Archive for the ‘debate’ Tag

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Fareed Zakaria “But, first, here’s my take. The second presidential debate has been studied and analyzed mostly as a prize fight, who punched hard, who missed a swing. That’s fine.

But there was a substantive aspect to the debate as well. President Obama actually showed up this time and he was engaged and articulate, as was Governor Romney.

As a result, we got a sense of the issues and there is an important and honorable difference between these two candidates. The central question in this election is what will grow the American economy.

Governor Romney’s basic answer is lower taxes and a more streamlined tax code and fewer regulations. President Obama’s answer to the same question would be investments in education, infrastructure, science and technology, as well as support for important sectors like energy and advanced manufacturing.

Both arguments have merit to them so the question is which is our more urgent problem now? Well, the United States is the 7th most competitive economy in the world, according to the World Economic Forum. It’s dropped a bit over the last four years.

Overall, however, whether compared with our own past of, say, 30 years ago when airlines, banks and telecommunications were tightly controlled by government rules or compared with other countries, the United States remains a pretty business-friendly place.

The U.S. economy boomed in the 1950s with tax rates that were much higher than today and Germany, the country that has come out of the current crisis best, is not exactly known for low taxes and low regulation.

As I’ve often pointed out, America is worse off than it was 30 years ago in infrastructure, education and research. The country spends much less than it did on infrastructure.

And, by 2009, federal funding for research of development was half the share of GDP that it was in 1960. The result is we’re falling behind and fast.

A decade ago, the World Economic Forum ranked U.S. infrastructure 5th in the world. In the latest report, we were 25th. The U.S. spends only 2.4 percent of GDP on infrastructure, the Congressional Budget Office noted in 2010, whereas Europe spends 5 percent and China 9 percent.

In the 1970s, America led the world in the number of college graduates. As of 2009, we were 14th among the countries tracked by the OECD. Reversing that decline will cost money.

In other words, the great shift in the U.S. economy over the past 30 years has not been a dramatic increase in taxes and regulation, but rather a decline in investment in human and physical capital.

Now, we should really push on both fronts; a better tax and regulatory system and more investments. But, on the substance, Obama is right to emphasize investments.

You may still think he’s not a good president, but, by the way, Governor Romney, as he pivots to the center, now talks about spending money on retraining and education and boosting manufacturing and exports.

So let’s hope that whoever wins, America gets the investments it sorely needs. Let’s get started.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1210/21/fzgps.01.html

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Should have been posted October 19, 2012

Stewart “You watched Tuesday night, what did you think of the debate?”

Samantha Bee “Well, the media nailed it Jon.  Total turn off.  You know, on Tuesday night, I personally didn’t take in any of the policy specifics, because, as a woman, I was appalled at how rude and belligerent those two men were to each other, and to that nice waitress that was trying to calm them down.  No.  Uh-uh.”

Stewart “You mean the debate moderator, Candy Crowley?”

Bee “Yea, right.  A lady moderated the debate.  Jon, it took place at 9pm.  A lady would have been home, most likely hand washing the plates she had just hours earlier filled with a nutritious dinner for little Michael and Candy junior.”

Stewart “You’re saying you couldn’t bear to watch the debate?”

Bee “Yes.  We’re women.  We don’t like it when people argue on television.  No thanks.”

Stewart “Sam, Real Housewives is a whole series.  It’s like the most popular series amongst women.  All that is, is arguing.”

Bee “OK.  that’s different.  A, it’s not staged, like a debate, and B, when two women fight, it’s girl on girl.  Its natural and beautiful.  When two guys do it, its just gross.  It’s such a turn off.  Gross.”

Stewart “You see, right there, turn off.  You would never hear a pundit say, oh I think men will find Romney’s tax plan a real turn on.  It doesn’t bother you that these pundits are describing women’s reactions to a Presidential debate in dating site terms, like turn on and turn off?”

Bee “Of course it doesn’t bother me.  Men need to be convinced by the candidates.  Women need to be courted.”

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-october-18-2012/condescent-of-a-woman

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From the debate last night:

Q: Mr. President, I voted for you in 2008. What have you done or accomplished to earn my vote in 2012? I’m not that optimistic as I was in 2012. Most things I need for everyday living are very expensive.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, we’ve gone through a tough four years; there’s no doubt about it. But four years ago I told the American people and I told you I would cut taxes for middle-class families, and I did. I told you I’d cut taxes for small businesses, and I have. I said that I’d end the war in Iraq, and I did. I said we’d refocus attention on those who actually attacked us on 9/11, and we have gone after al-Qaida’s leadership like never before, and Osama bin Laden is dead.

I said that we would put in place health care reform to make sure that insurance companies can’t jerk you around, and if you don’t have health insurance, that you’d have a chance to get affordable insurance, and I have. I committed that I would rein in the excesses of Wall Street, and we passed the toughest Wall Street reforms since the 1930s. We’ve created 5 million jobs, gone from 800,000 jobs a month being lost. And we are making progress. We saved an auto industry that was on the brink of collapse.

Now, does that mean you’re not struggling? Absolutely not. A lot of us are. And that’s why the plan that I put forward for manufacturing and education and reducing our deficit in a sensible way, using the savings from ending wars to rebuild America and putting people back to work, making sure that we are controlling our own energy, but not just the energy of today but also the energy of the future — all those things will make a difference. So the point is, the commitments I’ve made, I’ve kept. And those that I haven’t been able to keep, it’s not for lack of trying, and we’re going to get it done in a second term.

But you should pay attention to this campaign, because Governor Romney’s made some commitments as well, and I suspect he’ll keep those, too. You know, when members of the Republican Congress say, we’re going to sign a no tax pledge so that we don’t ask a dime from millionaires and billionaires to reduce our deficit so we can still invest in education and helping kids go to college, he said, me too. When they said, we’re going to cut Planned Parenthood funding, he said, me too. When he said, we’re going to repeal “Obamacare,” first thing I’m going to do — despite the fact that it’s the same health care plan that he passed in Massachusetts and is working well — he said, me too. That is not the kind of leadership that you need, but you should expect that those are promises he’s going to keep.

http://www.npr.org/2012/10/16/163050988/transcript-obama-romney-2nd-presidential-debate

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President Barack Obama may have pulled his punches during his first debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney but the GOP running mate didn’t have the same luck when he met up with Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday.

During a segment about the economy, Biden repeatedly took shots at Rep. Paul Ryan over a secretly-recorded video where Romney was seen telling wealthy donors that 47 percent of Americans were “dependent” on government.

“Gov. Romney says 47 percent of the American people are unwilling to take responsibility for their lives,” Biden pointed out, adding that Ryan had also said that “30 percent are takers.”

“These people are my mom and dad, my neighbors. They pay more effective tax than Gov. Romney pays,” the vice president continued. “They are elderly people who in fact are living off of Social Security, they are veterans who are — quote — not paying taxes.”

“I’ve never met two guys more down on America across the board. We’re told everything is going badly. 5.2 million new jobs, private sector jobs. We need more. But 5.2 million. If they would get out of the way and let us pass the tax cut for the middle class and make it permanent. If they would get out of the way and pass the jobs bill. If they would get out of the way and let us allow 14 million people who are struggling to stay in their homes because their mortgages are upside down but they never missed a mortgage payment.”

Biden added: “Just get out of the way. Stop talking about how you care about people. Show me something. Show me a policy. Show me a policy where you take responsibility.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/10/11/bidens-debate-rant-rips-ryan-gop-needs-to-get-out-of-the-way/

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Mitt Romney, 10/3/12:I will not reduce the taxes paid by high income Americans.Mitt Romney, 2/22/12: There were so many misrepresentations in there it’s going to take me a little while. Number one, I said today that we’re going to cut taxes on everyone across the country by twenty percent—including the top one percent.

Mitt Romney, 10/3/12: The key to great schools? Great teachers. So I reject the idea that I don’t believe in great teachers or more teachers.

Mitt Romney, 6/8/12: He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government.

Mitt Romney, 10/3/12: Actually, it’s a lengthy description, but number one, pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan.

Mitt Romney, 3/27/12: If they’re 45 years old and they show up and they say I want insurance because I’ve got heart disease, it’s like: “Hey guys, we can’t play the game like that.” You’ve got to get insurance when you’re well, and then if you get ill, then you’re going to be covered.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/05/1140797/-Mitt-Romney-debates-himself?detail=email

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Fareed Zakaria “But, first, here’s my take. Sometimes the conventional wisdom is right. Minutes after the Denver presidential debate, the pundits declared Mitt Romney the clear winner. And he was. He seemed engaged, forceful and punchy. Obama seemed passive, detached and glum.

But what’s more significant than how Romney said things was what he said. Romney repeatedly insisted that he was not advocating a big tax cut. In fact, he declared unequivocally that he would not cut taxes at all if they added to the deficit at all.

Now, as the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler points out in his fact- checking column, for two years, Romney has been campaigning on a tax cut that that would cost around $5 trillion over 10 years. Romney says he would eliminate deductions and cut spending to pay for it, but he never gives any details.

Well, he offered one at the debate. He would cut funding for public broadcasting, which was 0.01 percent of federal spending in 2012. Medicare was 13 percent. But, anyway that tax cut appears to be off the table.

Romney also spoke in favor of regulations, including much of the Dodd-Frank bill, and he repeatedly held up as a model his health care plan in Massachusetts, which has, at its center, the individual mandate, and on which Obamacare is based.

Romney’s transformation did not happen overnight. The candidate has been reworking his stump speech. In a very smart analysis, NPR pointed out that Romney now has a five-point stump speech.

The first four points are actually identical to Barack Obama’s stump speech. Romney argues for (1) Exports (2) Domestic energy (3) Retraining programs (4) Deficit reduction. It’s only on the 5th that they diverge. Romney talks about small businesses, Obama about national security.

I’ve long argued that Romney is an intelligent man trapped in a party that has forced him to embrace extreme and impossible positions. One of his advisers had predicted that once the Republican primaries were over, Romney would erase the image from the primaries and, like an Etch-a-Sketch, just draw a new one.

Well, he appears to be doing just that. The Republican Party might hate Obama enough and be frustrated enough to wink and let him do it. If so, President Obama faces something far more challenging than a good debater in the last weeks of the campaign. He faces a moderate Republican.”

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1210/07/fzgps.01.html

Posted October 8, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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