The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

Progressive Taxation

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/22/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,774 times Debate No: 73978
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (31)
Votes (1)




I am in favor of Progressive Taxation.

"A system based on a progressive tax collects tax revenue from individuals in proportion to their ability to pay. Citizens with higher earnings are taxed at a higher rate, while poorer people pay a lower percentage of their income in tax. In other words, the tax rate progresses from lower to higher. Progressive tax can be
implemented by selective taxation, tax credits or other adjustments, and it can also be modified by other factors in a nation's tax system, but most commonly the term refers to a tiered income tax that shifts more of the revenue burden onto the wealthy." (

4 Rounds/72 Hours/10,000

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Arguements
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Conclusion (no new arguements)

Comment if interested.




Fresh from Moscow
Over Volga came to comrades aid
City in despair
Almost crushed by the Fuhrer's army

Oh, it's colder than Hell
Hitler's forces advancing

The sound of the mortars
The music of death
A grand symphony

See your friends fall hear them
Pray to the god your country denies
Every man dies alone and when your
Time comes you will know that it's time

Stalins fortress on fire
Is this madness or Hell

The sound of the mortars
The music of death
We're playing the devil's symphony
Our violins are guns conducted from Hell

Oh Stalingrad

Are you playing?
Do you follow the conductors lead?
No one knows you
No one cares about a single violin

Play the score of the damned
Know the devil within

Debate Round No. 1


Progressive Taxation

Thank you 16kadams for accepting this debate. My case is rather simple

1: Extreme inequality is harmful to society
2: Progressive Taxation reduces inequality

1: Extreme inequality is harmful to society:

Oxfam released a media briefing on January 18 of 2013 stating

“It is now widely accepted that rapidly growing extreme wealth and inequality are harmful to human progress,
and that something needs to be done. Already this year, the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report rated inequality as one of the top global risks of 2013”(1)

Side note.. Oxfam is a international organization that addresses issues of poverty and is headquartered at Oxford. They are known to be reasonably politically neutral. For more on Oxfam follow this link. (2)

Listed in this source are 5 reasons as to why Extreme Wealth and inequality is harmful.

1a) Extreme Wealth and inequality is economically inefficient

“A growing chorus of voices is pointing to the fact that whilst a certain level of inequality may
benefit growth by rewarding risk takers and innovation, the levels of inequality now being seen are in fact economically damaging and inefficient” (1)

1b) Extreme Wealth and inequality is politically corrosive

“If, in the words of the old adage ‘money equals power’ then more unequal societies represent a
threat to meaningful democracy.”(1)

1c) Extreme Wealth and Inequality is Socially Divisive

“Extremewealth and inequality undermines societies. It leads to far less social mobility. If you are
born poor in a very unequal
society you are much more likely to end your life in poverty.” (1)

1d) Extreme wealth and inequality is environmentally Destructive

“More equal societies are better able to cope with disasters and extreme weather events.
Studies show that more equal
countries are also better able to reduce carbon emissions” (1)

1e) Extreme Wealth and Inequality is unethical

“From an ethical point of view, it is extremely difficult to justify excessive wealth and
inequality. In fact, most philosophers
and all of the major religions caution against the pursuit of
excessive wealth at all cost and prescribe sharing of income with less fortunate members of the
community.” (1)

With negative effects socially, environmentally, economically, and politically coupled with the ethical concern it is clear that Extreme Wealth and inequalityare harmful to society. This being solidly established, it becomes clear that society must find a way to address this issue.

2: Progressive taxation works to reduce inequality

“Progressive taxation that redistributes wealth from the rich to the poor is essential”(1)

Lower income spend a higher percentage of their income on necessities like food, housing, and healthcare. A person should primarily be taxed on their 'discretionary' income.

Progressive taxation lessens this burden of taxes placed on the poor that can be debilitating and places it on those who will hardly if at all feel the burden.This causes inequality to shrink in society.

Due to the positive effect that progressive taxation has on inequality in general, society should implement progressive taxation.

With that I pass things over to con. (My opening case was not near as comprehensive as I intended, I had a busy few days hopefully I can expound more in the next round.)





C1) Progressive taxes reduce growth

Research regarding the growth impacts of progressive taxes has been almost unanimous: progressive taxes reduce growth.

Progressive taxes mean the rich pay a larger percentage of their income to the government compared to poor people. Progressive taxes by their very definition means higher tax rates on the wealthy. Forcing the rich to pay higher taxes reduces economic growth as income taxes are inherently biased against saving and investment. Due to the fact this debate is about income taxes, I won’t argue for consumption taxes, which I will do in my debate with Bossy.

The neoclassical economic model argues that wealth must first be produced before consumption can increase. In order to increase consumption you must first increase production. Income taxes disrupt capital production, so progressive taxes tend to reduce production and harm the economy. Progressive taxes reduce the return on higher education, since the wealthy are the most likely to be educated, and reduce incentives to produce capital. The effects of progressive taxes include “reduce[d] investment, risk taking, and entrepreneurial activity since a disproportionately large share of these activities is done by high income earners.” [1.] Reducing invesement and entrepeneurial tend to shrink the economic pie, so both low and high income earners are worse off. A progressive tax will not mean that all businessmen cease to innovate, of course, but it tends to reduce beneficial pro-growth activities.

This argument is not entirely theoretical; there is empirical support for these assertions. Some cross-sectional studies fail to find the effect of progressive or high taxes on growth. But these studies fail to take into account the endogenous nature of taxation. This is called the ‘endogeneity’ problem. Something that is endogenous means it reacts to something else. For example, high crime states adopt the death penalty in order to respond to the high crime--the high crime is not the result of the death penalty. With taxation, uncompetitive countries may adopt non-progressive taxation to increase competitiveness. Their lack of growth is not because of high taxes. So endogeneity must be controlled for in studies which compare the growth of one nation to another.

A study by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve does just this. It controls for the endogenous nature of taxation and compares the progressivity of the tax vote to subsequent economic growth. The study concluded that “a decrease in tax progressivity did lead to higher growth … differences in tax code across countries could explain up to a two and half percent variation in economic growth.” [2.] Although the study did find smaller effects of tax law than other studies, the progressivity of the tax code does seem to matter when it comes to economic growth. Unfortunately, the more progressive a tax code is, the less growth there actually is.

Another study focused solely on the United States. This is important because cross-sectional studies have many variables which are difficult to control for, and sometimes are not controlled at all. Controlling variables within one country is much easier. A study published in 2012 used NBER data and IRS data in order to construct two proxies of progressivity. The effects of progressivity have a three year lag--the tax code changes to more progressive reforms do not begin to negatively harm the economy until three years have passed. At the three year mark, “tax progressivity has a strong negative effect on the annual growth rate of real gross state product.” [3.] The results are shown below.

Both are two different proxies for the progressivity of the tax code. Both show strong statistically significant decreases in growth when the effective progressivity of the tax code increases. It is important to stress that the study focused on *effective* taxation because high marginal rates are not always associated with higher taxes. *Effective* taxation tells us that when a tax code is *truly* progressive, and actually *enforces* higher taxes on the wealthy, that there is a subsequent reduction in growth. The very idea of progressive taxation harms the economy.

C2) Counter Plan: Flat Tax

As I am not allowed to argue for a progressive consumption tax, I will instead argue for another alternative: a flat income tax. It is important that any flat tax is revenue neutral for long-term growth as long-term debts tend to constrict economic growth. So any flat tax proposal must keep the revenue level the same or higher than the current progressive tax system.

The flat tax proposal by the Heritage Foundation does just that. The Heritage plan puts the tax rate at 28%, the same top rate under the Reagan administration. Many argue that this would harm the middle class, as their tax rates are much lower (15%). But if you include payroll taxes, their rates are 30.3%; the wealthy come in at 40.3%. The rich get a tax cut by 12.3%. And contrary to what liberals claim, the poor get a cut too--a 2.3% cut [4.]. There are still some tax credits for the poor which gives them more benefits other than the 2% cut, including “a tax credit of $3,000 ($2,500 for singles) toward the purchase of health insurance.” The plan is also revenue neutral.

When a flat tax proposal does not increase the deficit it is predicted that there would be an increase in growth. A study published recently focused on small business as small businesses are the driving force behind economic growth (and I must add that many small business owners fall into the ‘one percent’ and get punished in progressive systems). A theoretical business making $13,000 per year under the current tax code would make $19,000 the next year under a flat tax. In the second year if sales increase, the business would make $29,000 under the current tax code. Under a flat tax profit climbs to $41,000 [5.]. When you factor in payroll taxes the flat tax benefits everyone. In this study, when they didn’t even take that into account and the flat tax raised taxes on some people, there was still growth because the one rate simplicity and reduced progressivity helped business.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas has also estimated the effect of flat tax reforms on growth over the long term--the study above focused mainly on short-term profitability. If you implemented a flat tax, output would increase 4.5%, capital stock increases 15%, and the labor supply increases 1.3% [6.]. My opponent will be quick to point out that asset value decreased in the study, but “the decline in the real value of existing assets actually contributes to the positive effects of … real output.”

C3) The flat tax worked in Russia

You could always argue that you can reduce progressivity in a progressive tax system and lower the rates. Although this would stimulate growth, it would not stimulate as much growth as a full transition to a flat tax. This can be shown by the experience in Russia, where taxes were low before they went to an even lower flat tax rate. They had a low tax system with little progressivity, and they still saw growth as a result of flat tax reform.

The International Monetary Fund, which traditionally pushes for higher tax rates, unsurprisingly claims that the Russian flat tax produced no supply-side benefits. It should be noted, however, that they did admit that the flat tax reduced fraud, increased revenue, and increased tax compliance [7.]. So, overall, they did admit that the reform has many positive benefits.

An important study by Stanford economists found that the flat tax in the baltic countries benefited the countries. Studying Lithuania, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, and Georgia, the sample is fairly large. The findings were consistent: the reduction in the marginal rate from flat taxes causes growth and incentivizes work. The labor supply also increased. All of these effects lead to growth [8.]. Only in Estonia did the labor supply fall, and that was because marginal rates were increased. So flat taxes that lower the marginal rate cause growth. As noted above, progressive taxes tend to have higher marginal rates, so they reduce growth.

Despite the above study finding a shrinking labor supply for Estonia, some benefits still accrued simply because of the tax structure. “The flat tax in Estonia encouraged capital formation, led to higher productivity levels, higher wages, and job creation.” [9.] Again with Russia, “the average annual real growth rate in Russia over the last three years averaged 5.5 percent.” So the growth rate in Russia was extremely high after the flat tax reforms.

My opponent is likely to cite a Brookings Institute report in response to this contention, but as noted earlier, progressivity seems to lag by about 3 years before we see growth. So the Brookings argument that GDP was not changing at a different rate a few years after the reform when compared to the 1990s is expected. Assuming the 3 year lag above, we see that Russian growth actually boomed 3 years later in 2004 [10.]. So economic growth in 2004 is, at least in part, attributable to the flat tax--and the lag means we shouldn't have seen growth until that time. The Brookings report does not take into account the lag, so their analysis is lacking.

Debate Round No. 2


Thanks 16kadams.

C1) Progressive taxes reduce growth

Ultimately Con’s 1st source speculates that the economy is socomplex that definitive claims about the effect of taxes on the economy cannot be found. Stating “The economy is sufficiently complex that virtually any theory can find some support in the data.”(1) On top of that, the argument made in the source is against specifically the U.S. tax system. “the U.S. tax system is a drag on the economy.” (1) This is neither here nor there in this debate as the U.S. is not a quintessential example of progressive taxation. In fact, when ranked with other nations the United States is not nearly as progressive.

Con admits
A progressive tax will not mean that all businessmen cease to innovate.”

From con’s reasoning we can then conclude that progressive taxation =/= killer of innovation.

Con claims that “Research regarding the growth impacts of progressive taxes hasbeen almost unanimous: progressive taxes reduce growth.” This is entirely false. In fact, con’s first source states The idea that taxes affect economic growth has become politically contentious and the subject of muchdebate in the press and among advocacy groups. That is in part because there are competing theories about what drives economic growth.”(1) Later Stating that “the Congressional Research Service (CRS) has found support for the theory that taxes have no effect on economic growth.” His source does go on to discredit this study, though for my opponent to conclude that there is almost unanimous consensus on the matter is blatantly false.

While there is not consensuses on the effect that progressive taxation has on the economy there is general consensus that “the
levels of inequality now being seen are in fact economically damaging and inefficient” (2)
Being that progressive taxation addresses inequality, it is reasonable to assume that if an effect can be found on the economy it is likely to be positive.

C2) Counter Plan: Flat Tax/C3) The flat tax worked in Russia

Murray Rothbard a Phd. In economics widely respected gives a compelling case against flat tax plans. Arguing that “the flat tax is neither evidently fair not genuinely simple nor neutral to the market.” (3)

Con says “You could always argue that you can reduce progressivity in a progressive tax system and lower the rates. Although this would stimulate growth, it would not stimulate as much growth as a full transition to a flat tax.”

A reduced progressive tax system would stimulate growth while also addressing issues of inequality. Thus making it superior to a flat tax.

Conclusion of Rebuttals:

Con is more sure of his position than the sources he cites. The crux of his argument being focused heavily on economic growth, we see there is no consensus in the economic community that progressive taxation kills economic growth. In fact con says himself “reduced progressivity in a progressive tax system…. Would stimulate growth.” Aside from this we see that economic inequality is harmful to the economy. Progressive taxation positively addresses this issue, causing at least and indirect, if not very direct positive effect on the economy. A Flat tax ignores entirely the harm placed on society by inequality. As such progressive taxation is greater than a flat tax.






R1) Inequality

To say that there is a consensus regarding inequality is incorrect. Inequality is a threat when it is made primarily through extortion and threats. In developing countries this is often the case because there is not a functioning market. But inequality is not bad when the rich produce things. This is the premise of Greg Mankiw’s paper, and he argues that, on balance, the American 1% work to get their money. If they are producers, inequality can actually increase the economic standing of everyone [1]. Market liberalization, even though it may cause inequality, can help the poor.

Economist Martin Feldstein argues that inequality is the wrong measurement of well being, poverty is the proper metric. Economists “start with the principle that a change is good if it makes someone better off without in making anyone else worse off.” [2] In a market economy everything is based on voluntary transactions and we need a government to enforce said contracts. It is difficult for one to argue that inequality is actually immoral or bad if it inflicts no harm on other people.

Say Kasmic has an IQ of 155 and I have an IQ of 1. Would it be fair to take his income more to subsidize my behavior? I do not think inequality is immoral if his money is acquired through legitimate means.

The question is what reduces poverty. We should focus on reducing poverty, not inequality. Inequality can increase but overall living standards can improve simultaneously. Feldstein argues that if we work to reduce unemployment by promoting harder work ethics, reduce drug use and poor lifestyles, and having a small but existent social safety net can increase living standards [2].

Inequality doesn’t cause poverty. Inequality is bad only when it harms others. It doesn’t. It is not morally wrong because if someone works hard they deserve to have more money.

According to the St. Louis Fed, income mobility is more important than inequality. If poor households have the ability to become wealthy over time it does not matter if inequality exists. You may be poor one day, but the next year you may be in the top 10% of income earners. “[C]omparing different income quintiles over time is like comparing apples to oranges, because it means comparing incomes of different people at different stages in their earnings profile. … nearly 58 percent of the households that were in the lowest income quintile ... in 1996 moved to a higher income quintile by 2005. Similarly, nearly 50 percent of the households in the second-lowest quintile in 1996 moved to a higher income quintile by 2005.” [3]

Inequality actually can be a good thing in a market economy. The Fed states that the rich are richer because they are more productive. More production means they not only help themselves but also the poor. Consumers now have the ability to choose more products, and they are not better with said products. Not taxing or burdening the rich means you increase the number of opportunities to become rich, and actually help americans. “Poverty and income inequality are related, but only the former deserves a policy-based response. Sound economic policy to reduce poverty would lift people out of poverty (increase their productivity) while not reducing the well-being of wealthier individuals. Tools to implement such a policy include investments in education and job training.” [3] We should not soak the rich because that would reduce economic growth and hurt everyone. We should focus on the poor. Causing growth is the best tool we have for helping the poor: a larger pie means they can have a larger slice.

The environment argument is odd. The research here comes mostly from non-developed countries. They have inequality for different reasons developed countries do. Market liberalization would remedy the problem. Environmental damage harms profit so it is in their best interest to contain it. Property rights also reduce pollution, and property rights are key to any market economy. So, ironically, allowing for more opportunities to become rich and supporting property rights are probably the cure for environmentalism. Soaking the rich isn’t.

R2) Progressive taxes reduce inequality

As noted, we should *not* reduce inequality, only reduce poverty. Allowing inequality causes growth which in and of itself helps the poor. According to the OECD, “Economic growth is the most powerful instrument for reducing poverty and improving the quality of life in developing countries.” [4]

As progressive taxes reduce growth they have the potential to hurt the poor, not help them. Harming the rich does not mean the poor are helped. An interesting study also notes that in countries with high tax evasion a flat tax actually may decrease inequality as well [5]. So this isn’t necessarily true.

Inequality is *not* a good metric of well being, and is actually associated with higher living standards and lower poverty [6].

C1) Progressive taxes and growth

Kasmic is understating what the Tax Foundation report actually says. Any voter is free to view the source and it is clear that the Tax Foundation’s report does *not* support progressive taxes and does feel that the results of the evidence in the study are significant. They state, for example, that “the lesson from the studies conducted is that long-term economic growth is to a significant degree a function of tax policy.” [7] They argue elsewhere that “While there are a variety of methods and data sources, the results consistently point to significant negative effects of taxes on economic growth even after controlling for various other factors such as government spending, business cycle conditions, and monetary policy.” The source definitively states that the evidence is on my side. This should be compared to the climate debate. Climate is an *extremely* complex system. And although we do not know what effect these other factors have, we do know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and has an effect on climate. We know from this that taxes have a strong effect on growth as well.

Also Kasmic is misreading the Tax Foundation quote. It is saying that anything can find support in the data, sure. But *any* issue has that problem. The question is what does the best evidence say; it says progressive taxes are bad. "Progressive taxation also reduces investment, risk taking, and entrepreneurial activity since a disproportionately large share of these activities is done by high income earners.” [7] (not just US system)

Kasmic’s interpretation of what I said is incorrect. I said that progressive taxes didn’t kill *all* investment or innovation, only that it affected *some*. And that effect is significant enough to reduce economic growth by huge amounts. I didn’t concede anything. It is absurd to make me argue that progressive taxes make all investment impossible. But arguing that it has a large effect is correct based on the evidence in this debate. I have offered many peer-reviewed studies saying that progressive taxes shrink the economy — Kasmic has not offered any evidence against this and instead tries to play semantics on a statement which does not prove him correct.

Kasmic pointing to the CRS is confusing. The source argues that “the CRS study [is] unpublishable in any peer-reviewed academic journal.” [7] Is he really saying that the fact that an extremely flawed report supports his position proves me wrong? This can be demonstrated through the Soon-Baliunas controversy. Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas published an extremely flawed study which doubted the climate consensus and led to multiple journal editors to resign [8]. Is climate science wrong because a terrible study was published? We don’t have unanimous evidence — we must assume it is wrong! That logic doesn’t even make sense. When it comes to tobacco, many scientists published dissenting opinion despite the *excellent* evidence that smoking caused cancer [9]. Is my opponent willing to say that smoking does not cause cancer because there is not unanimous evidence? I don’t know where he is going with this. And this is a strawman: I never said that the evidence was unanimou, only that the strongest evidence supports my position. Kasmic has offered no evidence.

Rebuttal to inequality is above.

C2/3) Flat taxes

Why are flat taxes not fair? Quoting an anarchist is not really solid proof. What is fair? I think this is fair to everyone: if a demographic produces 50% of the wealth they should pay 50% of the taxes. If the 1% controlled 15% of the wealth they should pay 15% of the taxes. Let’s see if a flat tax does that (economy = 100$):

Kasmic: $30 -> 30% of income.

16k: $20 -> 20% of income

Mikal: $40 -> 40% income

JMK: $10 -> 10% income

28% flat tax

Kasmic: 30 * 0.28 = $8.4 in taxes

16k: 20 * 0.28 = $5.6 in taxes

Mikal: 40 * 0.28 = $11.2 in taxes

JMK: 10 * 0.28 = $2.8 in taxes

Total: $28

Now percent paid:

Kasmic: 30%

16k: 20%

Mikal: 40%

JMK: 10%

This is fair. A progressive tax takes more from Mikal and Kasmic because of income, which is just arbitrary. Why do the rich Kasmic and Mikal owe more than me and JMK? It doesn’t make sense. The flat tax treats everyone equally.

Unlike what Kasmic claims, we have the *most* progressive tax system [10].

Reducing progressivity would create growth, yes, but less than a flat tax. And since flat taxes create the most growth, they best help the poor. Inequality is a weak argument as shown above. I would also note that a reduced progressive tax makes it harder to deal with inequality. So if you agree with Kasmic’s inequality argument he must support the extreme position — but that harms growth — and if you agree with me progressive taxes, even if it is reduced, will harm growth compared to the flatter alternative.











Debate Round No. 3


R1) Inequality

Again Con’s source concludes differently than he does stating “
Economists can turn to empirical methods to estimate key parameters, but no amount of applied econometrics can bridge this philosophical divide.”

Con indicates we should ask “what reduces poverty” rather than inequality. In either case, progressive taxation is shown to reduce both. Whether the difference between “inequality”and “poverty” is semantics or not. Progressive taxation addresses both.

C1) Progressive taxes and growth

Con says “
Kasmic is understating what the Tax Foundation report actually says.”

I accepted his endorsement of my understanding!

Con asks “Why are flat taxes not fair?”

As stated in my first round

“Lower income homes spend a higher percentage of their income on necessities like food, housing, and
healthcare. A person should primarily be taxed on their 'discretionary' income.”

For example:

Lets say $10 of income is required to function above poverty and provide necessities like food etc. Now lets apply in society a flat tax at the 28% Con proposed.

Kasmic: $30 -> 30% of income.

16k: $20 -> 20% of income

Mikal: $40 -> 40% income

JMK: $10 -> 10% income

Kasmic: 30 * 0.28 = $8.4 in taxes

16k: 20 * 0.28 = $5.6 in taxes

Mikal: 40 * 0.28 = $11.2 in taxes

JMK: 10 * 0.28 = $2.8 in taxes

Total: $28

100% of JMK’s income in needed to function at the poverty line, While Kasmic only uses 33% of his income on necessities. This places an unbalanced and heavy burden on those with lower incomes. While a flat tax appears to the layman as fair, it disproportionately is a burden on lower incomes. This is empirically obvious. This is why progressive taxation helps. When people are taxed increasingly on higher income, it allows those in lower brackets to spend their income on necessities and only really taxes the wealthy on discretionary income. This allows growth, and addresses poverty.


Thanks to
16kadams for this debate. While he has much more experience debating economics, it is clear that Progressive taxation lessens this burden of taxes placed on the poor that can be debilitating and places it on those who will hardly if at all feel the burden. This causes inequality and poverty to shrink in society.

Vote Pro!



R1) Inequality

My source didn’t actually conclude differently. The whole point of the article was to prove that inequality was beneficial for society. He says that after discussing multiple philosophical theories for or against inequality, demonstrating that a philosophic consensus doesn’t really exist. And although Mankiw stated that statistics cannot resolve the argument, I disagree for a few reasons:

(1) Statistics can show if the rich earn their money fairly.

(2) Statistics can show if inequality harms the poor.

(3) Statistics can show if inequality is earned or inherited.

I have proven throughout the debate that the success of one person does not affect the success of another. If this is true, the overall impact is ‘good’ because one person is enriched and another is not harmed.

Kasmic claims the difference between inequality and poverty is just semantics. This is not true. A society where everyone has $100,000 and the rich have $600 billion would be unequal. But poverty would not exist. Inequality can increase simultaneously while poverty declines. I actually offered evidence that countries with higher levels of inequality have higher living standards for the poor ( This pretty much destroys Kasmic’s entire case. If progressive taxes reduce growth--which they do--they also increase poverty, which hurts the poor. Even if they create an egalitarian society people are worse off because of it. And that is not a desirable outcome. Inequality may actually be associated with higher living standards for everyone. So a progressive tax is not really beneficial.

-> Drops his C2

C1) Progressive taxes and growth

I don’t understand the first part of Kasmic’s argument. I pointed out that he was minimizing the impact of the Tax Foundation report. So I suppose he is accepting that he interpreted it incorrectly.

Kasmic’s entire argument is that a poor person needs his or her wealth more than a rich person. But a flat tax acknowledges this because if a rich person is 20 times more wealthy he has to pay 20 times as much. Taxing the rich person over that amount doesn’t even make sense because someone being wealthy does not mean they should pay more in taxes. How does being wealthy mean you are obligated to pay more?

My hypothetical example has no poverty line. But in reality a flat tax continues to give exemptions for the poor as I explained in my opening round. Those at or below the poverty line pay no taxes. Single parents with low income are also exempted. So, in actuality, JMK would not be paying taxes but the overall ratios would be the same. You would pay more than I would. Kasmic also ignores the evidence that I provided before that a flat tax would *reduce* the tax burden on low and middle income families by 2%. I also argued with my Russian example that tax fraud was reduced meaning increased revenue over the long term. This means any pinch felt by the poor are remedied by (1) growth and (2) an improved social safety net.

Kasmic pretty much drops — and thus concedes — my argument that progressive taxes cause growth. This hurts him because I noted how growth is the *best* way to reduce poverty and help the poor. If progressive taxes get in the way of that they harm, and do not help, the poor.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
31 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ButterCatX 3 years ago

Con get's the arguments points. Pro did not refute to an adequate level on con's reducing growth statement, and the flat tax impact on rising economic growth argument was not well addressed by Pro. Pro focused on how the inequality that resulted in a negative effect on the economy, concurrently Pro made the statement that it was from a complete consensus(which it is not), as Con showed that neither side has 100% consensus, so those statements are even. Because Pro's entire argument depended on those prior statements and Con successfully backed and proved his argument on growth and the flat tax, Con takes those points.
Posted by bluesteel 3 years ago
>Reported vote: PhiLockeraptor // Moderator action: REMOVED<

3 points to Pro (arguments). Reasons for voting decision: Pro's BOP in the round was to convince the reader that they should be in favor of Progressive Taxation. Con's was to tear that assertion down. Because Progressive Taxation is already the status quo, Con needed to prove that the status quo should change to a flat tax. While neither side ultimately convinced me of their superiority, because Progressive Taxation is already the status quo, and Con did not prove that that should change, I'm going to have to give this one to Pro.

[*Reason for removal*] (1) Too generic and (2) incoherent. The RFD mentions no arguments actually made in the debate, just vacillates about BOP, so it doesn't give any topic-specific feedback. In addition, it is incoherent because it says that Pro has the BOP (to prove the proposition that progressive taxation is ideal) then changes its mind and says Con has the BOP (to disprove the status quo). An RFD must at least make sense and be internally coherent.
Posted by 16kadams 3 years ago
Posted by ResponsiblyIrresponsible 3 years ago

To be fair... he sort of has a point that automation can cause *structural* unemployment. It doesn't even seem he's saying that unemployment, on balance, would increase -- which would be patently false.

Okay, screw that last comment, lol.
Posted by ResponsiblyIrresponsible 3 years ago
Dude Obama actually made an analogous argument; he blamed ATM machines for unemployment. Romer and Summers were flabbergasted.
Posted by 16kadams 3 years ago
that's why the cotton gin made us unemployed m8
Posted by ResponsiblyIrresponsible 3 years ago
Fair enough; I am an evil capitalist, after all -- automation > all else. Robots will rule the world!
Posted by 16kadams 3 years ago
Because you spent all your money on Capital
Posted by ResponsiblyIrresponsible 3 years ago
Lol why am I the destitute one who only makes $10? :P
Posted by tejretics 3 years ago
Ugh ... small Georgia. Incredibly tough to read :p
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tejretics 3 years ago
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Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Tie. Both sides maintained reasonable conduct throughout the debate. Thus, conduct is tied. | S&G - Tie. Neither side made any major grammatical or spelling errors, and both maintained adequate spelling and grammar. Thus, S&G is tied. | Arguments - Con. Pro's refutation on progressive taxation reducing growth was very poor, and a flat tax's impact on rising economic growth was weakly addressed by Pro. Pro's case relied on inequality resulting in harm to the economy, and Pro made the flawed claim that this was via. absolute consensus, while Con demonstrated that neither side had complete agreement, thus that argument is tied. Since Pro's case rested on that and Con successfully defended his case on growth and the flat tax, Con wins. | Sources - Con. Pro's sources were used incorrectly by stating that there were full consensuses, etc. while Con used adequate sources to the point, not even slightly exaggerating them. | 5 points to Con. | As always, happy to clarify this RFD.