Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Townhall Debate

Debate about to wrap up...haven't paid as close attention as I did to the VP debate, but it seems at first blush, that both gave relatively coherent answers, and reiteriated a lot of the points they have been making for months now. Both had good answers to whether Russia is an "evil empire". McCain tried to stress his experience, especially on foreign policy. Obama was overall more relaxed. I agreed with Obama's line on prioritization of major issues (and the order- energy first)...it was pragmatic and comforting.

I don't know. It seems like everything is falling apart at the seams in this country, but I don't know if either of them instilled confidence in the American people that they can turn this situation around. McCain has the albatross of being linked with Bush, and this disaster is happening on the Bush watch. Obama has the albatross of voting on the liberal side, which may or may not be good for some parts of the economy.

In the end, both held their own, and thus, although a solid job for McCain, Obama comes out the winner, as he has the lead in the national polls. McCain needed a home run, but I don't think he got one. Good closing comments for both. I will look at the post-debate transcripts to see if there is something big that I missed. Also, post your comments.

This is a philosophical issue between right and left, but Obama is definitely going to win points on considering health care a right, rather than a privilege. McCain said it is a responsibility. Personally, I think it is unjust that health care in this country is tied to your employment status and your specific employer. Just doesn't work efficiently and doesn't lead to good public health.

McCain: Not sure how he is defining "victory" in Iraq. What exactly does that mean?

McCain: Accuses Obama of voting for a fat bill with tons of subsidies for oil companies. Shame on you, Senator (Obama).

Obama: Good points on energy plan. McCain voted against alternative energy 23 times? Not a good move, Senator (McCain).

McCain: Tax credits (e.g., health care credits) won't do much for people in this horrible economy (lower wages, lack of jobs).

McCain: Has a nice line that Obama said he would forgo tax increases if economy was bad. McCain says, "I've got some news for you Senator, the news is bad." Nice zinger (and fundamentally correct).

Obama: I disagree with him. We cannot raise corporate taxes at this time. Curbs on CEO packages, yes, but if corporate taxes are raised as we head INTO a HUGE recession, it will mean leaner balance sheets and thus lower wages for workers and fewer jobs. Taxing companies may actually paradoxically decrease tax revenues to the government. Consumer spending accounts for 70% of GDP. We will not get out of debt by raising corporate taxes (or raising taxes on people making more than $250,000). The time to raise taxes has now passed. We need our economy to be thriving, and corporate tax increases will be like a firehose dousing out a fading campfire.


Will said...

Healthcare financing, the credit crunch, environmental ethics ... all topics that just cannot be boiled down to sound bytes/ ninety seconds esp when you have to spend half of your time congratulating/thanking the questioner. So these things just end up as 'who can sound more presidential?' and that can only be judged by the individual listener. Tip to McCain - hold mic further away from face so we don't have to hear each one of the quavering inhalations. 'I've got news for you, the news is bad' doesn't really make sense (though I recognize the logical construction: 'I've got news for you, the economy is bad' would've been too Malthusian). I liked the jello on the wall zinger better.

Anonymous said...

You gents take this very seriously, probably too much so. Both candidates are severely lacking. McCain is weak and so is Obama. maybe we all need new hobbies as the days of being a politico are over. Sorry.

Will said...

Anon - is there another candidate you were hoping would get nominated?

Anonymous said...

how can you be comforted by obama listing "energy" as #1 in the priorities! over 40,000,000 uninsured; a defecit that keeps expanding; and the recent need of a mutlti-billion $$ bailout package to bandage wall street until it breaks at the seams again...and your top priority is low energy light bulbs and hybrids which cost as much to build as they save to fuel. pull the food from your 3 foot beard you hippie and get with the program. (I'm still an obama supporter)

Anonymous said...

I'm a different "anon" by the way. I'm "anon #2"

Cocameister said...

I know it sounds ridiculous that energy is #1, because I do think that the health care system and the economy are so very important.

However, the reason why I think it all starts with energy independence is the following:

1. We stop paying money to terrorist countries
2. We stop getting involved in stupid wars that MAY have been over oil
3. An alternative-energy revolution will stimulate the economy by creating hundreds of thousands of jobs
4. The monies being spent on oil, wars, gets used for domestic things like health care

If we only focus on fixing health care, where is the money going to come from? I think the most patriotic, economically-wise, and biggest boost to national security would be for the USA to become energy independent.