The Instigator
samantha.riesberg
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
larztheloser
Pro (for)
Winning
17 Points

The United States should prioritize tax increases over spending cuts.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
larztheloser
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/15/2012 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,130 times Debate No: 28271
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (4)

 

samantha.riesberg

Con

First of all I would just like to mention that I literally just joined so this will be my first debate. second, the first round is for acceptance and we will see where it goes from there =)
larztheloser

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for the opportunity to debate this topic and warmly welcome her to this website. I feel a little guilty taking on a new member, but this topic is just way too fun. Still, I accept this challenge and hope for an engaging and entertaining discussion.

That means that I'm going to argue, starting next round, that the federal government of the USA should, if for whatever reason they could not choose both, prefer to increase their revenue than reduce their expenditure. I'm going to assume for this debate that the government of the USA actually needs the additional money.

Good luck to my opponent - I can't wait to get started!
Debate Round No. 1
samantha.riesberg

Con

First off, thank you for the welcome! And if you have any notes at the end that would be awesome! I'm a little nervous but here goes nothing !

I'm just going to get right into it and say that I am for the negation on the topic Resolved: the United States should prioritize tax increases over spending cuts. The main reasons that I believe so are the following: tax increases are unneccesary, tax increases hurt small businesses, and high tax rates hurt the economy.

Alrighty, so for my first main point I said tax increases are unneccesary. The reason for this is because of the fact that we are spending 44% more money than we take in, if we give the government more money to spend they will keep putting us in debt which wouldn't help the US in the slightest. Considering that we are spending 3.6 trillion a year and we are already taking valuable money from people why would we want to take more? Also, if we tax the wealthiest 2% of Americans we will be destroying 700,000 jobs and considering that we already have 12.3 million people unemployed that will not help the US get out of the current condition it is in.

Now onto my second main point I stated that tax increases kill small businesses. Considering that most small business owners file their income taxes as individual people and not businesses, which is around 85% of small business owners, it makes it look like the owner's personal income may seem large, but in all reality the majority of the money is actually funneled back into the business. According to Patricia Williams "While President Obama has given political payoffs to his top donors, small businesses have been hit hard in the Obama economy."

My third main point was that high tax rates hurt the economy. Contrary to most people beliefs, raising taxes doesn't always help the economy. According to George Osborne, "The figures have been seized upon by the Conservatives to claim that increasing the highest rate of tax led to a loss in revenues for the Government." Also, an example of how this didn't work, almost two-thirds of the country's million-pound earners disappeared from Britain after the introduction of the 50p top rate tax. So as you can see, they tried to raise taxes in Britain and people left the country because they didn't want to pay the raised tax.

In this debate I have proved that raising taxes will hurt not only the economy, but also the people of America which is why you, the voters, must vote in negation.
larztheloser

Pro

Okay, so I'll start by answering my opponent's points and then I'll explain why I'm right. Thanks to my opponent for starting the debate and raising some great arguments.

Her first one was basically that if we give Barack Obama more money then he'll waste it, but if we give America's wealthy elite more of the money they'll make sound investments to help America's unemployed. I'm going to start by rejecting that giving more money to the rich necessarily helps the poor. When the rich have less, they'll likely drop investments into goods that do not generate a return, such as private jets, before investing in those that do, like their workers. Furthermore, even if some jobs are lost in the private sector, the act of spending creates jobs in the public sector. Furthermore, I don't believe that America's wealthy elite are any more selfless than Barack Obama. Obama and his crew are public servants - they serve you. That means they have a special obligation to help those who need help. One of the advantages of taxing more is that you can target the tax to redistribute income towards programs like Obama's affordable care act, which primarily benefits those who cannot afford care. The idea that any kind of capital flight is likely to result from higher taxes appears to be an unusual one, because if the tax rates were the main reason for living in a state, the Bahama's 0% tax rate ought to make it the most densely populated in the world already. For sure, some greedy companies have already moved their business there and to other like countries, but the USA remains relatively strong despite having taxes. This more or less proves that taxes aren't a reason for why you'd stay in a country. In the British case my opponent mentioned, the millionaires did not leave the country either, they simply refused to pay. I imagine your law enforcement is just a tad tougher than those Brits so that shouldn't be a problem. This also answers her third point about unemployment, as the rich have incentives to keep on workers despite higher taxes, while cutting government spending inevitably means public sector jobs are lost.

As an aside, this effect can be calculated on what is known as the Laffer Curve (http://en.wikipedia.org...). It turns out that the average peak rate for maximizing revenue is around 70%, although obviously each nation has their own differences at any given time and there may not even be one peak. Regardless it seems unlikely that the US is anywhere near that threshold, with the average rate on the top income earners (although this does vary by state etc) being around 35%.

Secondly, she argued that small business owners get screwed over by the way your income tax system works, while the wealthy find and exploit loopholes (and to be honest, I'm no expert on the tax law of even my own country, let alone yours). You know what, I completely agree. The best way for your country to raise taxes would simply be to close the loopholes. It isn't hard and it makes the whole thing a lot more fair. As for small businesses declaring their income as personal income, all this wouldn't be a problem if they'd simply take the time to fill out and file a corporate tax return. It's literally just one extra form but it would save them so much money. Related to this, she quickly mentioned (or rather, Patricia Williams did) that the rich get government handouts. Again, I agree. Meanwhile many of your poor are suffering without work, without food and without hope. The solution is not to stop spending, but to start spending on the right things. Rather than steal from the poor to give to the rich, taxes SHOULD be used to steal from the rich to give to the poor. That presupposes and requires that taxes are used at all. I recognize that my opponent doesn't want to abolish taxes, but still the lower the taxes the greater the problem.

At best, what my opponent has really proved is that raising taxes may have unintentional side-effects. It's a bit like arguing over whether you should buy candy or not, and your opponent points out that just because you pay the shop keeper doesn't mean he has to give you the candy. It may be technically true - he does have free will and so forth - but it's beside the issue of whether the candy is better than keeping the money to buy something else. After all, the shop keeper who sells you something else may not give that to you either.

Here's my argument.

As I alluded to earlier, government spending can be targeted towards the poor and vulnerable. A lot of it already is. In fact the whole point of a public good is to provide something that everyone needs but not everyone can afford. Likewise, higher taxes can be targeted towards those with a greater ability to pay. Sounds great, right? The alternative is that while the government may have more money available for spending on other things by lowering its current rate of expenditure, less money is taken from the rich and given from the poor. The harm of this is that the poor remain poor, unable to afford basic things that everyone needs. Without necessary social safety nets, a greater proportion of the population becomes poor. We all agree that the USA has a problem already with poverty, unemployment and so forth - this needs to change. What we're discussing is whether or not we should eliminate the primary funding for helping these vulnerable people - the poor, the sick and the helpless. That's the whole reason why we pay taxes at all - to protect these people. In today's world it becomes easy to forget that the apparent greed of taxation has always been born out of this deep generosity, which spending cuts inherently undermine. I'd rather live under a government that tries to help the poor and fails than one that tries to help the wealthy, who can naturally afford all these things for themselves, and succeeds.

But even if you don't understand the moral abhorrency of not caring for these people with government spending - especially in tough times like this when the market is clearly not providing sufficient employment on its own - then there are two other reasons to. First, the government has a special duty towards their citizens as their duly elected representatives. If the wealthy elite my opponent liked to praise truly cared for the poor, then they'd love to pay more tax as the best means of transferring their wealth. This duty is especially to the poor as they're the ones who need help. Secondly, they have a duty as the leaders of their nation, which implies responsibility for their people. How irresponsible is lowering spending, particularly when an industry for private jets still exists while hundreds of thousands wait for their unemployment benefit? Even if you can't immediately solve the problem, you can at least not make that problem worse. Raising taxes raises more money to help these people.

Besides this, the poor are much more likely than the wealthy to spend their money immediately rather than save it, as a greater proportion of their income is dedicated to necessary expenses. With money exchanging hands more, it can be used more often, effectively increasing the purchasing power of the average family much more than simply giving the money to the poor on its own, and certainly more than the rich who probably wouldn't spend it immediately. In economics this factor is known as the velocity of money, and keeping it high is a great step in the direction of saving what remains of your economy.

With that, I turn the debate back over to my opponent and look forward to reading her rebuttals.
Debate Round No. 2
samantha.riesberg

Con

I'm sorry to say this here but I figured this is the fastest way you will get it...

I realized after I posted this debate that I am having finals this week so I don't have all the time in the world. I cannot finish this debate this week. I am terribly sorry.

If it would be ok with you, I would like to have "rematch" ,if you will, sometime soon.

Again I'm terribly sorry...
larztheloser

Pro

No worries! Challenge me to a rematch whenever you feel like it. Thanks for letting me know, and best of luck with your finals!
Debate Round No. 3
samantha.riesberg

Con

samantha.riesberg forfeited this round.
larztheloser

Pro

Excellent...
Debate Round No. 4
samantha.riesberg

Con

samantha.riesberg forfeited this round.
larztheloser

Pro

... and that concludes the debate. (:
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by drafterman 3 years ago
drafterman
samantha.riesberglarztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by DoctorDeku 3 years ago
DoctorDeku
samantha.riesberglarztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 3 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
samantha.riesberglarztheloserTied
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Reasons for voting decision: F.F.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
samantha.riesberglarztheloserTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited, so Pro wins (and I believe Pro's arguments were stronger, as far as the debate had progressed, anyway). But at least Con said they were forfeiting instead of just running down the clock without comment, so hooray for that!