AFTER LAST NIGHT'S DEBATE AND YESTERDAY'S DRIVE, I was too tired to think, let alone write an opinion on the second debate. So here it is at the dawn's early light: It was a grueling boxing match with no knock-outs and a referee so biased she should have been disqualified and relieved of her temporary duty. The mainstream liberal press continues to astound me with its lack of neutrality.
Nevertheless, Mitt is the winner in my book and getting my vote---my early vote---as soon as I get back to Tennessee. I cannot think of even one reason anyone would choose the alternative after the past four years of a weak economic recovery,supersonic money printing/spending and the federal government's assault on our personal liberties and deeply held values in service to its behemoth new healthcare law. And that doesn't even include our country's leading apologetically from behind in the Middle East and the crumbling respect our enemies have for this administration. Think Jimmy Carter and the Iran hostage crisis.
I could go blow by blow in review but mercifully won't. However, I will link to some other decent first responders. John Tamny @ Forbes, in typical libertarian fashion, has the most scathing review of both candidates, calling the debate performance a nauseating draw with both deserving to lose:
Both candidates fought to one-up each other in terms of who would start the bigger economy-wrecking trade war with China, who would drive education costs higher through more federal subsidies of same, and who would make the top 1% foot the bigger portion of the federal tax bill. A total embarrassment for each candidate.Continuing with this well-done piece, Tamny critiques:
It was like two beginners playing tennis with each other, neither able to hit the ball over the net. Both deserve to lose.
It began with the first question asked by a Hofstra College student who wanted to know what either would do to ensure that future grads like him will have jobs. Romney responded that (all quotes paraphrased) "We'll have to make a college education more affordable for all, and I'll do this through growth of the Pell Grant program." The problem, of course, is that it's the federal government's existing subsidization of college loans through programs like the Pell Grant that reduce the incentives for colleges and universities to lower tuition costs. And then in promoting a boost in Pell Grant funding, , Romney's calling for more of the same whereby the feds take money from one set of American hands, and place those funds in the hands of others. On the street this would be called theft, but when politicians propose it, it's "compassion." After that, Romney basically repeated the same line over and over again: "I know what it takes to create jobs, and I'm going to make sure you get a job." The president as our nanny, one supposes. The sad thing is that Romney, far more than Obama, does know how to create jobs, but to explain how he does he'd have to be more up front that he's rich precisely because he's expert at turning around companies. Obama's response was no better. He added his support for expanding the Pell Grant program that makes college more expensive, and then "bragged" that funding for Pell Grants had already increased during his deficit-ridden presidency.
On jobs specifically, the nanny standard bearer for the Democrats said "We need good jobs, jobs that can support a family." Having said this, he then said that he wanted to create manufacturing jobs which, even if he could, would in today's world at best foot the bill for a Starbuck's latte - once a day. Barack Obama to families: Drop dead!
Moderator Candy Crowley followed up with a query about what either candidate would do about the high number of jobless Americans overall. This segment went to Romney for the former governor pointing out that the unemployment rate is the same today as when Obama entered office. He added that the number is only 7.8% because so many have exited the labor force due to a lack of job opportunities. Obama responded with his stock line about 5 million jobs created since he entered office, plus his wildly questionable assertion that he saved 1 million automobile jobs; jobs that would have disappeared under Romney for the latter having wanted to send GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy.
Romney's response was fairly good for him pointing out that Obama too took the ailing carmakers into bankruptcy; Romney simply having wanted to do it the normal way (you know, without the fleecing of secured creditors, gifting the automakers to the UAW) whereby the company continues to operate while restructuring its debt. In the next question Obama was asked about Energy Secretary Steven Chu having admitted three different times that he'd like to see gasoline prices higher. Obama predictably talked up how much oil and natural gas exploration has increased during his administration, then pivoted to the green energy he likes so much, and then proclaimed that he would "not cede green energy jobs to China and Germany."
Funny how much us taxpayers have had to pay so that Obama could pursue his green fantasy, and as for China and Germany, if taxpayers in both countries are so eager to fund the economic lie that is green energy, and if skeptics like this one turn out to be wrong, the good news is that we'll be able to import the energy at a market price as though it was conceived in Berkeley. Does anyone want to bet me on my assertion that green energy will never be able to stand on its own absent major subsidies? Can I pay you back ten lifetimes from now when you win the bet?
Romney then predictably responded that yes, oil and gas exploration is up under Obama, but none of it on federal lands. He also brought up a criminal action the Obama administration took against a producer in North Dakota. And then ever a me-too candidate, Romney said he too was for an "all of the above energy plan", which on its own is strange for someone who claims to believe in the free market; free markets surely devoid of national energy plans. Puzzling to this writer is why Romney didn't attack Obama again for not just the costs of his green energy fantasies, but also how much of the companies funded are now bankrupt.
A lost opportunity for Romney. Romney perhaps drew blood for pointing out that a gallon of gas in Nasssau was $1.84 when Obama entered office, and now it's $4. Obama drew blood in return with his reminder that gasoline was relatively cheap when he entered office precisely because the U.S. economy was collapsing under Republican policies that Romney would supposedly like to revive. Of course neither made the obvious point that gasoline is only expensive insofar as the Obama dollar is very cheap; Obama failing to make that point for obvious reasons, Romney failing to make it because his economic advisers such as Greg Mankiw actually support the Treasury and Fed's so far successful, and economy wrecking efforts to debase the greenback.
On taxes, Romney was asked what tax deductions he would limit in order to cut taxes for all Americans across the board....Read the whole thing if you dare. Now I'm going to walk on the Canal with a friend and enjoy this beautiful day in this filthy, rotten city!