, we could do the same, and the government could facilitate prosperity. I already showed how the CBO has explicitly said the Bush tax cuts were poor, and my opponent's source was weak. It is strongly shown that the rich should take a hike so the government can facilitate prosperity, and all have a fair shot.

"It should be no surprise that a thinktank run by the government would argue that the government needs more money, and as with all his other arguments he doesn’t explain WHY its true."

My opponent has clearly contradicted themself by saying the independent, nonpartisan CBO is more biased than an article, which is written by a CORPORATE HEAD and a biased outlook, with no sources to support his argument, unless Koch Industries counts.

C1: Providing Services

The Private Sector can provide services of course. But government has some roles that are fundamental to the nation. I will be brief, but one role of gov't:

- Equal Access to Opportunity

As I earlier proved, the government can have a fundamental role in increasing economic mobility, as high education standards in Europe have proved. With wide differences in families, schools, environments, and communities, government should level the playing field to make sure all have a fair shot at the American Dream.

C2: Moral Imperitive

I'm short on characters. I'll be brief.

"There is no such thing as a self-made man. Every businessman has used the vast American infrastructure, which the taxpayers paid for, to make his money. He used taxpayer infrastructure, [which included] the banking system, Federal Reserve, education system, etc. These taxpayer investments support companies and wealthy investors. There are no self-made men! They owe the taxpayers of this country back a great deal and should be paying it back."

Those aren't my words. Those are Bill Gates' words. It is the moral thing for the wealthy to pay back some of their wealth to the nation that helped get them where they arrived.


Government can facilitate prosperity, by increasing equal access to opportunity. Europe does this, and they have greater economic mobility. With the wealthy having just some tax hikes, which they can afford, it would help the economy, be moral, and help the American middle class and the poor.

A Legitimate Thought-Provoking Question:

Out of room.


[1] Joseph Nye, et al, Why People Don’t Trust Government (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1997) p. 62
[2] Thomas L. Hungerford, “An Analysis of the “Buffett Rule,” Congressional Research Service, October 7, 2011.








Thanks for a quick response.


My opponent has already lost the debate. Recall how in my second round I gave my opponent the burden of having to justify an income tax. He did not dispute the burden (therefore conceding to it), but did not attempt to meet it at all. Since his own debate structure specifies only rebuttals, not new argumentation, in Rd. 4, he cannot meet this burden and thus has lost.

I'll be grouping a lot of my opponents arguments together, along the way pointing out critical responses of mine that he's dropped.

Wasted revenue

My opponent cites a document made when he was an infant to prove that government spending is not wasteful, however it offers a different perception of "waste" as the point I was making did. My definition of waste would be a government provided service that could better be provided by the private sector, whereas the Clinton administration would define waste as completely useless expenditure benefiting no one at all. Given that distinction, the fact that even big-government Clinton admitted that 2% of his budget was waste is profoundly disturbing, particularly in light of the fact that Clinton served in easy, war free times. Fact is, government spending is inherently wasteful since economic calculation can only occur if goods and services are priced on a free market. Since government assets are rarely for sale, indeed use of them is often compulsory, quality and value will inevitably decline as happens in all monopolies.

Laffer curve

My Opponent ignores my first observation. Obviously tax revenue would increase with higher rates, but he hasn't shown any long term solvency. That is, the long term economic effects of robbing producers of more of their income is obviously going to be bad. The government does not create jobs, the private sector does. Seriously, he hasn't even told you what this new revenue is going to be used for. I'll repeat until he proves that the revenue will likely be used beneficially he gains no advantage.

90% tax rate

My opponent spouts off more of the oh so common pro government rhetoric, arguing that the post-WWII economic boom was the result of state planning. Unfortunately, while that is completely and hilariously false, that's also completely irrelevant. Lets look to what the debate is actual about, which is how much income should be stolen from the wealthy, not government intervention in the economy. If we want to take his graph seriously, then his advocacy must be for a 75-80% tax rate, since that is when most growth supposedly happened. Hopefully my opponent will concede to committing a fallacy here, and if not he's now obligated to defend an absurdly high tax rate causing someone to lose 80% of their income to support programs they didn't ask for.

Tax cuts are good

He commits a fallacy here, comparing wealthy European nations that looted the wealth of the rest of the world for centuries and industrialized first with third world nations who's culture and economies were destroyed by European imperialism and still have not recovered. These countries have a long legacy of wealth, and because of policies like the ones my opponent wants, the wealth they've acquired after generations is depleted and they're in massive amounts of debt and in risk of an immediate economic meltdown. To be clear, this is a turn. We don't want to be like Europe.

I showed empirical evidence about what happened during the Bush tax cuts, along with the logic that a government can't manage an economy, and my opponent drops it all. He loses the debate right here again. Literally his only response is an Ad hom against the author, who I now agree is probably pretty biased. However the author can be incredibly biased and still be correct. Given that my opponent has dropped this evidence completely, I'll extend it cleanly across the flow and urge a vote for the negative.

My opponent gives the CBO card, which is a flawed source because it's governmental. This may sound hypocritical given my above defense, however it's different because my card contains empirical evidence of historical events/data, which I showed, compared to his which is mere speculation. Moreover, if you actually read the CBO card, there are hardly any numbers in it. It just literally just says that raising taxes is good, and does not say what my opponent says it does. Seriously, open up his card 5 and search for "1.3%". It is not there. He loses the source points for misrepresenting a source.

Government is bad

My opponent argues for big government...again, this is not what the debate is about. Unless he wants communism, we need a private sector so the government cannot control all assets. Counter plan: Even if we buy his arguments that governments are good (which I'm too lazy to dispute considering it has absolutely nothing to do with the debate) we can save money by reducing wasteful military spending instead of harming the economy via crushing tax levys.


Contra just gives a ridiculous quote here how the wealthy somehow "owe" society since they utilized public assets. Followed to its full conclusion, it applies equally to the middle class and the poor who utilize public utilities as well. Even if you buy this, it doesn't affirm the resolution because the resolved specifies the wealthy alone. But even so, the wealthy ALREADY PAID TAXES. The top 1%, as a matter of fact, pay over a third of a federal income taxes[2], while the bottom 50% pay only 2%. My opponents argument justifies taxing the poor more than the rich because they don't pay their "fair share".....

My opponents conclusion says he wants a state like Europe. Seriously? Anyone can turn on the news and see the economic destruction that is coming from their failed welfare states. Vote pro for economic failure.


My opponent has lost the debate on multiple accounts. He doesn't meet my burdens, and he drops the empirical evidence disproving his resolution. The fact is that the wealthy are the ones who create jobs. As much as populists want to demonize them with their rhetoric, our economy could not function without the wealthy (nor without the middle class and the poor).. Raising taxes on them alone is discriminatory. My opponents only justification for this is that they can afford it, but that's meaningless because he gives you no bright line as to what "afford" means. The poverty line is around $10,000, so theoretically the government could take everyones income above the poverty line and they would be able to "afford" it. That's absurd.

My opponents debating and research skills are impressive for his age, but in the end his populist rhetoric falls when applied to scrutiny. There is no justifiable vote other than for Con in this round.


1. Rd 2., Source 2.
Debate Round No. 3


Thanks Thett.

This debate is NOT on the validity of an income tax. This debate is whether the rich should take a tax hike. I have fulfilled that BoP by filling my side with arguments ranging from but not limited to how it creates deficit reduction and a pathway for equal access to opportunity and economic mobility.

I will carry your points for simplicity, the rebuttal points and such.

R1: Gained Revenue

I like how you put "Contra cites an article made when he was an infant". Just thought I should say that.

Revenue gained through tax hikes wouldn't necessarily be wasteful. Programs that promote equal access to opporttunity create a level playing field. Truth is that people don't start at the same point. Many schools suck, family structures may not exist, communities may be ravaged, etc. Certain job training programs are effective. One job training program trained disadvantaged workers, and workers saw an average increase of 32% in wages. [1]

As I pointed out in R3, nations that have greater economic mobility have equal access to opportunity (high quality K12 education, free college, strong safety nets, etc.). And these imperitives are financed through higher taxes, particularly on the wealthy.

R2: Laffer Curve/ Use of Revenue

My opponent seems to be trying to drag the debate from my points. As I have said before, the revenue would be used towards equal access to opportunity, deficit reduction, and infrastructure (latter less mentioned though).

R3: 90% Tax Rate

It was not a fallacy. It was a historical perspective. When gov't was able to institute generous social programs such as the GI Bill, the economy flourished, because it gave American veterans the ability to start a new life. I agree that it is somewhat off topic, but fundamentally it shows that gov't intervention with higher tax rates is not fundamentally bad, and government can (and should) spend that money well, on the same types of programs that helped the economy them and does in sections of the nations now. On equal access to opportunity.

R4: Tax Cuts

I didn't drop this argument. I responded, and said that extending the Bush tax cuts would over the next decade be harmful to economic growth. And, when you look at the real effects of the tax cuts, they sucked. Wages declined 8.1%, [2], and empirical evidence from the Brookings Institution estimated that the top 10% received 81.8% of the tax cuts, especially because of capital gains taxes. [3]

My opponent proceeds to claim my argument is inacurrate. This is false. On page 33, it does cover the numbers I was talking about. A turn argument, the best economic situation if the Bush tax cuts were fully extended for all was still have a negative impact of -1.1%, or at worst -1.6%. [4]

And my opponent's source, there is no evidence. It is just a casual political jab post by a commentator who is part of the conservative network of think tanks. And the Heritage Foundation is funded almost exlusively by multinational corporations. Who funds the CBO? Taxpayers.

R5: Government is Bad

This point is not important to the debate itself. It should be ignored.

R6: Morals

If the rich got wildly wealthy, they have an obligation to pay back to society, so others can become rich like they did. And having equal access to opportunity is not the same as Europe. Europe has extensive social welfare policies, far beyond what I advocate. For example, in France, the maternal leave lasts up to one year, and they get a free maid. They are very lavish. [5]


The wealthy, who have as I have proved gained a disproportionate gain of income because of the Bush tax cuts. The Bush tax cuts FAILED miserably to create new economic growth. If we extended them, I showed empirical evidence of how it would negatively effect the recovery.

Instead, the wealthy can pay more in taxes, so that we can finance equal access to opportunity through means tested programs as I have proved. We can also drive down the deficit. There is no compelling evidence on my opponent's side, just more rhetoric bashing government, even though I proved how it could, and has performed good jobs on occasions, such as after WW2. I proved how my arguments could unfold, and the great success after WW2 with the same idea in place.

Fundamentally, we must improve our future, and if the Bush tax cuts are extended, it would have a negative effect.

There is simply no evidence on my opponent's side. Hilariously, the prime financers of the Heritage Foundation are Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil, and other multinational corporations such as GE. Regardless, wealthy contributors (private dontations included) have signficiant influence on the Heritage Foundation's reports. [6] My opponent calls this evidence "strong" while calling nonpartisan evidence "weak". Reality doesn't have a liberal bias when it fails to support fallacies.

We must give everybody equal access to opportunity, improve our growth, morals, debt situation, and give everybody a fair shot at the American Dream as Obama famously repeats.

After a plethora of evidence against the Bush tax cuts, it is simple. I have met my BoP. To fundamentally help America;

The rich should take a hike.

Vote Pro

^^ Can't they share just a little?!?




[3] Edmund L. Andrews, "GOP Lawmakers Agree to Extend Tax Cuts," New York Times, May 10, 2006.


[5] AP Government and Politics 2009. Pearson Education, AP Edition.


**Thanks for the debate Thett! You were a worthy adversary.


My opponent forgot about the constraints in round one about the number of rebuttals in the final round. As such, I'll just be listing voters and making rebuttals since I'm not obligated to follow those rules. This will hopefully be brief.


1. Contra never proves that income taxes are justifiable. You vote neg by default given that you can't increase evil (income taxaion) without justification.

2. Contra drops the logic that governments cannot allocate resources effectively because economic calculation of government assets is impossible. He responds by citing prosperous times where the government happened to intervene economically, but given that he dropped the logic of how this is impossible, his entire argument boils down to a correlation causation fallacy.

3. Contra gives no reason to end the taxes for the wealthy alone. More revenue from taxing the middle class more as well, but he gives no reason to not to when his own logic supports it.

4. HE COMPLETELY DROPS MY COUNTERPLAN. I argued that the federal government should cut military spending without raising taxes, meaning I capture his offense of deficit reduction. That means I get his positive impacts without the disadvantages. Those goes undisputed throughout the round.


--> He still gives you no reason to believe the government will use the revenue for deficit reduction.

--> Turn: His case contradicts itself, advocating a big spending welfare state then "fiscal responsibility".

--> He doesn't prove that the tax increases are the sole way to increase revnue, meaning we have to weigh his disadvantages against a meaningful counterplan to see if his path is truly the best. I gave one, he dropped it without analyzing and disadvantages, so vote Con.

--> Turn: The schools that "suck" he brings up are government funded. The impoverished people recieve government incentives to remain poor, all of this proves that big government fails.


--> "until he proves that the revenue will likely be used beneficially he gains no advantage." dropped and therefore conceded, vote neg.

90% tax rate

--> Drops that he needs to advocate a tax rate of 75+%. He is advocating a much smaller one, so all of his arguments dont meet the criteria needed to affirm the resolution. Either that or you drop his graph which he's based several key points on causing him to lose.

Tax cuts good

--> He links a card blaming the recession on the Bush tax cuts. That's stupid. Not only did we have 50 months of growth under the tax cuts, but we also know that the recession was caused by a multide of things such as the housing crash, not the tax cuts. Its a fallacy to say "wages declined during the tax cuts" then blame it on them. The Iphone was also developed during this time, I argue we need to ban it since it led to wage decreases!

--> He drops my empirical evidence on what happened during the tax cuts because it's from heritage. "but thett u just sed dat itz a falucy 2 luk at events durin da tax cutz" yeah, except contra also dropped the logic that the private sector is inherently better with money management (hence economic growth) meaning it gets viewed as a matter of fact during this round.

--> Look at his card 5 from round 3, it's different than the one he links in card 4 round 4 despite saying they're the same thing. Furthermore, he doesn't explain why it would have an impact of "-1.1%" tp "-1.6%", just because his CBO card says it does not make it true. Recall the Nazi moon base card I showed in round one, a card saying something is true does not make it so. Further, read his CBO card and it shows greater economic results from ending the tax cuts for all, so it isn't actually giving him his advocacy. If we buy it and believe taxes are good, you still vote neg because the resolution isn't affirmed (we need to raise taxes for everyone instead).

Government bad

Every word dropped and therefore conceded


His ONLY moral argument is that the wealthy used public utilities so they owe society. However they already paid more than their share of taxes relative to their numbers, and they got their incomes by producing and generating wealth for all of society. His argument followed to its full conclusion makes us implement communism.


--> No warrant on the tax cuts failing, he links recession to tax cuts without explanation

--> Dropped counterplan, so assuming government programs are helpful we get them other means (cut military spending)

--> Not fiscally responsible to take more money whenever more is needed--cutting wasteful spending is a better alternative.

--> " We must give everybody equal access to opportunity, improve our growth, morals, debt situation, and give everybody a fair shot at the American Dream " No warrant on how we need to make everything fair, TURN: unfair to take more money from the rich just because they've been successful. Take money from everyone who "can afford it" (all above poverty line) if you really buy my opponents argument.

--> TURN: His graph shows growth for everyone, not jsut the wealthy. They can share some. They just shouldn't have Uncle Sam forcing them to.


Thanks Contra, it was fun. Voters: Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Contra 5 years ago
Holy sh*t.
Posted by bla60ah 5 years ago

Capital gains are taxed lower than normal income because the person took the money they earned through "normal" income and made more money on it by investing in the stock market. How can you possibly believe that this return on investment needs to be taxed the same as your normal income?
Posted by byaffe 5 years ago
Blaming the rich for the downfall of the economy doesn't make any sense. How can you tax them an inordinate amount, and tax the lower class absolutely nothing? Especially when there are people who live entirely off the government's money and refuse to get jobs or make any money for themselves. We need to give people like this incentive to make things better, but by completely eliminating any financial responsibility for those people makes their lazy and uninterested ways acceptable. Unfair taxing of the rich hurts the economy because it needs to be equally spread out in order to have a functional economy and in order to restore the middle class.

Along with that, the rich should not be taxed an inordinate amount simply because they make significantly more money. Why should people be punished for being hardworking and earning money? It kind of contradicts the idea of the American dream. People should be rewarded for earning lots of money, not punished by the government and hated by the lower and middle class.

I believe that the unfair taxing to the upper class needs to be addressed because it has severely affected the economy. Letting parts of the lower class rely on the government for money and forcing the upper class to pay what the lower class can't hurts the economy greatly. This eliminates the middle class and leaves the US with an upper and a lower class with a majority of the tax pressure on the shoulders of the upper class.
Posted by Contra 5 years ago
Wow lol.

Thanks for the debate thett the feedback has helped.
Posted by thett3 5 years ago
Oh emm gee. My avatar: Man in white, wearing sunglasses, looking up. Your avatar: Man in black, wearing normal glasses, looking down. *gasp*
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
All of pros arguments where based on weak correlations, and as CON pointed out this falls under correlation/causation fallacies. Using this fallacy we can assume much of the PRO case is either a fallacy or a weak correlation. This scratches out much of CONS statistics/graphs. I never saw good logic with these graphs either, he needed to explain in huge detail how sucking money out of a economy is beneficial. He rarely did so.

on deficits CON had a much better case showing even if it did have a benefit (note the benefit is small) it would eventually have none or opposite effects based on the Laffur curve and an inefficient government.

Then on economics, CON had a much better logical and empirical case proving the tax cuts in the bush years where effective.

PROs counters to these strong points mainly used more correlation/causation fallacies whilst never using the solid logic CON used. (not to be rude but there is no possible logic for the pro case lol)

Good debate, both did well, CON won.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
That comment was @ r3 graph
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
I love how net worth correlates perfectly with unemployment till the end
Posted by vmpire321 5 years ago
lol, i thought this debate was actually going to be about why the rich should literally go on a hike.
Posted by CalvinAndHobbes 5 years ago
I don't see why capital gains are taxed at 15 percent verses the 30% income tax. Whats wrong with 25% capital gains, 25% income tax ? Understandably, for the lower 48% of the US a progressive tax would need to be maintained.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: comments
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro didn't meet the burden of proof. He didn't cite the tax rates paid after loopholes, only the nominal tax rate. Con gave sound arguments on economic growth. Pro could not prove that investment fails to create jobs, an implausible notion. Con made too many gratuitous insulting remarks, and so lost conduct.
Vote Placed by TheOrator 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Great debates on both sides, but I was just feeling the con a bit more.