I am nervous about Election Day. This country is in a very divided place. Politics has become such a polarizing force that families are fighting over it, friendships have been broken and not easily repaired, and we are separated in a class struggle that threatens the very fabric of our nation – all because we disagree on how to fix what’s broken in this country. This shouldn’t be the case. Some of the blame should rest with our current president and his political party. Remember “hope and change”? That has long since disappeared, and anyone who cares to pay attention should feel quite disillusioned at this point.
President Obama has failed to keep his promises. All politicians break promises, so this shouldn’t surprise anyone. What is remarkable about our president is that he fails to take responsibility for his own record. What is that record? Let’s start with 7.8% unemployment. Even if you buy the argument that President Obama started with a deeply problematic economy (and he did), his policies have done very little to improve these numbers. We can do better than 7.8% unemployment. We can get people back to work. We just need to reverse the job-killing direction of this administration’s policies by lowering taxes for small businesses and putting a big sharp knife into Obamacare. The president keeps saying he has a jobs plan and we should read all about it on his website. If it’s such a great plan, where was this great plan the last 4 years when many people lost their jobs, and still haven’t regained them? It’s time for President Obama to give the presidency to someone who wants to do the job that is required.
How about his policy on energy? How’s that working for us? We all know about the high gas prices. These prices are having serious effects on us as consumers both directly (as we fill up our cars / trucks / SUVs) and indirectly (increased costs for truckers and those who are transporting products to our stores and supermarkets). This is all part of the administration’s plan to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels by making us use less because of the price. Sometimes it seems that environmentalists care more about the planet than the people that live there. Nevertheless, it would be good policy to ok the Keystone Pipeline to increase our supply of energy, which will help to ease gas prices while we explore new ways to power our vehicles and heat our homes. Our president refuses to do this.
Here’s the overview of what I saw in this debate:
- 9-9-9 needs a better explanation / sales pitch to answer objections
- All the second tier / third tier candidates brought some interesting ideas to the table and I appreciated their contribution because that’s not something we would get without these important voices.
- It’s not clear to me that Mitt Romney or Rick Perry would implement the kind of radical reforms we need to get our government’s fiscal house in order.
- Those who said (mainly Ron Paul) that everything should be on the table when it comes to spending are correct. Even foreign aid. There tends to be a knee-jerk reaction against cutting military spending. We need to define what this means. Are we talking about not giving the active military the tools they needs to effectively do their jobs? If so, I’m opposed to doing that. If however, the question is reevaluating our spending priorities on things like the UN and passive military deployments in countries that are not currently at war, why shouldn’t this kind of spending be on the table? We can’t afford this kind of thing anymore. Let’s look at cutting some of this. There is also waste in military spending, authorizing money for tech we don’t really need. So yes, put all of this on the table.
- Rick Perry has the edge on Romney on health care, mostly because he doesn’t have the albatross of something like Romneycare in his state. The criticism by Romney about the uninsured in Texas is unfair because as Perry points out, this number includes illegals as well.
- Why is no one else talking about Dodd-Frank? This is an important issue that someone other than Michelle Bachmann should be discussing at length because these regulations hurt the economy and the average person having to deal with the consequences of this legislation.
I have doubts about Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. Herman Cain admits that his national sales tax will apply in addition to the state and local taxes. That means that this will be a new tax for those who don’t currently have a tax. This will be a hard sell to the average American voter, who won’t take the time to understand the whole hidden tax thing but will instead see a clear increase in their sales tax which would make a concrete impact on what they spend on essentials like food and gas for the car. There aren’t any exceptions to the tax as far as I can tell, so each person would be hit with the same level of taxation no matter how much their income is. At least with the fair tax there are allowances for this double taxation with the pre-bates. 9-9-9 needs more tweaking IMO.
On Mitt Romney – the verbal fisticuffs between him and Rick Perry was ugly to watch. I understand that something like this was inevitable because of Perry’s previous debate performances but it still made both of them look petty and definitely not presidential. Now I think that the CNN analysts were wrong in suggesting that Reagan’s 11th commandment prohibits legitimate criticism of one’s fellow Republican candidates, but that’s not what that exchange was. I don’t know the real story with Mitt’s lawn care service, but what struck me was his comment to the effect that once he realized that the lawn care people were employing illegals, he decided to stop using them BECAUSE he was running for President and it wouldn’t look right. Not because it was wrong. He made this decision based on his fear of public opinion and because he didn’t want it to damage his political ambitions. That’s what he said. I’m not adding anything. That pretty much summarizes the chameleon nature of Mitt’s entire political career. I’ll get back to that in a future post.
Let’s be perfectly clear about this – neither Rick Perry nor Mitt Romney has much credibility on illegal immigration so for them to pick that issue to fight about seems rather foolish. I would call that a draw although it would make sense to assume that Perry knows a little more about what should be done on the border – even though he hasn’t done much about it – since Texas is a border state. If one wishes to pick a winner, then it would have to be determined how much the states control when it comes to enforcement of federal immigration law, and I don’t know the answer to that question.