Instigator / Pro
Points: 14

Flat Tax

Finished

The voting period has ended

After 2 votes the winner is ...
nmvarco
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Politics
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two months
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
30,000
Contender / Con
Points: 8
Description
Pro (nmvarco) will be arguing for the Flat Tax.
Con (Declan25) will be arguing against the Flat Tax.
Round 1
Published:
Pro = nmvarco = A Flat Tax should be adopted
Con = Declan25 = A Flat Tax should not be adopted

Opening Statements

I would like to thank my opponent Declan25 for accepting this debate. I hope we have a fair and honest discussion about this very important issue. Please, no arguments over semantics. I am typing this on Word and my autocorrect is funny so Tax is always capitalized.

A1: The Effects of a Flat Tax on Rich People

Money does not grow on trees. The majority of rich people earn their money fairly, whether through their own company or startup, a family business, or a large inheritance. If they earn their money fairly, why do the top 10% pay two-thirds of the federal income tax? In addition,

...the bottom 50 percent — all Americans with an income below the median — pay just 3 percent of the income tax. The federal income tax, according to a recent study by the Tax Foundation, is one of the most progressive tax systems in the world. Scott Hodge, president of Tax Foundation, says: “Almost no other industrialized nation depends on the rich to pay the bills more than the United States.” [1]

The current tax system relies too heavily on the money of the rich. Having a flat tax would greatly release this burden on the rich. Con will counter this argument with the common misconception that as “rich people get richer, poor people get poorer.” The top 1% are the people who own the biggest companies, have the most money and are investors. Without these people, our economy could not survive, creating a country where the poorer go deeper into poverty and the middle class ceases to exist.

As rich people get richer poor people get richer.

A2: The Effects of a Flat Tax on the Middle Class

Many pundits have incorrectly stated that a flat Tax would destroy the middle class. This is incorrect. As of 2017, the U.S. government census reported that the average median household income was $61,372. Investopedia reports that

Pew [Research Center] defines the middle class as those earning between two-thirds and double the median household income.This means that the category of middle-income is made up of people making somewhere between $40,500 and $122,000. Those making less than $39,500 make up the lower-income bracket. Those making more than $118,000 make up the upper-income bracket [2].

As of 2018, the U.S. Tax Bracket states that people making between $19,051 and $74,400 are taxed 12% and people making between $74,401 and $165,000 are taxed 22% [3]. Due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, both rates are 3% down from 2017. Having a flat Tax would greatly reduce taxes on half of the middle class and raise them by a small amount compared to previous years on the other half of the middle class. Implementing a flat tax system for the middle class would relieve the overtaxation of previous years.

A3: The Effects of a Flat Tax on Companies

Discussing an issue like this makes some wonder why the government taxes companies. I mean, they are the ones who make the economy possible. Without companies, there would be no jobs and a country like ours would not be possible. We have to make taxes on companies fair. Facebook, which is not the biggest company in the world, pays 40.5% of their profits to the government as of 2015 [4].

Having a flat Tax on companies could also indirectly affect low income earners and minimum wage workers. Lowering taxes on companies might give them an incentive to pay their workers more. So even if people who are poor or in poverty would be taxed more, it’s possible that they could make more.

A flat Tax would lift the burden on companies that make our economy possible. Not only would it help large corporations, it would also help small startups and businesses that can’t always necessarily pay their taxes. That would pave a road for a more successful economy in future generations.

A4: The Effects of a Flat Tax on the Government

As shown by my previous arguments, our current government relies on the high-income earners to pay for government functions. If we had a flat tax, we could relieve the excessive taxing on these companies and individuals. Having a flat tax would also make the government more responsible with what they do with their money and how to wisely spend it on government programs. My opponent will almost undoubtedly ask me how to take care of the gap in government funding if we impose a flat tax.

When Rand Paul suggested a 14.5% Flat Tax on all taxpayers in 2015, the Tax Foundation, an independent policy nonprofit, reported that it would grow the economy by 12.9 percent in the long run. It would also

create 4.3 million jobs, and cost $1.8 trillion over ten years on a static basis and raise $737 billion when accounting for economic growth [5].

This $1.8 trillion dollar hole can be countered by Obamacare alone. As of 2017, the federal government spends about $42.6 billion on Obamacare each year, easily canceling out the effects of the implementation of a flat tax [6]. Not only are we spending too much on it, but the people whose only choice is Obamacare are being left in the dust with no healthcare because of skyrocketing premiums.

Even if a situation where we would keep Obamacare while creating a flat Tax system, we could also easily offset the cost of the implementation of a flat tax by defunding defunct welfare programs and other government projects that either have no use in this day and age or are not helping a problem or making things fair for the customer.

Creating a flat tax system would also be simpler than having the progressive tax. Congress must decide each rate for around eight income groups. Lots of research must be done for each group. Deduction rates must be decided for each group. A flat Tax would greatly reduce this hassle.


Conclusion

Creating a system where people of all incomes would have a wide range of effects on all corners of the economy. Having a flat Tax would also ensure that our government does what it should be doing with our money and using it wisely on programs that work and have a positive effect.

Sources




Published:
Opening Statements
         First off, I would like to thank my opponent, nmvarco, for giving us such an interesting debate topic. I would like to congratulate my opponent on laying out conservative trickle down economics, which has been proven ineffective for the past hundred years, very well. I would also like to add that the only other major country who has a flat tax is Russia. One look at their economy and we can see how that’s gone. On the other end of the spectrum, every other major country with a successful economy, including America, the United Kingdom, France, and China, have a progressive tax. Explain to me why a progressive tax is so bad if the strongest countries in the world and their successful economies have a progressive tax and not a flat one. As much as I will be arguing against a flat tax, I am also arguing for a progressive tax.

Arguments

A1. Half of the country gets richer while the other half get poorer
         With this imposed tax, half of the people in our country would get richer. These are the high middle class and the wealthy. Anyone with an income below that will not benefit at all. For example, in a Congressional Budget Office study taken in 2011 told us that the bottom fifth of taxpayers pay two percent of their income to federal taxes. On the other end of the spectrum, the top one percent pay 29% of their income. If a 14.5 percent flat tax was imposed, the bottom fifth percent would see their taxes increased sevenfold while the top 1 percent would see their taxes cut in half.

A2. The GDP decrease
         The flat tax has been known to decrease the GDP in countries that have accepted it. For example in Hungary, the GDP decreased by 1.6% in the first year of the flat tax. Our economy is the best it has been in a long time, would we really want to take away from its growth?

A3. The problems of retirement
         If a flat tax was imposed, it would take lower income families a lot more time to save up in retirement. These families would pay a lot more for taxes so it would be a greater struggle to save up for retirement. This would be adding fuel to the fire because as of now over 40% of American households say that retirement is a problem. We do not need to make this nationwide struggle more profound.

A4. The effects on the housing market
        The housing market would suffer if a flat tax was imposed. Most houses are calculated on the thirty year mortgage plan. It would change the way the mortgage was calculated, which would have a long term negative effect on this market. We do not want to jeopardize the houses of American people.

A5. Rich people might not have to pay
         These taxes only talk about income, it says nothing about dividends or interest. If the rich people in our country make a lot of their money because of interest or dividends. Some make all of it through that. In this plan only a income is charged so these people would not even have to pay anything. This takes away a lot of money from our government and makes the middle class pay more.

A6. It would stop money going to charitable causes
         This proposition does not have any incentives. These are the places in the tax law where it will give you tax returns for being charitable. It is like how you get tax returns for donating to Goodwill. Do we want to stop lots of public funding to these noble causes?

A7. It would take away government jobs
        If you introduce a flat tax, it would eliminate different levels of government bureaucracy. This would result in tens of thousands of people losing their jobs and that would be very contradictory to nmvarco’s claim that we would be creating jobs.

A8. The overall effect on the people
        If you take money away from the poor then the homeless rate would skyrocket. After that, they have no options for healthcare. If that happens, they would have go to the emergency room for health problems. That would increase healthcare costs for everybody. Flat tax is not good for our country.

Rebuttals

R1. Obamacare claim
         Nmvarco claims that the 1.8 trillion dollar deficit could be countered by removing Obamacare. This is completely false. He goes on to state that Obamacare costs 42.6 billion dollars per year. So, after ten years without Obamacare and a flat tax, you still have a 1.374 billion dollar deficit.

R2. Rand Paul
         Nmvarco quotes Rand Paul. If you didn’t know, Rand Paul is a far right wing libertarian. If nobody else in the political spectrum but libertarians support this, then it is obviously not a accepted idea. Libertarians are far right wing people who do not share most people’s common beliefs.

R3. The Tax Foundation
         Nmvarco puts the Tax Foundation as one of his sources. This is not an unbiased source. It is conservative and has been known to skew numbers. I do not count this as a credible source

Sources
http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/11/11/Heres-Problem-GOPs-Flat-Tax-Proposals
https://vittana.org/18-flat-tax-pros-and-cons

Round 2
Published:
Pro = nmvarco = A Flat Tax should be adopted
Con = Declan25 = A Flat Tax should not be adopted
Re# = Rebuttal #

Opening Statements

I thank Con for providing high-quality rebuttals and arguments. This is on of the first times I have seen one for I have spent lots of debate time on DDO. Again, my auto-correct on Word is funny, so Tax is always capitalized. I also apologize for my math regarding Obamacare costs and the $1.8 billion dollar hole. My rebuttals follow.

Re1: Opening Statements

Con says

I would like to congratulate my opponent on laying out conservative trickle down economics, which has been proven ineffective for the past hundred years, very well.

Con accuses me of supporting trickle-down economics. I do, but it has nothing to do with this debate. The idea of trickle-down economics is that taking taxes away from the rich and companies will help the economy [1]. Con fails to realize that the majority of my arguments were not about the rich and large corporations. I focused on the effect of a Flat Tax on the middle class, small businesses, and the government too.

I would also like to add that the only other major country who has a flat tax is Russia. One look at their economy and we can see how that’s gone.

Con hand picks a country that can be considered as major to make the point that since Russia has a flat Tax its economy is failing. Taxation is not the only thing that decides the state of a nation’s economy. What natural resources and the work force of the country are also factors. Many things are factors. To say that only one thing decides a nation’s economy is not sufficient.

On the other end of the spectrum, every other major country with a successful economy, including America, the United Kingdom, France, and China, have a progressive tax. Explain to me why a progressive tax is so bad if the strongest countries in the world and their successful economies have a progressive tax and not a flat one.

As I said, taxation is not the only thing that decides the state of a nation’s economy. America has such a huge economy because of our entrepreneurial roots. China has a very large work force [2], strengthening its economy.

Re2: Half of the country gets richer while the other half gets poorer

Con says

With this imposed tax, half of the people in our country would get richer. These are the high middle class and the wealthy. Anyone with an income below that will not benefit at all.

Con assumes that the system I support is the 14.5% Flat Tax. I only gave an example of that. I tried to outline the effects of a Flat Tax without picking a specific system.The upper middle class and the top one percent (the wealthy) only make up 16% of the population [3]. 16 percent is not half. Then, Con claims that anybody below an income of the upper middle class would not benefit from such a tax. The income range of the upper middle class is about $100,000 to $150,000 [4]. Tax brackets for 2018 show that people with an income between $77,401 and $165,000 pay 22% of their income [5]. This includes about half the middle class. The brackets also show that $19,051 and $77,400, [5] which includes about half the middle class and the working class, pay 12% of their income to taxes. This is down from 15% in 2017, which was before the Obama-era tax brackets were replaced with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Considering some of Con’s views, I think he was pretty okay with Obama and his tax system. So unlike how Con claims that only the top one percent and upper middle class would get richer because of lowered taxes, the top one percent, upper middle class, middle class, and part of the working class would get richer.

For example, in a Congressional Budget Office study taken in 2011 told us that the bottom fifth of taxpayers pay two percent of their income to federal taxes. On the other end of the spectrum, the top one percent pay 29% of their income. If a 14.5 percent flat tax was imposed, the bottom fifth percent would see their taxes increased sevenfold while the top 1 percent would see their taxes cut in half.

Tax brackets radically change in 6 years. I am not doubting the claims by the source, but to use information considering tax brackets from six years ago is not a reliable source. For example, the lowest rate someone can pay is 10% [5] according to the 2018 tax brackets after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Re3: The GDP Decrease

Con says

The flat tax has been known to decrease the GDP in countries that have accepted it. For example in Hungary, the GDP decreased by 1.6% in the first year of the flat tax. Our economy is the best it has been in a long time, would we really want to take away from its growth?

Con again hand picks a country that fits the criteria of his attack against the flat tax. Hungary is one country that is known not to have a very stable economy. And again, taxation is not the only factor that decides the state of a nation’s economy. To say that because Hungary imposed a flat tax their GDP fell is wrong.

Re4: The problems of retirement

Con says

If a flat tax was imposed, it would take lower income families a lot more time to save up in retirement. These families would pay a lot more for taxes so it would be a greater struggle to save up for retirement.

Not necessarily. At the end of the Obama era, in 2017, people making under $77,400 had to pay between 10 and 15 percent in taxes. A flat tax of 14.5% would not raise that rate profoundly. The flat tax would not have to be 14.5%. I never said it has to be that. It could be lower.

This would be adding fuel to the fire because as of now over 40% of American households say that retirement is a problem. We do not need to make this nationwide struggle more profound.

Another way we could help Americans is by defunding defunct government programs that don’t help anybody. We could use that money for retirement assistance. We also need to reform our social security system, which is the biggest problem for people who want to retire in this day and age.

Re5: The Effects on the housing market

Con says

The housing market would suffer if a flat tax was imposed. Most houses are calculated on the thirty year mortgage plan. It would change the way the mortgage was calculated, which would have a long term negative effect on this market. We do not want to jeopardize the houses of American people.

If anything, it would make the calculation easier. Right now, there are seven brackets for taxation. Congress must decide each deduction and taxation rate for each group. Having a flat tax would reduce the confusion. Con provides no evidence that it has a negative effect on the housing market.

Re6: Rich people might not have to pay

Con says

These taxes only talk about income, it says nothing about dividends or interest. If the rich people in our country make a lot of their money because of interest or dividends. Some make all of it through that. In this plan only a income is charged so these people would not even have to pay anything. This takes away a lot of money from our government and makes the middle class pay more.

I am assuming that “these taxes” means the Rand Paul plan. Again, I only said a possible flat tax plan would be the one that Rand Paul introduced. The bill Rand Paul introduced talks about a 14.5% Flat Tax on investment, like dividends and interest [6]. And what about the middle class people who are shareholders? What about their stocks? Rich people are not the only ones who own stocks.

Re7: It would stop money from going to charitable causes

Con says

This proposition does not have any incentives. These are the places in the tax law where it will give you tax returns for being charitable. It is like how you get tax returns for donating to Goodwill. Do we want to stop lots of public funding to these noble causes?
Again, Con defaults to the Rand Paul plan. I would actually say that more money would go to charitable causes. With more money, rich people would be incentivized to use more of their money for donations. Rich people are not all evil people who hate the middle and lower class. And, again, we could also add an amendment to the Rand Paul plan having incentives for donating money to charitable causes.

Re8: It would take away government jobs

Con says

If you introduce a flat tax, it would eliminate different levels of government bureaucracy. This would result in tens of thousands of people losing their jobs and that would be very contradictory to nmvarco’s claim that we would be creating jobs.

Con provides no proof that it would eliminate levels of government bureaucracy or why it would. Besides, about 30 million people work for the government [7]. 10,000, or even 50,000, would not be a lot of people compared to the government workforce.

Re9: The overall effect on the people

Con says

If you take money away from the poor then the homeless rate would skyrocket. After that, they have no options for healthcare. If that happens, they would have go to the emergency room for health problems. That would increase healthcare costs for everybody. Flat tax is not good for our country.

This seems like an appropriate time to introduce something called a negative income tax. A negative income tax is where people below a certain income are given a allotment of money to spend for welfare by the government [8]. This would eliminate the need for federal healthcare programs and welfare programs as well as minimum wage. Implementing a negative income tax along with a flat tax would be highly beneficial. Con does not provide any proof that people who have no healthcare make healthcare costs higher for everybody.

Re10: Obamacare claim

Con says

Nmvarco claims that the 1.8 trillion dollar deficit could be countered by removing Obamacare. This is completely false. He goes on to state that Obamacare costs 42.6 billion dollars per year. So, after ten years without Obamacare and a flat tax, you still have a 1.374 billion dollar deficit.

Yes, I apologize for my math there. I was missing a few zeros. But still, there are lots of other government programs that could be eliminated because they are defunct or don’t help anybody. That would patch up the hole. Implementing a negative income tax would also help that. Even though it is the government giving money to people, it would offset federal programs.

Re11: Rand Paul

Con says

Nmvarco quotes Rand Paul. If you didn’t know, Rand Paul is a far right wing libertarian.

I do not quote Rand Paul, I simply state that a possible flat tax plan would be 14.5% like the one proposed by Rand Paul. Throughout his entire argument, Con defaults to me supporting the Rand Paul plan simply because I mentioned it in one of my arguments. Now comes possibly the most outrageous claim in this whole debate.

If nobody else in the political spectrum but libertarians support this, then it is obviously not a accepted idea. Libertarians are far right wing people who do not share most people’s common beliefs.

Con says that since this tax proposal was introduced by a libertarian, it is a far right wing idea that nobody else supports except libertarians. This is simply crazy. Then, he says that liberatarians are far right wing people. This is not true. There is a group known as left-libertarians that support liberal ideas but are libertarian [9]. Con has just made an outrageous assumption about all libertarians.

Re12: The Tax Foundatiom

Con says

Nmvarco puts the Tax Foundation as one of his sources. This is not an unbiased source. It is conservative and has been known to skew numbers. I do not count this as a credible source

Con claims that the Tax Foundation is conservative and skews numbers. Again, he has no proof of this whatsoever. And, if the Tax Foundation is so conservative, why did CNBC, a known left-leaning news organization, quote it in this article [10]? I provided a negative side effect from the flat tax plan. Do you think I like that?

Conclusion

As I proved in my past rebuttals, a progressive tax system is one that is unfair and confusing. A flat tax would reduce that confusion and unfairness. I wish Con good luck next round.

Sources

[1] https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/174/economics/trickle-down-economics/
[2] https://www.statista.com/statistics/251380/number-of-employed-persons-in-china/
[3] http://www.csun.edu/~hbsoc126/soc1/Chapter%2010%20Social%20Class%20in%20the%20United%20States.pdf
[4] https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/family-finance/articles/2018-07-17/where-do-i-fall-in-the-american-economic-class-system
[5] https://goo.gl/images/tDFJb1
[6] https://thehill.com/policy/finance/245378-rand-paul-calls-for-145-percent-flat-tax
[7] https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/21955000-12329000-government-employees-outnumber-manufacturing
[8] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_income_tax?scrlybrkr=0692e020
[9] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-libertarianism?scrlybrkr=0692e020
[10] https://www.cnbc.com/2015/11/11/gop-simple-flat-tax-proposals-simply-do-not-add-up.html



Published:
Opening statements
First I would like to apologize about my definition of libertarian, I meant to be referring to a right wing libertarian. I can see how that could be misinterpreted.
Re1. Trickle down economics
Again, I would like to point out that the definition of trickle down economics is…

Trickle-down economics is a theory that claims benefits for the wealthy trickle down to everyone else. These benefits are tax cuts on businesses, high-income earners, capital gains, and dividends.

This proposed tax would do all of those things, so I do not see how this is not trickle down economics.

Re2. The proposed plan
First off, I would like to point out that I could only compare to the proposed Rand Paul plan as this is the only one nmvarco talks about. I would also like to add that this plan was so far out of the mainstream of tax policy that it didn’t even get a vote in the conservative House of Representatives.

Re3. The Housing Market
Nmvarco states that it would make the calculations easier. That is not even close to what I was talking about. I was talking about that it would change the way the calculations are made. This would make the housing market have a loss and it would create a lot of stress for the American people to do their mortgage again.

Re4. Other Countries Taxes
First I would like to strongly deny the outrageous accusation that I am attacking countries with unstable economies. I have just been doing my research. Again, the only large country to have a flat tax is Russia. If you can name any others, name them.

Re5. Pro Admits That This Plan Would Help The Rich
Pro says

“With more money, rich people would be incentivized to use more of their money for donations. Rich people are not all evil people who hate the middle and lower class.”

In this he basically admits that this would help the rich and hurt the poor and the middle class. He talks about how the rich will had more money and they will donate because the middle class and poor don’t have much money to spare.
Re6. The Government Jobs
Pro says

“about 30 million people work for the government [7]. 10,000, or even 50,000, would not be a lot of people compared to the government workforce.”

Here he basically says 10,000 people, 50,000 people who cares, it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. News flash, it matters to them.

Re7. Adding different subjects
I would like to ask nmvarco to stop talking about other welfare programs and new ideas. We are debating about a flat tax and not these other ideas. Now let’s focus on a flat tax.

Closing statements
Thank you for a very interesting debate and hopefully now one about just flat tax

Sources
[1] https://www.thebalance.com/trickle-down-economics-theory-effect-does-it-work-3305572
[2] https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1040

Round 3
Published:
Pro = nmvarco = A Flat Tax should be adopted
Con = Declan25 = A flat Tax should not be adopted


Opening Statements

I thank Declan25 for a productive and fair debate. Thanks for his high-quality rebuttals and arguments. Thank you for your apology about the definition of liberatarian.

Re1: Trickle down economics

Con says

Again, I would like to point out that the definition of trickle down economics is…

Trickle-down economics is a theory that claims benefits for the wealthy trickle down to everyone else. These benefits are tax cuts on businesses, high-income earners, capital gains, and dividends.

This proposed tax would do all of those things, so I do not see how this is not trickle down economics.
This is very different to what you were claiming earlier. Earlier you talked about how implementing a flat tax would be just about trickle down economics.

I would like to congratulate my opponent on laying out conservative trickle down economics
This suggests that you believe that I only want to implement the flat tax plan to help the rich. In your rebuttal, you quickly change schemes and deny that you ever said that.

Re2: The proposed plan

Con says

First off, I would like to point out that I could only compare to the proposed Rand Paul plan as this is the only one nmvarco talks about.
Please realize that this debate is not “Rand Paul Tax Plan.” The majority of my opening arguments were not about Rand Paul. I was deliberately trying to avoid that so I could talk about flat tax as a whole and not just as a specific plan. But, if I had kept with that, my arguments would crumble and I would have no basis. There are many other flat tax plans out there; it is not specific to Rand Paul or “far right wing people.”

I would also like to add that this plan was so far out of the mainstream of tax policy that it didn’t even get a vote in the conservative House of Representatives.
Con links the incorrect bill introduced by Rand Paul, as the one he makes was introduced by Representative Michael Burgess of Texas [1]. Con assumes that because this bill did not get any support, it is out of the mainstream tax policy agenda. This is simply incorrect because the bill, which was introduced in 2015, has different supporters and opponents to to congressional changes. And just because it did not get a vote does not mean it has no supporters.

Re3: The Housing Market
Con says

Nmvarco states that it would make the calculations easier. That is not even close to what I was talking about. I was talking about that it would change the way the calculations are made. This would make the housing market have a loss and it would create a lot of stress for the American people to do their mortgage again.
Con provides no proof whatsoever that it would make the calculation harder. Even if it would change the way calculations are made, there is still no proof Con has provided to prove that it would have a negative effect on the market.

Re4: Other Countries Taxes

Con says

First I would like to strongly deny the outrageous accusation that I am attacking countries with unstable economies. I have just been doing my research.
I have not accused Con of attacking countries with unstable economies. All I pointed out is that Con is hand picking an economy that does not have the necessarily most stable economy to use as a mascot against a flat tax. On the contrary,

The flat tax is far from radical. Our tax code is one of the most complicated in the world. Over two dozen countries have already adopted a single-rate flat tax system. Nearly all of these nations have tax rates below 20 percent. Nearly all of these nations have experienced economic growth and lower unemployment rates after implementing a flat tax. Those countries include many Eastern European countries including Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia. It has been reported that Hungary, Poland, Greece and even China may be considering a flat tax. It is past due that the United States joins the flat tax revolution.

Russia is one of the prime examples of the success of the flat tax. In 2001, Russia replaced its progressive tax code with a single flat rate of 13 percent for all. The results have been outstanding. When people find their taxes to be low and sensible, they are willing to produce and invest more. In just the first year of implementation, Russia’s GDP grew a dramatic 5 percent. Between 2001 and 2004, The Hoover Institute found that tax revenue actually rose by 79.7 percent. Of course the flat tax is not a cure-all. Many of Russia’s problems can be blamed on other factors such as lack of property rights and excessive government intervention in the economy [2].
I do realize my source is Fox News, but they are simply writing an article including data from The Hoover Institute and other places and they are not changing the numbers to benefit themselves.

Again, the only large country to have a flat tax is Russia. If you can name any others, name them.
What is the definition of large? For example, Bulgaria, a country who implemented the flat tax system, is large compared to a paperclip. Now, I can name all the countries and regions who have implemented a flat tax that are large. Look here [3]. Russia is small compared to the solar system. Therefore, there are no large countries who have implemented a flat tax. Large can mean many things, and Con does not provide a definition of large that I can rebut.

Re5: Pro Admits That This Plan Would Help The Rich

Con says

Pro says

“With more money, rich people would be incentivized to use more of their money for donations. Rich people are not all evil people who hate the middle and lower class.”

In this he basically admits that this would help the rich and hurt the poor and the middle class. He talks about how the rich will had more money and they will donate because the middle class and poor don’t have much money to spare.
Con makes the outrageous, outrageous accusation that somehow in this sentence I say that a flat tax would help the rich and hurt the poor. I say that they would be incentivized to donate to nonprofits and companies that don’t all necessarily help the poor or middle class. For donations, not for the poor and middle class. Then, I state that not all rich people hate the middle and lower class. Con somehow interprets this to claim that I am saying that middle and lower class people don’t have a lot of money. This is simply crazy and outlandish.

Re6: The Government Jobs

Con says

Pro says

“about 30 million people work for the government [7]. 10,000, or even 50,000, would not be a lot of people compared to the government workforce.”

Here he basically says 10,000 people, 50,000 people who cares, it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. News flash, it matters to them.
I just made that comparison to make a point. It was supposed to be a rhetorical rebuttal against Con’s unsupported claim that tens of thousands of people would lose their jobs. And also, if we hadn’t had made our tax code so damn confusing in the first place, those levels of government bureaucracy wouldn’t exist.

Re7: Adding different subjects

Con says

I would like to ask nmvarco to stop talking about other welfare programs and new ideas. We are debating about a flat tax and not these other ideas. Now let’s focus on a flat tax.
Ok, I will do that. I’ll ignore everything else that has to do with a flat tax but is not directly and very closely related and let you win the debate. That would be nice.

Conclusion

I thank Con for a very interesting and productive debate. It has been enjoyable as this has been my first proper debate since my long stint on Debate.org. That said, it would be more enjoyable if Con stopped ad hominem attacking me and changing what I have said. Vote for Pro.

Sources

[2] https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tax-day-2011-we-need-a-flat-tax-more-than-ever

Forfeited
Added:
--> @Alec
Vote report: Alec
Mod decision: Removed
RFD: Forfeit by Con.
Reason: Forfeiting only one round is not enough to award the person a win without going through and analyzing the debate arguments, which he fails to do.
#24
Added:
I understand.
#23
Added:
--> @Block19
I wish the site was better mantained, my time is too limited to pull up the relevant information you seek anyway.
#22
Added:
--> @Wylted
That link did have more information that you posted but it didnt have actual data that i could look at, just the claims that you made. I am not saying that you are lying or that you are in anyway wrong, just that you still have not given me a reliable source for where you get your information on the fairtax model. This is through no fault of your own as i am sure that you are not in anyway responsible for the issues that FAIRTAX.org is experiencing.
#21
Added:
--> @Wylted, @Ramshutu, @Alec, @Block19
Declan25 has informed me that he has not been able to log on to the site. I ask future voters to ignore the forfeit and only vote on the arguments presented during Round 1 and 2.
Instigator
#20
Added:
--> @Block19
https://www.debate.org/debates/Classic-Robert-Gauntlet-Tournament-The-current-tax-system-should-be-replaced-by-the-fair-tax./1/
Here is more information.
#19
Added:
Not with the stipend, hold on though. I did a debate on it, I will link you to it
#18
Added:
--> @Wylted
I went to Fairtax.org, it seems their website needs some work. When click on the link provided for me to learn more about how their taxing system would work, i get taken to a page that says "This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it.". Could you perhaps help me figure out how the systems works since it seems you were able to attain the information for yourself. From what i can see i would be paying 23% of my total household income, that is more than i ever have.
#17
Added:
--> @Block19
The fair tax which you can find more info on at fairtax.org involves a stipend that would refund the money you would normally spend on all basic necessities. Most poor people would still pay zero percent, and rich people would not be able to dodge taxes as well. Plus it adds revenue from things you can't normally tax such as under the table money or drug money as well as people vacationing in America.
#16
Added:
--> @Wylted
Could you tell me how a consumption tax is fair?
#15
Added:
--> @nmvarco, @Declan25
I’ll be quite happy to clarify anything about my vote: or offer any thoughts or advice about how style or content could be improved.
#14
Added:
So, pro offered the main big points here,
And while I feel the big pros and cons were not well argued by either side in my view - they were roughly even with con having the edge. However, con threw out a number of small claims that were all batted away easily by pro that really eroded cons position.
If either side presented more in the way of concrete sources to support claims, or causal analysis: this analysis would be different, as I would have weighted the first big set of arguments more strongly. As that wasn’t really the case, the points above reflect which party “sounded” more reasonable and more logical on balance - which means that while I am completely against flat tax - I have to award this to pro.
There is room for improvement for both sides though.
Conduct to pro due to forfeit.
#13
Added:
9.) May not apply to other forms of income.
This seems like an issue with one way a flat tax could be implemented. Pro points this out that there are different implementations - ones that include dividends and flat tax. I felt this refuted con well.
Pro 3.5:3
10.) lowering of charitable donations.
Con claims that reduction in income would lower charitable donations. Pro explains that they would be incentivized in other plans. I felt this rebutted cons argument here: con (or pro) could have done better by argument based on reduction of income, and citing the amount of money given to charity. As he did not, I have to give this I pro.
Pro 4:3
11.) Reduction in government jobs
Con argues that flat tax would reduce government jobs. It wasn’t clear how he felt this was the case - pro successfully (in my view), bats this claim away. Con has to do better here to support his points. Pros pro business argument acts as an additional counter
Pro 4.5:3
12.) overall affect - poverty and homelessness.
While I feel Con presents an argument in general about increased tax burden on the middle class and poor people (which has already been assessed), the argument about extreme poverty is in my view not well supported by con - as he doesn’t quantify it. Pro also manages to bay this away by talking about negative income tax and exemptions for low incomes that could alleviate this. I would award this to pro.
Pro 5:3.
#12
Added:
5.) rich getting richer - I believe this is a good point from con - and it serves both as a rebuttal and as individual supporting point. As mentioned - pros counter here didn’t really hold much water in my view, he talks more about existing brackets than really quantifying the impact. As I said - as no sources were provided, I am basing this off which argument “sounds”, more correct, with this, and with what I mentioned about pros argument 2, I have to go with Con on this one:
Con 3:2
6.) countries with a flat tax have tanked.
Little data is provided on either side. Con makes a reasonable sounding point, but pro casts doubt on the point by highlighting that con can’t link the economic issues to the flat tax as is being implied. I have to give this one to pro.
Saying that: as this was a smaller point, with little attention paid to each, I won’t score these the same as pros large points:
Con 3:2.5
7.) retirement is made harder
Con did better here, but I feel this argument already accounted for in the scoring first argument.
8.) Housing market.
I wasn’t certain from cons argument what impact a flat tax would have, he has said there would be a problem, but didn’t explain how the calculation would change, and how. Pro points this out in his rebuttal and it is not clarified by con.
3:3
#11
Added:
3.) decreasing tax on companies would help investment and the economy.
Pro gave a logical explanation of how this works - but doesn’t quantify the effect, so as a judge, I can’t tell how much of a benefit this is. Con crafts a rebuttal concerning trickle down economics not working, but... I know the data shows it doesn’t work, I’ve seen studies and data - but con doesn’t show any of it: as a result, I’m faced with pro explaining how flat tax could boost the economy, and con saying “no”, with no justification as to why it wouldn’t: and just what amounts to an assertion that it doesn’t. As a result I just can’t give this one to con. This is why sources are so important, this point was there for the taking!
2:1 to pro.
4.) more efficient government spending.
Pro doesn’t give me any specific reason to believe that the government would be more responsible with money in flat tax - no argument is provided. While pro also explains how it can be “funded” by cutting other programs - pro doesn’t explain why this is okay - to me pro must justify the cuts as either unnecessary programs, or an easy place to get funding. Tax relief could be funded by eliminating the military, for example - but that doesn’t make it a good idea!
Pros main issue here, is as mentioned in point 2. That he shots himself in the foot by arguing it’s unfair to have the rich pay more than their fair share and the poorer should foot more of the bill - and then argue that programs that benefit the poor such as welfare and Obamacare should be cut at the same time: it seems wrong prima facia. Cons rebuttals vis a vis taxation on the poor were good enough to throw doubt on this argument - so I have to give this one to con too.
2:2
#10
#2
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
This is a tough one to vote on.
Con forfeited the last round, which meant he didn't get a chance to make a final rebuttal or closing statement. Pro said that Con was unable to access the site and asked that voters not consider the last round... but that also causes us to lose 1/3rd of the debate. Being that this eliminates a big chunk of the arguments and rebuttals, that makes it difficult to evaluate the arguments.
I would have awarded conduct to Pro for Con's forfeit in the final round, but again, Pro politely asked us not to consider the final round. So thats out.
Spelling and grammar were roughly equal on both sides. Tie.
That just leaves Sources. Luckily, this is where we find a pretty respectable comparison that clearly leaves one side the victor.
Con only used four sources. One was a federal government website, so that was pretty authoritative. However, one of the others was a blog, which seems not very authoritative when discussing a very significant public policy issue . And the other two seemed to be news websites with a possible political bias.
Pro used significantly more sources, and those sources were from a much more diverse array of types of information. One of those sources was the exact same federal government website Con used, so Pro was able to use that same source for his own argument. Pro also cited several different wiki sites, several different news sites (from both sides of the political spectrum), a document hosed by a university and a helpful info-graphic, just to name a few. All of these sources were spread reasonably evenly throughout Pro's argument and verified many of the statistics he cited to support his argument. Overall, this diverse array of sources came across as being a lot more trustworthy and authoritative than the small sample of sources used by Con.
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
RFD in comments