Debate Club

Is a Flat Tax a Good Idea?

Is a Flat Tax a Good Idea?

Though by no means a new idea, the flat tax is resurging as a possible alternative to the current tax code as many of the 2012 Republican presidential candidates have included a version in their economic plans. A flat tax is a single rate that spans all income brackets of taxpayers, rather than the current “progressive” system, which taxes higher-income individuals at increased rates and includes numerous deductions and exemptions. Under Herman Cain’s so-called 9-9-9 plan, Americans would pay a flat 9 percent rate on their personal incomes, corporate incomes, and on sales. Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s so-called Cut, Balance and Grow would give taxpayers the choice to opt out of the current system and pay 20 percent on individual income while allowing for a few of the deductions in the current code. Proponents of the flat tax argue that it would simplify the tax code while broadening the tax base. Opponents say the flat tax would shift much of the revenue burden to middle- and lower-income Americans while lowering taxes on the wealthiest. Here is Debate Club’s take on the flat tax:


The Arguments

#1
108 Pts
Current Tax Code Is Confusing
#2
53 Pts
Flat Tax Unites Americans

Yes – Flat Tax Unites Americans

Grover Norquist President of Americans for Tax Reform

#3
41 Pts
Flat Tax Unleashes Economic Growth

Yes – Flat Tax Unleashes Economic Growth

Rick Perry Texas Governor and Presidential Candidate

#4
21 Pts
Flat Tax Would Eliminate 'Crony Capitalism'

Yes – Flat Tax Would Eliminate 'Crony Capitalism'

Mary Kate Cary Former White House Speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush

#5
5 Pts
Cutting Taxes for the Rich Never Ends Well

No – Cutting Taxes for the Rich Never Ends Well

John Irons Research and Policy Director at the Economic Policy Institute

#6
-10 Pts
Secret of the Flat Tax: Middle Class Pays More So Rich Pay Less

No – Secret of the Flat Tax: Middle Class Pays More So Rich Pay Less

Dean Baker Author of 'The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive'

#7
-28 Pts
Flat Tax Will Benefit Only the Rich

No – Flat Tax Will Benefit Only the Rich

Steve Wamhoff Legislative Director of Citizens for Tax Justice

#8
-36 Pts
Flat Tax Would Introduce New Problems

No – Flat Tax Would Introduce New Problems

Kelly Phillips Erb Author of Taxgirl Blog at Forbes.com


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