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Should the U.S prioritize tax increase over spending cuts?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/26/2012 Category: Economics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,913 times Debate No: 28652
Debate Rounds (3)
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Contention 1: Improves Social Needs and Public Welfare
Tax increases will enable the government to ensure that services to citizens are available, and necessary expenditures on infrastructure are met without the need for excessive bond issuances.

According to the New York Times, there is a direct correlation between the amount of money provided to Congress for the national budget and the quality of living in the US. In a study conducted by the Bureau of Economic Statistics, in the past 7 years, the average standard of living has been determined through looking at adjusted income per person and the poverty rate. In the years with a higher annual budget, the standard of living has risen higher than in years with a lower annual budget. The Board of Economic Advisors concluded from this study that the national budget reflects directly upon the standard of living in our country.

The government on us imposes taxes so that they can benefit us. Taxes are imposed so that roads get fixed. They are imposed so that we get an education. They are imposed so that people don"t invade our country. They are imposed to protect our rights. What right do we have to say that the government shouldn"t impose taxes on us? If we don"t pay for government programs, that money comes from excessive bond issuances.
According to the Department of Labor and Infrastructure, the lack of funding in their departments have caused the pushing back of almost a decade"s worth of renovation and projects to the point where many projects may never be finished.

By raising taxes, we will be able to ensure that our nation is up to date and has all the necessary expenditures to develop, and we can lower the poverty rate and invest more heavily in programs that will help improve the living conditions and living quality of Americans today.

Increasing tax rates also mean new jobs. The tax rates were increased in 1990 and 1993. Capital gain rates were cut slightly in 1996. And, 21 million new jobs were created in the 90s. That is about a 20% increase in the number of jobs available in the United States. The infamous Bush tax cuts passed in 2001, and even before the Bush recession began, job growth lagged behind GDP growth. After the Bush recession, we had a net job growth of 0%. And, thanks to population growth, no new jobs means record high unemployment, according to the Tax Policy Center.

Contention 2: Can reduce debt
We are currently in a 16 trillion dollar debt that is rising at the rate of 6 billion dollars every single day, according to the Department of Treasury. That"s almost 4 million dollars every minute.
To put our current situation into perspective, judge, our national debt at present is greater than the combined economies of China, the United Kingdom, and Australia combined. Should the burden of this debt be spread to all Americans, each American family in the US would owe about 50,113.78 dollars to various countries in the world.

The biggest problem right now is that we don"t have enough money to pay for some of our major programs and we are getting sucked into a death trap.
For example, 41% of our taxes are spent on Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare benefits according to However, when we pay our taxes for social security, it does not go to a private bank account where it is set-aside just for us. It goes to paying for the current recipients of these benefits.

But the problem is that over our lifetime, Americans still deposit less than the average American will take out of this funding. Every single year, for every dollar put into Social Security, more and more is being taken out.
The Bureau of Economic Statistics released a report in 2009 stating that at the current tax rate, by the time our generation gets to retiring age, there may not be enough money to pay for our social security benefits, and this is just one program of many.

Contention 3Deficit Spending Helps The Economy

: Daniel Mitchell, Research Fellow in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, Heritage, THE IMPACT OF

The economics of government spending is not limited to cost-benefit analysis. There is also the Keynesian debate. In the 1930s, John Maynard Keynes argued that government spending""particularly increases in government spending""boosted growth by injecting purchasing power into the economy. According to Keynes, government could reverse economic downturns by borrowing money from the private sector and then returning the money to the private sector through various spending programs. This "pump priming" concept did not necessarily mean that government should be big. Instead, Keynesian theory asserted that government spending""especially deficit spending""could provide short-term stimulus to help end a recession or depression. The Keynesians even argued that policymakers should be prepared to reduce government spending once the economy recovered in order to prevent inflation, which they believed would result from too much economic growth. They even postulated that there was a tradeoff between inflation and unemployment (the Phillips Curve) and that government officials should increase or decrease government spending to steer the economy between too much of one or too much of the other. Keynesian economics was very influential for several decades and dominated public policy from the 1930s""1970s. The theory has since fallen out of favor, but it still influences policy discussions, particularly on whether or not changes in government spending have transitory economic effects. For instance, some lawmakers use Keynesian analysis to argue that higher or lower levels of government spending will stimulate or dampen economic growth.


I am happy to accept your debate challenge. Let me start off by saying that if the government increases taxes then people will have less money, people will spend less which will cause businesses to make less money and those businesses will pay less tax dollars and lay off more employees. If businesses pay less tax dollars and lay off employees then the government revenue will decrease. Tax increases only raise revenue when it's first implemented. Once the economy gets worse the government revenue will decrease. Tax increases only raise revenue short term.

Tax increases make it harder for people to pay back loans and make their lives worst in the long run.

If the government raises taxes then they will only be able to fund government programs in the short term.

The government should not redistribute wealth because wealthy people work hard to earn their money.

The government should help poor people by helping out businesses. Most people get hired by businesses. The government should cut taxes for all taxpayers and businesses. If they do that then people will have more money, people will spend more and businesses will hire more employees.

In order for the government to balance the budget they should significantly cut spending on entitlement programs and other government programs that are not very important.

The key to improving the living conditions of the people in this country is to tax them less and tax businesses less. The government should also cut regulations on businesses. The high taxes and excessive regulations on businesses are preventing them from hiring a lot more employees.
Debate Round No. 1


We stand in the firmest affirmation of the resolution: US should prioritize tax increases over spending cuts. First, we will set down some criteria that either side will need to meet in order to win the debate. First and foremost, the resolution implies that either spending cuts or tax increases must be undertaken as a means of reducing the deficit to ensure long term economic prosperity.
Secondly, some combination of the two is clearly the right approach. The AFF, then, should acknowledge that some spending cuts are necessary, but maintain that greater emphasis should be placed on tax increases. The NEG should acknowledge that some tax increases are necessary while maintaining that the emphasis should be placed on spending cuts.
Thirdly, 60% of the budget goes to 3 things: health care, social security, and defense. Prioritizing spending cuts means prioritizing significant cuts to these big programs. Advocacy for cuts to other specific programs, such as the arts, should not be considered as voting issues, due to lack of impact.


An IEEE (Institute of Electrical/Electronic Engineers) guideline offers a very good definition:

The word should is used to indicate that among several possibilities one is recommended as particularly suitable, without mentioning or excluding others; or that a certain course of action is preferred but not necessarily required; or that (in the negative form) a certain course of action is deprecated but not prohibited (should equals is recommended that).

From Google:

1.Used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness.
2.Indicating a desirable or expected state.


From Google:
1.Designate or treat (something) as more important than other things
2.Determine the order for dealing with (a series of items or tasks) according to their relative importance.

Joseph E. Stiglitz [Prof. of Economics, Columbia University], "Stimulating the Economy in an Era
of Debt and Deficit," The Economics Voice (March 2012) <;
Under these circumstances, the traditional economists" solution has been to advocate the use of fiscal policy"tax cuts and/or spending increases. There is an especially compelling case for increasing public investments because they would increase GDP and employment today as well as increase output in the future. Given low interest rates, the enhanced growth in GDP would more than offset the increased cost of government spending, reducing national debt in the medium term. Moreover, the ratio of debt to GDP would decrease and the ability of the U.S. economy to sustain debt (debt sustainability) would improve. This happy state of affairs is especially likely given the ample supply of high-return investment opportunities in infrastructure, technology, and education resulting from underinvestment in these areas over the past quarter century. Moreover, well-designed public investments would raise the return on private investments, "crowding in" this additional source of spending. Together, increased public and private investment would raise output and employment in the short run, and increase growth and debt sustainability in the medium and long run. Such spending would reduce (not increase) the ratio of debt to GDP. Thus, the objection that the U.S. should not engage in such fiscal policies because of the high ratio of debt to GDP is simply wrong; even those who suffer from deficit fetishism should support such measures.

Explanation: Government public investments create growth and economic prosperity in the medium term. This is essential to the economic welfare and deficit reduction of the US.

Defunded Government Will be Unable to Maintain the Basis of our Economy
Johnson 2011 [Dave Johnson, "Conservative Tax Tricks " Did Tax Cuts Grow The Economy ," Campaign America's Future, April/18,]

Conservatives say that the economy boomed, and more revenue came in because of the tax cuts. What actually happened was government deficits and the resulting accumulated debt exploded, while our defunded government has since been unable to maintain the infrastructure and public structures (laws, courts, regulations, protections, schools, etc") that keep our economy competitive and our standard of living high. All you have to do is look at the record. Let"s do that here. (read this only if opponents want more evidence and examples) In 1981 " Carter"s last budget year " the on-budget (not from Social Security) tax receipts were $469 billion which was a 16% increase over the prior year. 1982 tax receipts were $474.3 billion, down to 1.1% over 1981, and the on-budget deficit shot up to $120 billion, a shocking increase of 62% in a single year! 1983 receipts were $453.2 billion, a drop of 4.4%, creating a deficit of $208 BILLION " an increase of 73%! In just those two years following the tax cuts our debt increased by $328 billion!

Explanation: All these things, which are defunded resulting from low government revenue, are what is generating a deficit. We must increase taxes in order to get more money to maintain the foundation of our economy and ensure long-term prosperity.

James Crotty [Professor Emeritus and Helen Sheridan Memorial Scholar Economics Department, University of Massachusetts, Amherst], "The Great Austerity War: What Caused the Deficit Crisis and Who Should Pay to Fix It?" The Helen Sheridan Memorial Lecture, April 15, 2011. <;
Figure 4, based on a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of CBO data, assumes the Bush-Obama tax cuts will expire after 2012. It shows that the current and prospective deficit problems were exclusively caused by four factors: the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; the Bush tax cuts; the revenue and spending effects of the economic downturn and projected sluggish recovery, and, to a lesser degree, measures taken to prevent a depression and financial market collapse.28 "The economic downturn, President Bush's tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain virtually the entire deficit over the next ten years."29 Note that excessive spending on discretionary non defense spending, federal employee compensation, Social Security and Medicare, or other social programs do not appear on this list because they played no role in creating the deficits. Yet these are the programs the right-wing coalition insists must be cut to eliminate the deficit problem. In fact, the only responsibility of ordinary American people for the deficit problem was that they elected public officials who implemented and sustained the right-wing economic model and waged wars of choice. However, their culpability is diminished by two factors. First, the explanation of the causes of the crisis and the policies needed to end the crisis provided by our conservative corporate-controlled media is cut to fit the right-wing coalition's perspective on these matters. Therefore, most Americans do not understand the basic facts of the matter. Second, the political science literature documents that politicians only respond to the expressed preferences of the upper third of the income distribution.30

Explanation: The proposed cuts to our standard budget will not impact the deficit, as they are they not the cause nor the driving force behind the debt. In fact, these four factors are. Cutting into other programs would harm our economic growth and the people"s welfare.


[Nicholas; Vice President o


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Debate Round No. 2


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Debate Round No. 3
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