College Policy Debate Forums
November 19, 2017, 11:52:57 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: IF YOU EXPERIENCE PROBLEMS WITH THE SITE, INCLUDING LOGGING IN, PLEASE LET ME KNOW IMMEDIATELY.  EMAIL ME DIRECTLY OR USE THE CONTACT US LINK AT THE TOP.
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register CEDA caselist Debate Results Council of Tournament Directors Edebate Archive  
Pages: [1] 2
  Print  
Author Topic: Targeted Tax Increases by Kathryn Kernoff and Ryan Galloway  (Read 9152 times)
stables
Administrator
Sr. Member
*****
Posts: 334


« on: April 23, 2012, 12:38:27 PM »

Their paper is attached. Thanks for the submission!

Logged

Gordon Stables
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Director of Debate & Forensics
Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
University of Southern California
Malgor
Full Member
***
Posts: 220


« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2012, 12:25:51 PM »

is there a lot of variety in the implementation of some of these affs?  After reading the paper, my first reaction is that there aren't very many affirmatives, and most of them will be carbon/gas tax (my psychic powers also tell me as the year goes on there are many more excise tax affs being run). 

The paper is about taxes but doesn't actually address the tax system, which bothers me, but that is less about the paper addressing its own goals and more about my own preference for a tax topic.
Logged
RGarrett
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 53


« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2012, 12:40:08 PM »

I obviously can't speak for the authors, but this paper seems to allow for debating distinct areas around a unified mechanism.  Obviously, I agree that carbon/gas taxes will be huge as the energy part of the topic but there seem to be at least two other major areas that are distinct.  First, there is the ability to raise taxes on millionaires.  While there is much debate about if this can really help the deficit there are certainly plenty of sources who think high tax rates can restore more income equality which has a lot of pretty important consequences.  Second, there are taxes on financial transactions which is another big area relating more to the regulation of the financial industry than the income they produce themselves.  Again there are many people who think the last round of financial regulations failed to fix this section of the economy.  Add-in if it is possible to tax a certain kind of transaction (such as taxing in trade in oil where the buyer does not take delivery).  The idea of ending speculation in oil and other commodities is pretty popular.

From my reading I think that this resembles treaties in one important way.  Treaties united several different policy areas under one unified mechanism.  I agree there may not be tons of differences between plan texts in this topic, but there is a unified mechanism that can bring together several different debates.  In this respect even if there aren't the sheer number of AFFs this topic should still prove viable because the AFFs that do exist discuss quite distinct issues.
Logged
Malgor
Full Member
***
Posts: 220


« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2012, 01:09:47 PM »

Garrett, I think you did a good job summarizing the goals of the paper.  I obviously have many opinions on tax reform and will likely post later.  I sure hope discussion increases on all the topic boards, lots of ideas to think about. 
Logged
KKernoff
Newbie
*
Posts: 6


« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2012, 02:44:12 PM »

Thank you both for your comments.

Yes, the intent of the paper is to be somewhat like the treaties topic and have specific affirmatives with a common mechanism. The size of the topic would depend on how many options are included. The carbon tax and gas tax may be very popular - I'm not sure that's a bad thing. Teams overwhelmingly read permits on the last energy topic (very similar to a carbon tax) and overwhelmingly read CTBT on the treaties topic. If the most popular aff is a good aff with a large literature base for both the aff and the neg, I don't see much of a problem.

I agree with Ross that the financial transactions tax area is also very strong from either a policy or critical perspective. It could be broader or more narrow depending on whether it is worded as a currency transactions tax or a financial transactions tax. Either way, there is a very good affirmative in that area.

Excise taxes is a broad area but the affs are very vulnerable to states and politics - which links even to tiny tax increases. With the exception of a cigarette tax, I don't think any of those affs are very good. I would probably just include the cigarette tax in the resolution rather than using the term "excise tax."

The topic does not address the entire problem with the tax code, but it addresses one component - finding ways to raise revenue. It would be interesting to debate some sort of "grand bargain" over the deficit, but I'm not sure there's a way to make that into a coherent debate topic.

Thanks for the comments. I'm happy to answer any other questions or concerns.
Logged
Hester
Full Member
***
Posts: 153


« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2012, 03:21:32 PM »

Excise taxes is a broad area but the affs are very vulnerable to states and politics - which links even to tiny tax increases. With the exception of a cigarette tax, I don't think any of those affs are very good. I would probably just include the cigarette tax in the resolution rather than using the term "excise tax."

Friendly amendment. The warrants above (there are good generic negative arguments against nearly every excise tax, especially the smaller it tries to be) are NOT a reason to have a resolution that includes "cigarette tax" instead of "excise tax." But it's a damn good warrant for why using the term 'excise tax' would not be unfair for NEG (they have big common tools in the form of very predictable and well-rehearsed generic args) while still allowing for (at least the attempt of) AFF maneuverability. No need to use Resolutional wordsmithing to limit ground when when one of the strongest claims made about that ground is it's not "very good."
Logged
KKernoff
Newbie
*
Posts: 6


« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2012, 03:56:51 PM »

I think that's a good point, although if people are somewhat afraid of broad topics, I would rather push to have "financial transactions tax" as a broad term. You're right that there's not really a downside and those fears and pretty unfounded.

This seems like something that should be decided by the community voting on specific wordings. Either way, it would work out fine I think.
Logged
Hester
Full Member
***
Posts: 153


« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2012, 07:46:06 PM »

I think that's a good point, although if people are somewhat afraid of broad topics, I would rather push to have "financial transactions tax" as a broad term. You're right that there's not really a downside and those fears and pretty unfounded.

This seems like something that should be decided by the community voting on specific wordings. Either way, it would work out fine I think.

Friendly amendment - either way, thanks for writing a good topic paper.  Wink
Logged
kelly young
Full Member
***
Posts: 237



WWW
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2012, 08:43:15 PM »

This isn't a critique of this paper, as this is more of a wording paper rather than topic paper question, but would Tobin and Robin Hood taxes need something beyond "establish X tax" to solve many advantages discussed in the paper? I understand that the market volatility advantage doesn't, but don't the laissez-faire and redistribution advantages require some mandate as to how those funds are used or would allowing those funds to go into the general fund sufficient to solve?
Logged

Director of Forensics/Associate Professor
Wayne State University
313-577-2953
kelly.young [at] wayne.edu
www.wsuforensics.org
KKernoff
Newbie
*
Posts: 6


« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2012, 10:27:27 PM »

By itself, a financial transaction tax targets those who benefit from financial transactions, which tend to be very wealthy - bankers and large investors. Because it is highly progressive, the tax itself would reduce income inequality.

Just increasing taxes wouldn't allow the affirmative to specify what the funds are spent on, but they could read evidence about what the most likely effect of new revenue would be. Considering the source of the tax, pretty much anything you could spend the money on would be redistributive. Given general federal spending patterns and areas that would likely be targeted for spending cuts without additional revenue, the tax could be quite redistributive.

Some do certainly advocate that type of tax as a way to raise money for specific social programs, but it's certainly defensible without that degree of specificity. For instance, the main coalition of NGOs pushing for a "Robin Hood Tax" (http://robinhoodtax.org/how-it-works) argues that the tax aid redistribution by avoiding cuts in progressive social programs:

"As a result of the financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has calculated UK government debt will be 40% higher. That 40% equates to 737 billion pounds, or 28,000 pounds for every taxpayer in the country. Having to pay back that debt means cuts in vital services on which millions of people around the country rely.

 Total cost to the UK of financial crisis in terms of lost output according to the IMF was 27% of 2008 GDP.

So it's time for justice. It's time for justice for ordinary families and businesses. For the one in five British families faced with a choice between buying food or paying the heating bill. For the millions of people around the world forced into poverty by a financial crisis they did absolutely nothing to bring about."

Hope this helps answer your question!
Logged
Hester
Full Member
***
Posts: 153


« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2012, 07:24:24 AM »

By itself, a financial transaction tax targets those who benefit from financial transactions, which tend to be very wealthy - bankers and large investors. Because it is highly progressive, the tax itself would reduce income inequality.
Just increasing taxes wouldn't allow the affirmative to specify what the funds are spent on, but they could read evidence about what the most likely effect of new revenue would be. Considering the source of the tax, pretty much anything you could spend the money on would be redistributive. Given general federal spending patterns and areas that would likely be targeted for spending cuts without additional revenue, the tax could be quite redistributive.
Some do certainly advocate that type of tax as a way to raise money for specific social programs, but it's certainly defensible without that degree of specificity. For instance, the main coalition of NGOs pushing for a "Robin Hood Tax" (http://robinhoodtax.org/how-it-works) argues that the tax aid redistribution by avoiding cuts in progressive social programs:
"As a result of the financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has calculated UK government debt will be 40% higher. That 40% equates to 737 billion pounds, or 28,000 pounds for every taxpayer in the country. Having to pay back that debt means cuts in vital services on which millions of people around the country rely.
 Total cost to the UK of financial crisis in terms of lost output according to the IMF was 27% of 2008 GDP.
So it's time for justice. It's time for justice for ordinary families and businesses. For the one in five British families faced with a choice between buying food or paying the heating bill. For the millions of people around the world forced into poverty by a financial crisis they did absolutely nothing to bring about."
Hope this helps answer your question!

Should TTI be the topic we choose, i will be at the topic meetings advocating for resolution wording that addresses more specifically the concern Kelly has. Depending on a GOP-led Congress to not engage in cuts to the social safety net and other welfare programs simply because a tax on the hyper-wealthy has been passed is not a solid foundation upon which to build solvency for AFFs that really want to engage in wealth redistribution. Which leaves the AFF with the claim made above - progressive taxation by itself reduces income inequality, regardless of how that extra revenue gets spent - aka, an ebbing tide lowers all boats, not exactly something progressives would ever want to advocate.
 
The key to creating better solvency ground for AFFs than the past few resolutions have allowed is to make sure they can fiat action that really gets at the causes of harms.
Logged
max.o.archer
Newbie
*
Posts: 49


« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2012, 03:08:23 PM »

I definitely agree that fiating the use of collected topics creates better solvency for redistribution affirmatives, but am somewhat worried where the line will be drawn.  Hester - would your advocacy at the topic meeting be centered around germane redistribution (financial tax collection => monies to enforce banking regulations; carbon tax collection => slush fund for carbon sequestration efforts; sin tax collection => teen anti-smoking programs) or would you seek an open-ended type resolution (financial tax collection => build the oakland A's a new stadium; carbon tax collection => teleportation research)?  Obviously, the former seems intuitive, but I'm not sure how the controversy proposal approaches such a resolution without creating the "aff of the week" syndrome. 
Logged
Hester
Full Member
***
Posts: 153


« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2012, 09:19:14 AM »

I definitely agree that fiating the use of collected topics creates better solvency for redistribution affirmatives, but am somewhat worried where the line will be drawn.  Hester - would your advocacy at the topic meeting be centered around germane redistribution (financial tax collection => monies to enforce banking regulations; carbon tax collection => slush fund for carbon sequestration efforts; sin tax collection => teen anti-smoking programs) or would you seek an open-ended type resolution (financial tax collection => build the oakland A's a new stadium; carbon tax collection => teleportation research)?  Obviously, the former seems intuitive, but I'm not sure how the controversy proposal approaches such a resolution without creating the "aff of the week" syndrome. 

i haven't spent a lot of time researching it, but my initial thought is that the "Fund It but don't increase Taxes" CP would eliminate a LOT of the "case of the week" AFFs. the solvency literature would have to have warrants for why it's necessary (or as you say, germane) to do targeted tax increases in order to redistribute resources to the area the AFF wants to.
Logged
Malgor
Full Member
***
Posts: 220


« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2012, 05:32:46 PM »

Hester's concern is legitimate.  It's a problem both of the tax papers have because they lead to revenue increases but don't necessarily mandate that the new revenue goes to the safety net.  This would be especially hard with a brand new targeted tax, because it adds a new layer to the tax structure. 

I do, however, think that there is a way to run the advantage.  The focus would have to be on staving off cuts to social spending, since the affirmative can't defend a direct increase.  The affirmative would have to win that, with an influx of revenue, the gop wouldn't dare cut entitlements.  That is an issue I think the aff can win.  Of course, it's really easy for the negative to counterplan out of any of these advantages by fiating no cuts or funding the program without raising taxes (as Hester mentioned). 

I am still very hesitant that people are really discussing re-distribution as part of this topic.  For those of you who want to focus on income inequality and/or tax equity and distributive effects, I think there are a few options on the ballot that should be higher.  The focus of the targeted tax increase topic will not be it's income effects or its revenue generation, it will the behavioral changes they encourage.  Yes, people will run those advantage types, I'm not saying they won't exist.  But broadly the strongest advantages are going to be carbon reduction for carbon tax, financial bubbles for tobin tax, stop smoking for excise tax.  Some of those taxes are structured as regressive, though a resolutional wording might fix that.

The only one that directly deals with inequality is the Buffet tax, but I don't think it gets close to the core.  Millionaires are already taxed at a decent rate.  The problem is their effective tax rate is low because of the numerous loopholes in the tax code.  The only way a targeted increase can overcome that is by adding a parallel structure that has a minimum tax, but even that doesn't override loopholes like deferral (offshoring money to avoid taxes).  It's very inefficient.

My point isn't to deride the paper, it's to clarify for those who want to focus a topic on redistribution or economic inequality.  This topic is for people who want a 'small piece of the pie' from a variety of debate types- a little energy, a little speculation, etc.  I know many in the community find topics like that productive and engaging.  But people who want to focus on core issues in one area, specifically inequality, should give a strong look at the inequality, education, tax reform, or even womens rights topics.
Logged
izak
Newbie
*
Posts: 32



WWW
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2012, 01:42:47 PM »

I agree with Malgor, there are better options if you want to solve inequality.  There is evidence which indicates that the tax structure itself causes inequality (Tax Reform paper), and there is a topic which mandates redistribution, which is probably the best internal to solving inequality (I'm sure you know which paper I'm talking about here).  I disagree with Malgor's assessment that staving off cuts to the social safety net actually solves inequality (might solve for it not getting worse, but history seems to show otherwise), but there are certainly better options for the community if one is really geared toward solving economic inequality.

I just have additional comment: this topic might seem small at first because it has a unified mechanism, but I think that this topic is larger than one might think.  The mechanism is indeed unified and restricted, but the areas towards which one could tax are vast and quite diverse.  Additionally, there are many debates about what the result of the tax would be.  For example, a carbon tax affirmative could go either way on whether or not it increases revenue for something else, and this direction really doesn't bear that much on whether or not the affirmative actually decreases emissions.  That is, for each thing the aff could tax, there are at least two affs one could read depending on whether or not the aff wants to defend the tax actually curbing the behavior in question.  Now, I'm not against big topics, but some have been saying that this topic is small, and I think that the discussion being had about the actual effect of the taxes in question show how much the ground the aff seems to have a "right" to under this mechanism.  The mechanism is unified, yes, but it is also quite complex both in its implementation and its effects.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
SMF customization services by 2by2host.com
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!