Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Great Debate

The Great Debate: Today’s Bad Economy & a Presidential Election

The Oct.3, 2012 Presidential Debate: What Matters, Who Won ?

Over 70 million Americans watched the Denver debate between President Obama and his contender Mitt Romney. Who won ? First- ground rules. Debates should be judged on substance. Personal feelings about candidates should be set aside. Respect for both candidates is necessary in order to properly assess both the strengths and weaknesses. Why is this debate particularly important ? Because we are still suffering from a horrible economy that crashed in 2009 and hasn’t recovered. So here goes as divided by candidates: salient points either pro or con according to the contender.

Romney: “Trickle down government”, the most powerful phrase mentioned in the debate. We all know subconsciously that government is getting bigger but Romney asked a key question, how big does it need to be ? 42% of spending in our US economy is on the government. This is the same percentage as Spain. So, let’s look at Spain ? According to Wikepedia: “Between 2008 and 2012 … almost a quarter of Spain's workforce is currently unemployed. No thanks. We have had 43 straight months with unemployment over 8%. That’s bad enough. America needs to stand up on its own two feet to provide for its people without government being its main economic industry (an oxymoron). When a huge portion of our population is dependent on the government for their job, exactly like socialist countries, we have ceased to be an enterprising and innovative democracy. Romney has ran successful businesses and understands firsthand what it takes to keep America employed right down to tax issues, overhead, finances and human resource necessities. If we honestly look at Obama’s resume we know Obama understands how to teach a class (constitutional law), write books, and be a very effective government bureaucrat (his state senate and congress years, plus community organizing). A bad economy needs a good and proven businessman. Romney pledged to go after China for unfair trade, another great tactic for balancing out a huge unfair trade imbalance that is costing America jobs. Healthcare ? As governor of Massachusetts ( a state 87% Democratic), he passed a universal health care plan for its citizens (without raising taxed to fund it) that did not involve an unelected board who decides what treatment a patient will get and did so by not raising taxes to afford this plan. To stimulate economic growth, Governor Romney cut taxes 19 times while in office. Poweful facts. Future facts: three fourths of small businesses said they are less likely to hire new employees due to the costs of Obamacare.

Obama: Main theme to his reelection and addressing our national economic woes: increase taxes for upper income people “who have benefited from the opportunities of our country.” Facts, during his 4 years: gas prices have doubled, the average middle income family is $4k worse off, health care prices for everyone is on average $2500 more, there are 10 million more people on food stamps , the national deficit has doubled, 50% of doctors said they won’t take any Medicare or Medicaid patients under Obamacare, and 50% of new college graduates can't find jobs. Assessment, a D- report card for his 4 years as far as the economy is concerned. Good points ? If elected he will close tax loopholes to companies that ship jobs overseas. In his 4 years there has been more energy production (however this has all been private not public production). On banks, he won’t sponsor any more “taxpayer bailouts” .

Bottom line. I love Obama. I even wrote a blog about his first 100 days of office ( I admire his intelligence, his will and desire to help people, his dedication to his family and his communication skills. I just wish he had a different message to communicate this time around. I loved his past “Hope” campaign but “Moving Forward” this time around is not appealing to me if it involves an extension of the past 4 years . Of course, I appreciate his service to our country and the contributions he has made despite the economic report card . If elected, I will support him wholeheartedly as I think every citizen should. However, what makes our country great is the fact we have choices. No leader or candidate is perfect. Hence, elections…. There are 3 ways to solve a failing economy: 1. Cut spending 2. Raise taxes 3. Increase revenue. In a downward spiral economy, you can't solve the problems by just raising taxes (Obama’s platform). If we raise taxes disproportionately on our chief innovators (yes, the wealthy who risk life and limb to start up companies and experiment on ideas that turn into industries and jobs) they will be less likely to produce. The answer is not crushing the successful, what is disposable to them and most of all their spirit. That's called insecurity, bitterness and a class warfare this government should be alarmed about not sponsoring. Ask the average American if they would risk everything to end up filing bankruptcy (as did Trump multiple times) or be guaranted a job and security the rest of their life. Most choose the latter, but it's the Trumps who create jobs for us all. “The pursuit of happiness” or the American Dream means you reap what you sow, the harder you work the more you benefit. Entitlement has never been America’s middle name. Our constitution created a democracy not a socialist state. By increasing government, we increase spending. This doesn’t solve the deficit, it grows it. When we reward people for not working there is no incentive to work. We need to raise revenue as Romney said; we need to create more jobs and this will help us cut spending (eg. less people on welfare); we need to cut spending. Bill Clinton was a Rhodes scholar & able to see that by raising revenue you take care of your economic woes. Obama shares the same good hearted Clinton Democratic values but has demonstrated serious lapses of judgment regarding the economy: TARP bailed out the fat cats but had no regulations with teeth resulting in the money never reaching “Main Street”. Obama had good intentions but did not know how to follow through. Having an economic cabinet member in an important position critical to the country with credibility issues did not help (Larry Summers who was forced to step down as President of Harvard after he publicly declared women and girls are genetically less capable to do math and science, unfortunately I kid you not ).

We all want our neighbors, friends, family and the country to be happy, healthy and safe. A recent Netflix documentary called “Happy”points out that once basic necessities are covered money does not make someone happy. Our problem here is twofold: too many people remain unemployed and don’t have the basic means to be happy. Secondly, those of us who are breaking our backs to make others happy are being told we are not doing enough. At the end of the day the old choice of do you give a starving man a fish or teach him how to fish is pertinent. Those of us who want to teach people how to fish want to see our government learn how to fish. They have forgotten how to balance a checkbook and now tell us if you succeed they are coming after you. It’s not a matter of the “haves” versus the “have nots”. It’s a matter of the “have to be responsible” period: the “haves”, the “have nots” the government making tough but “have to” decisions that are fair to everyone. Democrats and Republicans alike “have” to work together, all of us, taking off “party” designations. We don’t “have” to be a Democrat, Republican or Independent.We should vote our conscience whatever party that is. We “have” to be smart as a country if we want our children to have fair opportunities and if we are to remain a world leader. Ask yourself at the ballot box and watching these debates : Move Forward or Time for a New Game Plan ? I know what my answer is…..

My favorite line of the debate ? Responding to a point of contention with Obama, Romney said “I have 5 boys, I’m use to them thinking if they keep on saying it I will believe it’s true….” It’s good to laugh when we disagree and just like Romney said, it’s in people’nature to keep on doing or saying what they think they need to- to accomplish an objective. Let’ recognize this but stay true to truth while respecting everyone in the process. We all want the same thing, what’s good for America. Everyone, vote…. It matters.

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