Debate Club

Should Congress Pass the Senate's Tax Plan?

Should Congress Pass the Senate's Tax Plan?

Last week the Senate passed a tax plan that would extend the Bush-era tax cuts only for those making under $250,000 and rejected one that would extended the cuts for all Americans. Democrats voted 51-48 in support of extending the cuts, which will expire at the end of the year, only to middle- and low-income Americans. Republicans opposed the Democrats' plan on the grounds that it raises taxes.

President Barack Obama and Democrats have long called on the rich to "pay their fair share," meaning that the wealthiest Americans should not receive the tax breaks. The president wants to put more money in the pockets of middle- and lower-income Americans and avoid cutting entitlement programs, and insists that the rich can afford to pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes to help pay off the deficit. Obama accused Republicans of "holding hostage the middle-class tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans."

Republicans argue that allowing any of the tax cuts to expire is a tax increase, and that the fragile economy cannot support such a move. They say taxes already burden Americans too much, and a tax increase would hurt small business and prevent job creation. Republican House Speaker John Boehner said his party is the only one focusing on the "threat to our economy." The House is expected to vote on—and reject—the Senate plan some time this week. In addition to allowing the tax cuts to continue, Republicans want to further address the deficit by cutting additional spending.


The Arguments

#1
50 Pts
The Senate Tax Plan Is a Bait-and-Switch

No – The Senate Tax Plan Is a Bait-and-Switch

Antony Davies Scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University

#2
24 Pts
Tax Hikes Will Slow Growth, Kill Jobs--But Won't Reduce the Debt

No – Tax Hikes Will Slow Growth, Kill Jobs--But Won't Reduce the Debt

Aparna Mathur , Matt Jensen Research Associate and Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

#3
-2 Pts
Scare Stories Over Higher Tax Rates Are Just Silly

Yes – Scare Stories Over Higher Tax Rates Are Just Silly

Dean Baker Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research

#4
-3 Pts
The Economy Needs a Boost Right Now, Not a Mild Sedative

No – The Economy Needs a Boost Right Now, Not a Mild Sedative

William Gale Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution


Previous Topics

You Might Also Like


See More